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Alcohol dependence – how to avoid it

As the saying goes, if you want a job done properly, do it yourself. Not being dependent on other people or circumstances to get something done, hit a target or achieve a goal can make things easier, simpler, and less stressful.

But what if you are dependent on a substance?

If you abuse alcohol regularly and find that you can’t get through the week without having a drink, then this suggests that you’re an addict - you’re dependent on alcohol. Most reformed alcoholics will say that overcoming their addiction to alcohol and no longer being reliant upon drinking is utterly liberating.

Max’s* experience

“I look back on what I call my ‘blotto years’ with a mixture of emotions, the prime ones being shame and embarrassment,” explains Max. “I was like a baby reliant on its bottle. I couldn’t face or do anything without having had a drink. I had a great job, yet I could only get through the working week if I drank in the mornings, at lunchtimes, during the mid-afternoons and then after work. I was as dependent upon alcohol to live as I was reliant upon oxygen to breathe. That is a pitiable state to be in.”

It was only when Max collapsed at his desk and was rushed to hospital with acute alcohol poisoning that the penny finally dropped: he had to stop drinking or he would die. It was only a matter of weeks after being discharged from hospital that he entered alcoholism rehab.

“Seeking help for alcoholism was the right thing to do and the best thing I have ever done” Max says. “It changed my life in so many ways. Now I feel happy, positive and fulfilled every day, without being dependent on alcohol at all.”

Seren’s* experience

“I have a successful career, but for too long I burnt the candle at both ends. A ‘work hard, play hard’ philosophy to life is all very well, but it catches up with you in the end” says Seren.

“My guilty pleasure was fine wine; I’m ashamed to confess that I was utterly addicted and therefore helplessly dependent on wine. But my doctor warned me that if I continued to drink in such large quantities, I might not reach my 50th birthday.

“Going into rehab as an inpatient led me to reducing my regular alcohol consumption level considerably. Now I can enjoy a single glass of wine with a meal out at the weekend, and don’t crave a second glass, let alone get through bottles of the stuff, as I used to.”

Alcohol addiction treatment

Very few people overcome alcoholism without professional help. If you are concerned about your drinking, it is essential that you seek help. Taking steps to avoid alcohol dependence is something all worried moderate drinkers should seriously consider, to avoid both physical and mental health problems (in the short and long term), some of which can be life-threatening.

*All names have been changed to protect patient confidentiality.

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