Drinking alcohol is socially acceptable and sometimes encouraged, especially at parties, celebrations, and other recreational occasions. However, it can be challenging to come to terms with the idea that you or someone you love has an alcohol addiction problem. Even in societies that do not condone or outright forbid drinking, there are problems with alcohol abuse, like in Thailand and other Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim cultures.
This article will discuss alcoholism and its warning signs to help you realize if you or your loved ones need to get help now.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is essentially excessive and frequent alcohol consumption to the point where the individual is unable to stop drinking, even as it harms themselves or others. The root causes are still unclear, although some hypothesise that genetics may play a part. Other risk factors include experiencing a past trauma or mental health issue, which may cause a person to drink to mask or escape from their suffering or condition.
Alcohol abuse in Thailand, or anywhere in the world, is a progressive issue that needs to be addressed before it escalates and impacts the well-being of not only the person abusing alcohol but also those around them. Having a drink or two may be fine and even healthy, according to some sources, but there is a line between enjoying a drink with friends and drinking to an extent where one’s health, finances, relationships, and even safety are at risk.
How Much is Too Much?
There seem to be many different measures for different drinking cultures around the globe. Generally speaking, ‘one drink’ would refer to about ‘half a pint of beer or cider,’ ‘a small glass of wine (approx. 125 mL),’ or ‘a single shot of strong liquor or spirits.’ In this regard, various healthcare professionals suggest consuming more than 14 drinks per week and/or drinking most days would raise one’s risk for alcohol abuse.
Furthermore, there is also the issue of ‘binge drinking,’ where you have four or more drinks within two hours. This in itself is quite risky, but then binge drinking regularly is also a sign of alcohol use disorder.
It is also important to note that ‘alcohol abuse’ is largely different from alcohol dependence. Alcohol abuse is more common, and the abusers usually do not suffer physical withdrawal symptoms from abstaining, it could lead to dangerous behaviour and unhealthy habits and, eventually, alcohol dependency. Lastly, even without the obvious physical symptoms of alcohol dependence, alcohol does have cumulative effects on the body, most notably the liver, which can lead to serious health issues.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
Some may claim that their drinking habit is under control, although having more than 14 drinks per week or engaging in binge drinking on occasion. However, similar to drug addiction, alcohol addiction is not something that is easily admitted. Here are some of the signs that you, or someone close to you, may be vulnerable to or suffering from alcoholism:
- Not being able to control how much you drink.
- Blacking out or ‘losing time’ frequently.
- Claiming that you want to drink less, yet being unable to do so.
- Having a lifestyle immersed in drinking, getting alcohol, and being hungover.
- Always feeling the need for a drink, even at inappropriate times, such as in the morning or during work hours.
- Giving up on other activities in order to indulge in drinking.
- Drinking alcohol when you should not, such as while driving.
- Becoming tolerant of alcohol so that you find yourself drinking more to feel any effect.
- Displaying withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, such as shaking, sweating, depression, irritability, or developing an anxiety disorder.
In essence, if an individual’s life seems to revolve around drinking, or if they don’t feel ‘normal’ without drinking, there should be a concern for alcohol misuse or alcohol addiction.
Potential Side Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Excess alcohol consumption can lead to immediate risks such as physical injuries — alcohol impairs body coordination, which may cause an accident. There is also the potential for:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Loss of consciousness
- Violence (either as a victim or victimiser)
It also impairs one’s cognitive ability, which could lead to risky behaviours, such as unsafe sex to misplacing belongings, such as wallets and keys.
On top of that, long-term, persistent alcohol dependence can impact relationships, career, and finances as the need to drink takes over. Physically, alcohol can take its toll on every part of the body, causing severe conditions such as:
- Heart diseases
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Bowel cancer
Alcoholism can also inflict damage on the nervous system and brain, sometimes permanently. This includes:
- Memory loss
- Coordination issues
The harm can extend to the immune system, making you more susceptible to pneumonia and tuberculosis as well.
The Cabin Offers Help For Alcohol Abuse in Thailand
You can find effective, compassionate treatment for alcohol abuse in Thailand at The Cabin. We offer comprehensive treatments such as cognitive processing therapy, mindfulness practices, and a secular 12-step programme.
If you feel that you have a problem with drinking, or if you think someone you care about has a drinking problem, contact our rehab in Thailand. Our team is available 24 hours a day and will discuss your issues with utmost respect and care. Experienced in handling alcohol and substance abuse problems, as well as knowledgeable in depression, anxiety disorders, and trauma treatments, we understand and can help determine the best path to recovery for you and your loved one.
Call us today, we are here to listen.
We Are Available 24/7 For You Or Your Loved Ones