The Club Doctor
Latest figures show that drugs prescribed to treat alcoholism have soared by almost 75 per cent in nine years Dr Sarj Bahia explains why…
Alcohol is a part and parcel of the British lifestyle and it’s not simply a glass of wine with dinner. Drinking is how most people socialize and bond with each other. The figures show the cliché of women being desperate for ‘wine o clock’ while men are ‘in need of a few beers’ is not longer harmless - it’s dangerous.
You don’t need to be craving vodka first thing in the morning to have a problem. Many alcohol abusers can be very successful, motivated and high achieving individuals and because being tipsy or drunk is so socially acceptable it’s very easy to disguise a problem.
After a hard day at work we reward ourselves with a drink. Even after a session at the gym we reward ourselves with a glass of wine or beer. There is little point in sweating out the impurities while exercising if you are going to put these impurities straight back in your system.
I recommend patients who feel they are relying too much on alcohol as a way of relaxing in the evening to have two booze free days every week.
If you are not drinking daily but are prone to binge drinking - which is known as compulsive drinking disorder then give yourself a month off.
Remember alcohol enhances whatever mood you’re in, so if you’re feeling anxious and stressed, after a few drinks, these feelings will increase. That’s not even taking into account the hangover and all the negative physical and emotional misery this inflicts on you.
As a GP I always advise everything including drinking to be done in moderation but if you have any worries about your drinking habits, see your GP and find out about the professional help available.
Before setting up Edgbaston Private Medical Practice in 2007, Dr Sarj Bahia spent several years gaining experience in hospital medicine including Cardiology, Diabetes, Gastroenterology and Dermatology. He has also worked as a physician on Harley Street and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and The Royal College of General Practitioners.