This week Alcoholics Anonymous celebrates 80 years of helping people with alcohol problems. The 12 step program originally started by two men stockbroker Bill Wilson and an Akron surgeon merely known as Dr Bob, revolutionised help for people with drug and alcohol problems, the 12 step program has been adopted in many treatment programs, throughout the world.
The 12 step program helped millions of people stay sober. Problem drinking can affect anyone, from any strata of society, from the lowest to the highest jet setting international businessman or woman.
This week the Daily Express highlighted the increase in middle-class, middle age drinking, in women. What is not widely known in the UK is that you are actually binge drinking if you double your units, simply put if you’re double your units that is three units daily for a woman and four units daily for a man, your binge drinking. To ground this in real terms, for a woman if you have eight 125 ml glasses of wine, of 12% proof alcohol you are binge drinking.
This article is not meant to be anti-alcohol rather a plea for more sensible drinking. Alcohol can often help overcome embarrassment, depression, and stressful situations. This can set up a wrong relationship with alcohol, as it can be used as a crutch to help overcome stress, depression and social embarrassment. Using alcohol as a crutch can set up a reliance on alcohol in demanding situations, this could be a beginning of a problem.
The increased rise of home drinking has masked the fact that one could be drinking more than one should, the idea of three fingers of whiskey, is not unheard of as an example of how hard it is to monitor your drinking when you’re just pouring it for yourself, especially after the third glass.
A lot of people justify binge drinking saying that everybody else is doing it, yes everybody is. The increase in people being taken to A&E with drink -related injuries has increased dramatically, and so has the increase in people trying to find help for their drinking.
Here are some questions to ask yourself, if you think your drinking is becoming problematic.
- Have you been missing work because you have a hangover, or to go drinking?
- Have you driven after you have been drinking?
- Has close relationships suffered due to your drinking (do you find you are arguing with your partner more).
- Have you ever tried to give up drinking and those attempts have been unsuccessful?
- Have you been drinking for long periods of extended time, more than you intended?
If some of the questions about above are yes, maybe you have a problem with drinking.