Alcohol addiction is steadily increasing in Britain. According to statistics from the Alcohol Concern charity, an estimated 7.5 million Britons are unaware of the serious damage their drinking habits could be causing them. More than 9 million people consume alcohol in amounts greater than that which is generally recognised as being safe. Furthermore, alcohol consumption accounts for at least 10% of the financial cost of healthcare in Britain.
The truth about alcohol is that it is not a harmless and innocuous substance. Alcohol is highly addictive in nature, making it possible to move from simple alcohol misuse to fully-fledged addiction very rapidly. When the point of addiction is reached, which is also known is known as alcohol dependence or alcoholism, overcoming cravings for alcohol can be both challenging and dangerous if not assisted by medical professionals.
Blue Skies offers detox and rehab services to individuals suffering from alcohol addiction. We work with families as well, understanding that alcoholism is a family disease requiring family treatment. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol.
Do you suspect you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol? If so, you can take some comfort in knowing that not everyone that drinks regularly develops an addiction. The government classifies drinking problems under three categories:
- Alcohol Misuse Alcohol misuse is the practice of drinking more than is considered safe on a frequent basis, without any substantial adverse impact on things such as work and family relationships.
- Alcohol Abuse Alcohol abuse regularly involves consuming more alcohol than is considered safe, to the point of negatively affecting multiple areas of life. Frequent binge drinkers are typically classified as alcohol abusers.
- Alcohol Addiction An alcohol addiction is classified as a drinking problem in which the consumption of alcohol completely controls an individual’s life. The negative impact is experienced in one’s physical health, finances, relationships, and emotional well-being.
This overview is very generic. We have not gone into greater detail because each individual is different in how they respond to alcohol misuse. Having said that, it is important for you to get help right away if you believe you or a loved one has a dependency on alcohol. Even using alcohol as a coping mechanism a couple of times can rapidly evolve into alcoholism if left untreated.
There are certain signs you can look for that will help you identify a case of alcohol addiction. We have divided them into two categories: those to look for in yourself and those to look for in a loved one.
If you are concerned about your own situation, consider the following symptoms of alcoholism:
- thoughts of alcohol consume a good portion of your day
- you find yourself looking for new ways of procuring alcohol
- you frequently worry you won’t have access to alcohol during your day
- drinking is affecting your job, finances or relationships
- you get upset when others question you about your drinking
- you are willing to go to great lengths to get alcohol
- you must regularly increase your alcohol intake in order to achieve the same feeling.
If you are concerned about a loved one rather than yourself, signs to look for include:
- unreasonable sensitivity when the topic of alcohol is discussed
- finding alcohol hidden around the house
- frequent binge drinking and social drinking
- unexplained withdrawal from family relationships
- increased isolation and episodes of social withdrawal
- lack of concern for schoolwork, employment, etc.
- unexplained financial difficulties
- unexplained mood swings
- unexplained weight loss or gain.
Any combination of signs or symptoms that suggest a potential alcohol addiction should not be ignored. As already mentioned, even minor alcohol misuse can quickly become an addiction if left untreated. The good news is that proper treatment is very effective at helping those with alcohol addiction to completely recover. Success is achieved through a combination of physical, emotional, and psychological treatments that address every aspect of addiction.
Blue Skies is standing by to help you or your loved one overcome an alcohol addiction. Most of our staff have undergone their own recovery experiences, so they understand what clients are going through. We urge you not to ignore the signs, and to contact us so that we can work together to solve it.