Living with Alcohol Dependency

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What is alcohol dependency?

            Alcohol dependency, or alcoholism, occurs when a person drinks alcohol excessively to the point where they are unable to relax or enjoy themselves without being intoxicated. This can cause problems in many areas of the individual’s life, including family, friends, and employment. People suffering from alcoholism often are drinking uncontrollably and excessively. When trying to stop they usually begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms, which leads to more drinking in order to avoid the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. When a person has crossed into the realm of alcohol dependency, it is often apparent to those close to them. However, when confronted they are often met with a lot of anger, denial, defensiveness.

Signs of Alcohol Dependency

  • Planning schedule around when you will be able to drink
  • Drinking in the morning shortly after waking up
  • Worrying about when you will be able to drink next
  • Making excuses just to drink
  • Choosing to drink over other responsibilities
  • Being secretive when drinking
  • High tolerance to alcohol
  • Inability to say no to a drink

Risks of Alcohol Dependency

  • Health issues (cancer, stroke, liver disease, brain damage)
  • Driving accidents if driving under the influence
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Risky behaviour (violent, sexual, or criminal activity)
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Breakdown of relationships (friends, family, significant others, children, etc.)
  • Loss of employment
  • Missing important events/appointments because of being impaired or hungover

How can this impact me as a carer?

            Carers often have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to caring for their loved ones. It is important that they are alert, competent, and able to fulfil the needs of the person in their life who is less able to do things for themselves. When a person is dependent on alcohol, they will have a much harder time with all of this. Being intoxicated more often than being sober can understandably cause a lot of problems, especially if they are responsible for driving their loved one to appointments or to the grocery store. They may even find themselves skipping out on their responsibilities altogether which could be very harmful to the person they take care of. Those who are dependent on alcohol may be even more likely to drink simply due to the nature of their caring role. If they find themselves being more stressed or overwhelmed, they may compensate for this by drinking in excessive amounts. Alcoholism can be a difficult thing to live with and manage, but the good news is that there is hope and help out there!

Getting Help and Support

            If you or someone you know is suffering from alcoholism, Suffolk Carers Matter can help! Our team can help to provide you with advice and guidance, as well as refer you to our free counselling service if it is needed.

CALL us at 01284 333035 – open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-2pm.

LIVE CHAT by clicking the blue ask button in the bottom corner of your screen

Click here to REGISTER with Suffolk Carers Matter

EMAIL us via our contact form here and we will get back to you

For more help and support related to alcohol dependency, call or visit the following organisations’ websites:

Alcoholics Anonymous UK0800 9177 650

Al-Anon (for family and friends of alcoholics) – 020 7403 0888

Alcohol Concern0300 123 1110