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Alcohol addiction

The sooner you intervene, the better

“I no longer drink, I was suffering from anxiety/panic attacks, but I don’t anymore, and I go through life in a mindful state. The therapy has changed my life in an adequate, respectful and confronting way, but with humor as well. After having tried numerous therapies, I finally found one that suited my needs perfectly.” 

Experience of a client who successfully finished a treatment of ours in July, 2014. Shared on the independent review site ‘Zorgkaart Nederland’.

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Zoek, vind en waardeer zorgaanbieders op ZorgkaartNederland.nl

An 8.6 on ‘Zorgkaart Nederland’

.“A very thoughtful and efficient treatment that doesn’t fall back on soft babble or impersonal protocols. 

Highly effective.”

Control?

Sometimes you wish you had more control over your alcohol intake. It can be difficult to stop drinking once you’ve started. You often drink a few more glasses than you intended. Not to mention the discussions with your partner about your alcohol use… You are regularly trying to convince others (and yourself) that you have everything under control.

The first glasses usually hit the right spot. After about ten minutes, the alcohol reaches the brain and makes us more relaxed, happier. We become less inhibited and less critical of ourselves. Conversations are easy to get into and they seem much more fun. Worries about the job or the relationship fade away. You’d have to be crazy not to use such a magical tool. 

It is understandable that alcohol use is so widespread and beloved. But the positive effects can, unfortunately, turn into negative effects and an alcohol addiction.

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Negative short term consequences of alcohol

While drinking

  • Happiness can devolve into exaggerated emotions and an overestimation of oneself, with a diminished ability for self-criticism. 
  • Inhibitions fade away, your face becomes red and swollen, and motor skills become uncoordinated.
  • Enhanced risk of accidents, fights, unprotected sex, loss of belongings and black outs.

Short term

  • Weight gain from calories in alcohol and sugar in drinks.
  • Bad breath from the breakdown of alcohol and a dry mouth (alcohol is diuretic; it discharges fluids)
  • Sleeping problems (restless and superficial). It might be that you fall asleep sooner, but you’re not as rested as you could be.
  • Problems piling up at your job and in your relationship.
  • Feelings of shame and guilt.

Negative long term consequences of alcohol

  • Higher risk of cancer. Especially breast cancer, mouth cancer, throat and esophagus cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer and pancreatic cancer.
  • Higher risk of memory impairments, difficulty with planning and organizing daily activities.
  • Higher risk of chronic liver disease.
  • Somberness, anxiety, burn-out.
  • Loneliness.

For your health alone it is therefore a good idea to moderate your alcohol intake.Then the question remains whether or not you are dependent on alcohol, or if you risk becoming dependent. If you drink regularly, that risk is definitely present. Unfortunately, alcohol quickly leads to dependence and habituation.

This is why 1 in 10 Dutch adults has a problem with alcohol.

Dependent on alcohol? Am I addicted?

It might be difficult to personally determine whether there is a dependence or not. And we often have a tendency to deny a dependency. To gauge whether you are at risk of developing problems, you can read the statements below and see if they apply to you:

  • I (male) drink more than 20 or I (female) drink more than 15 glasses of alcohol per week
  • I drink every day
  • When I start drinking, it becomes difficult to stop after a few glasses
  • I am increasingly capable of holding my liquor (It takes longer for me to become tipsy or drunk)
  • I am often convincing other people that I am in control of my alcohol use
  • There is always a reason to drink
  • Sometimes I try to moderate my alcohol intake
  • Sometimes I consider to stop drinking altogether
  • Sometimes I feel guilty about my alcohol use
  • It annoys me when people comment on my alcohol use.

Do you have doubts about your ability to control your alcohol use? Talk about it with someone you trust, make an appointment with your GP, or contact us. Are you currently being treated for anxiety, depression, or other psychological complaints? Discuss your alcohol use with your practitioner; many psychological complaints diminish or disappear when you stop drinking.

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You don’t have to be dependent to benefit from change. The sooner you intervene, the easier it becomes to regain control. If you have doubts regarding the (physical) consequences of your alcohol use, if you wish to regain the control over your alcohol intake, if you feel like alcohol has too big of an influence on your life, contact us. We will see where things stand and together we will take the necessary actions to achieve your goal.