Many of us enjoy a drink or two, but like many other things in life, it’s important to keep it under control. If your drinking is impacting your life, then it’s important to recognise that and seek help. Below we look at ways to start addressing your relationship with alcohol.
Do you have a problem with alcohol?
Drinking at unhealthy levels impacts your mental and physical health – increasing your risk of some cancers and heart disease, as well as weakening your immune system and contributing to insomnia and anxiety. But how do you know if you are drinking too much, or becoming dependent on alcohol?
You may like to consider the following:
- Do you feel you need to drink?
- Are you worried about your drinking?
- Are you often drinking alone?
- Do you often drink to the point where you can’t remember what’s happened?
- Would you describe either of your parents as problem drinkers? (this increases your risk of developing a problem)
- Does your behaviour change when you are drinking?
- Do you worry about when you can get your next drink?
- Do you feel you need to drink to relax or feel normal?
- Do you feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking, and do you lie to others about it?
- Do you know how your partner/family feel about your drinking?
If you feel that you have your drinking under control, but that it could get worse if you don’t monitor it, then it might be good to actively manage your drinking.
If the above questions have made you think that alcohol is already a problem in your life, then there are some initial steps you can take in addressing the issue, as well as some ways to seek further help.
Steps you can take to address if alcohol is already a problem in your life:
- Acknowledge you may have a problem: The first step to addressing any issue is to recognise it, and let others know you need help.
- Know that your drinking doesn’t just affect you: Acknowledge that those closest to you may been affected by your dependence on alcohol. They may feel scared, anxious, worried or resentful.
- Look at when and why you drink: Do you drink when you’re anxious? When you need to relax? Acknowledging what alcohol offers you can help you try to fulfil those needs in healthier ways.
- Then examine the deeper issues: There are often underlying causes of stress or anxiety that lead people to rely on alcohol as a coping mechanism. Talk to your GP or a counsellor about support to help you cope without relying on alcohol.
- Get help: Reliance on alcohol can be hard to beat without help. There are many organisations that can help you, and your family, some of which we have outlined below.
Alcohol and drug foundation: Full list of support services available across Australia
Daybreak App: From Hello Sunday morning, Daybreak is an alcohol support app designed to support people looking to change their relationship with alcohol
National alcohol and other drug hotline: Confidential support and referrals
DrinkWise: Information about the effects of alcohol on your physical and mental health and suggested pathways for help
Changing for Good welcomes new participants who have successfully completed a men’s behaviour change program and want extra support in their efforts at change. We also welcome participants who have difficulty accessing a men’s behaviour change program for a variety of reasons. Just call 1300 015 120 and leave a message with your name and contact details and one of the team will follow up with you.