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If you feel like you’ve been drinking more than you should, the best way to break this cycle is to acknowledge that something is wrong and that something needs to change.

Within this blog, we will look at how to tell if you have a drinking problem and how to make changes to address any issues that you have with alcohol. We will also provide information on the support and treatment that is available for you here at Life Works.

Signs that you may be struggling with a drinking problem

You regularly exceed what you planned to drink, or the recommended guidelines

Are you regularly drinking more than you intended to? This can be a sign of alcohol misuse and can suggest that you are losing control of how much you consume. It can also indicate that you’ve formed a dependency on alcohol, or are at risk of doing so in the future. This is also the case if you’re exceeding the recommended medical guidelines for alcohol. These advise to drink no more than 14 units per week for men and women, spread over three days.

You’re constantly craving your next drink

If you spend most of your day trying to resist the urge to drink, or find that you’re counting down the clock until you can have a drink, this can be a sign of a drinking problem.

When your thoughts are consumed by alcohol, it’s important to recognise the dangerous priority it is taking in your daily life.

Your finances are being impacted

Are you spending more than you used to on alcohol? Perhaps you’re borrowing money to cover any gaps being created by your alcohol consumption? If this is the case, others may have also started to notice that you possibly have a drinking problem too.

You’ve experienced blackouts and memory loss from drinking

Blackouts and memory loss are clear signs that your alcohol use has reached a dangerous level. Drinking to this point poses serious risks to your health and wellbeing as you are more likely to suffer from accidents and/or injuries.

Memory loss can also increase the likelihood of experiencing drinking-related anxiety. The feelings of worry, embarrassment and regret that often come with excessive drinking can dent your self-esteem and cause a vicious cycle, where you go on to drink more in order to forget, and also to feel confident and capable again.

Your struggling to do your job properly

You may be turning up late, missing deadlines or struggling to concentrate on day-to-day tasks. Someone at work may have mentioned your drinking too. If you’re losing your ability to cope with the responsibilities of work, it’s more than likely that your drinking has gotten out of hand.

Your relationships are being affected

Many people’s relationships are impacted when they drink excessively. There may have been more arguments at home lately, your friends may have been in contact less or your children may not want to chat to you like they once did.

People have already tried to talk to you about your drinking

If other people have already brought up your drinking, think about why this had happened. Has your regular alcohol consumption become unignorably apparent to others, or have there been incidents because of your excessive drinking?

If someone has raised this subject, it’s usually because they’ve been affected in some way and/or they’re concerned about your wellbeing. We understand how difficult it is when you’re struggling with your emotions, so you may feel defensive when someone tries to speak to you. But remember, the person is only doing so because they care, so try not to shy away from the conversation.

You regularly drink alone

Even if nobody else has noticed or brought up your drinking, frequently drinking alcohol alone can be a sign that there is a problem. You may be actively hiding it from others by avoiding drinking around people, or you may be self-medicating with alcohol at home. Whatever the reason, it’s so important for you to reach out. You don’t have to continue struggling alone.

You’ve tried and failed to cut down your drinking

If you already tried to cut down on drinking but have found that it’s been too difficult, don’t let this put you off trying again. We know that it can be hard to come to terms with having a drinking problem, but don’t let shame get in the way of you getting better.

Tackling something as powerful as this shouldn’t be done alone – the emotional support of those around you is crucial, and professional help is the most effective way of achieving long-term recovery.

At Life Works, we want to help you look forward to a brighter future. Our experienced specialists have worked with many people in situations similar to your own, helping them to live a more fulfilling life and equipping them with the skills to manage long-term recovery. Once you contact us, we can conduct a free alcohol addiction assessment to determine the best course of action for your situation and needs.

We offer treatment in various formats at Life Works. Firstly, we may recommend a medically-assisted detox process to help you manage the effects of withdrawal. Day care and outpatient therapy provide regular, ongoing support as an entry point to treatment, while our intensive residential (inpatient) programme gives the benefit of 24-hour support. This takes place in comfortable facilities within a supportive community environment, in our beautiful Georgian manor house. Get in touch today to discuss your next steps to a happier and healthier life ahead.

Contact Life Works Today

To discuss how the Life Works team can help to support individuals and families dealing with addiction and for further information on treatment and rehabilitation programmes, please call: 01483 745 066 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT.

Coronavirus information

While the current coronavirus restrictions and social distancing measures are in place, we are offering online support to both new and current patients. We continue to offer access to inpatient services where this is required. For more information on our online therapy service, please visit our Priory Connect page or read our latest online therapy blog. For the latest information on how Priory are responding to coronavirus, and keeping our patients and staff safe, please visit our COVID-19 preparedness blog. You can also find out about our approach to addiction treatment during COVID-19 by accessing our dedicated page.

This blog was reviewed by Siobhan Ward (BA(Hons) Graphic Design, MSc in Addiction Psychology and Counselling, PgDip in Addiction Psychology and Counselling), Addiction Programme Lead at Life Works.

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