Alcohol becomes a problem when an individual feels unable to cope without it, or when it prevents them from living a normal life. When the uncontrollable desire for alcohol overrides an individual’s ability to stop drinking, they are often referred to as being alcohol dependent.
Like any other addiction, alcohol dependence can be extremely hard to break and it can be very difficult for an individual to even acknowledge the existence of their problem.
Alcohol abuse can cause problems in relationships, careers and finances and individuals often need to seek help from professionals to control the habit. Many people not suffering from alcohol dependence can’t understand why the individual can’t simply stop, however addictions can seem as strong as the need for food or water.
Many health problems are associated with excess alcohol consumption, including liver cirrhosis, heart failure, depression, anxiety and damage to the brain and nervous system. Research suggests that approximately a quarter of men and one in six women drink enough to put their health at risk in the UK. The fact that alcohol is so easily available and socially acceptable may account for this to some extent.
- Persistent drinking
- A strong desire to drink
- Loss of control
- Mood changes
- Lack of concentration
- Memory blackouts
- A growing tolerance to drink
- Lack of interest in other activities
Physical symptoms associated with alcohol dependence can be nausea, sweating, anxiety and shaking.
A number of factors are thought to lead to alcohol dependence. Environmental factors such as peer pressure, friends and the fact that alcohol is easily available and socially acceptable often influence the probability that an individual will become alcohol dependent. Alcohol dependence may also develop from masking other types of distress such as stress, anxiety or depression.
As many individuals suffering from alcohol dependence find it difficult to acknowledge the existence of their problem, it may remain undetected for years. However, many individuals are able to rebuild their lives and control their addiction with the right treatment and support.
Sometimes medication may be prescribed by a GP to prevent withdrawal symptoms, and vitamin supplements are often recommended if the individual is a chronic drinker and malnourished.
Mindset coaching is extremely useful for the treatment of addictions. Mindset coaching usually involved a variety of modalities such as positive psychology, NLP, CBT, hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. This coaching can give you the skills needed to relax and access your unconscious mind to discover the true, root cause of the addiction.
Understanding why alcohol has become a problem and learning techniques to replace the destructive behaviour can often help those with alcohol dependence. Using coaching to re-examine an individual’s lifestyle can lead to better coping strategies and create different attitudes towards alcohol. Once the root cause has been identified, dealing with it can begin.
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Further useful information can be found at the Alcoholics Anonymous website, just click here.