Category: Alcoholism

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Controlling Your Alcohol: When to Stop

People want to know when enough’s enough. This applies well to alcohol. When is it healthy and when is it bad for you? There is a line that separates it, but the line is not very visible. How can someone tell when they’ve crossed the line?

When is Too Much, Too Much?

Some of you may have found yourselves in a situation where you have to drink. You’re pushed into it because either it’s rude to reject, or you’re pressured by your peers. Out of respect, you drink, you talk you dance. Then they urge you, or your urge yourself. Before you know it, you’re tipsy and a minute later you’re drunk.

The key to stopping is when you feel the “buzz.” Despite alcohol having sedative properties, its initial effect is to give you a feeling similar to downing an energy drink. When you feel that telltale buzz, it’s time to stop drinking. The rest is now up to your willpower.

How Else Can I Avoid Drinking Too Much?

Apart from stopping at the buzz, there are ways you can avoid accidentally drinking too much.

  • Avoid Situations That Will Enable Your Drinking

You can’t drink if you’re not there. Simple as that. This is once again a matter of willpower over your desires. If you really can’t avoid it, then at least control yourself.

  • Alternate Drinks

Don’t drink the hard stuff on the first go. Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. If there’s no other option, at least alternate between water and liquor. Staying hydrated is the key to avoiding a hangover.

  • Eat First

You’ll tend to drink less if your stomach is full. Eat a good share before start drinking. With a filled stomach, your body will be able to process alcohol slower and more efficiently.

  • Avoid the hard Liquor and Spirits

If you want to drink for a long period, avoid spirits and hard liquor. Stick to drinks with low alcohol content. Make sure you stop drinking as soon as you feel the buzz.

Managing You Drinking

Now that you know how to manage your drinking per session, how can you avoid turning it into a habit?

 

  • Address your Problems and Stresses

 

Alcoholism begins when you use alcohol to cope with your problems. Address these problems until you get what peace of mind you can gather. The fewer problems you have, the fewer reasons for you to drink.

 

  • Stop at Two Drinks a Day and Drink Only Five Times A Week

 

This is based on WHO’s guidelines on alcohol consumption. A “drink” is approximately 15 grams of pure alcohol, aka, a shot of rum or a can of beer. Only drink two per day and never drink for more than five days a week.

What if I’m already an Alcoholic?

Seek help. Consult your physician and inform your loved ones. There are also support groups that offer group counseling and possibly land you a sponsor for your recovery. Alcoholism has become a disease that destroys the individual, along with their families, so if you know one, or are one, find help. There’s no shame in taking the first steps to a healthier life.

 

Alcoholism

The Dangers of Dry Drunk Syndrome: Understanding the Warning Signals of an Approaching Relapse

Dry Drunk Syndrome is something that is much debated among recovering alcoholics and addiction specialists. There are different views about what these symptoms actually mean or even if there is such a thing as a “dry drunk.” Most would agree, though, that there are usually certain warning signs that occur prior to relapse and if these can be spotted and dealt with then relapse may be prevented.

What is Dry Drunk Syndrome?

Dry Drunk Syndrome is often used to refer to people who are exhibiting many of the same behaviors as a drunk even though they are no longer drinking. Or to put it another way, they are no longer drinking but are not acting sober. This type of behavior could include such things as:

  • constantly complaining about their recovery and appearing overly cynical
  • attempting to justify or downplay their former addictive behavior
  • constantly full of self-pity
  • a lot of anger about being classed as an addict
  • no interest in trying anything new
  • hanging around bars and spending a lot of time watching other people drink
  • always thinking about the good times they had drinking; this is called “romancing the drink”
  • blaming other people for all their current and past problems
  • continued manipulative behavior
  • secretive behavior and isolating from people around them

Exhibiting these symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person is a dry drunk; most recovering addicts will have bad days now and again. Dry drunk syndrome is more to do with a set of negative behaviors that continue over a period of time.

The Importance of Spotting the Signs of Dry Drunk Syndrome

Those exhibiting the signs of dry drunk syndrome may be at increased risk of relapse and this is why understanding what is going on is important. Becoming sober does not turn people into saints and many will continue to have personal issues just like everyone else. However, those experiencing a dry drunk are unlikely to find much satisfaction in recovery and so are at a high risk of relapse unless a change of course is initiated.

In many instances the symptoms of dry drunk can be a great tool because they warn people that they are taking a wrong turn in their recovery and this can encourage them to get back on path. If the symptoms are taking seriously and treated then it can lead to an even stronger recovery afterwards. The real problem occurs when people ignore what is going on and allow things to deteriorate.

Dry drunk syndrome is a group of symptoms that may warn of an approaching addiction relapse. Spotting these symptoms may work a useful relapse prevention tool.

Alcoholism

Surviving a Hangover: Recovering from Christmas Festivities

As December dawns, one’s thoughts turns to the Christmas office party or night out, but at the same time one must consider the risks heavy drinking brings.

The National Health Service website states that more than 10 million people in Britain drink more than the recommended daily amount. Men should drink no more than three to four units of booze a day; women no more than two to three.

Consequences of Heavy Drinking

With the congested party season around the corner, it is important to know how to survive the binge-fest and return home in reasonably good shape.

The consequences of heavy drinking stem further than the average short-term hangover. Over-indulgence on alcohol can affect all major organs in the body, as shown below.

  • Alcohol can cause damage to the brain, causing blackouts, anxiety, violence, depression and other mental problems.
  • Drinking causes high blood pressure and also damage to the heart, stomach and lungs.
  • Hepatitis and cirrhosis are common ailments associated with alcohol; fatty deposits develop in the body, causing inflammation in the liver and increasing the risk of associated cancers.
  • Alcohol also dehydrates the skin, weakens the bones, and causes weight gain.

More Effects of Heavy Drinking


Add to that the financial loss and social stigma of being a heavy drinker, and even the most hardened party-goer can see why they need to drink less on nights out. The most serious consequences of a wild Christmas night are the results of losing inhibitions in sexual activity, whilst being drunk can result in anti-social behaviour, crime, losing a job due to poor performance or drunk driving, and damaging friendships and relations with colleagues or relatives. Know your limits and stick to them!

Avoiding Hangovers

Happily there are many methods and ways to avoid the dreaded hangover, reduce the harmful effects of drinking, and make sure that this Christmas is a happy and safe one. The NHS suggests the following:

  • Before going out, have a carb-rich meal that fills the stomach, as the foods helps to break down the fats in alcohol. A turkey rich Christmas dinner might be a good idea!
  • Remember that dark coloured drinks such as whiskey and brandy usually result in worse hangovers than lighter drinks such as vodka or, well, water.
  • Speaking of which, where possible drink water or soft drinks in between alcoholic drinks. Another top tip is to place a glass of water on the bedside table before venturing out.
  • If feeling fragile the morning after, rehydrate with water as much as possible and use over-the-counter remedies such as aspirin, paracetomol or Alka-Seltzer.
  • A fry-up, especially one containing eggs, may help to settle the stomach, as can sugary foods or vitamin rich soup. Avoid where possible caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee as these can dehydrate the body further, and do not use the “hair of the dog” method of drinking more booze, as this only delays the symptoms of a hangover.

Merry Christmas!

Also on a night out, always travel together in large groups, keep an eye out for one another, and make sure you only use official public transport when going home, especially when under the influence. Better still, the kind-hearted non-drinker can be a designated driver for the night and give lifts home if he/she wishes. Whatever the occasion, stay safe, be sensible, but have a brilliant festive season!