Alcohol misuse means drinking excessively more than the lower-risklimits of alcohol consumption.
Alcoholconsumption is measured in units .A unit of alcohol is 10ml of pure alcohol, which isabout:
A small glass (125ml) of wine contains about 1.5 units of alcohol.
To keep your risk of alcohol-related harm low, theNHS recommends:
Regular or frequent drinking means drinking alcohol most weeks. The risk to your health is increasedby drinking any amount of alcohol on a regular basis.
The short-term risks of alcohol misuseinclude:
People who binge drink (drink heavily overa short period of time) are more likely to behave recklessly and areat greaterrisk of being in an accident.
Persistentalcohol misuse increases your risk ofserious health conditions, including:
As well as causing serious health problems, long-term alcohol misuse can lead to social problems, such as unemployment, divorce, domestic abuse and homelessness.
If someone loses control over their drinking and has an excessive desire to drink, it's known as dependent drinking (alcoholism).
Dependent drinking usually affects a person's quality of life and relationships, but they may not always find it easy to see or accept this.
Severely dependent drinkers are often able to tolerate very high levels of alcohol inamounts that would dangerously affect or even killsome people.
A dependent drinker usuallyexperiences physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly cut down or stop drinking, including:
This often leads to "relief drinking" to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
They'll be able to discuss the services and treatments available.
Your alcohol intakemay be assessed usingtests, such as:
As well as the NHS, there are a number of charities and support groups across the UKthat provide support and advice for people with an alcohol misuse problem.
For example, you may want to contact:
For a full list of charities and support groups, seeour page on alcohol support .
How alcohol misuse is treated depends on how much alcohol a person is drinking. Treatment options include:
There are two main types of medicines to help people stop drinking. The first is to help stop withdrawal symptoms, and is given in reducing doses over a short period of time. The most common of these medicines is chlordiazapoxide (Librium).
The second is a medication to reduce any urge you may have to drink. The most common medications used for this are acamprosate and naltrexone. These are both given at a fixed dose, and you'll usually be on them for 6to 12 months.
Alcohol misuse is where a person consumes excessive amounts of alcoholic drinks.
Alcohol is a powerful chemical that can have a wide range of adverse effects on almost every part of your body.
The treatment options for alcohol misuse depend on the extent of your drinking and whether you're trying to drink less (moderation) or give up drinking completely (abstinence)