Alcohol and ‘White Collar’ Professionals

Walking through the streets of Central London today and thinking of Alcohol Awareness Week I was deliberating with my thoughts- Alcohol problems are found only in ‘blue collar’ population- is that really true? Not in my experience. I see ‘white collar’ professionals in clinical practice who develop a problematic relationship with Alcohol.

As reported in a recent BBC interview and campaigned by Alcohol Concern- Cymru, it often starts with recreational use where the reasons could be many- including coping with stress, using alcohol as a social lubricant to facilitate a subjectively improved social interaction, part of business networking world to name a few. This, when continues gradually results in gradual development of tolerance to the effects of alcohol and before long can be above ‘Hazardous Use’ giving way to ‘Harmful Use’ and ‘Dependence’.

In case stress is the underlying reason to seek shelter in Alcohol, then there are alternative and healthier ways to manage stress which I will be writing about in the next post.

But for now knowing what the considered safe limits are would be a start for Alcohol Awareness. For men, it is no more than 21 units and for women, no more than 14 units a week. These have to be spread out through the week with at least 2 days gap between drinking days. You can check your units consumption and calories on
Drinkaware

Look out for ‘Managing Stress Healthily’ and ‘Acute Effects of Alcohol’ posts coming up shortly.

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National Addictions Conference- Cardiff 2012

It was a matter of pride for hosting the Royal College of Psychiatrists Addictions Annual Conference in Cardiff this year. It is the first time that it was hosted in Cardiff. The feedback of the conference had been very good spanning from the topics covered to the minute details of the venue, the organisation and the hospitality. Dr Tony Jewell’s opening set the Welsh flavour and that carried on throughout. It was timely for the press release regarding the minimum pricing of alcohol to be released just before the conference as well. Listening to the news today, I picked up that the national alcohol consumption is being reported as going down with more health concerns, rising taxes and increased price to buy alcohol and based on that it was being argued that ‘minimum pricing’ should not be a strategic direction.

Most importantly, it is clear that pricing does have an impact on levels of consumption and given all the evidence on price- elasticity, the ‘marketing- mix’ used by the alcohol industry, the impact of availability and licensing, in my opinion, it becomes even more important to endorse ‘minimum pricing’.

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Keeping positive amidst life’s illusions

triangle Pictures, Images and Photos

Sometimes, when things are not going the way they were planned and the reality seems distorted, think of the Kanizsa Triangle which can solve some of the dilemmas- have a closer look at the white triangle which seems as the most prominent and white with distinct edges. And in reality, there is no white triangle- it is an optical illusion. Perhaps life’s situations can present bit like the triangle with reality being distorted or overcast by illusions- illusions that we make ourselves!

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