Drinking alcohol is a pleasurable pursuit for millions of men and women. When taken in sensible measures there is little doubt that it can enhance social occasions and relax those who enjoy a glass or two of their favourite tipple.
The downside to alcohol is when someone allows their drinking habit to increase on a regular basis. If this is left unchecked then physical and psychological problems loom.
Activating the body’s pleasure zones:
When alcohol is consumed it activates brain messengers that are responsible for pleasure. These good feelings are felt throughout the body.
This is because unlike food, alcohol is not digested. Once it enters the body it quickly passes into the bloodstream and onwards to all parts of the body.
Those who restrict themselves to sensible measures should have no problems enjoying alcohol, but it also needs to be remembered that it is very ‘moreish’.
The more a person drinks, the greater their body tolerance to it becomes. This in turn means regular drinking, or drinking to excess when a person does drink will cause an increase in tolerance.
Such an increased tolerance means more alcohol is required to achieve the same feelings as previously experienced.
Tolerance can led to a reliance:
Increasing drinking habits can be achieved in many ways. Some people see an original once or twice weekly visit to their favourite drinking spot increasing to three or four times and before they realise it, this has become a daily occurrence.
Another common route is reaching for the bottle after a long day. A glass or two while relaxing at home is acceptable, but don’t let that turn into three or four glasses because this continued increase will gradually end up with a person forgetting how much they are actually drinking.
Another danger of drinking at home is that measures are generally far more generous than those received in a bar or restaurant.
Don’t ignore increased consumption:
It is far easier to ignore the fact that regular consumption of alcohol is increasing than to face up to it, but by ignoring the warning signs a person is asking for enjoyment to turn to dependence.
Once a person is dependent upon alcohol it is anything but enjoyable. Their thoughts and actions turn rapidly to alcohol, earlier start times are common as are extended sessions.
Those heading down this route need to stand up and be counted, face facts and take action to cut back on alcohol.
Do not hesitate to seek professional help:
If you are concerned about the amount of alcohol being consumed there is no harm in trying to cut back on your own. Try renewing an old pastime that has fallen by the wayside or take up a new hobby to occupy your mind.
Consider theatre or movie visits a couple of times a week, or establish friendships with non-drinkers. There are lots of other options to try, but anyone who finds they are struggling to reduce their alcohol intake should feel no embarrassment whatsoever in seeking professional help.
This route is one that is readily available and should be taken advantage. It could mean the difference between a happy, healthy life and one that is lived under the dark shadows that alcohol dependence can bring.