Updated: Oct 5
Alcoholism can be defined as an individual's overwhelmingly strong desire to consume alcohol, often with difficulties in trying to moderate, control or stop their drinking behaviours, even if they are experiencing negative consequences from there drinking. The individual may suffer alcohol withdrawal symptoms when stopping drinking which can vary from mild sweats, shakes and anxiety to more serious fits, seizures, panic attacks, hallucinations, and delirium tremons. If you think you may be alcoholic or suffering from alcoholism it is extremely important that you seek medical advice before trying to stop drinking by yourself. You can learn more about drug and alcohol addiction, alcohol affects and alcohol-related problems here. Alcoholism is still stigmatised in the UK, but thankfully things are changing as people are starting to open up more and more about their alcohol use and mental health issues. Research shows there is a combination of genes that can contribute to an individuals chances of developing drinking problem or alcoholism, and this combination along with the environmental (upbringing and current), and psychological makeup of the individual will mould the chances of somebody becoming for susceptible to alcoholism.
1. Alcoholism or alcohol addiction is NOT a weakness. If you think you have a problem with alcohol, it's important to understand that it does not make you weak, stupid, idiotic, pathetic or any of the other negative connotations people mistakenly hold in mind around the problem of serious drinkers or alcohol abusers. Alcoholism is a serious behavioural mental health problem that can be treated successfully with the correct help and support.
2. Often family members notice the problem before the individual is ready to admit there is a problem and seeks alcoholism treatment, and this is due to various defences that the self puts in place in order to protect the individual in addiction. This is a normal part of the process and the person suffering from alcoholism may often lie, minimise or trivialise any conversations around their alcohol misuse. Denial and isolation are common and the best way close ones can help is to try to support the best they can without becoming angry or confrontational, as this may help keep the drinker in active addiction.
3. AA or Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t have to be the route to recovery! Mutual aid groups can be helpful, but the most important thing to do is to talk to a qualified professional about your alcohol problem, they will be able to inform you of your options and talk you through important steps to help you manage thoughts, cravings, mental health issues and any other concerns you have around housing, money, jobs, family etc.
4. Don’t give up! Timing is probably the most important attribute to overcoming excessive alcohol consumption or alcoholism, if you don’t succeed, try again. Everybody who is serious about giving up drinking alcohol can succeed eventually with the correct help and support, and its important to learn from lapses or relapses, using these experiences to gain insight, identify and accept our behaviours around crucial times.
5. Family members, don't give up! It's just as, or even more frustrating for close ones to watch as their family member or friend goes through the often devastating symptoms of alcoholism. With your support, you can help by just being there for your loved one. Being non-judgmental and trying to learn as much as you can about alcoholism and addiction is the best thing you can do to help support your loved one.
6. If someone who is heavy drinking and has got to the point where they have admitted they have a serious problem, it's pretty safe to say that abstinence is probably the best route to wellness and happiness. Getting to this point, there is no doubt that you would have repeatedly already tried to “moderate” or “control” your drinking. If you become alcohol dependent, research shows that once an individual has become alcohol dependant moderation is not really effective. If you are having problems with alcohol abuse and you live in the Leeds area then you can get in touch here for private therapy. We help people recover from drinking problems, substance use and anything else which is drinking related. Addiction to alcohol in Leeds is a huge problem, especially with people who regularly binge drink cyclically at weekends. We help people to understand the effects of alcohol, give support around alcohol withdrawal symptoms and alcohol dependence. We don't offer prescribing services but we can signpost you toward local services, inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment services and centres in your area if you are struggling with uncomfortable alcohol withdrawal.
Becoming clean and sober is a lifestyle choice where you can decide to conquer your compulsive destructive behaviours. If you have been drinking too much alcohol for too long and you want help now then you can decide to consult an addiction specialist. Take control of your antisocial drinking habits and get in touch with our alcohol counselling treatment facility. Find treatment and get sober, recovery from addiction or alcohol use disorder is possible with the right support and individualized treatment. Start Recovery, Leeds.