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Alcohol

it's 10 Nov, 2022 10:59 am

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Alcohol

Background

This information is about the specific health area mentioned above. It comprises a combination of textual and video information, on our site and on external sites.  We will be adding new specific health areas and further information continually.

The idea is for you to understand more about the health area you are addressing before you get too far building your action plan.

General Information

Wikipedia say of alcohol: “Alcohol, sometimes referred to by the chemical name ethanol, is a psychoactive drug that is the active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits (hard liquor). It is one of the oldest and most common recreational substances, causing the characteristic effects of alcohol intoxication (“drunkenness”). Among other effects, alcohol produces happiness and euphoria, decreased anxiety, increased sociability, sedation, impairment of cognitive, memory, motor, and sensory function, and generalized depression of central nervous system function.

Alcohol has a variety of short-term and long-term adverse effects. Short-term adverse effects include generalized impairment of neurocognitive function, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and hangover-like symptoms. Alcohol is addictive to humans, and can result in alcohol use disorder, dependence and withdrawal. It can have a variety of long-term adverse effects on health, for instance liver damage, brain damage, and its consumption is the fifth leading cause of cancer.”

BHF say: “Drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol can have a harmful effect on your heart and general health.

If you drink alcohol it is important to keep within the guidelines:

  • Men and women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol each week.
  • You should have several alcohol-free days each week.

These guidelines apply whether you drink regularly, or only occasionally.”

Drink Drive is all about our alcohol habits. Ever wondered why alcohol and drinking is so easy to do and gets more additive? Well, the drink industry make the drinks more appealing and often its connected to a social environment.  You might say: “I have an addictive personality” – but “Addictive personality is not an actual psychiatric diagnosis,” says Michael Weaver, MD, medical director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addiction at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “Personalities are very complex, and while there’s not one specific type that’s more prone to addiction than others, there are several factors that can combine to make you more likely to become addicted.”

We understand that drinking alcohol every day is not good for you, and over a longer term can damage your liver, kidneys and heart.  However, especially in these uncertain and testing times it can be a great release.

So do we really know if we have a problem? Firstly take the test and benchmark yourself.

We need to be honest with ourselves and answer the questions carefully.  If you feel you have a problem, then you should do something about it. There are several sites you can access about cutting down your alcohol intake.  The NHS give tips,  Harbour have useful info on how to cut down without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and Drinkaware show how to cut down at home.

If you do, you may experience withdrawal symptoms – see Drinkaware information.

Background Information

There is information available which will help you formulate your action plan – both on our site and on external sites.

On our site

DrinkDrive

DrinkDrive provides you with all the information and statistics about drinking. It also provides tip and hints on how to control your drinking or even give up. The Drive also has support areas in which you can get support from a variety of organisations.

We have relevant information on DrinkDrive
ChangeDrive

ChangeDrive is all about personal change and how good you are at change, how to make a plan to change and most important how confident you are at maintaining a change.

ChangeDrive gives you the foundation to build a plan and shows you how to push yourself through the barrier and out the other side.

We have relevant information on ChangeDrive

On external site(s)

The NHS have a lot of information on alcohol dependence and support, including links to places where you can get support.

Castle Craig have information on how to treat alcohol abuse. They are a rehab clinic treating people with alcohol and drug addictions.

Video

Sometimes the owner of a video will not allow the video to be played on external sites.  If you see the video is unavailable on the left just click the ‘WATCH NOW’ link on the right and the video will play in a new window.

How alcohol can affect mental health

Dr Sarah Jarvis in this short DrinkAware video discusses the link between alcohol and mental health issues such as depression.

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Questionnaire

In order for you to assess what you know about this health area, we suggest using a questionnaire. This might help you understand your situation in this area, or taking it might improve your understanding of the area.

You may be able to take this questionnaire online – either here on our site or on an external site – or download it and complete it on paper – it depends on copyright (and whether we’ve managed to build it on our site!).

The ways you can take a questionnaire:

PDF for download, External site questionnaire, Questionnaire on our site

Take Questionnaire on our site

You can take a questionnaire on our site. This will score the questions automatically and give you a summary showing what your score means.

You will see our questionnaire first, possibly followed by a tab which may contain a second questionnaire (see above).  If you scroll down you will see links to external questionnaire(s) or downloads if there are any. Scroll down until you get to the right place for you!

Our Questionnaire

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction assess the validity of this questionnaire here – the summary is presented below.
The SADD was designed to assess alcohol dependence in the general adult substance-abusing population. As reported by the authors in the original publication (see above), the questionnaire was designed to be (i) suitable for patients seeking help with alcohol problems; (ii) a measure of current dependence; (iii) sensitive across the full range of dependence, (iv) sensitive to change over time, and (v) relatively free of socio-cultural influences.

Welcome to your Sexual Addiction Questionnaire for Men

This is taken from the Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) for Men

Copyright 2003 Patrick J. Carnes, PhD and Robert Weiss, LCSW, CAS. All rights reserved. For personal use only; other use may be prohibited by law. Visit the Sexual Recovery Institute for more info.

1. Were you sexually abused as a child or adolescent?

2. Have you subscribed or regularly purchased/rented sexually explicit magazines or videos?

3. Did your parents have trouble with their sexual or romantic behaviours?

4. Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?

5. Has your use of phone sex lines, computer sex lines etc. exceeded your ability to pay for these services?

6. Does your significant other(s), friends, or family ever worry or complain about your sexual behaviour? (not related to sexual orientation)

7. Do you have trouble stopping your sexual behaviour when you know it is inappropriate and/or dangerous to your health?

8. Has your involvement with pornography, phone sex, computer board sex, etc. become greater than your intimate contacts with romantic partners?

9. Do you keep the extent or nature of your sexual activities hidden from your friends and/or partners? (not related to sexual orientation)

10. Do you look forward to events with friends or family being over so that you can go out to have sex?

11. Do you visit sexual bath houses, sex clubs and/or video bookstores as a regular part of your sexual activity

12. Do you believe that anonymous or casual sex has kept you from having more long term intimate relationships or from reaching other personal goals?

13. Do you have trouble maintaining intimate relationships once the "sexual newness" of the person has worn off?

14. Do your sexual encounters place you in danger of arrest for lewd conduct or public indecency?

15. Are you HIV positive, yet continue to engage in risky or unsafe sexual behaviour?

16. Has anyone ever been hurt emotionally by events related to your sexual behaviour, e.g. lying to partner or friends, not showing up for event/appointment due to sexual liaisons, etc., (not related to sexual orientation)?

17. Have you ever been approached, charged, arrested by the police, security, etc. due to sexual activity in a public place?

18. Have you ever been sexual with a minor?

19. When you have sex, do you feel depressed afterwards?

20. Have you made repeated promises to yourself to change some form of your sexual activity only to break them later? (not related to sexual orientation)

21. Have your sexual activities interfered with some aspect of your professional or personal life, e.g. unable to perform at work, loss of relationship? (not related to sexual orientation)

22. Have you engaged in unsafe or "risky" sexual practices even though you knew it could cause you harm?

23. Have you ever paid for sex?

24. Have you ever had sex with someone just because you were feeling aroused and later felt ashamed or regretted it?

25. Have you ever cruised public restrooms, rest areas and/or parks looking for sexual encounters with strangers?

A cautionary note:

There is a wide range of prevailing opinions as to what is acceptable sexual behavior. If you are concerned about your own sexual behavior, and you feel that your behavior is causing you problems, or may get you into trouble with the law, please talk to a professional.

Treatment for sexual addiction is available through therapy as well as 12-step support groups such as Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. Please print out your sexual addiction test and score and share it with your doctor or therapist.

Remember, this is NOT a diagnosis. Only a doctor or qualified mental health professional can make a diagnosis of sexual addiction or sexual compulsivity and recommend treatments.

Take questionnaire on external site

You can take this questionnaire on at least one external site.

Drinkaware have a lot of information on alcohol dependence and withdrawal, including an Alcohol Self-Assessment, which only takes 2-3 minutes to take and gives you a summary

Download questionnaire and take it yourself

You can download at least one questionnaire from our site.  You will have to score the questionnaire yourself.

The Alcohol Dependence Data Questionnaire (SADD) is 15 simple questions which you score and which gives you an overall indication of dependence.

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A Butterfly Life: 4 Keys to More Happiness, Better Health and Letting Your True Self Shine

Times of change can be a challenge, no doubt! Whether it’s a relationship breakup, job loss, or being diagnosed with a serious health issue. Or you may WANT things to be different, but it feels a little scary or overwhelming. The butterfly reminds us change can be beautiful, even necessary, in order to realize our full potential and live our best life.