How to identify the phases of alcohol addiction and recovery

Many people like to have an alcoholic drink, but for some this becomes more than a luxury, it becomes an addiction. So how do you identify if you or a loved one are experiencing addiction or are in danger of falling into it? The Jellenik Curve (pictured below) describes the common phases of alcohol addiction, and helps us to do just this.

Whether you’re at the beginning of the curve and have the suspicion you’re drinking just a little too much, or are in the middle and are experiencing increased black outs, this will show you what is and isn’t currently healthy about your lifestyle. Even more importantly, it shows you that it is possible to enter recovery.

If you’re concerned about the health of you or a friend, take a look at this infographic by the Watershed Addiction and Recovery Programs and see what part of the ‘rollercoaster’ you’re on. By observing addictive traits in yourself early, you can change your behaviours and prevent a downward spiral into alcohol addiction.

Alternatively, if you have overcome addiction in the past, this curve is a fantastic way to moderate your behaviours. If you find yourself falling into old habits, start making phases 4 and 5 a priority again. And if you’re not sure you can be objective, ask a friend to honestly assess where they think you’re at in comparison to the Curve below.

Do you want to revolutionise your life and see what you can achieve without alcohol? Sign up for the free Watersedge 30 Day Challenge and have a tip sent to your inbox every day for a month. Find out more information here.

Do you rely on alcohol to get you through the day? Are you concerned that a loved one may have an addiction? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

Alcohol: 8 Steps to Slow Down Your Drinking

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Lots of us enjoy having a drink with our friends. Whether it’s a glass of red with the girls, or a beer at the family barbeque, once we start, it can be difficult to stop.

Your age, physicality, gender and any medication you take all affect how you react to alcohol. This is why some people can ‘hold their liquor’ after three beers, and others become tipsy after one.

It’s always an option to remain sober, but if you’d like a drink, try these steps to slow-down your alcohol intake at parties.

  1. Start with a soft drink

When you arrive, don’t jump the gun and go for the liquor. Take it easy and start with a fizzy drink. It will curb your thirst and you will keep your head as the night progresses.

  1. Eat food

A full stomach slows the effects of alcohol. Make sure you eat a good meal at the start of the night, and stay well fed on snacks and appetisers while you are drinking. Avoid salty foods that will make you thirstier.

  1. Stay hydrated

Drink a glass of water between your alcoholic beverages. This will re-hydrate your system, slow your drinking down and make you full.

  1. Follow standard drink sizes

Don’t assume that your glass of wine is one standard serving of alcohol (10mg). The type of alcohol, size of a glass and the liberty of the server means you can consume more alcohol than planned very quickly. Check the alcohol content on the bottle or ask the server if you are unsure.

  1. Avoid shouts and top-ups

A few shouts into the night, a top-up here or there, and you loose track of how much alcohol you’ve drunk. Politely say ‘no’ to these gestures and stick to the Australian Government’s recommendation of two standard drinks a day.

  1. Drink a low alcohol alternative

Choose a ‘light’ option, or a less concentrated drink. Avoid spirits that are poured into soft drink without being measured.

  1. Pace yourself

Before your first beer, plan how much you will drink over the night. Use this to pace yourself over each hour, taking sips and drinking non-alcoholic beverages to fill out the time.

  1. Say ‘no’

You are in control over what you drink. Don’t feel compelled to get blind-drunk because your colleagues do, or go for harder alternatives at their insistence. Stick to your plan and focus on socialising rather than drinking alcohol.

Are you drinking too much alcohol? Do you wake up with regrets after a big night? Then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

Are you doing Dry July? Sign up FREE for our 30 Day Challenge and we’ll help you stay sober with a new tip every day for a month!

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Be Daring, Be Original, Be You!

Be_You_LogoWelcome to the New Year, and welcome to a new you. What do you hope 2015 will bring? Perhaps you long for a change in your relationships and the space to talk about things that have been hurting you. Or maybe you have resolved to look after yourself, and have plans to lose weight and become healthier? Whatever hopes you have for 2015, this is January 1 and this is a new start.

Over the past 6 months, the team at Watersedge Counselling have been busy contemplating what the New Year will mean for you, and we came up with the phrase, “Be Daring, Be Original, Be You.” It is our hope that in 2015 you are bold enough to assess your needs, are daring enough to challenge yourself to change your habits, and ultimately, find a heathier and happier version of you.

We want to give you the opportunity to find out who you really are, and to do this we are looking at one of the most common issues that affect people every day: alcohol consumption. Whether you are a casual drinker or find that alcohol is significantly impacting your relationships, the New Year is your chance to start again. We would love to invite you to take part in our new Go 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge to do just that. By signing up for free on the WatersedgeCounselling website, you will have a new tip sent to your inbox each day for 30 days. Each tip is simple, practical and will help you to understand the role alcohol plays in your life.

The beauty of the Go 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge is that it is designed to fit with your specific lifestyle. We know that some people just want to begin the year with a fresh and fun perspective. Our 30 Days Challenge can act as a motivator to help you get up and go every day, to achieve your goals and take better care of yourself. If you have resolved to take better care of your health, then this Challenge is your chance to cleanse your body and mind of unhealthy habits. And if you have found that alcohol is damaging your life, if your partner has shown concern over your habits or you simply don’t know how to get through the day without a drink- then this challenge is for you as well.

“Be Daring, Be Original, Be You”- what do these words mean for you? We want you to enter 2015 encouraged and inspired, because we believe that you have the capacity to grow and cultivate healthy relationships this year. Join us on this journey and sign up for our 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge now.

If you really want to start the year with renewed focus, we have also written a Guide to accompany this Challenge. Available as an ebook in our web store, this Guide will take you through each of the main themes that will come up over the 30 days. Addressing everything from healthy habits to an accountability partner, we have penned this to provide you with strategies to overcome most any challenge in your life. And if you have a friend or family member who needs some support as they minimise or cut out alcohol for the month, then this is a great resource to help you understand and support them.

If our daily tips inspire you, you can even check out the Workbook also available in our eStore. Chock full of beautiful graphics and practical tips to outwork each day’s goal, the Workbook gives you the space to write down your thoughts, plan ahead, and watch your progress. For a limited time, you can purchase the 30 Days Alcohol Free Guide with the accompanying Workbook for only $15.

Will you join us on our mission to start the New Year on the right foot? Be Daring, Be Original and Be You, and sign up for our 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge now. Would you like some extra professional support as you begin the Challenge? Contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

Is Your Loved One An Alcoholic?

The label of ‘alcoholic’ feels like a dirty word. Having a drink is a normal part of life, and it can be threatening to think a loved one could be controlled by alcohol. So where is the line between controlled alcohol consumption and alcoholism?

Perhaps you have a partner who loves to have a drink. The six pack in your fridge is an everyday occurrence, and you rarely see them without a beer or cider. How do you know when this is getting out of hand? This infographic by Recovery Connection highlights some of the key questions to ask yourself about a loved one’s consumption of alcohol.

Ask yourself if they frequently get drunk, have blackouts, or if they have gotten in trouble with the law due to the habit. If you have noticed your partner struggling to stop drinking, observed that they will skip social activities due to it, or they are displaying signs of guilt about their drinking, they may be struggling with alcoholism.

As you look at the questions posed in this graphic, listen to your gut. Do you feel like something is wrong in your relationship? Have you been concerned about your partner for some time, but have struggled to put your finger on what is wrong?

There are varying levels of alcohol dependence, but ultimately anything that is hurting your loved one and your relationship can be helped. If you are concerned about a loved one’s alcohol consumption but feel unsafe approaching them, don’t be afraid to seek outside help. If they are willing to acknowledge the effect alcohol has on your relationship and work on it, walk through the journey together.

Is Your Loved One An Alcoholic?

Do you have a loved one who shows signs of alcoholism? Do you need help to work through this, or have you found them unwilling to seek treatment? If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

 

The Watersedge “Go 30 Days Alcohol Free” campaign launches on January 1!

Keep an eye on watersedgecounselling.com for details.

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The Truth About Alcohol and Abuse

The Truth About Alcohol and AbuseIt is very Australian to consume large amounts of alcohol, in fact it is a behaviour that envelopes much of our lives. President of the Australian Medical Association Brian Owler says this needs to change. In a speech given to the AMA National Alcohol Summit, he stated some of the raw and honest facts about Australians and alcohol abuse.

When the onus is largely on our personal use of alcohol and taking responsibility for our actions, Owler reminds us that the misuse of alcohol has wider repercussions than just the drunken behaviour of the individual. He shares, The devastating consequences of alcohol misuse extend from our cities into rural and remote areas and the number of alcohol-related assaults tops 70,000 a year.

With the overconsumption of alcohol can often come acts of cowardice and danger; many of us have heard about the fatal impact of the ‘king hit’ or the affect alcohol mixed with drugs can have on our bodies. But what about the ramification this behaviour has on the victims? There have been 24,000 cases of alcohol related domestic violence. And in addition to this, the misuse of alcohol can also contribute to child abuse.

In his speech, Owler highlights that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. And from his own experience he shares, As a paediatric neurosurgeon, I frequently see the results of abuse of a child's brain. The brain swells dramatically. And if we do save the child, the brain often melts away on follow-up scans, and the child is permanently disabled. It's not even a matter of drunken violence.

When we drink alcohol without limits and allow ourselves to become intoxicated, we don’t just put ourselves in danger, we put those around us in danger too. Someone like me has to tell the parents that their son is quadriplegic – all because of a drunken night out. Alcohol-related harm doesn't stop at the front door. It enters people's homes.” Owler says.

And it is not just families and loved ones who are impacted by this; it is the victims of sexual assault, rape and violence. It is our children who grow up in an environment where it is normal to drink alcohol heavily because it is typically Australian. There is a safe way to consume alcohol, and Owler’s speech reminds us how important it is we learn how to do this; not just for ourselves, but for others too.

Brian Owler’s speech to the AMA National Alcohol Summit was published in the Sydney Morning Herald. You can read it here.

 

Do you struggle to limit your alcohol consumption? Maybe you want to learn how to keep yourself and your friends safe while you drink, or need help becoming sober. If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

WatersedgeCounselling will be releasing our new “30 Days Alcohol Free” campaign soon to help you achieve a greater level of wellness in your life. Keep an eye on watersedgecounselling.com for details.

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Issues With Alcohol: How Do You Know You Have A Problem?

You love a drink. It relaxes you, you feel more confident and sociable, you have more fun. Recently, someone has been telling you that you have an alcohol problem – your partner, a parent, a close friend, maybe your boss? You can't accept what they say, after all everyone enjoys a drink every now and then. All your friends drink, if you drink a bit more now and then, it doesn't hurt anyone, you reason to yourself.

I understand that you don't want to be told that you have an alcohol problem. It feels like you are a child again, being told that you have done something wrong. It can feel embarrassing, humiliating and possibly frightening, especially if you had an alcoholic parent.

So I simply want to ask you a few questions that can help you make up your own mind. Be aware that if you do have an alcohol problem, you won't want to admit it. You will feel really defensive as I ask you to take an honest look at how you are doing.

1. How many times a week do you drink alcohol?

  • The recommended limit for low risk drinking is 2 standard drinks a day including 1 alcohol free day a week. Can you stop at 2 drinks? Perhaps you could test yourself over the next couple of weeks and keep a diary of how much you drink.


2. How much do you drink in any single episode?

  • You may drink just on one or two nights a week. How much do you drink on those occasions? The recommended limit when drinking on those occasions is 4 standard drinks. 
  • Binge drinking to the point of intoxication as a regular occurrence is a risk to your health. Are you frequently intoxicated? Over the next fortnight, keep a count of how often you drink to intoxication.


3. Has the issue of alcohol caused conflict in your relationship? 

  •  your partner nags you about your drinking 
  •  you frequently fight about your drinking to the point that you avoid coming home
  •  you are more irritable, distrustful or aggressive


4. Are you noticing that your behaviour is frequently out of character?

  • acting inappropriately
  • making poor decisions
  • telling lies
  • driving under the influence of alcohol


How did you do as you answered these questions?  If you could identify yourself in these four points, I encourage you to seek some help. You can find help on the internet by putting the word ‘alcohol' into the google search engine. You will be able to research what is available near your location. If you live on the Bellerine Region of Victoria, contact watersedgecounselling for alcohol counselling on 0434337245 or book now.

If you want help to overcome your alcohol issue, grow, experience wellness and reach toward your full potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you.