Have you been thinking about trying to get some help with your reliance on alcohol? Feeling like its taking over your life and turning you into someone you simply don’t want to become? Taking the first steps to getting help with alcohol could significantly change both your overall health and your relationship with alcohol in a positive way.
Did you know that over eight million people in the UK are drinking a harmful amount of beer, wine or spirits that is seriously affecting their health, with many unaware of the dangers this sort of level of alcohol consumption is causing.
You can read our article that goes into a little more depth to the repercussions of excess alcohol consumption here: https://nonalcoholics.co.uk/5-ways-alcohol-affects-your-body/
What Are The Signs Of An Alcohol Problem?
Common signs of alcoholism (also known as alcohol dependance or addiction) can be when you have a strong uncontrollable desire to drink. It becomes so much of a habit that you don’t even realise you are turning to it. Someone who can be reliant on alcohol will often put drinking alcohol first instead of other activities like work and seeing friends or family, they can do it at a certain time of the day because its just ‘something they do’, or they can experience many different withdrawal symptoms if they stop and this can create an unhealthy pattern to want to consume more alcohol.
In the past year, have you had any of the following signs:
- Ended up drinking more alcohol and/or for longer than you originally intended?
- Experienced a craving for alcohol, having a strong urge to drink and seeking a feeling that’s more than just the taste of the drink?
- Had to drink much more than you previously used to to get the same effect you wanted?
- Have continued to drink even if it has previously caused negative impacts on your life?
- Have tried to cut down on drinking previously but have struggled too?
It is also key to note that alcohol dependance can begin at any age and stage within your life. There is no right or wrong, young or old, if you need help and want to seek it, it is available for you.
This is a big step for people to take and it can be very hard to admit to ourselves, as ego and character gets in the way of our true identity.
Below are some tips on steps to take in order to improve your relationship with alcohol and ultimately curb your reliance entirely.
Talk To A Family Member Or Trusted Friend
Nobody wants to admit that they have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, allowing this to get out of control is easy to do. Many try to keep quiet and hope the situation will somehow naturally improve itself, when in reality the majority of the time this doesn’t happen.
Talking to a trusted family member or friend could really help you especially if you feel nervous talking to someone else (even if its anonymous.) It’s important to ensure you choose a right place and right time to talk, somewhere where you are both able to take your time and not have to rush through the conversation. By being open to your friends and family that you are looking to take preventative measures, they can then work towards helping you and supporting you.
Peer pressure is one of the main causes of over consumption. By announcing that you’re cutting down to your most trusted friends and family, you will tend to find that they offer you a valuable support network, whilst voicing your commitment to others than just yourself will also create accountability.
A good way to start would be to begin by explaining your concerns, try to open up a discussion instead of directly telling them what you think, which can ease the conversation to start with as this can be a hard conversation for the friend or family member to speak about and come to terms with.
Try to end the conversation by discussing the next steps, speak with them about how they feel about the different discussions you have both just been through, asking for their thoughts and how much they would like to help you stay accountable to making the changes.
Start The Journey Together
You tend to find that by being open and honest with your friends and family about struggles you are having, they may also want to get involved in cutting their own intake down which can make things easier. If everyone around you is looking at alcohol alternatives or maybe venturing to the pub without having to order an alcoholic drink, it will make the journey easier.
Having support from loved ones is an extremely important part of the process. If you can work on building a journey together and making it fun, maybe even rewarding yourself with treats if you hit certain milestones, the habits are easier to shake.
Treating Alcohol Dependence
For many people, one of the first key steps to treating alcohol dependance is the individual first acknowledging that there is an issue with their intake of alcohol. This usually comes with either going too far one day with their alcohol intake and regretting it or maybe even family members flagging the issue, which creates an emotional connection to the issue for the individual.
The second step being to look at different ways to seek help from either friends/family or medical experts who will point you in the right direction to the best solution fitted to your needs.
Join Support Groups Such As Alcoholics Anonymous
If you simply wish to speak to someone and perhaps do not wish to share your personal struggles with your family or friends, then Alcoholics Anonymous could be the safe space you’ve been seeking. There are many ways you can speak to someone without actually joining a scheduled in-person group session.
The first method of contact is via email. By emailing firstname.lastname@example.org a volunteer will reply and help you where possible. Secondly, if you simply wish to speak to someone in your local area who has also found a solution to their alcohol related problems then call for free on 0800 9177 650. Likewise, if either of these methods does not suit you then go direct to their website and speak to their support staff directly through their online chat function.
Finally, you can also join a meeting, where you will have the chance to hear others stories and become part of a community trying to overcome their struggles and addictions towards alcohol.
Not only do Alcoholics Anonymous have a host of chat forums and methods of contact, but they also have bank of reliable sources to read and ask the relevant questions relating to overcoming, and curbing your reliance on alcohol.
Be sure to remember you’re not alone and don’t ever feel embarrassed to speak out. If you are worried about your drinking habits and looking to get help immediately, you can search for alcohol support services online or view them on the link here: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/find-alcohol-addiction-support-services/
For alternatives to alcoholic drinks, you can see our best recommendations here: https://nonalcoholics.co.uk/