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Almost Alcoholic. Is My or My Loved One’s Drinking a Problem.

Article / Review by on March 4, 2012 – 6:00 pmNo Comments

Almost Alcoholic.

Is My (or My Loved One’s) Drinking a Problem
The First Volume in The Almost Effect Series
by Robert Doyle, MD and Joseph Nowinski, PhD

almost-alcoholic_3dcover

 

“A stunning achievement. ALMOST ALCOHOLIC shines light on behavior that has thus far largely escaped scrutiny—namely drinking that is definitely causing problems even though it doesn’t rise to a diagnostic level—and not only helps individuals understand the costs of their drinking but goes further, offering practical advice and solutions for those so afflicted.” —J.Wesley Boyd, MD, PhD
Staff Psychiatrist, Cambridge Health Alliance and Children’s Hospital Boston
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
__________________________

In the United States there are fourteen to eighteen million people who meet the official criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence. Many millions more fit into what the medical profession recognize as a subclinical category—they are definitely experiencing negative effects due to alcohol, but they are not considered full-blown alcoholics.

Last fall Hazelden Publishing and Harvard Medical School announced the publication of a brand new series of books The Almost Effect, which for the first time will address the medical and behavioral issues that are causing problems for average people, but are not currently categorized in the medical literature. The debut title in this collection is ALMOST ALCOHOLIC: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Drinking a Problem? (Hazelden Publishing/Harvard Health Publications; April 2, 2012; $14.95) by Robert Doyle, MD from Harvard Medical School and Joseph Nowinski, PhD. According to Drs. Doyle and Nowinski, the almost alcoholic falls into a gray area between “normal” and the medical definition of “alcoholic”.

In ALMOST ALCOHOLIC Drs. Doyle and Nowinski explain that an “almost alcoholic” is someone who drinks more often than occasionally or socially, and that almost alcoholic behavior is widespread and often goes unrecognized by individuals and health care professionals. If we were to help these people, we could reduce overall risks for many mental health disorders like depression and anxiety as well as health issues that are often not recognized as related to drinking.

The difference between being an alcoholic and an almost alcoholic is a matter of degree. Here are five key signs that you or someone you know is almost alcoholic:
1. You continue drinking despite at least some negative consequences.
2. You look forward to drinking.
3. You drink alone.
4. You sometimes drink in order to control emotional and/or physical symptoms.
5. You and your loved ones are suffering as a result of your drinking.
 

ALMOST ALCOHOLIC will not only help people identify the problems they are having as they relate to alcohol, it will also provide solutions. A few of these are:
• Taking an assessment of your life as it is today. Are you living the life you envisioned for yourself?
• Building support systems. Are your current friends and activities centered around drinking?
• Changing your habits and routines. Have you built special rituals and routines around drinking?
• Developing refusal skills. Suggestions for ways you can decline invitations to drink and ways to mingle in situations where you choose to remain sober.

ALMOST ALCOHOLIC is the first book with evidence-based research to back up its claims. It will help the millions of people who are distressed because of their unhealthy relationships with alcohol.

ABOUT THE ALMOST EFFECT SERIES:

The Almost Effect Series presents books written by Harvard Medical School faculty and other experts that offer guidance on common behavioral and physical problems falling in the spectrum between normal health and a full-blown medical condition. These are the first publications to help general readers recognize and address these problems.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
A nationally recognized expert on alcoholism, Robert Doyle, MD., is a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is on the medical staff at Harvard’s prestigious teaching hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital.
Clinical psychologist Joseph Nowinski, PhD, was assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California-San Francisco and associate adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut. He is currently a columnist for the Huffington Post and works in private practice.

ALMOST ALCOHOLIC
Is My (or My Loved One’s) Drinking a Problem
By Robert Doyle, MD, Harvard Medical School
and Joseph Nowinski, PhD
Hazelden Publishing/Harvard Health Publications
Publication Date: April 2, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-61649-159-8
Price: $14.95
250 pp.
www.thealmosteffect.com

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