Sunderland Echo

Spotting the types of alcohol misuse

Alcohol misuse can affect health in so many negative ways


Most people drink in moderation but for some the line between social drinking and alcohol dependence becomes blurred.

Alcohol is relatively safe in moderation, but when a person drinks in excess, serious health and interperso­nal issues can arise.

Here Dr Farrukh Alam, Lead Consultant Psychiatri­st and Medical Director Addcounsel and Orchestrat­e Health, looks at the different types of drinking habits and how to spot when alcohol consumptio­n is a problem.

Are you a social drinker or alcohol dependent?

If you’re worried about your drinking habits, ask yourself if:

lyou feel you should cut down on your drinking

lother people have been criticisin­g your drinking

lyou feel guilty or bad about your drinking

lyou need to drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of hangover

Social drinker

Someone who drinks in social situations, has control of their alcohol intake, and doesn’t allow their alcohol consumptio­n to disrupt their personal life or cause any mental health concerns.

Hazardous/Harmful drinker

Alcohol misuse is alcohol consumptio­n that is deemed excessive; it is the inability to stop drinking despite it negatively impacting a person’s life.

Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol dependence is the most serious type of high-risk drinking and means that you are drinking at a level that can cause harm to your health.

Alcohol dependence means that a person is unable to function as normal without drinking alcohol, at times it can become the most important factor in someone’s life.

Potential physical health problems of alcohol misuse include:

High blood pressure; Increased risk of heart and liver disease; Cancer of the breast, colon, liver, throat, and mouth; Weakened immune system.

Potential mental health problems include:

Depression, Anxiety; Learning and memory problems; Mood swing; Increased irritabili­ty; Despair.

If you wish to help yourself, or someone you know who may be affected, speak to a profession­al as soon as you can.

Speak to an addiction profession­al, like a counsellor or an interventi­onist.

They can guide you on how to best approach the situation and help you maintain your own balance and security throughout.

 ?? ?? Wa gs aga st suse o a co o (p oto
Wa gs aga st suse o a co o (p oto dobe)
 ?? ?? Dr Farrukh Alam.
Dr Farrukh Alam.

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