Alcohol Putting You at Risk?

- 4/05/2022

Is alcohol consumption putting your safety and health at risk? Is it worrying loved ones? It’s a touchy question that requires an honest answer if you are thinking to make some changes in your lifestyle. 

If you can’t wait to get off work so that you can drink, and you drink excessively on weekends, you most likely have alcohol use disorder (AUD). If alcohol consumption threatens your job, home or life, you definitely need to ask for help. This is a disease, much like diabetes or cancer, but it’s one with a silver lining if you are honest with yourself. And, when you consider the fact that more than 18 million people in the U.S. struggle, you can toss shame right out the window. There is no shame in asking for help.

Treatments for AUD include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and or medications. During CBT, you can talk to a mental health therapist who can help you work through life issues. Doing so will help you get to the root cause of so much drinking. Because let’s face it, if you are drinking to the point of a hangover the next day, no one would wish that on their worst enemy! Sometimes we need a little extra help in life, and it’s healthy to ask for help. 

In terms of medications, Vivitrol® is one medication used to treat alcohol dependence. The generic name for Vivitrol is naloxone, and it can be taken in pill form or monthly injection. Those who battle heavy drinking often use this medication to reduce their drinking. It helps with cravings. Factors that can impact or increase a person’s chances of developing an addiction are: genetic, psychological, social or environmental. The best news of all, is that regardless of how you came to have AUD, it is a disease that can be treated. 

Look for these signs in your behavior: 

  • Craving - a strong need to drink. 
  • Loss of control - not being able to stop drinking once you've started. 
  • Negative emotional state - feeling anxious and irritable when you are not drinking. 

Start your healing journey by speaking to your primary care provider. You also can reach out to a behavioral health provider.