No one ever said that life was going to be easy and sadly most of us can agree. We have all experienced extreme stress, heartache, disappointments, peer pressure and financial difficulties in our lives, and therefore seeking help to alleviate the pressures.

Some chose the healthy option by exercising on a daily basis whether it being sport activities or working out at a gym etc, which has been scientifically proven to alleviate stress. Others chose the chemical pharmaceutical drug option and drink anti depression and/or calming tablets to name only a few and an alarming amount of people turn to alcohol or drugs to help alleviate the pressures of life.

Alcohol is a common element amongst most cultures and in social activities, being a drink or two after work or sharing a bottle of wine over a meal. Sadly some results in the actual abuse of alcohol. Drinking simply to feel good may become problematic. Alcohol Abuse is often confused with Alcoholism and believed to be the same, but they are two different problem drinking forms.

  • Alcohol Abuse is when your recurring alcohol drinking leads to negative consequences and is self destructive. Alcohol Abuse is not a physical addiction associated with extremely strong cravings for alcohol, in actual fact many have the ability to set limits in their drinking. Binge drinking/getting severely drunk is also a known form of alcohol abuse/misuse when done more than twice a week. Alcohol abuse may lead to alcoholism.
  • Alcoholism is an actual physical addiction to Alcohol even though your health is at great risk, and where alcohol has a tendency to control your life. Studies have shown that it has and can lead to suicide.

The good news is that if you and admit you have a problem, you’re already halfway on your way to being cured. All that’s left to do is to reduce the amount you drink and only drink in moderation. If this method fails for you try abstinence by not drinking at all and lean on your support from friends and family to succeed.

The abuse of alcohol is not limited to the “alcoholic” classification but can also include the binge drinking phenomenon that has become socially acceptable amongst the majority of younger social circles. By definition, alcohol abuse can be defined as the frequent consumption without limit or the reliance on the intoxicating effect of alcohol.

Many therapists will classify someone as an abuser if they binge drink regularly, regularity is defined as more frequently than 4 times in a year. The treatment of the abuse of alcohol is, after ensuring that the user is sober, group counselling with other abuser of alcohol, family counselling with those affected by the abuse of alcohol by the alcoholic and sometimes treatment with a variety of medication to reduce the craving for alcohol and to stabilise the user’s emotions without substance abuse.

Many people are often predisposed to the abuse of alcohol due to genetics and lifestyle choices. Work stresses often accentuate the users craving for alcohol and due to the calming affect that alcohol has, abuse often follows in periods of high stress and pressure. The socially acceptable nature of alcohol abuse is one of the leading causes of alcoholism. As in drug addiction, ease of access to the substance of choice is a factor in addictive potential, for this reason, alcohol is extremely addictive as it is readily available, legal and relatively low cost.

Abusers of alcohol will often lose regular employment, family ties and social circles due to their behavior when intoxicated or their reliance and hence their anti-social behaviour. Alcohol abuse damages almost every organ in the body and is even riskier when consumed if ill or pregnant. Alcohol abuse when pregnant leads to foetal alcohol syndrome, retardation and poor infant growth.

The abuse of alcohol is not limited to adults and often occurs in teens as young as 12 due to extreme peer pressure, poor living conditions, parental alcohol abuse and stress. At this age, alcohol will severely affect the development both mentally and physically and may even cause death due to alcohol poisoning. Alcohol should not be abused but respected as a narcotic substance capable of severe intoxication.

Alcohol has been part of life since earliest recorded history and is freely available worldwide. Most countries have an age restriction of eighteen or twenty five in the case of The United States of America. These restrictions have been in place for a long time and are based on what society deems a responsible age for alcoholic consumption. While alcohol is very much part of tradition and culture it can be life threatening if abused. Abuse alcohol and you abuse your life and you may be a threat to the life and wellbeing of others.

Alcohol is generally associated with social interaction such as dining, celebrating, dating, events and local, community or neighbourhood interaction such as found in bars. Alcohol is known to induce what are perceived as positive effects like happiness, euphoria, confidence and general enjoyment. Unfortunately for some the effects are negative as alcohol also causes aggression, depression, and unacceptable sexual behaviour and impaired motor reflexes. Generally the negative effects go hand in hand with excessive consumption or the abuse of alcohol. ‘How much is too much’ is hard to define as tolerance varies and factors such as the individual size, metabolism, and even temperament play a role.

Drunken driving is one of the main causes of road accidents and deaths in the world. Here again opinions differ and the effect of alcohol on individuals varies. Most governments in the world have instituted strict regulations concerning a driver’s alcohol level, with ongoing controversy over breathalyzer and blood tests. People continue to drive with alcohol levels far exceeding the legal limit. Those who abuse alcohol and still drive can face serious jail sentences especially if someone dies in a car accident as a result of drunken driving.

The abuse of alcohol has long been a serious problem in our society and unfortunately the degree of alcohol abuse is often not recognised by the abuser or those around them until something shocking happens.

We are surrounded by alcoholics. Drinking is legal and those who don’t exhibit socially unacceptable behaviour are too often unaware of their degree of alcohol addiction and that they require treatment.