​Understanding How Much is “Too Much”

Q: How much alcohol is considered “too much?”
A: For women, consuming more than seven drinks per week and for men, consuming more than 13 drinks per week on a regular basis is considered overconsumption.

Q: How can I tell if I am an alcoholic?
A: If you think you may have a problem with alcohol consumption, take our free alcohol self-assessment test.

Q: Is it safe to drink a small amount of alcohol while pregnant?
A: Absolutely not. NO AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL is safe to drink while you are pregnant. This could potentially have serious health risks for your newborn, including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Read more about FAS.

Source: March of Dimes

Helping Yourself

Q: Is alcoholism a disease?
A: Yes, alcoholism is a disease. It is a chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. Alcoholics are unable to control their behavior. If you think you need help, call Hina Mauka today at (808) 236-2600.

Source: American Society of Addiction Medicine

Q: How can I take steps to help myself overcome alcohol addiction?
A: Depending on how severe your alcoholism is, we recommend seeking professional help, as overcoming alcoholism on your own is extremely difficult. Here are some strategies that have helped others:

  1. Talk to a physician or healthcare provider.
  2. Ask for support from a family member or non-drinking friends.
  3. Join a support group such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). This is a great way to build a network of friends who are struggling with the same issues and have found ways to live without or reduce their consumption of alcohol.
  4. Avoid “triggers;” certain people or places make you drink even when you do not want to, so try to avoid them.
  5. Plan to handle urges. When an urge hits, consider other options such as exercising.
  6. Feel comfortable saying “no.” When offered a drink, have a polite, convincing “no, thanks” ready and stick with it.

Q: Is there a hotline I can call for help if I am not ready to see someone yet?
A: Yes, you can call the Oahu Central Office. Phone lines are answered 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Please call (808) 946-1438.

Q: Where can I seek help if I choose to make a positive lifestyle change?
A: First of all, congratulations on your decision to make a positive change. There are many resources available to you in order to help you transition through a difficult time. Here are some resources:

Hina Mauka
Walk-in clinic
45-845 Pookela Street
Kaneohe, HI 96744

Tel: (808) 236-2600
Fax: (808) 236-2626
Email: walkinclinic@hinamauka.org

YMCA of Honolulu
49 Funchal Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Tel:(808) 848-2494

YMCA of Honolulu
1202 Prospect Street
Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808) 848-2494

YMCA Outreach Services
1120 Nehoa Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Tel: (808) 848-2494

Oahu Central Office
Palama Settlement, Suite 14 E
Tennant Building
810 N Vineyard Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96817

Tel: (808) 946-1438

Hina Mauka and Services Offered

Q: What is Hina Mauka and what kinds of services do they offer?
A: Hina Mauka is a nonprofit organization that offers treatment for adults through many levels of care including Residential Treatment, Outpatient Treatment and Aftercare. Hina Mauka also provides innovative treatment programs for homeless people and incarcerated women, as well as treatment to teens, adults, and families in need of assistance. Hina Mauka also offers prevention interventions, school-based and community outpatient treatment for adolescents. As with any disease, alcoholism and addiction need to be treated. It is not simply a matter of willpower.

Q: What kind of experience does Hina Mauka have? Is this a reputable facility?
A: Hina Mauka has a 40-year history of successfully helping people treat and overcome addictions. We use modern proven techniques such as evidence-based practices to help individuals achieve their goals of overcoming dependence on alcohol and other drugs. Hina Mauka’s values include: Love, Commitment, Team-Oriented Practices, Wellness and Support with Dignity and Respect. Hina Mauka is Hawaii State-Licensed and CARF accredited.

The Effects On Society

Q: Are there any negative effects on the economy due to alcoholism?
A: Absolutely. Alcoholism affects not only you, your friends and your family, but it also affects businesses, employers and the economy as a whole. In the past, The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Awareness (NIAAA) reported that the total economic cost of alcohol abuse was $185 billion per year and rising. This includes health care costs, lost productivity, auto accidents, crime and social welfare administration. Unexpected or unplanned events that can occur due to the overconsumption of alcohol include STD contraction and unplanned pregnancy. Associated costs can be very expensive.

Talking To Your Doctor

Q: Can I talk to my doctor if I think I might have a problem with alcohol?
A: Absolutely. We encourage all patients to speak openly with their doctors. Some patients may feel uncomfortable talking about their personal life, but alcoholism directly affects your physical and mental health. It is very important that your primary care physician is aware of any problems you think you might have so he can help you. In certain cases, he might refer you to a mental health doctor such as a psychiatrist or psychologist counselor for further, more personalized help.

How You Can Help Others

Q: I have a friend/family member who needs help with alcoholism, but they won’t admit they have a problem. How can I help them?
A: First, express your genuine concerns. Have a talk with him in person so it is more effective and compassionate. Let him know that you want to help him because you care about his health and well-being. Feel free to refer him to Hina Mauka and inform him of the services offered.

Q: I do not like the group of friends my teenager hangs around. They are all heavy drinkers and I am worried she will become one too. How can I talk to my teen about alcohol consumption and really make her listen? I am not sure how to approach the topic.
A: Bringing up alcohol with your teenager can be a daunting task. The earlier you can talk to her about alcohol consumption, the better. Start by asking her some questions in a nonjudgmental way. Encourage her to be honest with you and let her know that your aim is not to punish her, but to educate her and be there for her. Some good questions are:

  • Do the kids you hang out with at school drink alcohol?
  • Have you ever tried alcohol?
  • Why did you try alcohol? Did you feel pressured?
  • How often do you drink alcohol?
  • Have you ever been drunk?
  • Have you ever gotten sick?
  • Is it easy for you to stop drinking when you feel you’ve had enough?
  • Have you ever gotten into the car with someone who was drunk?

Next, give them the facts. Assure them that if they are ever in a bad situation or if they drink too much to call you and you will come pick them up. Instilling trust in your teen is very important, so that if they are ever in a bad situation they will feel comfortable coming to you for help. This helps avoid accidents, DUIs and even death.

Q: I am an employer, and I suspect that one of my employees is battling with alcoholism. I have noticed a shift in his normal character. I do not want to fire him, but he continues to show up late and his productivity level has decreased. How can I help him? Would I be over-stepping my boundaries if I got involved?
A: As the employer you are certainly not overstepping your boundaries if there are performance issues. By encouraging and supporting treatment, employers can dramatically assist in reducing the negative impact of alcoholism in the workplace, while reducing associated costs. Research has demonstrated that alcohol treatment pays for itself in reduced healthcare costs, which begin as soon as people start treatment. Alcohol treatment also improves an individual’s functioning capacity, leading to increased productivity at work.

Q: What is AA?
A: Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is a completely self-supporting, multiracial and apolitical operation available in any U.S. state and in multiple countries. There are no age or education requirements and membership is open to anyone who wants help.

Q: How many people are currently members of Alcoholics Anonymous?
A: According to the AA website, there are approximately 2,000,000 members in the United States who attend AA.

Q: How do I become a member and become involved with AA? How do I find a location in my area?
A: Simply call the AA hotline, where trained phone counselors are available to speak with you about anything related to alcoholism such as general information about AA, the 12-step process to recovery, types of meetings and resources in your area. Visit their website at www.alcoholicsanonymous.com or call the hotline at (877) 515-1255.

Q: How can I help donate to or support this cause in Hawaii?
A:Supporting treatment with a donation to Hina Mauka will ensure that someone is given hope through the gift of recovery. Donate to Hina Mauka online, or by mail using this form.

Also consider supporting or participating in the Hawaii Recovery Walk , which benefits several organizations in Hawaii. 

Health Risks

Q: What are some of the health risks associated with alcoholism?
A: There are many health risks associated with the overconsumption of alcohol. Some include: Liver damage, brain damage, breast cancer, other types of cancers, heart disease, pancreatitis, stroke, pneumonia, seizures, gastritis/PUD, hypertension, diabetes and mental risks.



Truth Trivia
Studies have shown that overconsumption of alcohol can directly affect or cause which of the following?

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