Alcohol Rehab Program in Adelaide 

Help to Stop Drinking

The first (and most difficult) step in getting treatment for alcoholism is realising that there is a problem in the first place. Standing up and admitting there is an issue is your first step to recovery.

'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step' – Lao Tzu

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Signs of alcoholism

Sometimes, it is a loved one, family member or close friend who may be the first to recognise that there is a need for treatment. If you know someone who is trapped by alcohol, then you can find support for helping a loved one by clicking here.

Someone who cares may then suggest that the drinker should explore ways to find help to stop drinking. But often, the alcoholic will have difficulty seeing the difficulties that their drinking is causing.

This behaviour is known as 'denial', and it keeps people trapped in a cycle of drinking for decades. Feelings of shame, fear and guilt burn on the inside yet are outwardly denied. Often, the problem drinker will exhibit remorse after a drinking episode, with promises that it will never happen again only to find that, sooner or later, they are unable to keep that promise, and the cycle starts again.

When alcohol stops being fun

There is an invisible line that gets crossed where alcohol goes from being rather nice to being something that causes nothing but pain.

Everybody’s line is different. For some, it’s binge drinking and then promising never to do it again. For others, it may be drinking at night and feeling ill at work all day. For others still, the drinking can get so chaotic that life becomes unbearable without a drink.

wine glass breaks

Signs of problematic drinking

Drinking alone or hiding your drinking from others

Strong feelings of wanting a drink

Intending to have only a few drinks but finding you end up having more

Experiencing memory loss of events that happened when drunk

Being in a bad mood when not drinking

Trouble fulfilling commitments and keeping promises

Feeling ill when you stop drinking, and experiencing shaky hands and sweating

Drinking more alcohol to get the same effect and finding you drink more than most people

Drinking back at home after a night out as you feel you have not had enough

Liver disease

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Am I an alcoholic?

Alcoholism (alcohol addiction) is often misunderstood. It can best be described as a continual, progressive disease that causes a person to have cravings for alcohol.

The alcoholic person often continues to drink heavily in the face of devastating alcohol-related problems, such as losing their work, family and health.

Alcohol dependence explained

Not all alcoholics are dependent on alcohol. There are many examples of men and woman who binge-drink alcohol sporadically or who drink only in the evenings. They can still experience devastating consequences and have great difficulties keeping this behaviour under control.

Becoming alcohol-dependent (addicted to alcohol) happens over a long period of time, as alcohol begins to change the chemistry of the brain. The chemicals that are most affected are gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA, which is the chemical that stops impulsive behaviour) and dopamine (which is the brain's reward or pleasure chemical). Over time, the problem drinker’s brain chemistry changes to such an extent that they need alcohol just to feel normal and to function. This is known as 'alcohol addiction' or 'alcoholism'.

Alcohol dependence is regarded as cravings for alcohol combined with loss of control over drinking. This can sometimes be coupled with a physical dependence, meaning the alcoholic can go through withdrawal symptoms if alcohol is withheld.

The dependent drinker needs more alcohol to get the same effect as they begin to develop a tolerance. An alcoholic can often consume doses of alcohol that would kill a non-problematic drinker with low tolerance.