Impacts Of Alcohol Consuming Behaviour

Impacts Of Alcohol Consuming Behaviour

In the modern world that we live alcohol considered to be a recreational drink that provides pleasure and happiness. Alcohol has been actively tied up in many areas of our lives, and we use it in a plethora of ways: in order to gain tranquility , boost confidence, express ourselves, social etiquette in a business meeting , as a joy generator in life occasions, drown our sorrows, remember, forget, welcome people, say goodbye to people, get to know people, manipulate people, because we feel like it, because we need it, to numb ourselves, to feel grown up, to feel young, to belong, to distinguish ourselves, and sometimes, because we’ve forgotten how to do anything without alcohol.


Large consumption of alcohol generally leads to physical, psychological and social problems (Foxcroft & Tsertsvadze, 2012). The addictive behaviour of drinking alcohol causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home and is based on evidence of impaired emotion control, social impairment.


According to 2004 research reports of London Royal College of Psychiatrists, alcohol consumption has increased twice over the past fifty years in the UK. Furthermore, they stated that 38% of men and 16% of women consumed alcohol above recommended limits. Hence those individuals can be labelled as having an alcohol use disorder according to World Health Organization standards. This is equivalent to 8.2 million people in England alone. And 1.1 million people nationally are alcohol dependent.


Crumley (1990) clearly stated that there is a vulnerability of young individuals for suicidal behaviours due to alcohol use and revealed that there is a strong empirical link between alcohol use and suicidal ideation within age under 24.


This was supported secondly by Health of the nation key area handbook, mental health London 1993. Moreover, young people in the UK drink more than in nearly all other countries in Europe (Drummond 2004).


The bitter truth is year by year alcohol attacks each lower age groups and addicts them towards severe physical, social and psychological repercussions. Empirical evidence by Brooks et al. (2011) and Fuller (2013), revealed that individuals who were aged between 11-15 elicit addictive behaviours towards consuming illegal drugs and alcohol at least once a week.


Furthermore, they stated that this was the age group that was less influenced by recreational drugs and alcohol in 2001. Additionally, 2012 London National Treatment Agency data showed that in 2011-12, 13,300 children and young people under 18 received treatment for alcohol dependence, and a total of 20,688 for alcohol and drugs combined.


Furthermore, research had found that individuals who are more prone towards alcohol are more at risk of suicide withal they experience higher levels of depressive and affective problems, schizophrenia and personality disorders (Crawford 2001). This was largely supported with the previous research done by Armour (1996) and Foster et al. (1997) where they stated that the prevalence of alcohol use disorders among people who committed suicide was 43% and 104 gunshot suicides in Northern Ireland over a 5-year period found that alcohol consumption was involved massively.


In addition, Mehrabian (2001) found that individuals who drink alcohol, a higher volume of consumption is associated with more symptoms of depression. Similarly, the on 2004 Department of Health, Office for National Statistics, Statistics on alcohol: England significantly revealed that the number of UK hospital admissions with a primary or secondary diagnosis of “mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol” rose from 71,900 in 1995/06 to over 90,000 in 2002/03.


The Institute for Alcohol Studies stated that there is a relationship between intoxication and adverse consequences, which lead to unintentional injury and increased risk-taking behaviours, which can have negative consequences for physical and mental health.


Similarly 2004 Global Status reports on alcohol from WHO clearly showed that drink-driving, violence, increased vulnerability to assault, falls, fires, domestic violence and traffic accidents (vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians) are a consequence of higher usage of alcohol.


This may be a consequence of the effect of alcohol on the serotonin (5HT) and GABA brain receptors that may reduce fear and anxiety about social, physical or legal consequences of one’s actions and also affects cognitive functioning (Peterson and Phil 1990). High consumption of alcohol leads to impaired problem-solving in conflict situations and overly emotional responses or emotional ability (Sayette et al. 1993).


In the UK alone, the cost to the NHS of alcohol misuse has been estimated at £1.7 billion each year and the World Health Organisation suggests that alcohol accounts for about the same amount of disease as tobacco (Bain and Lampard 2005). Furthermore alcohol consuming behaviors trigger short- and long-term physical effects such as immune deficiency, chronic conditions in bones and muscles, lead to nervous system malfunctioning and trigger severe damages to brain, stimulate high blood pressure and most significantly act as a carcinogen factor that gives genesis to cancers in mouth, throat and in liver etc. (Brust 2005; Lee and Snape 2008; Molina et al. 2010; Ronksley et al. 2011; Secretan et al. 2009). Surprising results of Schuckit (2005) reported that approximately 10% of adults are experiencing a psychological or behavioural problem, and prescriptions for antidepressant medications have been rising every year for the past decade.


According to Tanner-Smith (2014) Adolescents who overuse alcohol, or heavy episodic drinking, are at risk for dangerous physical, emotional, and social consequences.


Alcohol use disorders within this population are associated with comorbid psychosocial problems, including neurocognitive deficits and impaired learning (Healey, Rahman, Faizal, & Kinderman; Tripodi et al., 2010; Yuma-Guerrero et al., 2012), mental health disorders (Healey et al.; Tripodi et al., 2010), risky sexual behavior (Healey et al.; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014; Yuma-Guerrero et al., 2012).


In order to eradicate the exacerbating influences of alcohol misuse, the society should be more aware of the severe negative impacts of this. Thus a few recommendations can be given for further awareness.


Mainly community reinforcement approach (Robert et al. 2011) should be introduced to the society, which helps people rearrange their lifestyles so that healthy, drug-free living becomes rewarding and thereby competes with substance use. This approach enables alcohol addicted individuals to become actively engaged in alternative non-substance-related social activities and to focus on the enjoyment of work and family activities. A variation of CRA, the community reinforcement and family training approach, works through friends and family members promoting treatment entry for treatment-resistant individuals.


Secondly, the utilization of the Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (Taylor et al. 1994) will be very effective to overcome the prevailing of the consequences of alcohol addiction. This treatment process is a mobile phone-based and designed to provide coping competence, social support, and autonomous motivation.


Furthermore, this contains a proactive computer-based relapse prevention system, data transfer to a care manager’s computer, which enables the individual to maintain contact with his or her care manager plus audio or visual delivery of content to provide access to those with reading difficulties, and anywhere/ anytime access through a smartphone.


Psychology treatment centres should have staff trained in delivering Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to people with alcohol dependency and concurrent anxiety or depression. Health warnings should be introduced on alcohol packaging and include the warning “Excessive use of alcohol can damage your mental health”.


Psychotherapy should play a pivotal role in treating mental health conditions that occur and recurrent due to excessive alcohol use, such as stress, depression or anxiety should be able to benefit from alternative approaches to managing mental health problems.


In addition, specific psychosocial awareness programs should be initiated by the government to provide a comprehensive awareness of acute harmful impacts that trigger due to alcohol consumption in the period of adolescence.


Social services networks should be driven to the roots of the reasons that stimulate the tendency to use alcohol. There should be a specific time period included in the school timetable for students to be learned the science behind the adverse effects of alcohol misuse.


Alcohol is a recreational drink, individuals should learn how and when to consume it with a fully conscious understanding of the negative impacts that will elicit if they misuse it.


As long as every person becomes more accountable by the time they use this recreational substance, there won’t be severe health and psychosocial circumstances plus society will be relieved from the burden of alcohol misuse.


It is our duty to make this world more beautiful and safer places to our offspring, so then every one of us can be self-initiated to start the first step of protecting our world from this alcohol invasion.

Nicholas Conn / 22nd March 2019/ Posted in: Expert Talk

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Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Diazapam (vailium)

Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

  • Naltrexone
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • Nalmefene
  • Acamprosate (campral)

Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

*based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

Local treatment

Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

Treatment Away

Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.