The 2010 Singapore Mental Health Study lists alcohol abuse as one of Singapore’s three most common mental health disorders. Consistent consumption of too much alcohol isn’t just bad for a person’s health; it can also ruin his or her relationships, career, and life goals. Discover what you can do to help yourself or someone you know find freedom from alcohol abuse.

Understand How It Starts

One young man recalls how his uncles and other family members would encourage him to have a drink at family celebrations. They treated it as a bonding experience, a way to connect and to party with each other. ” It was all about being funny and jovial,” he says. ” I just gulped it down, and that was it, but over the years I started to like it.”

Before long, this young man’s liking for alcohol turned into an uncontrollable addiction. At one point, he was consuming between 36-40 cans of beer in a single day. He was wrecking his health and destroying his chances of a normal, fulfilling life.

Recognise the Signs of Abuse and Addiction

Dr. Gomathinayagam Kandasami serves as the chief of the Addiction Medicine Department of the National Addictions Management Service (NAMS). He explains that people who cannot function normally without having a drink first have definitely crossed the line into alcohol abuse. As the problem worsens, the signs of addiction become more obvious. “If they don’t drink, they will develop a lot of withdrawal symptoms,” he says. “They could get shakes or sweats when they wake up in the morning, so they end up drinking a can of beer to start their day.”

Recognise the Need for Help

According to the official 2010 Singapore Mental Health Study, 96.2% of people affected by alcohol abuse do not get help for their addiction. Many consume massive amounts of alcohol for years, spending their money, neglecting their careers and families, and ruining their health. At last, a crisis or the action of friends and family may force the addict to seek help. By that time, he or she may have permanently damaged the brain or liver.

Discover What Singapore is Doing to Help

The European Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore Nightlife Business Association are working together to ensure that their patrons are drinking responsibly. Servers, staff, and bartenders are being trained to notice when someone is drinking heavily and regularly so that they can address the problem in an appropriate way rather than enabling the alcohol abuse.

The ECC and SNBA are also exploring the possibility of using Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS), which is a current programme in the United States. Not only do such programmes help addicts, they also benefit others by reducing the number of alcohol-related incidents and making Singapore a safer place to enjoy time with friends in the evening.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Channel News Asia, 29 April 2017