Why stop drinking?

Many heavy drinkers may not see themselves as being out of control or having a problem with alcohol. Those close to those with alcohol addiction may have noticed a change in their personality and their problems escalate. A person with an addiction to alcohol may live in denial about their drinking. They may become secretive about their drinking, and obsessed with alcohol. They may become paranoid, frightened of others making judgements about their frequency or the amount they are drinking.

The chances are, if you think you may have a problem with alcohol, and then you probably do.

The first step to overcoming alcohol or any other addiction is admitting there is a problem and having a strong wish and determination to give up drinking or other destructive activity.

The following list is a good place to start when looking at reasons to stop drinking.

Physical health

The effects of alcoholic on the body are detrimental to just about every function of the human body. Heavy drinking is associated with early death and low mortality rates.

Problem drinkers may suffer from weight gain or loss, alopecia, breathing problems and difficulty regulating their blood sugar levels.
Those who drink a lot are more likely to suffer from heart disease too. There are also the degenerative liver conditions caused by a high alcohol intake. Alcohol is in its very essence a toxin, and the body has to work hard to fight its ravaging effects.

Drinking whilst pregnant can harm your baby – expectant mothers who are addicted to alcohol risk exposing their baby to FAS which can result in illness, physical deformations and even death. Expectant mothers or those trying for a baby are advised to avoid alcohol to minimise risk of miscarriage, problems in pregnancy and harm to the unborn child.

Mental Health
Alcohol has a depressant effect on the body’s nervous system, which helps regulate brain function. Alcohol is likely to make you feel paranoid, nervous, and depressed. The temporary uplifting effects of alcohol are far outweighed by their longer term effects.
Alcohol problems are more common in those with mental health issues. Drinking can trigger or exacerbate mental health problems.

Relationships with both friends and family and partners all suffer under the shadow of alcohol addiction. Problem drinking can cause wide divisions amongst even the closest of families and cause problems for everyone, not just the person drinking.

Work and livelihood.
Heavy drinking inevitably spills over into work life. Absenteeism rates are proven to be higher amongst those who drink to excess regularly, with time spent off sick due to the adverse effects of alcohol. Productivity at work may be reduced as the problem drinker struggles with their alcohol addiction. As the mood of the drinker changes, their whole personalities may change as they try to hide their drinking from colleagues. Excess drinking at work functions, drunken behaviour and a reputation of having an alcohol problem may cause embarrassment, and harm to your career and future prospects.
If someone gains a criminal record because of actions whilst drunk, this can affect both current employment and future career prospects.

The Home
Your how may be at risk from the knock on effects of an addiction to alcohol. The general state of a home will usually decline as the drinker struggles to cope with the everyday demands and responsibilities of running a household.  Home will likely suffer too. Previously well-ordered and tidy homes quickly descend into an untidy mess as the addict’s obsession with alcohol takes hold. Not only that, financial problems may lead to rent or mortgage arrears and the possible loss of your home.

The effect on children
Children of parents with an alcohol addiction suffer from emotional are far reaching and can last a lifetime. Children may be neglected, dinner might not always be available and they will have issues with and self-esteem. They may feel the need for constant approval and affirmation may have issues with intimacy in relationships all the way into adulthood. A problem drinker is difficult to live with and their children may feel as if they are walking on eggshells all the time. The children of someone who abuses alcohol may become withdrawn and their education may suffer too.

The wrong side of the law.
There are many laws that concern drinking and alcohol, in place to help protect both you and others from the possible effects of drinking. Drinking can lead to behaviour that is out of character. Serious errors of judgement can be made when under the influence of alcohol. Personal safety in often put in jeopardy for someone who is drunk as they do not consider the consequences of their reckless behaviour. These behaviours when drinking can place your own or other people’s lives at risk.

Living a long and happy life
It is entirely possible for someone who has suffered from alcohol addiction to give up drinking and live and a long and healthy life. Staying sober is not just a matter of stopping drinking but a lifelong process. The temptation to drink may never completely go away but it can be controlled.
It is often recommended that someone who has a problem with drinking keeps a record of their drinking. This is often referred to as a Drink Diary. In a drink diary the drinker should you keep a note of where they were drinking, who they were drinking with, how much they drink and how often they are drinking. Keeping an honest record of drinking habits can help identify drinking rituals and patterns. These can in turn help identify triggers that are likely to make a drinker reach for a drink and therefore strategies can be put in place to avoid and minimise these.

What to do next
IF you think you have a problem with alcohol then you should seek help immediately. There are many different treatments available for someone who is suffering from alcohol addiction. However, any attempt at stopping drinking is unlikely to succeed if the drinker does not have a true wish and determination to give up drinking, not just for any of the reason, but for them. Alcohol help is available, seek help before it’s too late.