There is no real stigma attached to alcohol partly because it is legally available in many countries worldwide.
Brief overview of positives and negatives:
Alcohol is an expected ‘ingredient’ at celebratory events such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. It is a regular partner at dinner parties, and there is no doubting that it can add to social gatherings.
Having said these positive things, here are a few negatives: Just because it is illegal does not mean it is not addictive. Drinking to excess can lead to physical, psychological, relationship and social problems, and very importantly, it changes the way a person thinks and acts while under its influence.
Building a tolerance is not too difficult:
Drinking alcohol in moderation is not seen as being a problem, but the one word that stands out here is “moderation”.
The body and mind enjoy and appreciate alcohol, what needs to be guarded against is allowing them to enjoy it too much!
If a person drinks regularly and excessively, or goes on regular binge drinking sessions then they are guaranteed to build a tolerance to alcohol. This means the more you drink, the more that is required to achieve the same effects as previously felt.
There is no ceiling to this tolerance. It will simply keep on growing with the result that a person drinks greater and greater quantities. This habit will eventually lead to a dependence upon alcohol simply to function. They will be unable to get through the day without alcohol.
Signs that drinking is growing into a dependence:
There are many signs and symptoms of a growing alcohol dependence. Here are 6 to consider:
- Increasing preoccupation: It is natural to think and look forward to meeting up with friends for a drink, but if your thoughts turn more and more towards when the next ‘session’ is going to be, it could be leading you down the dependence path.
- Activities fall by the wayside: Activities, hobbies or pastimes you once thoroughly enjoyed are forgotten or rarely taken up because drink is becoming ever more important.
- No self-control: You promise yourself that you will limit your intake before drinking begins, but end up drinking far too much and far more than you initially intended to.
- Violent or irrational behaviour: People react differently when they have had too much to drink. Some put on a smiley face, others fall asleep, but if you feel more aggressive, look for trouble or regularly cause controversy then your drinking must be curbed before it gets you into real trouble.
- Memory loss: Struggling to remember parts of the evening, or more worryingly suffering blackouts is a sign that you are drinking far too much.
- The morning after: The vast majority of us have suffered the occasional hangover and it is not at all pleasant, but if you are increasingly waking up hungover and decide the best cure is to have a drink, help is needed.
Listen to others:
If loved ones or those closest to you comment that your drinking is getting out of hand please listen to them. It is quite often the case that the last person to realise they have a problem with drinking is the person themselves. The earlier excessive drinking can be addressed, the better.
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