Category: Addiction

Is binge drinking really that bad?


Alcohol and binge drinking

Do you regularly binge on alcohol? Are you frequently dealing with a post-binge hangover?  Current health advice by NHS Choices in the UK offers the following recommendations:-

Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.

Spread your drinking over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week.

If you want to cut down, try to have several drink-free days each week.

It is also wise to look at the ABV or alcohol by volume content. ABV is a measure of the amount of pure alcohol as a percentage of the total volume of liquid in a drink. It can be found on the labels of cans and bottles, also written as ‘vol’ or ‘alcohol volume’. E.g. wine that says 12% ABV means that 12% of that wine is pure alcohol.

Strength (ABV) x volume (ml) / 1000 = units

Binge drinking can be harmful and consumption of more than 14 units of alcohol can have a considerable adverse effect in one single binge.

Do you suffer from denial? Is binge drinking really that bad?  This BBC2 Horizon production (2014-15) was made with the guidance of specialist clinicians at the Royal Free Hospital, London. It provides evidence of the adverse impact that bout drinking of 21 units of alcohol can have on the stomach and liver, when consumed in one single drinking session.

 

 

Mindfulness reading for all

Mindfulness has definitely been the trend for a while and has become mainstream over the course of the past decade. This new age concept has transformed into a multi-million pound business and the number of books on mindfulness has mushroomed, bringing a range of meditation methods that are now easily accessible to all and practiced by many. Millennials aspire to Scandinavian notions of ‘Hygge’ and ‘lykke’, words of Danish origin that have been adopted into the English language expressing notions of comfort, happiness and well-being. As high tech, high speed, frenetic lifestyles and increasing reliance upon social media and technology can prevent people from being deeply aware of themselves, let alone of each another. Humans are in danger of becoming deprived of giving face to face contact, of a sense of deeper awareness and sense of being human, of feeling healthy in mind and body. Stress, anxiety, depression, pain, illness and addiction pursue, especially amongst young people where the anxieties and stresses can easily commence early in life. Mindfulness can deal with many issues including teenage depression, addiction, pain and anxieties.

The roots of mindfulness originally lie in the heart of Buddhist meditation in which awareness is cultivated and the mind is calibrated and stabilised. The idea is to help one find a state of being in which the person may reclaim the present moment, anchoring oneself in the here and now, free from distortion and interpretation so they may reframe their narrative. It can be practiced by anyone, virtually anywhere and I use it in my practice.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus, developed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR) at Massachusetts Medical Centre Stress Reduction Clinic and his methods have been adopted by a host of notable cognitive psychologists and developed into the practice of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). These include Dr Zindel Segal at University of Toronto, Oxford based John Teasdale and, Prof. Mark Williams, founding Director at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. Dr Patrizia Collard at University of East London has written ‘The little book of mindfulness’ and Christina Feldman at The Insight Meditation Society offers meditation retreats.

Dealing with addicted partners and family

Addiction Gambling Drugs Alcohol Dual diagnosis
Addiction
Gambling
Drugs and alcohol

 

The use of alcohol and drugs as well as gambling are often regarded as a normal part of family life but inevitably can lead to addiction which may pass from generation to generation. We tend to associate with people from similar backgrounds, so drinkers will associate with other drinkers, gamblers with gamblers and so on. The support and influence of family and friends, on the one hand, can enable a person to escape from addiction, break the cycle of dependence and seek help. In this BBC podcast however, partners also talk of how they deal with imposing ultimatums on their addicted partners. It demonstrates how dealing with addiction requires developing coping skills and strategies, not only by the addicted individual themselves, but also crucially by their families and partners. Successful recovery requires the support of family and friends, however beware the dangers of co-dependency. The importance of sharing experiences with other people in a similar situation is emphasised. The advice given:-

“Take a deep breath and ask that first question …. learn to ask the really uncomfortable questions”

“Think of your role as the enabler…. You find out that you are not actually the supporter, you find out that you are the enabler and that you are actually part of the problem and because you love that person, you have helped them maintain their habit.

For further insight, follow the link:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06ptylr