Realising you have a problem with alcohol is the first big step to getting help.
You may need help if:
- you often feel the need to have a drink
- you get into trouble because of your drinking
- other people warn you about how much you're drinking
- you think your drinking is causing you problems
A good place to start is with your GP. Try to be accurate and honest about how much you drink and any problems it may be causing you.
If you have become dependent on alcohol, you will have found it difficult to fully control your drinking in some way.
So you'll probably need some help either to cut down and control your drinking or stop completely, and also some plans to maintain the improvement after that.
Your GP may suggest different types of assessment and support options available to you, such as from local community alcohol services.
You can also ask about any free local support groups and other alcohol counselling that may suit you.
If you have become physically dependent and need to stop drinking completely, stopping overnight could be harmful.
You should get advice about this and about any medication you may need to do this safely.
The sorts of withdrawal symptoms that suggest you may need medication include:
- anxiety after waking
- sweating and tremors
- nausea or retching in the morning
- seizures or fits
Staying healthy and in control
Cutting down or stopping drinking is usually just the beginning, and most people will need some degree of help or a long-term plan to stay in control or completely alcohol-free.
Getting the right support can be crucial to maintaining control in the future. Only relying on family, friends or carers for this often is not enough.
Ask your GP or alcohol service about what longer term support is available in your area.