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
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.
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.