The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
Concerned about your alcohol consumption? Confused as to whether you are drinking too much? You've come to the right place.
Alcohol abuse is the most common type ofsubstance abuse worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)there are 3 million deaths per year resulting from alcohol misuse.Despite this, there is still a stigma around alcohol use disorder.
In this article, we'll explore what a unit ofalcohol is, how much alcohol is too much , how alcohol impacts your life, whatis considered potentially harmful drinking, how to access your drinkingpattern, and how to get help when it is a concern and when it makes sense to goto rehab. Plus steps that you can take to help yourself or a loved oneescape alcohol addiction.
Many people who come to Serenity Vista say thatthey wish that they had come earlier. Making the decision to get help soonerrather than later, is a key step to making a full recovery. Alcohol canseriously damage the brain and liver. But often much more insidiously, it alsosteals your life.
There are many ways that alcohol robs you ofmonths or years. The body loves alcohol; it feels as though it gives youenergy. It's a good idea to think of this energy as stealing energy from thefuture you. Alcohol can take over your life slowly, without you even knowingit.
While playing in the park with your child orgrandchild your body can feel heavy and “hanxiety” (hangover plus anxiety) can takeover your mind. This hung-over feeling can make it impossible to enjoy thoseprecious moments. You or your grandchild in this case can't get those momentsback, so it's sad to the whole family to not be able to enjoy them.
The rest of the day may be propelled by thethought of drinking in the evening. This leaves you unable to live in themoment. Life simply rushes by, which can make a person who is addicted toalcohol feel worthless and out of control.
If your drinking goes too far, then permanentdamage to the body can begin to happen. This is represented in the externalworld as damage to your relationships, family, home, job or finances. Not tomention the 10,497+ people per year who die due to alcohol-impaireddriving in the United States. Did you know that 28% of alltraffic-related deaths in the US are due to alcohol?
It can be hard to keep track of how much you are drinking, especially if you go out a lot. It's easy to have just one more and not register that you have had way too much. Often tolerance develops with the amount of alcohol gradually increasing with increasing consumption. The realization that drinking too much has become a problem may be obscured. With continued consumption, harm to self and loved ones is inevitable.
Therefore, it's important to not let your drinking get to the point that it's damaging your life. Health guidelines advise to make sure that you are not drinking more than 14 units in a week if you are a man, and 7 units per week if you are a woman. Also, these units should be spread across the week, rather than one binge-drinking episode, which can seriously impact your health. That amounts to 4 or fewer units per day for a man and three or fewer units for a woman.
A unit of alcohol will probably be much less thanyou think. It's about half a glass of wine, a shot of whiskey, or a quarter ofa pint of beer. Here are the measurementsof one unit of alcohol by volume and percentage of alcohol:
Related: How Alcohol Can Cause Weight Gain
There’s no alcoholism mold, meaning there is no amount or alcohol or type of alcoholic. Alcohol dependency comes in many shapes and sizes, from the very successful, high functioning, to troubled and criminal.
Some people are oblivious to their alcoholictendencies, chalking it down to being a “social drinker”. But consuminganything over the suggested 14 units per week is too much.
Many people think that an alcoholic needs to get up in the morning and start drinking. But this simply isn't the case. Some people who have problems with drink even stop drinking for a few weeks or months to prove to themselves that they are not an alcoholic. The fact remains that if they go back to a habit of drinking a bottle or two of wine a night, then it’s a problem, whether a person realizes it yet or not. Alcoholism is about negative consequences from the use of alcohol regardless of the amount or frequency.
It’s better to think of the term alcohol usedisorder, or being alcohol dependent rather than the term"alcoholic".
Alcohol use can be split into three categories,as follows -
Some people choose (or need) to completelyabstain from drinking alcohol. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, haveliver or heart conditions and those taking specific medications shouldcompletely abstain from drinking alcohol. Additionally, people who have ahistory of alcohol misuse may also choose to avoid alcohol altogether.
Low-risk Drinking is only applicable to fit andhealthy adults. Low-risk drinking is when you regularly drink within the setguidelines. According to current USdietary guidelines, If alcohol is consumed, itshould be in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinksper day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age. If you regularly exceed these guidelines then you might fit into thehigh-risk category. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism(NIAAA) people who regularly drink heavily increase their risk ofdeveloping alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence by 50%.
High-risk drinking is when a person regularlygoes way over the recommended limit. Heavy drinking can increase healthproblems such as liver disease, brain damage, high blood pressure, and evencancer. There are a lot of other risks for injury when people are drinkingheavily, including a strong and tragic link between alcoholuse and suicide.
A thirdof the economic burden of drinking can be attributed to bingedrinking. Binge drinking is when a person drinks to get drunk or consumes a lotof alcohol in a short period of time. About 6 units of alcohol for a woman or 8units for a man is considered binge drinking.
In the past year, have you:
If any of these symptoms arepresent, drinking may already be a cause for concern for you. The more symptomsyou have, the more serious the problem is.
Additionally, many find a popularself assessment for alcoholism useful. This questionnaire asks twenty simplequestions about your consumption of alcohol to help determine if it is aproblem for you.
If you find yourself asking questions such as “why am I drinking more alcohol?”, “how much alcohol does an alcoholic drink?”, or “do I have a problem with alcohol?”, then you might be developing an alcohol use disorder. The earlier the problem is identified, the earlier you can get help and avoid the inevitable progression of serious negative consequences. It is never too soon to ask for help. Contact us today if you would like to discuss how we can help you or a loved one.
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