There are no simple answers. Drinking problems are due to many interconnected factors, including genetics, how you were raised, your social environment, and your emotional health. People who have a family history of alcoholism or who themselves suffer from a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder are particularly at risk, because alcohol may be used to self-medicate.
Alcohol addiction, alcohol dependence, or alcoholism: A chronic disease characterized by a strong craving for alcohol, a constant or periodic reliance on use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, the inability to limit drinking, physical illness when drinking is stopped, and the need for increasing amounts of alcohol to feel its effects.
A pattern of heavy drinking that occurs during an extended period of time set aside for drinking. Has been described as 5/4 binge drinking: five or more drinks in a row on a single occasion for a man or four or more drinks for a woman.
Delirium tremens (DTs): A serious alcohol-withdrawal syndrome observed in persons who stop drinking alcohol following continuous and heavy consumption. It involves profound confusion, hallucinations, and severe nervous system overactivity, typically beginning between 48 and 96 hours after the last drink.
To be added
Parental alcoholism is thought to produce disturbed family relationships and dynamics
Family of Origin adversity refers to disturbed family relationships, communication or conflict and dynamics that impact negatively on the psychosocial well-being of children who grow up in such environments.
An Addiction Counsellor is specifically trained to relate to and treat people who are concerned about their use of alcohol, other mood altering drugs, whether street drugs or prescription medication and other addictive behaviours like gambling, food, sex, internet, shopping and others. They also treat persons who have been affected by another person's addiction problems. They work to alleviate personal suffering and encourage change.
In the twelve-step program human structure is symbolically represented in three dimensions: physical, mental, and spiritual.
The three dimensions are all addressed as part of the program.
A twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioural problems.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a worldwide fellowship of men and women with a desire to stop drinking alcohol while helping others to do so through a program of character development by following its invention, the Twelve Steps.
AA's tradition of remaining independent of other organizations and avoiding "outside issues," has helped its spread. Its program can help alcoholics maintain sobriety.
Increasing spiritual awareness can be viewed as becoming more connected to ourselves, others and the world around us. The more connections in our lives, the greater the chance of coming into harmony with our surroundings. If addiction is a disease of isolation, becoming spiritually fit is about connection.
There are basically four areas of life, or types of relationships we work toward in becoming connected. Raised spiritual awareness may be viewed as having a healthy relationship and positive self-esteem with yourself, firstly. Secondly there is the relationship you may have or want to develop with whatever form of Higher Power is right for you. It can be God, Nature, a Force of Universe, other people, it is up to you. The third are to develop healthy connections or spirituality is in relationships with family. Lastly is the area which is kind of a catch all, community. This includes casual relationships, work, social situations, etc.
Substance abuse experts make a distinction between alcohol abuse and alcoholism (also called alcohol dependence). Unlike alcoholics, alcohol abusers still have at least some ability to set limits on their drinking. However, their alcohol use is still self-destructive and dangerous to themselves or others.
Common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse include:
Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your drinking. For example, performing poorly at work, flunking classes, neglecting your kids, or skipping out on commitments because you’re hung over.
Using alcohol in situations where it’s physically dangerous, such as drinking and driving, operating machinery while intoxicated, or mixing alcohol with prescription medication against doctor’s orders.
Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of your drinking. For example, getting arrested for driving under the influence or drunk and disorderly conduct.
Continuing to drink even though your alcohol use is causing problems in your relationships. Getting drunk with your mates, for example, even though you know your wife will be very upset, or fighting with your family because they dislike how you act when you drink.
Alcohol addiction can be treated on both an in-patient and out-patient basis. This will depend on the patient's circumstances and their own personal preferences. The Hanly Centre have the Living in Balance Programme for persons presenting with alcohol problems. We also refer persons to in patient facilities through our family intervention programme.
Recovery is seen within the model as a personal journey, that may involve developing hope, a secure base and sense of self, supportive relationships, empowerment, social inclusion, coping skills, and meaning.
A stressor is an external demand the environment makes on the individual. Stressors in the workplace can include those embedded in our social relationships: a bullying supervisor, for example. Likewise a violent parent or alcohol abuse in the family could be potential stressors.
The following are common thinking patterns that many people exhibit. They are called distorted thinking, due to their irrational nature. Most of the time we use them unknowingly, therefore, by becoming more aware of our own distorted beliefs, we can rationally challenge the beliefs and change. Upon changing, our mood can positively change as well.
1. Filtering: You take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a
2. Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you are a failure.
There is no middle ground.
3. Overgeneralization: You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once you expect it to happen over and over again.
4. Mind Reading: Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do.
In particular, you are able to divine how people are feeling toward you.
5. Catastrophizing: You expect disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and start the what game: What if
tragedy strikes? What if it happens to you?
6. Personalization: Thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also
compare yourself to others, trying to determine who is smarter, better looking, etc.
7. Control Fallacies: If you feel externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate.
The fallacy of internal control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.
8. Fallacy of Fairness: You feel resentful because you think you know what is fair but other people will not agree with you.
9. Blaming: You hold other people responsible for your pain. Or take the other tack and blame yourself for
every problem or reversal.
10. Shoulds: You have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who break the
rules anger you and you feel guilty if you violate the rules.
11. Emotional Reasoning: You believe that what you feel must be true-automatically. If you feel stupid and
boring, then you must be stupid and boring.
12. Fallacy of Change: You expect that other people will change to suit you if you just pressure them enough.
You need to change people because your hopes for happiness seem to depend entirely on them.
13. Global Labeling: You generalize one or two qualities into a negative global judgment.
14. Being Right: You are continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and you will go to any length to demonstrate your rightness.
15. Heavenly Reward Fallacy: You expect all your sacrifice and self-denial to pay-off, as if there were someone keeping score. You feel bitter when the reward does not come.
16. Passive Thinking: You believe that your wants, needs and rights are not important enough to assert with others.
In the context of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, decision-led relapse means to make the decision to start drinking again after giving up alcohol.
Tolerance is the body’s ability to adapt to chronic alcohol or substance use. Higher BACs are needed to produce intoxication in alcohol abusers and alcoholics. Chronic alcohol use leads to increased levels of liver enzymes that metabolize alcohol. Since they allow the liver to more efficiently break down alcohol, the individual must consume a larger dose to reach a given BAC. This increased level of alcohol can severely damage the body’s physiological systems, despite the apparent “normalcy” displayed by the individual.
Severe alcohol cravings as well as physical and psychological problems caused by the withdrawal from excessive, chronic alcohol consumption. The biochemical changes lead to short-term memory loss, disruption of cognitive and motor function, reduced perceptual abilities, and emotional and personality changes that include acts of aggression.
The Hanly Centre is a registered Irish charity CHY6340 committed to breaking the cycle of alcohol-related harm and the long-term effects of family-of-origin adversity.
Please make a secure donation by clicking on the link below.Thank you.