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Alcohol Dependency – what you need to know

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Having an addiction to alcohol can also be called alcohol dependency. Drinking alcohol in excess has major implications on a person’s safety, mental and physical health.

People often drink alcohol to escape difficult feelings and emotions. However, this is not a solution as it can end up making your problems much more challenging to overcome.

Some mental health problems that may arise from alcohol abuse are:

  • Memory problems

  • Lack of concentration

  • Find it difficult to learn new things

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Drastic mood swings and changes

Having a dependence on alcohol may involve having a physical and psychological

dependence on the substance.

Your body craves alcohol and can become something that consumes your whole life.

Our brain needs to experience stress and worry in order to learn appropriate coping mechanisms.

Yet if we drink alcohol excessively our brain misses out on coping with these stresses.

The next time you are faced with a challenge the need for alcohol may grow stronger.

Coping mechanisms include:

  • Talking and opening up about problems

  • Seeking professional help

  • Use stress management techniques

Drinking too much can also damage relationships with those that you love and care about.

It can lead to neglecting or hurting people that you care about and love and care about you.

Alcohol gives you temporary relief from problems and difficult emotions that you may have been experiencing in the long term. It allows you to forget for just a while.

Alcohol is closely linked with poor self-esteem.

Low self-esteem can undermine your:

  • Quality of life

  • Achievements

  • Ability to be happy

  • Relationships

  • Work and home life

  • Self-belief

Who is susceptible to alcohol dependency? :

  • Having been in an environment of alcohol abuse from a young age

  • Experiencing peer pressure

  • People with pre-existing mental problems

  • Having low self-esteem

  • Having high stress jobs


Support: If you feel that your drinking is affecting your mental health know that there are many support options available to you. Seek advice from your local GP who will talk you through your options to help get you the support and guidance you need. Below are some local and national services available to you.


Aiseiri, Roxborough, Co. Wexford, Co Wexford - 056-8833777 - Aiséirí provides community and residential services to help young people, adults and families overcome addiction and lead meaningful lives in recovery. Their services include residential services, family programmes, recovery retreats, and outreach to individuals, communities, schools and businesses who would like to learn more about addiction. Their Adolescent Addiction Treatment Centre, Aiséirí Aislinn (located Kilkenny), provides treatment for young people between the ages of 15 and 21 years living with the destructive impact of alcohol, drugs and/ or gambling.


Alcoholics Anonymous, Meeting Sunday 8.30pm - Christ Church, Main St, Gorey, Co. Wexford

Find all meeting details here:

Email: Alcoholics Anonymous is an international mutual aid fellowship with the stated purpose of enabling its members to "stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety."


If you need further support remember to let us help you here at Talk To Tom. We can be your guide - contact us on (0818) 303061or via Whats App.  To launch a chat now click here.   You can find out more about our counselling service here.


The Mens Hostel, Ozanam House, St. Vincent de Paul, Thomas Street, Wexford, Co Wexford 0539121440 Voluntary service providing support for homeless men aged 18 years upwards.

Target Age Group Homeless men aged 18 years and older. Eligibility Criteria Men experiencing homelessness or at risk, eviction, drug addiction, alcohol addiction etc. Referrals Self-referrals, Community Welfare Officer, other statutory agencies.


Other Services 1800 459 459

Crosscare: 01 836 0011

Al-Anon (for family members and friends of those with an alcohol problem): 01 873 269

Samaritans offers a 24 hour listening service over text message, text 'Hello' to 087 260 9090 to get started (standard text messaging rates apply) or call 116 123 to talk to someone over the phone.

Childline text and instant messaging services are available from 10am - 4am every day to young people under 18, text 'Talk' to 50101 to talk to a trained counsellor by text message or call 1800 66 66 66

Teenline is a non-directive, non-judgemental and confidential helpline for teenagers age 13-19. They offer a freephone listening service. You can contact them by: Calling 1800 83 36 34 (8-11pm Monday to Friday)


Visit Your GP:

We always recommend that you visit your GP if you have struggling with your mental health.  Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed.  Your doctor is a professional health care provider and will be familiar with how you are feeling.  Your mental health is just that - your health.  You would visit your GP if you had been feeling physically unwell right ?  Your emotional health is just as important as your physical well-being - in fact the two go hand in hand.  If you don’t have a current GP you can find a list of services in your area here.  You can also contact the CareDoc service on 1850 334 999

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