People often look for reasons, causes and justifications when questioning if they may have a “drink problem”. When you look at it in a simplistic way and pose the question, “has drink ever caused you any problems?”. If yes is the answer, then there is a good chance they may have an alcohol problem. Being honest with the answer to that question, is very often not as simple as it seems. It is not until after the cessation of alcohol, that some people recognise the extent of the problems that they have experienced due to alcohol.

Even after people become aware that they have an alcohol misuse problem, they look for reasons to continue drinking, instead of looking for reasons to stop. Like any other addictive substance, the person using it finds it difficult to imagine a life without it. If your friends are heavy, or problematic drinkers, then you might be too, because we are generally similar to our friends in various ways.

You may have been alright with drinking a large amount in the past, but as we get older the ability to recover from a night on the booze gets harder. When a liver is damaged due to alcohol, it can regenerate if given sufficient time, but with persistent drinking, regeneration is severely impaired.

Like other organs in the human body, it is the “luck of the draw” of what we get at birth. Someone can be a heavy drinker over a long period and have a relatively unscathed liver, and someone who is a moderate drinker can get liver damage. There is a myth about some drinks being more harmful than others, very often using the comparison between beer and spirits. To the liver, alcohol is alcohol, no matter what form you take it in. If you drink to excess, then the liver has to work a lot harder to cope.

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