Are Strict Australian Laws Encouraging Alcoholism?
Alcohol addiction is no respecter of person, age, race, nationality, or sexual orientation. There are new horrible stories that come out daily, hourly even, that involve tragedy and alcohol. One of the most tragic stories is that of one that passes alcoholism from generation to generation. While an alcoholic parent or sibling does not guarantee that another child will exist, the risks are higher.
Trying alcohol at a young age does not necessarily mean a problem will exist. However, repeating the experience over and over points to a problem. When you first start drinking, the sensation is enjoyable. You are often able to forget your problems all because of a drink. This makes it more tempting to drink again. Once you continually turn to alcohol every time a problem arises, the body gets used to the sensation and wants you to drink more alcohol. This makes the addiction turn into alcoholism, which is a horrible reality.
Specific to Australia, alcohol addiction tends to start with simple gatherings. This is a cultural and social activity that is highly common. The problem is when a person reaches harmful levels of drinking it can become a major health issue. In Australia, it is common for alcohol to be abused. In fact, around 120 thousand patients received drug or alcohol treatment in the country alone. Of those, over fifty percent were between the ages of 20 and 40. Another 33 percent were over 40. Furthermore, about a third of all young people that received youth supervision had to undergo alcohol or drug treatment.
Alcohol Laws in Australia
As alcohol dependence increases in Australia, the government has sought strict laws surrounding alcohol use. The laws cover things like the following:
- Additional taxes on given amounts of beer or liquor
- Prohibiting licenses for those selling cheap alcohol
- High regulatory rules for pubs or bars
- Nanny state laws
- Harsh penalties for those who break these laws
These laws are considered safety and health measures. However, they simply encourage higher prices and self-purchase of alcohol instead of going out, effectively hurting businesses. Furthermore, the high prices of alcohol could lead people to seek alternatives, such as illegal drugs. When a pill carries a lower price tag than a single shot, some people may be willing to switch to drug use. This is also true because the alternative is just as available in pubs as alcohol.
When New Zealand first introduced stricter laws, the idea was to reduce alcohol related accidents. However, the number of accidents did not decrease. It seems younger drinkers just learned to buy alcohol from supermarkets instead of bars. The laws further had no impact on the amount of drinks, or on binge drinking. In fact, many areas just saw a shift in those drinking in pubs to the outskirts of the area. This increased violence and alcohol related incidents in suburban areas while only slightly decreasing the rates in the formerly high-risk areas.
This leaves everyone wondering what will work or will happen. Basically, the responsibility boils down to being a responsible citizen. If a problem exists with yourself or a loved one as far as drinking or addiction issues, then seek help. One strong treatment option will be explained below.
Signs of Alcoholism
If you are concerned about your own or a loved one’s drinking, but unsure if a problem exists, then there are some warning signs that can be red flags to alcoholism. These various warning signs will help you detect potential alcoholic tendencies. Some signs are highly recognizable. However, others may be a bit more difficult to identify. Those who are more severe alcoholics may show stronger signs or more symptom. If several are present, then help is needed. For many, alcohol abuse is ignored in the minor stages. If concerned, a professional can help.
Common symptoms of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, warning signs, can include, but are not limited to:
- Temporary blackouts
- Short term memory loss
- A change in appearance or the group someone is hanging out with
- Irritability and extreme mood swings without warning
- Feeling hungover, even when not drunk
- Making excuses for drinking (commonly relaxation, stress relief, or to feel normal)
- Choosing to drink instead of fulfilling other obligations
- Drinking alone or hiding drinking behaviors
- Isolating from friends and family members to drink
None of the symptoms should be ignored, even in the mildest cases as it can and will likely get worse. If diagnosed with an alcohol use issue, other issues may arise that begin affecting overall health.
If you or a loved one is developing or has already developed an issue with alcohol then seek professional help. One of the top facilities in the area is DARA in-patient facilities with locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, and Brisbane, among others. DARA offers stays of varying lengths at affordable, all-inclusive rates in a luxury resort type rehab that can get you well started on the road to long term recover. DARA focuses on the whole person, mind, body, and spirit in a variety of ways. Through the use of CBT, massage, recreation time, physical activities, and proper nutrition, DARA provides the tools and education necessary to get you a head start on the recovery process.
Using CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, DARA trained counselors will help each patient learn the connections between thoughts and actions, while learning to alter those thoughts to make better choices. Weekly workout sessions, as well as recreational activities and three massages a week are paired with healthy, proper nutrition to get the body to help detox and heal itself while staying at the facility. Time for relaxation and meditation is also available to help heal the spirit. Group and individual counseling are required as is education about addiction in general.
Through all these activities, each patient will build tools to handle addiction upon leaving the facility. The best way to start recovery is by getting out of the environment in which the addiction started, DARA can make this happen while staying at the facility, allowing each patient to be strong enough to move forward upon returning home addiction free. When you are ready, make the call. DARA is waiting.
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