Alcohol Addiction and Counselling
If you are considering or are hesitant about seeking some help with your drinking there are number of points worth considering:
- You are not alone as alcohol problems are very common in Australian and prevalence rates can vary between 4-10% of the population.
- Most people who visit BlueSky Psychology with drinking problems appear on first impressions to be happy and functional people, holding down respectable jobs.
- People with drinking problems or alcohol addiction come from ‘all walks of life’. We have successfully treated a broad range of people: Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), stay at home house husbands and wives, General Practitioners, Engineers, Chiefs, Lawyers, Nurses, Miners, Artists, Graphic Designers.
- We treat people with drinking problems on a daily basis and will not unfairly judge or label you.
- We have a number of Psychologists on the team that have spent many years treating people with Drug and Alcohol Problems. They have gained postgraduate training in the area and have worked for a range of Government organisations that specialise in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.
Types of Problematic Drinking
Social Binge Drinker
This person tends to drink alcohol mostly in social settings. The binge drinker:
- Can consume 8 + standard drinks on any one occasion
- Consumes very little alcohol between binges
- Cannot remember the amount of alcohol they consumed
- May complain of memory gaps from the previous night (alcohol-induced amnesia)
- Occasionally has difficulties stopping once they have started
- Can control their drinking on some occasions and therefore falsely believes they have control of their drinking all the time
Regular Heavy Drinker
This person is typically a drinker that consumes large amounts of alcohol most days of the week. The regular heavy drinker:
- Often drinks alone
- May organise regular get-togethers with other heavy drinkers.
- Can be physiologically dependent upon alcohol (addicted to alcohol)
- Will suffer withdrawal symptoms once the alcohol has been metabolised.
- Withdrawal symptoms that may be experienced include: irritability, difficulty concentrating, sweats, nausea, shakes, and insomnia
- Has tried stopping or reducing their consumption7
- Has been injured or caused injury to others
- Tends to exhibit a strong sense of denial.
- Justifies drinking regularly because one “likes the taste” and gets a strong “thirst”
The rapid drinker will drink alcohol in very large amounts and very quickly with the intention of intoxication (in this case passing out). Rapid Drinkers usually:
- Drink alone and in the secrecy of one’s home
- Scull from the bottle
- Are finished drinking within 5 minutes
- Care less about the type and taste of alcohol consumed
Drinking Problems and Mental Health
Most of the people that seek counselling for alcohol addiction or problems at BlueSky Psychology already know the social and financial problems that are associated with drinking heavily. This is because they tend to be well-informed and smart people. What they may not be fully cognisant of is the relationship between alcohol and mental health issues.
The Cost on Mental Health
Issues that can arise from alcohol abuse include: depression, anxiety, panic, paranoia, rage, amnesia, argumentativeness, jealousy, abusive behaviours, psychosis, irritability, poor concentration, and an impaired ability to concentrate.
Myths concerning the treatment of Problematic Drinking:
- Alcoholics Anonymous is the only way towards successful treatment
- Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic
- A life-time of abstinence is the only solution.
There are a number of Psychologists at BlueSky Psychology who are highly trained and experienced in the successful treatment of problematic drinking and alcohol addiction. We take the time to understand your challenges and then provide you with the right treatment and necessary support to help you reclaim your life.
How does BlueSky Psychology treat problematic drinking and alcohol addiction?
- You will be provided with a thorough Clinical Psychological Assessment to fully understand your concerns
- We gain your informed consent
- After the assessment you will be provided with a range of treatment options that are all medically aligned and evidence-based (ie scientifically proven to be effective)
- Treatment options will depend on your situation
Treatment may include a combination of the following:
- Moderated drinking plans
- An agreed period of abstinence
- Understanding and addressing the functions of your drinking
- Restructuring problematic thought patterns
- Relationship Counselling
- Treating depression and anxiety
- Making lifestyle changes
- Referral for Detoxification
- Referral for Medical Support
- Monitoring drinking behaviours with drinking diaries
- Anger management
- Assertive communication
- Identifying and removing high-risk areas and triggers
- Introducing new adaptive behaviours
- Providing drinking refusal skills
If you would like to seek treatment for alcohol addiction, make a booking online to see one of our qualified psychologists or speak to us on 08 8212 3944 today.
BlueSky Psychology Level 10, 108 King William Street, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000. Phone 08 8212 3944