When the Party is Over
While the festive season often becomes the reason to party and have a drink or two, there is a darker side to indulging in alcohol and other dangerous substances.
Brain damage, strokes, bleeding in the throat, a loss of breath, heart disease, liver failure, stomach and intestinal cancer and ulcers, impotence and infertility, osteoporosis… And death.
These are some of the terrifying effects that alcohol and drugs can have on your body.
As you take stock of 2019 and plan ahead for 2020 – take some time to think about your habits with alcohol and even drugs. Remember drugs refers not just to illegal substances like cocaine, tik or heroin; you can also become addicted to prescription drugs such as painkillers.
Do I have a problem with drinking or drugs?
Think about your answer to the following questions:
Do you choose to drink or take another substance because you are…
- Trying to escape?
- Trying to cope?
- Trying to feel normal?
- Trying to survive?
Have you ever drunk or become high to the point of passing out, or having tremors or seizures?
Do you find you are needing to have more and more of a substance to get the same effect as before?
Do you drink or take drugs when you are feeling stressed or alone, depressed or even suicidal?
Have you ever done something risky and dangerous while drinking or taking drugs – such as driving under the influence?
If you recognise that one of these was the reason that you chose to drink or take another substance, like drugs – you need professional help.
It is likely that you have become addicted to these substances. Addiction is when you have become dependent and believe you need the alcohol or drug. You cannot stop, no matter how much harm it is causing you
How can alcohol and drug abuse harm me?
When you are addicted, your whole brain changes. You are trapped into having to take drugs or drink alcohol in order to feel good.
You might also engage in risky behaviour, leading to increased chances of contracting diseases like HIV/Aids.
Personality and Behavioural changes
You will find that you are not able to control your moods and they will keep swinging from one extreme to another.
Your addiction to alcohol and drugs will also negatively affect the way you act. You might become aggressive, secretive or depressed.
You might find that you have lost interest in normal routines such as making sure you keep clean or eat healthily.
Furthermore, mental health problems can be triggered from abusing alcohol and drugs.
Social and family problems
People will begin to find you unreliable and see you as somebody that they cannot trust.
You might be involved in fighting and even violence with your friends and family.
You might find yourself in financial trouble as you use your money to feed your addiction.
You might borrow money that you can’t actually pay back or turn to criminal behaviour in order to buy the alcohol or drugs.
Fallout with loved ones, affairs, child neglect and divorces are all common consequences of substance abuse.
Work/ school problems
Similarly, often you are no longer able to cope with work or school. You might not be able to show up on time or complete the duties you have been given.
Often addicts lose their jobs or fail their courses, making life even more difficult.
I think I have a problem with alcohol and/or drugs – What now?
There is hope. You can get help for alcohol and drug abuse.
There are many support groups and treatment programmes that are there to assist with fighting against addiction.
It will take work and time, but addicts can recover.
With Legal&Tax you’re not alone. If you fear that you might need help with alcohol or drugs, you can get expert advice on how to deal with this problem through our Trauma Assist programme.