Alcohol is a socially acceptable substance and one that is regularly consumed by the vast majority of adults across the UK. While sensible drinking is considered acceptable, millions of people are regularly drinking more than the recommended daily amount.
One of the problems with alcohol consumption is that it is not always easy to spot when social or habitual drinking has progressed to something more harmful. Alcohol addiction is an illness that develops over time and those affected rarely realise they have a problem until they are already in a potentially dangerous situation.
Most drink alcohol socially with their friends or family members. Some enjoy a glass of wine at the weekend or a couple of beers while watching their favourite football team on the television. However, some people who begin having a glass of wine with their dinner may progress to sharing a bottle of wine with their partner every night and, before they know it, that it not enough and they are each drinking a bottle of wine every night. A bottle of wine equates to approximately ten units of alcohol; when you consider men and women have now been advised to drink no more than 14 units per week, you can easily see the dangers of this type of consumption.
Because alcohol is socially acceptable, many forget that it is an extremely addictive substance; as well as this, excessive consumption can actually change the way the brain functions. The more a person drinks, the more his or her body begins to accept this as normal. While the brain initially fought the effects that alcohol had, over time it will learn to adapt and to expect alcohol and it will become tolerant to the effects. When this happens, the individual will require more alcohol to experience the same feelings of pleasure as before. The more the person drinks, the more the brain expects and before long, it begins to crave alcohol. At this point, the person has become dependent on this chemical substance and has a real problem.
The early days of alcohol consumption can be quite pleasurable. The first time a person drinks alcohol, he or she may experience a surge of pleasure and a feeling of confidence. This is because alcohol causes the brain to produce ‘feel good’ chemicals, or neurotransmitters, known as dopamines.
In the beginning, most people will be social users and for them, alcohol consumption does not cause too many problems. Nevertheless, as the person continues to abuse alcohol, the brain function changes and so too does the person’s behaviour. He or she will begin actively seeking alcohol, and the need for this chemical substance starts to overwhelm the individual. It will dominate every waking moment and it will begin to get in the way of other important things in that person’s life – things such as family, work, and friends.
When addiction takes over, that person is no longer capable of making good decisions and does not have the ability to fight the urge to drink. Even when it is glaringly obvious that alcohol has become a problem, he or she cannot give up drinking.
Many alcoholics cannot see that they have a problem with alcohol until it is pointed out by someone they love. It is usually only when a concerned family member or friend addresses the issue that the affected individual will begin to wonder if they do have a problem. Unfortunately, many loved ones are afraid to say anything due to being afraid of how the addicted person will react. This can lead to a delay in the affected individual getting the help he or she needs.
If you are worried that alcohol may have become a problem in your life, answer the following few questions about yourself:
If you have answered yes to three or more of the above questions, you should consider calling Liberty House Clinic today for an assessment of your problem.
It is important to realise that alcohol addiction is a chronic illness that affects individuals of all ages. Those who do not understand alcoholism may be of the opinion that those who suffer from it are ‘bad’, ‘weak’ or have no willpower, but this is not the case. The truth is that some people are prone to developing addictions, and there are many reasons for this.
There are many risk factors for alcoholism including family history, environment, age, trauma, and mental health disorders. Nonetheless, even those with every single risk factor are not guaranteed to develop an addiction.
Here at Liberty House Clinic, we have a team of professional medical staff working around-the-clock to ensure that patients with alcohol addiction get the help they need to overcome their illness. We use various treatments including holistic therapies, 12-step work, cognitive behavioural therapy, and individual counselling.
Our expert staff have the skills and knowledge to help patients identify the cause of their addiction and work with them towards a successful long-term recovery. If you would like more information about how Liberty House Clinic can help, contact us today.