According to the UK Addiction Treatment Centre (UKAT), over 7.5 million people in the UK show signs of alcohol dependency. Alcohol dependence is also known as alcoholism, the upshot of which means that you cannot function without having a drink, and eventually drinking becomes the most important thing in your life.
The Office for National Statistics recently published a new report which showed that adults between the ages of 45 and 64 were the biggest problem drinkers while those between the ages of 55 and 64 tended to ‘binge drink’ more often.
Drinking has severe health risks, and there have already been 2,961 alcohol-related deaths in the UK this year so far. In addition to that, alcohol-related health problems cost England approximately £21 billion a year. The figures are staggering and yet very few people know that they are actually dependent on alcohol
How Do I Know That I’m Dependent on Alcohol?
Sometimes it’s very difficult to identify yourself as being dependent on alcohol. People are too different. Dr Mateen Durrani, consultant psychiatrist and group medical advisor for UKAT, explains: “Alcohol dependency affects people differently. For example, a person could drink excessively until they pass out each weekend but rarely touches a drop during weekdays. Another person may drink red wine steadily throughout each day but never becomes ‘drunk’. Both individuals would judge each other’s habits differently. This makes it difficult for people to identify themselves as alcohol dependent, even if drinking is having a damaging effect on their relationships, health, and enjoyment of life.” She further explains that recent research has shown that alcoholism is a bio-behavioural disorder, which means that you become physically dependent on alcohol. Your brain chemicals are changed and are now focused on finding and consuming more alcohol.
There are also some physical signs that you are dependent on alcohol. These include:
- Feeling nauseous (feeling sick to your stomach)
- Feeling tired for no particular reason
- You may develop redness on your eyes and nose
- You may develop spidery veins in your face and on your skin
- You may have repeated infections and skin sores
- Your weight may change
- After drinking you may ‘black out’
- You may feel sweaty or clammy without a reason
- You may have a sore or upset stomach
- Your hands may feel numb or swell
- You may feel unsteady on your feet
- You may start drinking during the day before a stressful event.
These are all signs to look out for if you are a regular drinker.
If I Am Dependent on Alcohol What Do I Do?
The first step is always to admit that you have a problem and that you need help. The next one is to call Middlegate so that we can help you find the most appropriate treatment programme that will suit your individual needs and circumstances.
Our 24/7 helpline is staffed by friendly, trained and experienced counsellors. We also have networks of clinics and other organisations that can help you with your problem. Our job is to find out as much as we possibly can about you and your situation and assist you in finding the help that you need.
You have several options open to you when you decide on a treatment programme. Depending on your level of dependency and your financial situation, you could be admitted to a private rehab clinic for detox and treatment. If your finances are limited, or your healthcare insurance does not cover it, there are also charities and NHS options to explore.
If you cannot stay away from home for any meaningful period, you can also choose to go for treatment on an outpatient basis. We do, however, recommend that you go to a clinic or hospital for your detox period as the withdrawal symptoms could be severe and you will need medical professional supervision for that period.
Once you have completed the treatment programme, we can also arrange for aftercare to help you avoid potential relapse and ensure that you have the help and support you need when you are craving or facing temptation.
Give us a call today to start your recovery process.