Alcoholism is the term used for a person who is addicted to alcohol. It’s the most severe form of alcohol abuse and the person involved is unable to control their alcohol consumption. Alcohol addiction makes individuals feel as though they can’t fully function without alcohol.
According to statistics found by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 16.1% (around 1 in 6) of persons aged 18 years and over consumed more than two standard drinks per day on average in 2017-18. According to the Lifetime Risks Standard healthy men and women should:
‘drink no more than two standard drinks on any day reducing the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury”
Source(s): National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18
There are various signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse. It’s important that they’re spotted early to ensure the addiction doesn’t spiral out of control and cause serious damage to the person involved and the people around them. It can lead to a wide range of issues from relationship breakdowns, loss of job and overall health implications.
What is excessive drinking?
It’s important not to get addiction confused with binge drinking and heavy drinking. Binge drinking is drinking more than 4-5 drinks in one session and providing this isn’t done on a regular basis, isn’t an addiction. Heavy drinking is consuming between 8-15 drinks a week and a majority of people who drink heavily aren’t dependent on alcohol.
Addiction is the reliance of alcohol, whereas heavy drinking and binge drinking are usually done for socialising and fun purposes. As soon as it becomes more than that, it may be time to speak to someone.
Why do people turn to alcohol?
There are a number of reasons why people turn to alcohol. Over time this then gradually turns to dependency, or in other words, an addiction.
Some of the reasons range from the following:
- Loss of family or friend
- Relieving stress
- Makes you feel good
- Overcoming anxiety, you have more confidence as a result of drinking
- You feel a lack of connection, alcohol makes it easier for you to form bonds
- Using alcohol to mask shame
- Drinking alcohol to overcome a traumatic experience
What are the signs of alcoholism?
Sometimes you can spot the warning signs of alcoholism before it’s too late. When discovered in the early stages, alcohol addiction can be dealt with and treated far easier. Some of the most common signs include:
- The inability to control your consumption of alcohol
- Drinking alcohol becomes your priority
- You constantly feel like you need to drink more
- A lot of your money is spent on alcohol
- You behave in a different manner after drinking
- You crave alcohol when you’re not drinking
- Becoming isolated from friends and family, choosing to drink instead
These are some of the most common signs of alcohol abuse. If you fit into one or more of these categories then we’re here to help you. You can contact one of our team today who will be happy to speak to you about one of the number of therapies we have available.
What are the consequences of alcoholism?
Sadly, with addiction, often come consequences. When you’re addicted to something, not only do you depend on it, your life begins to revolve around it, and you can lose friendships and relationships as a result of drinking.
The worst implication of alcohol abuse is the impact it can have on your health, both physically and mentally. There are a number of short term and long-term health consequences, ranging from the following:
- Difficult with breathing
- Poor reflexes and blurry vision
- Memory loss as a result of drinking
- Lowered inhibitions
- Injuries such as minor burns and motor vehicle crashes as an impact of drinking
- Violence towards others or directed at yourself
- Alcohol poisoning, a result of high blood pressure from excessive drinking
- Sexual behaviour with negative implications in the future
- For pregnant women, it can result in miscarriage or stillbirth
- High blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, liver disease and digestive problems
- Memory issues such as dementia
- Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression
- Social problems which can lead to mental health issues
As you can see, there are several potential health implications that are a direct cause of alcohol abuse.
What treatment is available for alcoholism?
Luckily, for those who suffer from alcohol addiction, there is a solution. So, if you suffer from it or you know someone who suffers, there’s help available.
There are a number of different programmes you can take part in to recover. They include the following:
This program takes place at a detox facility and is based on extensive and current research to ensure you get the best help possible. You’ll receive help 24/7 from qualified, professional staff that will provide you with an individualised recovery plan.
Inpatient rehab is an abstinence-based program as opposed to harm minimisation and is one of the most popular forms of treatment for alcohol abuse. It essentially means you’re not engaging in drinking to help your body recover from the implications caused. The program is developed and overseen by doctors with an individually focused recovery plan.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, then you/they can take part in counselling to find the best course of action moving forward. The sessions are tailored to the individual, so you’ll get the best possible advice. Call 03 9533 7888 now for free advice.
As you can see, it’s best to catch addictions early to give you the best possible chance of recovery. If you have any further questions or are looking for any advice, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re more than happy to help; whether it’s just advice or you’re looking to find out more about our programs. If you email or fill out the contact form then we aim to reply within 1 working day.