Is There A Connection Between Alcohol Abuse & Depression
Yes. Sometimes alcohol abuse causes depression in overall healthy people, and other times depression leads to alcohol abuse by self-medicating distressing symptoms. Over time, alcohol use is likely to make depression worse.
Additionally, people with depression face twice the risk of developing alcohol use disorder than the general population.
General Tips For Quitting Drinking
All in all, the best way to quit varies from individual to individual, depending on their drinking habits, genetics, reasons for drinking, personal history, personality, and many other factors. Each person will need to consider their specific goals, and find a combination of the above methods that works well for themideally after consulting a doctor.
That said, here are some good general tips for quitting alcohol. Included are resources, basic strategies, tips for self-care, and some important things to keep in mind as you go forward. In brief, we recommend:
- Creating a solid plan beforehand
- Finding a reliable support team
- Making use of medication for alcoholism
- Talking with a doctor before attempting cold turkey
- Cutting back on alcohol first
- Choosing some self-care strategies
How To Stop Drinking Without Aa
There are advantages to joining a support group, but if AA is not the right fit for you, there are other options. To begin with, other support groups exist, including SMART Recovery, Moderation Management, LifeRing, Women for Sobriety, and Secular Organizations for Sobriety . There are also online communities, such as Daybreak, and Sober Grid. Each of these options allows you to find allies, people with common goals, and a larger, sober community. None, however, require you to believe in a higher power, or work within the 12 steps.
There are also many options besides abstinence. You dont need to quit completely if that doesnt work for you, nor do you need to white-knuckle it using sheer willpower. Medications now exist that can let you cut back or quit gradually, and reduce your cravings. Not only can these make the process less stressful, they often have a higher success rate than AA or quitting without assistance.
The Sinclair Method is one strong example of this. TSM makes use of naltrexone to control cravings over time, and boasts up to a 78 percent long-term success rate. It doesnt necessarily involve community support, however. According to the American Psychiatry Association Guidelines for treating Alcohol Use Disorder, evidence-based therapy support centered around behavior change is recommended in combination with pharmacotherapy for alcoholism.
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Treatment For Alcohol Dependence
The most important starting point for treatment is to talk to your doctor about how to control your alcohol consumption. You can search for a doctor in your region here.
Treatment options depend on the strength of alcohol dependence. For low level dependence, your doctor might discuss the problem with you and suggest changes you can make or recommend counselling.
Stronger dependence will need different treatments to manage the effects of alcohol withdrawal. The treatments might include:
How Common Is Alcoholism
Alcohol use disorders are more common than may be imagined. Notes Psychology Today, studies have revealed that 29.1 percent of the US population has experienced an alcohol use disorder at some point in their lifetime. Within a 12-month period, approximately 13.9 percent of the US population experiences an alcohol use disorder. About 19.8 percent of the adults who have experienced an alcohol use disorder in their lifetime seek treatment or ask for help at some point.
As Psychology Today points out, about 75 percent of the alcohol that Americans drink occurs in the form of binge drinking. The symptoms of binge drinking include blackouts and memory lapses. Over time, a chronic binge drinker can develop serious liver damage and/or brain damage.
A lesser-known but just as severe consequence is cardiovascular disease. This disease can arise because a high volume of alcohol causes stress on the heart, leading to heart attack or stroke.
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Whats The Latest Data On Alcohol Abuse
Recent facts and statistics on alcohol abuse in the United States include:
- 2.3 percent of Americans engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month
- over 85 percent of people have drank alcohol at some point in time
- over 14 million adults were diagnosed with alcohol use disorder in 2018
- approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year
Why Did I Become Addicted To Alcohol
Of course, all of the above may only tell you half of the story. If you find yourself struggling with alcohol, you may spend time trying to understand why am I an addict? While you should never beat yourself up for the past, it can sometimes help you deal with the issue more effectively if you understand how it developed for you, personally.
When I was young, alcohol was prevalent in my household. My mom allowed me to start drinking at a very young age, and she drank often. I dont believe that she is an alcoholic, but the fact that it was always allowed in my household made it seem like alcohol wasnt a big deal.
Many of my friends also started drinking at a young age, so the people I spent the most time with drank often, and again, it just seemed so normal. Before I knew it, I was using alcohol as a way to numb my feelings when they became too difficult to bear.
Before I knew it, I was using alcohol as a way to numb my feelings when they became too difficult to bear.
When my mom was going through a divorce, and when I was dealing with the effects of sexual assault, I quickly turned to drugs and alcohol, and found myself in increasingly dangerous situations. I suffered further abuse and trauma, which I now know was none of my fault. But it was hard for me to cope with these events without substances.
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Alcohol Use Disorder Dsm 5 Criteria
If youre concerned that you or a loved one meet several of these criteria, its a good idea to talk to a hotline representative about your situation. An American Addiction Centers admissions navigator can help you evaluate your next steps.
How Do I Know If Im Addicted
In most circumstances, people who wonder whether or not they are addicted to a certain substance usually are. However, many people who suffer from addiction also experience denial. They are unable to see that their substance use has gotten out of control. As a result, its important to be able to spot the signs of drug addiction regardless of what drug is being abused.
Symptoms of THC addiction include:
- Continuing to use THC or delta-8 to avoid withdrawal symptoms
- Needing to increase the dose consumed to feel high
- Struggling to focus, sleep, or eat unless high
- Spending excess time and money on the drug
- Mental preoccupation with delta-8 THC use
- Planning work and social activities around drug use
- Lying to friends and family about substance use
- Having mental cravings for delta-8
- Continuing to use delta-8 despite worsening problems at school, home, work, or with ones health
- Inability to control ones use or cut back on the amount used
Anyone who relates to two or more of the above-listed symptoms may have a substance use disorder.
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The Effects Of Alcohol Abuse On The People You Love
Despite the potentially lethal damage that heavy drinking inflicts on the bodyincluding cancer, heart problems, and liver diseasethe social consequences can be just as devastating. Alcoholics and alcohol abusers are much more likely to get divorced, have problems with domestic violence, struggle with unemployment, and live in poverty.
But even if youre able to succeed at work or hold your marriage together, you cant escape the effects that alcoholism and alcohol abuse have on your personal relationships. Drinking problems put an enormous strain on the people closest to you.
Often, family members and close friends feel obligated to cover for the person with the drinking problem. So they take on the burden of cleaning up your messes, lying for you, or working more to make ends meet. Pretending that nothing is wrong and hiding away all of their fears and resentments can take an enormous toll. Children are especially sensitive and can suffer long-lasting emotional trauma when a parent or caretaker is an alcoholic or heavy drinker.
Youve Started Paying A Lot For Pornography
Like substance abuse, an addict may begin paying more and more to satisfy their addiction. If youre starting to pay for more and more pornography, you are running the risk of suffering from financial distress. According to CNBC, Every second $3,075 dollars are spent on adult content, more than 28,000 Internet users are viewing it, 372 Internet users are typing adult terms into search engines to find it, and every 39 seconds a new pornographic video is produced in the United States.
If your addiction is affecting your work, this risk is increased as you could lose your job. By allowing the cycle of addiction to continue, the likelihood of participating in risky behavior in order to satisfy your addiction will be heightened.
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Alcoholism Signs And Symptoms May Include:
- Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- Wanting to cut down on how much you drink or making unsuccessful attempts to do so
- Spending a lot of time drinking, getting alcohol, or recovering from alcohol use
- Feeling a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol
- Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home due to repeated alcohol use
- Continuing to drink alcohol even though you know its causing physical, social, or interpersonal problems
- Giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies
- Using alcohol in situations where its not safe, such as when driving or swimming
- Developing a tolerance to alcohol so you need more to feel its effect or you have a reduced effect from the same amount
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, and shaking when you dont drink, or drinking to avoid these symptoms
You may have a problem if you have tried to quit drinking but were not able to stop. Alcoholism can make you do or say things you wouldnt do if you were sober. Some of these things can hurt other people, even the people you love.
What Is Alcohol Poisoning
Consuming too much alcohol, too quickly, can slow your breathing and heart rate, lower your body temperature, and cause confusion, vomiting, seizures, unconsciousness, and even death. Alcohol poisoning can also depress your gag reflex, increasing the risk that if youve passed out you may choke on your own vomit.
If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning
If someone has been binge drinking and is an unconscious or semiconscious state, their breathing is slow, their skin clammy, and theres a powerful odor of alcohol, they may have alcohol poisoning.
- Dont leave them alone to sleep it off.
- Turn the person onto their side to avoid them choking if they vomit.
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Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Substance Use
There are signs that can help you determine if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Problems with relationships, your job or school, and even legal issues stemming from substance use can indicate that you have an addiction. If your life has been affected by substance abuse in the following ways, you may have an addiction:
Understanding The Severity Of Your Addiction
If your life and relationships are being negatively affected by your substance use, you probably have an addiction. Addiction is diagnosed on a spectrum. The criteria for addiction can help you determine if your addiction is mild, moderate or severe. There is a total of eleven criteria, including:
- Lack of control
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What Is Alcohol Withdrawal
When you stop drinking, your body may find it hard with no alcohol. If you have been drinking a lot it almost certainly will. You may also have some uncomfortable feelings. Those are just two of the effects of withdrawal.
You may feel anxious and confused or have trouble sleeping, even if you cut back on your drinking. If you get the shakes when you dont drink, or if you feel like you need to have a drink early in the day, you may need to take medicine when you stop drinking to help with the withdrawal. This is called detoxification. The key is, do not try to quit cold turkey. You should seek help from people who know what to do.
Outpatient / Day Care Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Our outpatient therapy programmes are available at Priory Wellbeing Centres across the UK. We can also offer treatment in a day care format, where people work through a full programme of treatment across a series of days or half-days, having the opportunity return home in the evenings.
If you would like to find out more about the support we can provide for you here at Priory Group, get in touch today for a free no-obligation assessment. This will give you an opportunity to talk to our team and find out the treatment programme that will be most effective for you and your recovery.
Blog reviewed by Dr Radu Iosub , Visiting Consultant Psychiatrist at Priory Hospital Bristol
For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or . For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here
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When Do I Stop Drinking
Alcoholic or not, if alcohol is causing problems in your life, then you need to stop before the disease gathers momentum and creates lasting, permanent damage to yourself and those around you.
If you are abusing alcohol, you still have the option to cut back your drinking to the responsible amount. However, if you are unsuccessful, you most likely are an alcoholic and need to stop drinking.
You dont have to be an alcoholic to quit drinking. All thats required to quit drinking in most cases is intelligence. If youre intelligent enough to recognize that alcohol is interfering with your life, then certainly because you are intelligent, you can initiate an intelligent effort to remove alcohol from your life. Gene Duffy
Since withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous, you have to be very careful when quitting. Supervised detox is the safest, most comfortable way to stop drinking.
Signs And Symptoms Of Alcoholism How To Know If Someone Has A Problem With Drinking
Throughout history, alcohol has played a significant role in different cultures around the world. Alcohol is used by people as a way to relax, bond, celebrate, and socialize. In the United States, its common for adults to have a drink with friends on the weekends, at weddings and parties, or as a way to unwind from work.
Alcohols effects vary from person to person and depend on a variety of factors, such as:
Number of alcoholic drinks consumed
How often alcohol is consumed
The general state of health
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What Should I Do If I Have An Addiction To Drugs Or Alcohol
Recognizing that you have a substance addiction is the most critical step in reaching recovery. Answering yes to some or all of the questions above could indicate that you have a substance abuse problem. If you identify any similar patterns to those above in your own habits, treatment for drug or alcohol addiction may be the right course for you.
Medical Disclaimer: DrugRehab.com aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
Negative Impact Of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol misuse can impact every aspect of your life in ways you may not expect. After surveying over one thousand people who had chosen to stop using alcohol, a 2021 poll by The Recovery Village found physical health , mental health and relationships to be the most common negative impacts.
Drinking also impacted peoples careers, parental abilities, finances, hygiene, and legal status. When asked to rank these impacts, it didnt matter if you drank heavily or not, or tried to stop using alcohol or not: physical health, mental health and relationships still took the biggest hit in respondents lives.
Among more than two thousand respondents reporting health complications directly related to their alcohol use:
- More than 1 in 3 reported depression
- Nearly 1 in 3 reported high blood pressure
- 1 in 6 reported liver disease
- 1 in 10 reported cirrhosis
- 1 in 10 reported cardiovascular disease
- 1 in 7 reported a weakened immune system
- 1 in 10 reported nerve damage
- 1 in 12 reported pancreatitis
- 1 in 11 reported seizures
- 1 in 13 reported cancer
But what is excessive drinking? There are two types:
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