Do you find it hard to stop after one or two drinks?
Do you find it hard to socialise or enjoy yourself without a drink?
Do you worry about the damage alcohol might be causing your physical or mental health?
Does alcohol make it difficult to concentrate on other important things in life?
Have your family or friends told you they’re worried about your behaviour when you drink?
Do you hang out for a drink at the end of the day, or find it hard to have alcohol-free days?
Do you always drink more, or for longer, than other people when you’re socialising?
Do you often regret decisions you made or things you did while you were drinking?
Does the thought of reducing or stopping drinking alcohol worry you?
Our highly trained, specialist counsellors can help you;
- Manage the impacts of alcohol on you and your life,
- Understand the reasons why alcohol has become a difficult part of your life,
- Show you ways to have fun and socialise without needing alcohol to do it
- Work with you to find new ways of relaxing and coping, so you don’t have to settle yourself with alcohol,
- Understand the reasons why alcohol has become a difficult part of your life.
What are the risks of alcohol use?
Excessive alcohol use can lead to other issues, such as;
- Alcohol-related accidents and injuries,
- Some forms of cancer,
- Cardiovascular disease,
- Increased risk of transmission of communicable diseases,
- Greater severity of the symptoms of illness and disease,
- Relationship and social difficulties,
- Impact on career or study,
- Impact on finances and security, and
- Mental health difficulties.
How do I know if I have an addiction, or just like to have a drink?
This is a tricky question because it varies from person to person, depending on many factors. It’s also made more complicated because of the stigma that surrounds addiction. The label “addiction” isn’t as important as the impacts and consequences that drinking alcohol has on you.
Whether you are addicted, like to party, or just enjoy drinking alcohol, it’s still worthwhile talking about your drinking with a counsellor who can help you understand the effects alcohol are having on your life. You don’t need to be addicted before you seek support from a counsellor. In fact, it might drastically improve your life and reduce the risks of alcohol use if you do.
What is alcohol addiction?
There are many differing ideas about what alcohol addiction is, and what causes it. However, there are some commonalities that may indicate an addiction issue, such as;
- Alcohol taking up a lot of time and focus in your life
- Alcohol causing negative consequences on physical health, mental health, relationships, work, or other important areas of your life,
- The amount of alcohol you drink increasing over time,
- Having black outs, memory loss or time loss,
- Having hangovers and physical symptoms that cause you to withdraw from things that bring you happiness, such as socialising, exercise, having fun, etc
- Lying or covering up about how much or how often you drink
In extreme cases of physical dependency on alcohol, you might also need to drink in order to be able to physically function, and may experience pain in your stomach, kidneys and other vital organs. This is very dangerous, and can cause serious injury or death.
Drinking alcohol can become habitual. Even if it begins as a relatively low-risk behaviour, if you do something often enough it becomes a habit. Drinking alcohol can begin as a way to have fun, unwind, help you socialise or even manage stress, anxiety or depression. For some people, the brain can become hard-wired to this pattern of behaviour, and alcohol use can progress to addiction.
What causes addiction?
There is no specific answer for what causes addiction, because it’s a complex biological and mental issue. However, there are some common factors that contribute to developing difficulties with drinking, including;
- Trauma, such as abuse, neglect, difficult childhood experiences and painful personal experiences,
- Grief, loss and death
- Mental distress or mental illness
- Chronic pain
Although these things can contribute to difficulties with alcohol, you don’t need to have experienced any of them to develop an addiction. Similarly, if you have experienced these things, you won’t necessarily develop an addiction.
How can counselling help?
Seeing a counsellor is a great way to understand how alcohol impacts you, and find ways to live a life that that you’re happy and proud to live.
- help you understand the patterns and beliefs you hold about drinking, so you can make a decision about what you’d like to change,
- give you strategies to manage drinking alcohol better, or stop completely,
- help you understand why drinking has become a significant part of your life,
- help you uncover and explore what your triggers for drinking alcohol are,
- help you learn what factors in your life contribute to stress and worry, to minimise the desire to drink,
- improve relationships that have been impacted by drinking alcohol
In addition, counselling is a great way of understanding yourself better - it’s not just for people who identify particular “problems”, such as difficulties with alcohol. It can help you lead a more fulfilling life, improve your mental health, improve relationships, and heal from painful experiences.
Our counsellors are highly trained and experienced in helping people with the difficulties associated with drinking alcohol and other addictions.
We frequently undertake training, professional development and clinical supervision so that we can offer up-to-date, specialised care to our clients.
Our counsellors will work with you to find strategies, ideas and approaches that will suit you. Our job is to be collaborative, curious, empathic and respectful. We are passionate about what we do, and we care about the impact of addiction on you and your family.