Take an alcohol use screening. Answer 12 questions and the screening will generate personalized results based on your age, gender and drinking patterns. Your answers are completely confidential and anonymous.
Anyone can request an assessment for him or herself or for another person. Under the state's Rule 25 (similar to a state law), all county or tribal agencies must provide an assessment when requested. Health plans that serve Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare clients also must provide assessments. Call your health plan or county or tribal office for more information. Check this list for Rule 25 County Referral Numbers (PDF).
Addiction to alcohol or other drugs is a primary, chronic illness. Genetic, psychosocial and environmental factors influence how it develops and manifests itself. The disease is often progressive and can be fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic:
Impaired control over one's chemical use
Preoccupation with alcohol or other drugs
Use despite adverse consequences
Distortions in thinking, most notably denial.
Alcohol or other drug addictions may begin with a personal choice to use these substances. However, research shows that for many a physiological dependence soon takes hold. Drug dependence produces significant and lasting changes in brain chemistry and function. These drug-induced changes in brain function may have behavioral consequences, including the defining characteristic of addiction: compulsion to use alcohol or other drugs despite adverse consequences.
Like diabetes or hypertension, addiction is a chronic medical illness that can be treated successfully.
Researchers use the term alcohol problems to refer to any type of condition caused by drinking that harms the drinker, jeopardizes the drinker's well-being or places others at risk. Alcohol problems can result from even moderate drinking, for example, driving under the influence (DUI), drinking during pregnancy or drinking when taking certain medicines. Alcohol problems range from occasional binge drinking to alcohol abuse or dependence (alcoholism).
Recovery is the ongoing process of overcoming active alcoholism or other drug addictions. The goal is to reduce or eliminate problems associated with chemical use. People in recovery make a commitment to sobriety and work to improve or maintain their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.