Drinking is considered by many to be a harmless social activity. For some, however, it’s an entrapping addiction. Life’s day-to-day activities lose their appeal as the alcoholic opts for the numbing or euphoric effects of drink. Alcoholics — and their loved ones — suffer psychologically, and physically. This chain-reaction dependency affects relationships can promote violence and send the alcoholic and his family into a seemingly endless cycle of drunkenness, anger and despair. Many people with alcohol problems are in denial and they minimize the impact of their drinking and insist that their life — and their habit — is under control. Though the disease may appear insurmountable, change is possible with support.
How can you tell whether you may have a drinking problem? Answering the following four questions can help you find out:
• Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
• Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
• Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
• Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning (as an “eye opener”) to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?
One “yes” answer suggests a possible alcohol problem. If you answered “yes” to more than one question, it is highly likely that a problem exists. In either case, it is important that you see your doctor or member of the health care team right away to discuss your answers to these questions. He or she can help you determine whether you have a drinking problem and, if so, recommend the best course of action.
Even if you answered “no” to all of the above questions, if you encounter drinking-related problems with your job, relationships, health, or the law, you should seek professional help. The effects of alcohol abuse can be extremely serious—even fatal—both to you and to others.
Drinkline 0800 917 8282 - A free and confidential telephone helpline for anyone who is concerned about their own or someone else's drinking.
AlcoholConcern.org.uk - Comprehensive information on alcohol and local services.
Alcoholics Anonymous 0845 769 7555 - We meet every Tuesday evening at 7:30pm at the Ellen Badger Hospital, Stratford Road, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, CV36 4AX
They also meet Friday evenings at 7.30pm at St Edmunds Church, Church Street, Shipston on Stour, CV36 4AP
>>Visit their website here