Alcohol Awareness with mental health Week takes place Monday 16 to Sunday 22 November 2020.
About 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems every year. Alcohol is one of the increasing contributors and is seen by people as a coping mechanism for problems caused by anxiety, stress, depression or other mental health related problems.
However, this “self-medicating” is only temporarily solved and short-lived by alcohol. Depression is one of the most common forms of mental health and with alcohol problems either will trigger the other, so keeping a check on alcohol consumption might help stop trigger depression.
Long-term effects of self-medicating use of alcohol:
Continued use of alcohol and overuse will contribute to mood swings, loosing control over you moods, depression, self-esteem and increase to mental health problems, health and well-being, contribute to relationship break downs and financial problems.
What can you do to slow down and keep a check your consumption?
Look up how much is too much and how to keep a balance with calculators available through various website, such as Alcohol Change UK or the NHS OneYou website and download the app: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/drink-less/
Why not speak to your GP about any of the symptoms below and how or when you can get support to reduce alcohol consumption:
- seizures (fits)
- hand tremors (‘the shakes’)
- seeing things that are not actually real (visual hallucinations)
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
Look for support on the NHS website for local support:
Useful contacts for alcohol problems
- Drinkline is the national alcohol helpline. If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, you can call this free helpline in complete confidence. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves getting sober with the help of regular support groups.
- Al-Anon Family Groups offers support and understanding to the families and friends of problem drinkers, whether they’re still drinking or not. Alateen is part of Al-Anon and can be attended by 12- to 17-year-olds who are affected by another person’s drinking, usually a parent.
- We Are With You is a UK-wide treatment agency that helps individuals, families and communities manage the effects of drug and alcohol misuse.
- Adfam is a national charity working with families affected by drugs and alcohol. Adfam operates an online message board and a database of local support groups.
- The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa) provides a free, confidential telephone and email helpline for children of alcohol-dependent parents and others concerned about their welfare. Call 0800 358 3456 for the Nacoa helpline.
- SMART Recovery groups help people decide whether they have a problem, build up their motivation to change, and offer a set of proven tools and techniques to support recovery.
- MIND for information on addiction and dependency.