Are you drinking too much?
Kiwis and Aussies love a drink, especially as we head into the festive season to celebrate Christmas and New Year, but what happens if we are drinking too much?
According to the World Health Organisation, (WHO) there are over three million deaths each year related to alcohol addiction. Australia has the highest rate of alcoholism amongst females in the world with New Zealand in the seventh spot when it comes to alcohol addiction statistics.
The effects of alcohol abuse are far reaching - with it not only resulting in deaths but also family harm, car accidents, and people’s overall wellbeing.
Moving into the festive season, where things can be quite stressful, some people may use alcohol and other substances as a lever to cope with their feelings of upset and worry.
Tips for dealing with addiction
If you, or someone you know, is struggling to manage your consumption of alcohol or drugs, here are some ways you can get support for drug or alcohol addiction.
Get professional support – if you feel like your addiction is spiralling out of control, it is essential that you get professional help. Your local GP will be able to refer you to the right local support services and / or residential treatments programs for substance abuse or alcohol addiction.
Talk to friends and family – your loved ones will be able to support you and share their observations of how alcohol or other substances is having an impact on you? It’s also important to maintain these social connections as part of your way to manage addiction.
Join a support group – there are many professional support groups you can join such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Links for these organisations in New Zealand and Australia are at the bottom of this page.
Consider medical intervention – on the advice of a medical professional there may be treatments available to help you manage your addiction. For example, methadone can be prescribed to help with withdrawal symptoms from drugs such as heroin and methampthethamine.
Change your lifestyle – there are likely to be situations that trigger your addiction. For example, if you have a propensity to drink even more when you go out you may need to stop drinking all together in social situations or have a period where you do not go to places where alcohol is served. Tell your friends you are having a break from alcohol if needed.
Look after yourself – one of the many side effects of alcohol abuse and substance addiction are the impact it has on your physical and mental wellbeing. Exercising and eating a healthy diet will not only make you feel better but will help support you on your journey to recovery.
Keep positive – the pathway out of addiction is not easy so be kind to yourself and stay positive. Surround yourself with people who will support you knowing that you will get there in the end.