Has Your Alcohol Intake Increased Dangerously?

According to the experts at www.harley-street-addictive-behaviour-centre.co.uk, the subject of alcohol tolerance is one of great confusion among the masses. If you were to consult a sample group of 100 members of the public, it’s entirely likely that at least half of them would associate high alcohol tolerance and minimal hangovers with a good state of health. The reason being that alcohol tolerance is usually (though entirely wrongly) associated with strength, stamina and the ability to cope with whatever you throw at your body.

Unfortunately, not only is this an entirely misguided presumption, but it can also be extremely dangerous. The reason being that the truth is in fact the exact opposite – developing a high tolerance to alcohol is most certainly not a good thing.

Building tolerance

One of the biggest problems when it comes to increasing your alcohol tolerance to a dangerous level is the fact that you may not even realise it is happening.  It’s not as if one moment you can handle half a bottle of wine and the next you suddenly find yourself needing at least two bottles, just to get ready for a night on the town.  Instead, it happens extremely gradually and is therefore something that tends to go entirely unnoticed. The only problem being that in most instances, things may have already reached a pretty problematic level by the time they come to your attention.

Which is why it is a good idea to occasionally take a step back from the way you do things and consider your current drinking habits. If you are honest, how have your drinking habits and tolerances changed over recent years? Are you drinking significantly more than you used to, in order to feel the same effects. Are you drinking regularly though no longer feeling any effects or aftereffects at all? Do you often find yourself binge drinking for the sake of getting a buzz?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, it might be worth thinking about making a few changes.

Alcohol Dependence

In a similar manner to increased alcohol tolerance, it is also possible for genuine alcohol dependence to sneak up and take you by surprise. The simple fact of the matter is that nobody sets out with the specific intention of becoming dependent on alcohol – it is something that can happen slowly and progressively over time.  What most fail to understand is the way in which there is a big difference between alcohol addiction and alcohol dependence. The fact is, just because you can go any period of time without a drink doesn’t mean you’re not alcohol dependent.

For example, if you absolutely cannot bear the thought of socialising without a good amount of alcohol in your system, you are by definition dependent on alcohol. Likewise, if the only way you can relax in an evening after a day in the office is to have a bottle of wine, it’s very possible that you may be dependent on alcohol. The difference between alcohol dependence and alcohol addiction is that the case of the former, you do not necessarily have to be drinking copious amounts of the stuff to have a genuine problem. Needless to say though, actually admitting you may have a problem when you’ve long-since assumed your habits were just fine can be easier said than done.

Making the change

On the plus side, making positive changes for the sake of your health and well-being doesn’t necessarily have to be a difficult job. It takes effort, but can most definitely be done.

First of all, the key lies in setting realistic and measurable short and long-term goals. You cannot simply expect to wake up one morning, decide to go cold turkey and never drink another drop. One in a million might succeed this way – the rest won’t. Instead, it’s a case of slowly but surely making the kinds of minor changes here and there, which when added together over a longer period of time make a big difference. And it’s important to be specific too – decide exactly how you intend to cut down and by what amount, in order to give yourself a plan of action to follow.

In an ideal situation, you’ll be able to persuade at least one of your friends or family members to join you on your journey, in order to support you along the way. If not, make your intentions known from the earliest possible juncture and ensure you keep well away from those who may do all they can to ruin your hard work and positive intentions.