Alcohol abuse is the recurring overuse of alcohol despite negative consequences that seriously impact many aspects of the drinker’s life. A pattern of daily, non-stop or binge drinking results in physical harm to the individual’s health, impacts their personal relationships with loved ones, their ability to work and socialise, as well as causing a gradual decline in mental health, often leading to anxiety and/or depression.
Sufferers use alcohol to conjure and maintain a desired mindset that seemingly helps to deal with stressful situations, social situations, or life in general. Meanwhile, the debilitating effects of alcohol addiction slowly take over reality and destroy the vital threads of connection that create a full and healthy life.
Initially, the use of alcohol and other substances may be social, or triggered by a person’s reaction to psychological or emotional stress. Therefore the use of alcohol to alleviate unwanted emotions is secondary to finding and understanding the underlying root cause of these emotions.
Ongoing abuse of alcohol for various reasons leads to a physical dependance that causes changes in the brain’s reward system to occur – resulting in cravings, overuse, withdrawals. A vicious cycle that’s incredibly hard to break without help.
Over time, alcohol dependance is often subtly accompanied by emotional or physical health issues such as depression, anxiety, guilt, regret, infidelity, weight gain, liver toxicity, erratic moods, and many other negative states. It puts a huge strain on families and close personal relationships, affects performance at work, leads to loss of motivation, restricted social interaction and sometimes complete withdrawal from life.
Alcohol addiction or dependency is believed to be the result of a combination of genetic, psychological, environmental and social factors including:
People who deal with triggers and stress effectively, who do not become overwhelmed by emotional reactions, who have a strong sense of self-worth and heathy self-esteem, are unlikely to develop an alcohol addiction – even if they have the genes for addiction. Unless the underlying emotional issues are identified and corrected, alcohol will always be turned to in times of despair, trauma or overwhelm.
READ MORE about the science of addiction
But if none of this helps and you realise you have a serious alcohol problem, you will need to undergo a course of treatment and rehabilitation to rid yourself of the addiction. Treatment for alcohol addiction often involves a combination of several different therapies including; individual psychotherapy, group therapy and holistic therapies to rebuild beliefs, thinking and reward pathways in the brain – away from alcohol, towards people, activities, experiences and passions that induce true joy and fulfillment.
If you think you or someone you know might be suffering from alcohol addiction, some of the signs to look for include:
Alcohol addiction comes with a whole raft of negative impacts, all of which become worse the longer you drink. For one thing, alcohol abuse can affect your mental health, often leading to anxiety, depression, paranoia, and psychosis. It also affects your short-term physical health in a number of ways including weight gain, sleeping problems and increased susceptibility to infections and chronic disease. And in the long-term alcoholism can cause permanent brain damage, cirrhosis of the liver and a significantly higher risk of certain cancers including breast, mouth and throat cancer, stroke and heart disease and heart attack. There are also the damaging social implications, with an increased risk of relationship breakdown, loss of employment and antisocial, risk-taking and sometimes criminal behaviours. Have you ever noticed you’re the last one drinking at a social event? But still want the night to go on?…..
At Palladium Private, our holistic BioPsychoSocial approach to the treatment of alcohol dependency may be different to anything you may have tried before. We consider alcohol abuse to be a coping mechanism. People who deal with stress successfully and have a healthy level of self-worth are unlikely to abuse alcohol, even if they have the genetic predisposition for alcohol addiction. So if you have underlying stress conditions and they’re not identified and addressed, you will always turn to alcohol in times of despair or trauma.
The Palladium Private Program provides a set of coping mechanisms that can be used to break this cycle permanently. These include gently reprocessing old events to deal with grief and regret and learning how to measure self-esteem and self-worth properly — both of which make for an incredibly effective combination. We cannot change what happened to you in life, but we can teach you how to react to life events in a different way, which will cut end this cycle of alcohol abuse at its source.
Our qualified psychotherapists use evidence-based techniques to teach you how to adopt new behaviours, apply and entrench them and engage in new ways of thinking. And our programs offer change that is lasting because our unique range of therapeutic modalities go deep to the underlying root cause.
Our personal, tailored BioPsychoSocial programs are designed to empower you to deal with
issues in your life including: