Alcoholism and alcohol abuse medlineplus Alcoholism and alcohol abuse difference Alcoholism and alcohol abuse new york times Alcoholism and alcohol abuse facts Alcoholism and alcohol abuse melinda smith Alcoholism and alcohol abuse ppt Alcoholism and alco. Alcoholism at home, healthdirect

Alcohol is used more than any other addictive drug in Australia. If you suspect that you drink too much, or someone you live with might have a problem, then it might be helpful to know the warning signs and where to find help. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

What is alcoholism?

If you drink a lot of alcohol, you might become dependent on it to make you feel good. Your drinking behaviour could tip over into alcoholism, a type of substance abuse.

You might be an alcoholic if you:

have a strong urge to drink

cannot control how much you drink

feel physical effects like nausea, sweating, shakiness and anxiety if you stop after a period of heavy drinking

need to drink more over time to get the same good feeling.

The signs of alcoholism

Someone you know might be drinking too much if you notice them:

drinking while alone, or hiding alcohol from members of the household

struggling with work, education or relationships for no obvious reason

lying about how much they drink

drinking early in the day or being anxious about when they will be able to drink

forgetting what they said or did while they were drinking.

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse medlineplus Alcoholism and alcohol abuse difference Alcoholism and alcohol abuse new york times Alcoholism and alcohol abuse facts Alcoholism and alcohol abuse melinda smith Alcoholism and alcohol abuse ppt Alcoholism and alco

Effects of alcoholism

If you drink too much alcohol, you are at increased risk of illnesses such as heart disease and liver disease, cancer, diabetes and damage to the brain. It can also have a bad effect on those around you as it is a key player in car accidents, family violence and crime.

Although it seems to make you feel good, alcohol can increase the risk of depression and anxiety and make it worse.

If you are a family member or friend living with an alcoholic you are likely to feel upset, angry, anxious, guilty, stressed, disappointed and helpless at various times.

If you are a carer, carers associations in your state or territory can provide counselling and help to organise respite care. Visit the Carer Gateway website or call 1800 422 737 (Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm) for more information.

Treatment for alcoholism

The most important starting point for treatment is to talk to your doctor about how to control your alcohol consumption. You can search for a doctor in your region here.

Treatment options depend on the strength of alcohol dependence. For low level dependence, your doctor might discuss the problem with you and suggest changes you can make or recommend counselling.

Stronger dependence will need different treatments to manage the effects of alcohol withdrawal. The treatments might include:

spending time at a detoxification facility.

Preventing alcoholism and harm

Becoming familiar with the Australian guidelines for low-risk drinking habits can help guard against alcoholism. If you have children, you should talk to them about drugs, alcohol and mental health, including binge drinking.

Being a good role model can also help.

Last reviewed: March 2016

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