Types of drinker you may encounter in The Festive season
Avoid Alcohol – it’s that time of year. It’s the festive season and it has many ups. And downs. As you sip on your next drink are you seeing it as simply a festive drink with family or is there a more sinister reason which could be behind it? We all know that the festive season is used as an excuse for overindulgence for many people and unfortunately alcoholics can often disappear in the fog of normality during this time because so many people around them are overindulging in alcohol. If you think about it – it is an ideal period for addicts because they can fade into the background and not be noticed or called on their addiction. Remember: An acceptable excuse to drink is the worst possible thing that can happen to an addict, as it leads to uncontrollable drinking with often serious consequences. According to some addiction counselors, there are 3 types of drinkers.
Before we get into the three types of drinkers, remember that excessive drinking comes with a number of health risks including liver disease and Cancer. You will notice that as a result there is a spike in the number of people seeking treatment services after the Christmas period. This, of course, does not apply to many people who don’t have a problem with how much they drink but to avoid alcohol for those who do have a problem, this can gradually worsen so caution is needed. Here are the three types of drinker you may encounter (or be yourself)
Avoid Alcohol -THE SOCIAL:
The social drinker only drinks on occasion and doesn’t usually see any negative effects from drinking, aside from the hangover of course. Many of us fall into this category of drinker, we like to drink but we know when to stop. Generally this type of drinker doesn’t receive any negative results from drinking. Their friends and family don’t have much to say about their drinking and usually, the social drinker doesn’t think about drinking or need to have a drink often. They can go out with the mates to have a few drinks and can handle their alcohol intake without experiencing a loss of control. Extreme mood swings, fights and violence do not usually take place when they drink.
Avoid Alcohol – THE ABUSER
The alcohol abuser is a person who abuses alcohol and tends to push and break the boundaries far too often. They may have some problems with their drinking. The abuser takes alcohol consumption too far and takes their usual social drinking a step too far. They drink more frequently and the amount they drink can be considered “heavy to extreme”.
Their habit can actually become physically harmful to themselves and to others around them. Alcohol begins to creep in and occupy their thoughts and they may begin to feel like they need to drink more often in order to get through the day. Friends and family will most likely start to notice their attitude and daily behaviour. The thing to remember here is that the social drinker has become an alcohol abuser but they cannot avoid alcohol but still have some sense of control and are not yet seen as alcoholics.
Avoid Alcohol -The Alcoholic:
The most devastating of the three types is the alcoholic Drinker. They can barely resist a drink and it begins to take over their life, which is already suffering from the alcohol use and abuse. Alcoholics have a serious drinking problem and they cannot get through a day without turning to drink for assistance. Most alcoholics start as social drinker and gradually shift to alcohol abusers before finding themselves down the deep dark hole of being an alcoholic. They would have built up a tolerance and will need more alcohol to get the same effects as they did before the tolerance set in.
Alcohol then begins to take over and control its victim’s life. Family, jobs, social circles and health are all in jeopardy…Despite all this, the alcoholic cannot quit drinking or avoid alcohol. They deny their problem and that can be devastating when it comes to addressing and helping the alcoholic seek out rehabilitation from their habit. Some short term problems from the alcoholic drinker’s heavy night include head injuries, fights and violence and even alcohol poisoning. Short term problems include heart conditions, stroke and liver disease. Chances of getting Cancer also increase and even the idea of death should not be forgotten. As well as those issues the alcoholic drinker can also see an increase in social problems, domestic abuse, family break ups and even homelessness.
Of course, there are more definable types of drinkers based on how they act while drinking and a recent study published from Penn State University, published in the Alcohol and Alcoholism journal, highlights how disordered drinking can vary from person to person.
While for one individual, it might involve falling over and getting into dangerous situations, for another it might not appear to interfere with their lives at all – at least for those watching them. The scientists found that certain drinking profiles were more common at different life stages, for example young adults might be more likely to experience to simply experience the adverse effects of drinking, like hangovers and withdrawal symptoms. Older drinkers, meanwhile, might struggle more with alcohol-relates injuries.
The research outlined the following five profiles in their research:
Alcohol-induced injury: In addition to drinking too much, people in this profile reported getting into risky situations during or after drinking that may have resulted in injury.
Difficulty cutting back: People in this group struggled with wanting to cut back on their problematic drinking but being unable to avoid alcohol.
Highly problematic, low perceived life interference: While people in this group reported experiencing many symptoms, they said their drinking did not interfere with their family, friends, work or hobbies.
Adverse effects only: People who fit this profile reported experiencing hangovers or withdrawal symptoms in addition to drinking too much.
Highly problematic: People in this group reported experiencing every symptom of alcohol use disorder.
All this research proves a valuable point. The festive period opens the gateway to any and all kinds of drinkers to over indulge and overdo it and get themselves into trouble unable to avoid alcohol. Whether you are a social drinker or an alcoholic, a highly problematic drinker or someone who has difficult cutting back, be aware of the dangers that the festive season brings with it. If you want to have a sober, alcohol free festive season read : https://www.houghtonhouse.co.za/articles/sober/
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