Am I An Alcoholic?

Published by Raffa Bari | Last updated: 23rd September 2022 | All Sources


Clinically Reviewed by Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

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All information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Last Reviewed: 23rd September 2022

Am I An Alcoholic?Despite being legal, freely available and socially acceptable, alcohol is a highly addictive substance that tears lives and families apart. According to Alcohol Change UK, there are an estimated 602,391 dependent drinkers in England alone, only 18% of whom are receiving treatment. Additionally, alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49-year-olds in the UK, and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages.

If you are concerned about your drinking or are thinking about giving up alcohol but don’t know how to take the next step, contact us for free and confidential advice.

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Take our online assessment and determine whether you are an alcoholic.


What Is an Alcoholic?

The common view of an alcoholic is someone who is drunk all the time and who probably leads a chaotic lifestyle. This is the reality for some people but not for everybody. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines alcohol abuse disorder as “a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences”.

Essentially, an alcoholic is someone who is unable to stop drinking even though it is having a negative impact on their life. This can cover a lot of different people and circumstances, including the so-called ‘functioning alcoholic’ – a person who might seem to be doing well but still struggles with frequent or heavy drinking. This person might hold down a job, be successful and outwardly be in control of their alcohol consumption, but in reality, the alcohol is controlling them. If you are worried about your drinking, contact us to find out if alcohol detox and rehab could be your way forward.


What Causes Alcoholism?

Alcohol is an addictive substance, meaning that prolonged use can lead to physical and psychological dependency. You can build up a tolerance, meaning you need to drink more and more for the same effect, and if you don’t drink you may suffer alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Addiction is a very complex condition though, and there are many factors at play, including genetic and environmental ones. We are still learning about alcohol dependency and addiction but we do know that anyone who drinks can be at risk.


What Is the Difference Between Casual Drinking and Alcohol Abuse?

You may be thinking that your drinking is not a problem and thinking ‘how much alcohol can I responsibly consume’? The safer drinking advice from the Chief Medical Officer for both men and women is that you should not regularly drink more than 14 units per week. It is also recommended that consuming alcohol is spread through the week, as binge drinking can sharply increase your risk of harm. Alcohol abuse, also known as alcohol misuse, is any form of drinking that is harmful and this includes when you binge drink or routinely drink heavily.


The Impact of Alcoholism

Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups and programmes use a type of mutual group therapy in which recovering addicts will share their stories. Everyone’s journey is different but there are often common elements and it usually revolves around the alcohol having control rather than the other way round.

Alcohol misuse can have a serious impact on both your mental health and physical health. It is associated with many other illnesses and health problems and the risks only become higher the longer you leave it untreated. Alcoholism can lead to physical dependency that means you can face severe withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens (the ‘DTs’), making it even harder to quit. Your behaviour when drinking can also lead to an increased risk of accident, violence, criminal activity and other harmful behaviours.


Treatment for Alcoholism

While alcohol addiction can be very difficult to face alone, it can be treated successfully like most other illnesses. Alcohol detox can help you to get sober, flushing the toxins out of your system, while our therapies will help you to explore and deal with the root causes behind your problem drinking. The support doesn’t end the moment the program does and a comprehensive aftercare program can help you to avoid relapse and make a lasting long-term recovery.


How Cassiobury Court Can Help You

If you want to deal with a substance abuse issue such as alcohol addiction, a holistic rehabilitation programme at Cassiobury Court could provide your best chance of turning your life around. Attending a programme of treatment in a calm and tranquil environment staffed by experts in addiction recovery gives you the chance to really focus on your recovery, away from the triggers and temptations associated with your usual drinking. Start the admissions process rolling and it might be one of the best things you ever do.

If you are worried about the frequency or amount of alcohol you are drinking, or your behaviour when you have alcohol, there are people out there who can help. Reach out to us today and we can provide confidential advice and help you to take the next steps. We can also offer family referrals and advice if you are worried about a loved one.

Alcohol rehab uses tried and tested, evidence led addiction treatments to tackle not only the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and dependency but the root causes behind it. Through a series of therapies and other treatments, you will explore your relationship with drinking and learn how to change the way you think and behave around alcohol. You will also learn strategies and coping techniques that can help with relapse prevention as you move forward into a sober, more positive life.

If you decide that inpatient rehab is the best choice for your own circumstances it is important to choose the right facilities and treatment programme for you. Location may be a factor, but you might also consider travelling further afield to find the right place as you will be staying onsite for the programme anyway. Contact us today and we can help to find the best rehab for your addiction.

Raffa Bari

Raffa Bari - Author Last updated: 23rd September 2022

CQC Registered Manager

Raffa manages the day to day caring services here at Cassiobury Court. Dedicated to the treatment and well being of our visitors she is an outstanding mental health coach registered with BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists). Raffa has outstanding experience in managing rehabs across the country and is vastly experienced at helping people recover from drug and alcohol addictions.

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner) - Medical Reviewer - Last Reviewed: 23rd September 2022

Dr. Olalekan Otulana MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP, DFSRH, FRSPH, MBA (Cantab)

 Dr Otulana is a highly experienced GP and Addiction Physician. He has a specialist interest in Substance Misuse Management and he has a wide range of experience in the assessment, management (including detoxification) and residential rehabilitation of clients with various drug and substance addiction problems.  His main aim is to comprehensively assess patients with addiction problems and determine their treatment needs for medical detoxification treatments and psychological interventions. He is also experienced in managing patients who require dual drug and alcohol detoxification treatments.

A strong healthcare services professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Cambridge University Judge Business School.