Billy Connolly discusses his struggles with alcoholism
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Many can enjoy a tipple or two without it developing into an addiction. For some people, however, they could be beginning to feel the pull of alcoholism without realising. Symptoms of alcoholism often co-occur, the Alcohol Rehab Guide noted, with some of the most common signs including:
- Experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss
- Exhibiting signs of irritability and extreme mood swings
- Making excuses for drinking such as to relax, deal with stress or to feel normal
- Choosing drinking over other responsibilities and obligations
- Becoming isolated and distant from friends and family members
- Drinking alone or in secrecy
- Feeling hungover when not drinking
- Changing appearance and group of acquaintances you hang out with.
There is the CAGE questionnaire that can measure the severity of a drinking problem.
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
- Have people annoyed you by criticising your drinking?
- Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
- Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get over a hangover?
If you have answered yes to two or more CAGE questions, “you should seek professional medical assistance”.
For help to cut down on your drinking, you can contact your doctor.
Long-term drinking has adverse effects on your health, including life-threatening complications.
“Denial is one of the main reasons why millions of people do not receive treatment for alcoholism,” the experts noted.
People in denial may attribute their drinking habits to other people or life circumstances.
Defensiveness is common when somebody mentions an excessive drinking pattern.
The NHS certified: “To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, both men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week.”
One unit of alcohol is equivalent to a single shot measure (25ml) of spirits (25ml, ABV 40 percent).
A small glass (125ml, ABV 12 percent) of wine is equivalent to 1.5 units of alcohol.
- Standard 175ml of wine – 2.1 units
- Large 250ml of wine – 3 units
- Pint of lager/beer/cider (ABV 3.6 percent) – 2 units
- Pint of lager/beer/cider (ABV 5.2 percent) – 3 units
The NHS continued: “If you drink as much as 14 units a week, it’s best to spread this evenly over three or more days.
“If you’re trying to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, it’s a good idea to have several alcohol-free days each week.”
In the short-term, alcohol misuse increases the risk of injuries, violent behaviour, unprotected sex, and loss of personal possessions.
Alcohol poisoning may lead to vomiting, seizures, and falling unconscious.
In the long term, persistent alcohol misuse increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and liver disease.
Moreover, for some people, alcohol misuse can lead to relationship issues, homelessness, and unemployment.
Dependent drinkers typically experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms they suddenly cut down or stop drinking, such as:
- Hand tremors
It’s for this reason that people who have a drinking problem are encouraged to seek support from a medical professional before attempting to stop drinking.
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