WHAT IS A PERSON WHO IS ALCOHOL DEPENDENT/ AN "ALCOHOLIC?"
An "alcoholic" is anyone who at any stage cannot control his/her drinking, and it causes problems-
- legal problems or
- problems to other people or society
There are 4 main types of "alcoholics":
- The daily drinker/Alcoholic
- The Weekend Alcoholic
- The Binge Alcoholic (every now and then- but there is loss of control and problems are caused)
- The Periodic / Binge Drinking / Youth type Alcoholic. No predictability, sometimes OK, others not OK & often problems resulting
OTHER SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
- •“INCREASED TOLERANCE” - CAN DRINK HUGE AMOUNTS WITHOUT FEELING OR EVEN LOOKING DRUNK. (THEIR REACTION TIMES AND DRIVING SKILLS ARE HOWEVER SEVERELY AFFECTED)
- CAUSING PROBLEMS TO HEALTH/ BODY/ FAMILY/ WORK/ FINANCES/ SOCIETY
- ILLNESS OF DENIAL
- UNCONSCIOUS COPING MECHANISMS – ANGER, MINIMIZATION, PROJECTION AND BLAMING
- BLACKOUTS - DO NOT REMEMBER PARTS OF THE EVENING
- WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS - SHAKES, REGMAKERS
- LOSS OF CONTROL – NEED PREDICTABILITY.
How to carry out an Intervention:
It is preferable to work with an experienced addiction counsellor from SANCA or such Organizations.
An Alcoholic's story: How his family dealt with his refusal of treatment /drink driving
A sons letter after getting advice from SADD about his father driving drunk all the time and endangering others lives.:
(This was before Alcolocks were available)
"I had him arrested over a year ago after a full day of heavy drinking .
I then testified as to his addiction( after giving the public prosecutor the background) and his licence was suspended for 6mths and he received a R6000 fine.
He then resumed his old habits once the 6 mths were up.
Rather than repeat the process and put the public at risk in the interim, I removed his car.
He now walks everywhere and is still drinking heavily but will never drive a car again."
SADD says to the son : "Well done for being proactive! We just wish more people in SA followed your example."
For example a Problem Drinker /Abuser or a person who misuses alcohol is:
(Also see chart above)
- Someone who often drinks so much they lose control of their actions & thoughts and they do things they normally would not do
- Someone whose drinking causes them problems
- Someone who gets drunk and drives a car
- Someone who gets drunk and get s a lift with a drunk person
- Someone who drinks too much and gets mean and violent
- Someone whose drinking is making them unhealthy
South Africa has one of the worst alcohol consumption rates in the world.
So if we have one of the worst alcohol problems,we will have some of the most alcohol dependent people in the world.
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