Alcohol Addiction

As alcohol is a socially acceptable vice, it can be difficult to spot when social or habitual drinking has become a problem. Alcohol is a big part of many people's lives, and it is present at most social events. Because alcohol is legal and an acceptable part of British culture, it is easy to forget that it is an extremely addictive substance. In fact, alcohol abuse costs the NHS billions every year and affects many people throughout the UK.

According to Alcohol Concern, in England alone more than nine million people regularly drink more than the recommended guidelines while alcohol accounts for around ten per cent of disease and deaths in the country each year.

Not everyone who drinks alcohol will develop an addiction to it. Most people can drink in moderation, but those who drink to excess or develop dangerous drinking habits are at higher risk of suffering from alcoholism. This means that those who are regularly drinking more than the recommended daily allowances or those who are drinking every day could be harming their health.

Recovery Lighthouse can help those with alcohol addiction by providing services that include detox, counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy, and family therapy because we understand that alcohol addiction affects the whole family. Call us today if you or someone you love is affected by alcohol addiction.

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is an illness and, as with all illnesses, it is not something a person chooses. Those affected by alcohol addiction have no control over their compulsion to drink. Yes, they made the choice to drink alcohol initially but they did not choose to become addicted.

Alcohol addiction occurs when an individual continues to drink alcohol despite it causing obvious harm to his or her life. Alcoholics will continue to drink even though doing so may be damaging their health or their relationships.

Those with an alcohol addiction are in danger of developing a number of health problems including liver disease, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer. They are also at risk of becoming involved in accidents because of intoxication.

It is important that those with alcohol problems get help as soon as possible. Recovery Lighthouse can provide advice on alcohol addiction and can help you to overcome your addiction by providing a variety of effective treatment options.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Addiction to alcohol is quite common in the UK. Nevertheless, many people fail to seek help because they are either in denial or are completely ignorant of the fact that they are drinking to dangerous levels. Many individuals believe that in order to be classed as an alcoholic, you have to be stumbling around all day, every day, frequenting dark alleys and swigging from a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag, but this is not the case. There are different degrees of alcohol addiction if you find that you need to drink every day or are thinking about drinking alcohol when you are at work, it could mean that you have a problem.

If you find it hard to relax or have fun without alcohol, it may be because you have become psychologically dependent on it. Those who suffer from withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking, sweating or nausea when not drinking, have developed a physical dependence.

Below are a few signs that you may have an alcohol addiction:

  • You are drinking more than you intended to on a regular basis.
  • You find that you need to drink more alcohol to get the same effects.
  • You have no control over the amount you drink.
  • You cannot cut down on the amount you are drinking, despite wanting to.
  • You have stopped certain activities because these are interfering with your drinking time.
  • You suffer from shaking, sweating, nausea or anxiety when you are not drinking.
  • Your relationships are suffering because of your drinking, yet you continue to drink.
  • Family members have confronted you about the amount of alcohol you are drinking.

Below are a few signs that someone you love may have an alcohol addiction:

  • They are regularly drinking more than the recommended daily allowance.
  • They often cannot remember things they have done while under the influence of alcohol.
  • They are failing to fulfil their responsibilities at home or are taking time off work or school due to being intoxicated or hungover.
  • They become defensive or aggressive when you suggest they may be drinking too much.
  • You have noticed them shaking or sweating when they are not drinking.

If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, you should get help immediately. An alcohol addiction left untreated will simply get worse and can cause irreparable damage. Alcohol addiction can lead to relationship breakdown and ill health. Those affected can be left with physical, mental and emotional damage. However, the good news is that treatment is available.

How Much is Too Much Alcohol?

When it comes to understanding the alcohol guidelines, most people are confused. This is probably because they are told how many units they should have per day – and many find it confusing as to what a unit actually is.

Current guidelines in the UK state that women should not drink more than 2-3 units per day while men no more than 3-4 units. However, many experts believe these guidelines are dangerous and that the limits should be lowered.

Two-three units equates to a standard 175ml glass of wine (13% alcohol) while 3-4 units equate to a pint of strong lager, beer or cider (5.2% alcohol).

If you are regularly drinking more than this, you are drinking too much alcohol and are in danger of not only developing an addiction but also increasing your risk of developing a number of health problems.

How is Alcoholism Treated?

The type of treatment used for alcoholism will depend on the severity of the problem. Those with the most severe addictions will generally require inpatient treatment and detox.

Detox is a process whereby the alcohol is eliminated from the body. Those who are physically dependent on alcohol may suffer from withdrawal symptoms so it is recommended that detox is carried out under medical supervision. Detox is often recommended for alcoholics before they begin a programme of rehabilitation. It may be necessary for the patient to be given medication to help with the withdrawal symptoms.

After detox, treatments such as group counselling are often provided. Most recovering alcoholics will need to attend group meetings for a long time as the process of recovery is a long-term one.

Recovery Lighthouse has extensive experience dealing with patients suffering from alcohol addiction. We have the experience and knowledge to help you overcome your alcohol problems, and as many of us have been through similar situations, we are proof that you can come out on the other side. Call us today for help and advice on how to beat your alcohol addiction.

Source:

  1. https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/help-and-advice/statistics-on-alcohol/
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