Understanding alcohol abuse and addiction

Alcohol. It is a normal part of everyday life in the UK. We drink at parties, sporting events, social gatherings, and in just about any place we get together for a little leisure activity. And for most of us, alcohol is a substance that we can use in moderation. However, there is a certain segment of the population that goes too far.

When alcohol consumption crosses that line it can be designated as either alcohol abuse or addiction. There is a difference between the two; a difference we will explain in just a moment. Nevertheless, understand that every alcohol addict was an alcohol abuser at one time. Furthermore, regular alcohol abuse is an open door to eventual addiction.

Alcohol is something that needs to be used responsibly at all times. Letting your guard down, even just a little, could get you started on the path to greater problems. If you cannot drink responsibly, you may not want to drink at all.

Alcohol Abuse

The Betty Ford Center, one of the most reputable and successful addiction rehab clinics in the world, explains alcohol abuse very simply: alcohol abuse is ‘too much, too often’. A good way to gauge ‘too much’ is to base it on the same levels used by and law enforcement agencies to determine whether someone is legally intoxicated or not.

If you are drinking enough to exceed that threshold, it is too much. As for too often, it’s generally accepted that drinking too much more than once or twice a month is too often. Alcohol abuse can take on several forms including:

  • binge drinking – drinking excessively for hours or days on end
  • sport drinking – playing drinking games with friends
  • escape drinking – drinking to escape some sort of emotional or mental stress
  • relational drinking – drinking in order to make it easier to relate to someone of the opposite sex.

Alcohol Addiction

An addiction to alcohol is defined by the presence of mental dependence, physical dependence, or both. That dependence is characterised by a compulsion to drink; that is to say, the individual just cannot seem to stop even if he or she knows they should.

It is important to note that most alcohol addicts do not realise they are mentally or physically dependent. Most insist they can stop drinking any time they want to. It’s usually friends or family members who recognise the addiction and, as such, are the ones to be the impetus behind getting help.

Getting help is what Alcohol Help is here for. We specialise in matching alcohol addicts up with appropriate programs at private clinics throughout the country. These clinics offer a range of services including detox, counselling, and more.

The most important thing to understand about alcohol abuse and addiction is that it does not need to continue. The alcoholic can regain control of his or her life and live the remainder of their years alcohol-free. The first step in that process is contacting us via e-mail, our contact form, or the telephone. As soon as we hear from you, we will set the wheels in motion on behalf of you or your loved one.

Being alcohol free is a choice. However, it is a choice every alcohol addict can make. Please make that choice today for a better future – both for yourself and your loved ones.

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