Are you misusing alcohol? Over drinking and alcohol addiction
Alcohol use is becoming a growing concern in the UK as the amount that men and women are drinking on a regular basis is on the rise. For most, drinking is an occasional, harmless and pleasurable activity.
However, alcohol use can quickly become misuse and develop into a dependency that affects every aspect of your life, impacting on your employment prospects, relationships and, eventually, your health and well-being.
The common conception of alcohol addiction is someone that experiences withdrawal symptoms without alcohol and is incapable of leading a normal, fully-functioning life. However, this is full-blown alcohol addiction and there are a number of signs that could indicate that you might need to seek help before a dependency develops.
- When you start drinking, do you find it difficult to control the amount you consume?
- Do you find yourself justifying or misleading others about the amount that you have consumed?
- Do you feel that you ‘need’ to drink to cope with everyday stress?
- Do you find it hard to focus on other activities that do not involve drinking?
- Have you experienced personality changes when you drink or noticed it changing over time as a result of long-term alcohol consumption?
- Do you regularly experience memory loss when drinking?
- Do you wake up with a feeling of worry or dread on waking after you’ve been drinking?
- Are the feelings and emotions you experience the day after drinking only ‘relieved’ by consuming more alcohol?
- Have you noticed your tolerance has increased and you need to drink more to achieve the same effect?
- Has your work or personal relationships been affected by your drinking?
If you’re concerned about your alcohol intake there are a number of steps to taking control of your life and the choices that you make:
- Admitting you have a problem is the first step – whether that it just to yourself or to others.
- Make a plan to cut down your drinking or to stop completely
- Avoid people and circumstances that will negatively affect your resolution to control your drinking.