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, integrative 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 personally tailored, holistic and integrative programs are designed to empower you to deal with
issues in your life including:
Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, is a medical condition characterised by an inability to control or stop drinking despite adverse consequences.
Alcoholism or dependence on alcohol may start as a social activity or be triggered by a person’s reaction to psychological stress or emotional trauma. It is extremely common in Australia and many other countries to rely on alcohol to have a ‘good time’ or handle stress, which normalises the drinking culture.
It’s important to know the difference between drinking alcohol as a social activity and drinking alcohol in order to cope with stress, psychological or emotional trauma.
Ongoing abuse of alcohol for various reasons leads to a physical dependence that causes changes in the brain’s reward system to occur – resulting in cravings, overuse, and withdrawals. A vicious cycle that’s incredibly hard to break without help.
Here are a few signs that may indicate you have a problem with alcohol:
If you’re concerned about your drinking habits and worried you may be developing alcohol dependence, help is available. Consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified addiction specialist so they can assess your situation, provide a proper diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment options to suit your situation and goals.
Remember, seeking help is a courageous step. There are many esources available to support you in addressing your concerns.
The development of addiction, including alcohol addiction, is a complex process influenced by various factors, such as genetics, environment, and individual experiences. Not everyone experiences addiction similarly, and the symptoms, recovery and treatment for alcohol addiction vary from one individual to the next.
Here’s a look at some key factors that can contribute to the development of alcohol addiction:
Not everyone who consumes alcohol will develop an addiction, and it is often the case that addiction to alcohol stems from various interconnected factors, not just one.
If you’re concerned about your alcohol consumption or believe you may have an addiction – or you’re worried about a loved one and their drinking habits – seeking professional help from a healthcare provider or addiction specialist is highly recommended. They can diagnose adequately and guide you towards appropriate treatment options and support.
Supporting someone experiencing alcohol dependence can be challenging and distressing, especially if the individual is not fully aware or regularly denies that they have a problem.
In this case, you may wonder whether the individual even wants your help or is willing to try and get better.
Showing someone experiencing alcoholism that you care and want to support them can significantly aid their journey to recovery. While not always easy, there are a few ways you can demonstrate this, including:
Ultimately, the decision to seek help and recover from alcohol addiction lies with the individual.
You can offer support, but it’s important to remember that their recovery journey is their own, and you need to respect their autonomy and choices throughout the process.
Encouraging professional help is often the most effective way to address alcoholism, as healthcare providers can provide appropriate guidance and treatment options tailored to the individual’s needs.
Drinking alcohol can cause or exacerbate feelings of anxiety.
While alcohol is commonly perceived as a way to relax or alleviate stress, it can have the opposite effect on some individuals. Anxiety associated with alcoholism can show up in several ways, including:
While alcohol may temporarily alleviate anxiety symptoms in some individuals, relying on it as a coping mechanism can contribute to a range of negative consequences, including the development of alcohol dependence or the worsening of anxiety over time.
If you’re experiencing anxiety or are concerned about its impact on your well-being, seeking professional help is vital.
Getting someone into alcohol rehab can be a delicate and challenging process.
It’s essential to approach the situation with compassion, understanding, and respect for the individual and the choice they want to make for their life. Even if the individual decides not to seek treatment and rehab now, it doesn’t mean they never will. By opening the discussion, you may help to set the path that eventually leads to their recovery.
If you’re seeking to help someone experiencing alcoholism attend rehab, below are a few things that may help:
The decision to enter rehab and seek treatment rests with the individual. While you can provide support and guidance, they must be willing to commit to the process to succeed.
According to the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare, 1 in 4 Australians aged 18 and over exceeded the 2020 Australian Alcohol Guidelines. Alcohol consumption is a significant part of Australian social culture, and it can be challenging to address concerns with your drinking habits when it is encouraged and welcomed as a part of your lifestyle.
Finding the right support resources can make a significant difference in aiding you to address your drinking, especially if you’re concerned you have developed a physical and/or psychological dependence on alcohol.
Here are a few options that may help:
Remember that seeking help is an essential step in the recovery process.
If you need help figuring out where to start, consider talking to a trusted individual, such as a friend or family member, who may be able to assist you in finding appropriate resources.
Our dedicated team is on hand to talk you through these options and explore how Palladium Private might work for you and your circumstances.
To get in touch, call 1300 573 095 to speak confidentially to on of our Admissions Consultants.