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Have you got a driking problem? Signs that you do

Have you got a drink problem?
Have you got a drink problem?

Drinking is a fundamental part of socializing, whether you are in the pub with mates, at a party or at home with family and friends – alcoholic beverages add a buzz and excitement to proceedings.

And promisisng yourself to have no more than one glass or pint usually turns out to be multiples drinks. The question is how often do you end up this way – waking up the next day with that feeling of guilty and frustrated with yourself?

These are the signs to look out for

I remember attending a work-related course on alcohol dependency during which people with alcoholics were divided into two groups – toppers and bingers.

The topper is part of the group that have to top-up everyday and may even start to crave the intoxication buzz very early in the day.

The binger however, may not desire alcohol for days, weeks or even months, then go on a binge probably for days and get intoxicated easily. Which are you?

Do you find it hard to stop drinking after you have started, or you feel you sometimes need a drink in the morning, you may be showing signs of dependence.

Significantly, over time, greater amounts of alcohol are required to achieve intoxication.

What is a safe level of alcohol consumption?

Men and women are advised not to drink more than two standard drinks on any one day.

On any one day it is advised adults should not consume more than four standard drinks in a session.

Crucially, pregnant women are advised to avoid alcohol because of the possibility of alcohol passing through the placenta into the embryo, can affect brain and other developments of the child.

Moreover, children under the age of 18 should avoid consuming alcohol because their brains are still developing and this could lead to poor developmental and social outcomes.

A good way to cut down on your drinking is to start by ensuring you are having at least one to two alcohol-free days.

On these days, you may want to substitute an alcoholic drink with something else, like sugar-free tonic water.

Are you an alcoholic?
Are you an alcoholic?

Problems associated with heavy alcohol consumption

  • Anemia – heavy drinking can cause the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to be abnormally low, with symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.
  • Cancer – affecting areas such as the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, liver, breast, and colorectal region.
  • Cardiovascular disease – heavy drinking can lead to blood clots and then to heart attacks or stroke.
  • Cirrhosis – alcohol is toxic to liver cells and can lead to heavy scarring of the liver, which is unable to function.
  • Dementia and analytical capacities of the brain – brains shrink as people get older and heavy drinking can speed-up the reduction in brain size.
  • Depression – studies have shown that heavy drinking leads to depression.
  • Gout – is a painful condition caused by the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints can be aggravated by heavy alcohol consumption and other dietary factors.
  • High blood pressure – heavy drinking can cause blood pressure to rise.
  • Infectious disease – heavy drinking suppresses the immune system – allowing infections to gain control.

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