Alcohol Evaluation

What is an Alcohol Evaluation?

Alcohol Evaluations assess for what the medical community now refers to as alcohol use disorder (alternative names are alcoholism, alcohol addiction, substance abuse, or chemical dependency).

How much alcohol is too much?

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism considers more than 4 drinks per occasion for men, or more than 3 drinks per occasion for women, high-risk alcohol consumption.

What is alcohol use disorder?

Alcohol use disorder is the formal medical diagnosis for someone with a serious drinking problem (sometimes referred to as alcoholism or alcohol addiction).

Do I meet criteria for alcohol use disorder?

It will be critical that you meet with a qualified professional to determine if you have a problem, the extent of that problem, and the best available help. During an Alcohol Evaluation, a medical professional will determine whether, in the past 12 months, your drinking has repeatedly caused or contributed to:
  • risk of bodily harm (drinking and driving, operating machinery, swimming)
  • relationship trouble (family or friends
  • role failure (interference with home, work, or school obligations)
  • run-ins with the law (arrests or other legal problems
  • not been able to stick to drinking limits (repeatedly gone over them)
  • not been able to cut down or stop (repeated failed attempts)
  • shown tolerance (needed to drink a lot more to get the same effect)
  • shown signs of withdrawal (tremors, sweating, nausea, or insomnia when trying to quit or cut down)
  • kept drinking despite problems (recurrent physical or psychological problems)
  • spent a lot of time drinking (or anticipating or recovering from drinking)
  • spent less time on other matters (activities that had been important or pleasurable)
If you answer yes to two or more of the previous questions, you likely have an alcohol use disorder. The more yes answers, the more severe the disorder.

Where do I get professional help?

Michael (612.249.3656) is a Harvard-educated Alcohol Evaluator and serves clients throughout Minnesota. Michael works in private practice and was trained by doctors at Harvard Medical School and professors through the Harvard Psychology Department. Michael is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, an accomplished alcohol use disorder researcher and published the book, A Frenzied Mind: Clarifying the science behind addictive disorders. Additionally, Michael is the lead author in a peer-reviewed academic journal where he published, Managing Problem Drinking Screening Tools and Brief Interventions for Primary Care Physicians.

Michael is more than an expert Alcohol Evaluator, he is well-versed in identifying the very best treatments available for your unique situation, which is based upon available research on what treatments are most effective and what, if anything, you have tried in the past. Call him today: 612.249.3656

Can I learn to moderate my drinking?

The simple answer is it depends. Learning to moderate your drinking is a controversial concept in North America because of the progressive nature of alcohol use disorder and an inability to know in advance if you will be successful; as a result, the vast majority of treatment programs in Minnesota steer clear of moderation therapies and only teach abstinence.

However, based upon the available scientific research, some individuals that misuse alcohol can learn to moderate their alcohol use via the guidance of a skilled professional using evidence-based moderation practices. Additionally, there are a small number of medical professionals available to help you achieve your moderation goals in MN. These medical professionals utilize medication, evidence-based moderation practices available in SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, and ongoing support.

Your first step is to meet with a Michael (612.249.3656) for an Alcohol Evaluation to see if moderation- or abstinence-based therapy is appropriate for your unique situation. Thereafter, appropriate referrals will be made.