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Community Manager
Posts: 5,599
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

[Special guest] Thinking about Drinking with Hello Sunday Morning

[ Edited ]

Join us on Wednesday the 21st of June at 8:00pm to chat to Hello Sunday Morning about your relationship with alcohol.

 

 

Have you ever felt like this the morning after a big night?

 

 

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Ever gotten a bit wasted and said something you regretted?

 

 

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Have you tried Dry July and needed a Golden Ticket to get through? 

 

 

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Then this chat is for you. Hello Sunday Morning can help you think about your relationship with alcohol and take those Sunday mornings back from the hangover. 

 

Edit: here are some anonymous questions that were asked along with @Briony-HSM's great answers.

 

 

 

How do you talk to a friend who is drinking too much but refuses to believe it?
Good question - this is one that comes up a lot, believe it or not. The big issue is that often when someone is drinking too much, they kind of already know that their behavior isn't 100% great, and so when we try to talk to them they can become defensive and shut down. One good way of engaging someone in a way that is likely to get them to listen, is to approach it from a very non-judgemental angle. For example, you could share some of your own experiences of drinking, or mention a story you have heard about a person who was going through a tough time and turned to alcohol. Often when we can kind of start that conversation and introduce the topic casually, it opens up opportunities for the person to either talk to you, or reflect on their own behavior. If you are really concerned about them, another option could be to choose a quiet time with just the two of you, and again take a non-judgemental approach and say something like 'I noticed that you seem to be drinking more lately, or when we go out you're often really drunk - and I worry about you because I wonder, is there something wrong, or is there some way I can help you?' This gives your friend the opportunity to see you're concerned, but it is said in a way that isn't aggressive - eg. you drink too much. Generally someone who is psychologically or physiologically dependent on alcohol will have some degree of shame, so finding the right way to talk to them (so they listen instead of shutting down!) is really important.


Pretty sure my mate is addicted to drinking, have tried talking with him.  Have also had his parents talk with him - nothing working - What else can we do?
That's a tough one - sounds like he is really fortunate to have you all trying to support him. It sounds as if the 'direct' route is not working, probably because he is feeling ashamed about his drinking, or simply because he is not ready to change yet. This is a good description of the stages of change we might go through in deciding to change a behavior: http://www.cpe.vt.edu/gttc/presentations/8eStagesofChange.pdf  - basically it can take a while for a person to be 'ready to change' and often that is that there are more reasons to change than to keep doing the behavior (one example of this is - I might want to eat freddo frogs for every meal, but at some stage I would have to change because I'd see the consequences of it, and I would see the reasons to change my behavior - but if I never saw any consequences to this, i'd likely to continue the behavior - I really love freddo frogs). So - what do you think are the 'reasons' your friend continues to drink - eg. does it make him more confident when he's out, is he drinking to deal with depression, is he physically dependent on alcohol, ect. And, what are his 'reasons' to change? This might be a good place to start with him -  a casual conversation about maybe your own experiences of drinking, or starting a conversation that might awaken his curiosity as to why he drinks. Generally most people will try to stop drinking at some point (drinking generally has pretty bad long term consequences in terms of health, finances, relationship and job) but it sounds as if for your friend, the sooner this happens the better.


What are some good ways to manage drinking in social situations? I often start a night not wanting to drink too much but then I end up drinking more because I feel socially awkward
Yes, great question - and it is great that you've identified that social awkwardness is a big factor in drinking. One thing we really promote at HSM is the idea of 'experiments' - the idea is that by doing something differently, we are moving away from old behavior. One idea might be to go into one of these situations sober, and notice what it is like not drinking - see if you can address the social awkwardness without the booze. When we think about it, alcohol is effective in social situations as it relaxes our nervous system and lowers our inhibitions - it doesn't actually make us funnier or more attractive (unfortunately!) so it is just dulling us a little bit. In fact, we generally get a bit more annoying and uninteresting after a few drinks because the parts of our brains that control thought, speech and decision making are all impaired by the alcohol. See how you go with this and perhaps prepare some 'icebreakers' or topics of conversation to use with new people, as a way of managing potential awkwardness. My sense is that if you're able to go into a social situation and have some good experiences sober, it will build your confidence in your ability to manage these situations with only a couple of drinks, or none at all.

Can an alcoholic ever go back to drinking normally again?
This is a tough one - I would say that the general understanding is that no, its not advisable for a person who has had major issues with alcohol to try and go back to drinking normally. The fact that alcohol has impacted them so much tells me that they probably have a quite intense relationship with alcohol - that it has a really significant effect on them and it is really hard for them to just stop at one. There is a lot of research into this at the moment, and the general advice is that for some people they will need to be completely abstinent, in order to lead a normal life. This can be really sad for some people as they really wish they could just have a glass of wine with dinner, or drinks with friends, but they know that it will be really hard to stop after that. If this is your experience I would definitely recommend speaking to a drug and alcohol counsellor for some more information as it is pretty complex - to do with your genetics, what has happened in your life, your relationship with alcohol, your health, all sorts of things. At HSM we talk about changing your relationship with alcohol, so that it is not something that we use to 'take away' bad things (eg sadness, anxiety, loneliness), but it is something that you can consciously choose whether you want in your life. For many people who describe themselves as alcoholics or who have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder, their relationship with alcohol will be very complex and it will be really hard for them to manage it and have it as just one part of their lives, unfortunately.


How should I deal with a family memeber who's had a problem for alcohol for many years now and there's nothing more that I can do about them?
This is a really difficult situation, and i'm sorry to hear that you're having to deal with this - it can be really hard to see this happening with someone you love and they seem resistant to change. I will give you similar advice to that which I provided above, which is that: It sounds as if the 'direct' route is not working, probably because they are feeling ashamed about their drinking, or simply because they are not ready to change yet. This is a good description of the stages of change we might go through in deciding to change a behavior: http://www.cpe.vt.edu/gttc/presentations/8eStagesofChange.pdf  - basically it can take a while for a person to be 'ready to change' and often that is that there are more reasons to change than to keep doing the behavior (one example of this is - I might want to eat freddo frogs for every meal, but at some stage I would have to change because I'd see the consequences of it, and I would see the reasons to change my behavior - but if I never saw any consequences to this, i'd likely to continue the behavior - I really love freddo frogs). So - what do you think are the 'reasons' your family member continues to drink - eg. does it make them relaxed after work, are they drinking to deal with depression, are they physically dependent on alcohol, ect. And, what are their 'reasons' to change? This might be a good place to start with them -  a casual conversation about maybe your own experiences of drinking, or starting a conversation that might awaken his curiosity as to why he drinks. Generally most people will try to stop drinking at some point (drinking generally has pretty bad long term consequences in terms of health, finances, relationship and job). But if a person is really reliant on alcohol it can be hard for them to see the reasons before they get serious. One other point - if you believe the family member is drinking to deal with depression, it could be helpful to have that conversation with them - that alcohol causes our brains to release dopamine, which is that chemical that causes us to crave things and feel happy and energised. After a long time of heavy drinking, however, our brains become depleted from dopamine and we then rely on alcohol to get that feeling - so cravings can be around just wanting to feel 'normal'. This is a bit of a cycle and often depression as a result of this (feeling depressed because their brain chemistry is off kilter due to the low dopamine) can occurr - so a person may continue to drink to try and manage this issue. THe good news is that once they stop drinking this will generally resolve and they will find that their mood will improve and they will no longer rely on alcohol to manage it.

 

 

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Stuff that's happening on the forums:
Mod
Posts: 985
Registered: ‎26-08-2016

Re: [Special guest] Thinking about Drinking with Hello Sunday Morning

Excited for this chat Smiley Happy
Special Guest Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: Wednesday

Re: [Special guest] Thinking about Drinking with Hello Sunday Morning

Hi Everyone!

 

My name is Briony and I am one of the Health Coaches at Hello Sunday Morning - I will be answering any questions you have  tonight at 8pm. Some questions you might have about drinking might be - 

 

-I'm worried about a friend/family member and their level of drinking - how can I talk to them about this?

-I'm a bit concerned about my own relationship with alcohol - what can I do to change it? 

-Why do I drink so much in certain situations? 

-I tend to drink a lot in social situations - do you have tips about how to manage this? 

-My friends give me a hard time when I don't drink - help!

 

I'm happy to help answer some of these questions and any more you have about changing your relationship with alcohol. You are welcome to jump onto our website to have a look about what we do - available here

 

Looking forward to speaking with you this evening Smiley Very Happy

Community Manager
Posts: 5,599
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

Re: [Special guest] Thinking about Drinking with Hello Sunday Morning

So excited for this chat tonight @Briony-HSM! See you at 8pm AEST! 

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Stuff that's happening on the forums:
Mod
Posts: 352
Registered: ‎19-09-2016

Re: [Special guest] Thinking about Drinking with Hello Sunday Morning

Welcome to tonight's Infobus about thinking about drinking and your relationship with alcohol. Tonight we have with us the lovely @Briony-HSM from Hello Sunday Morning.

 

Oh Hello

 

If you would like to talk to someone about your relationship with alcohol you can call DrugInfo on 1300 858 584 or Youth Substance Abuse Line on 1800 014 446.

 

If you would like more information about Hello Sunday Morning you can find their website here.

 

 

If at all you find this conversation difficult, distressing or you feel like you need to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to call lifeline (13 11 14) or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or contact them through email or webchat.

 

If you are new or need a refresher of our community guidelines, you can find them here.

 

 

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Mod
Posts: 8,318
Registered: ‎10-08-2012

Re: [Special guest] Thinking about Drinking with Hello Sunday Morning

GREETINGS EVERYONE! I finally made it to an infobus! Smiley Surprised I'll try and stick around for a short while Smiley Happy

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray, when you're on the Titanic, you load the lifeboats. You don't stop to yell at the iceberg.
Mod
Posts: 352
Registered: ‎19-09-2016

Re: [Special guest] Thinking about Drinking with Hello Sunday Morning

Let's get this infobus rolling with our first question!

Let's start off with a nice and easy one. Do you drink alcohol, or, are you thinking about drinking alcohol one day?

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WE WANT YOU to tell us what kind of infobuses you'd like to see! Let us know here.
Builder
Posts: 16,229
Registered: ‎17-04-2014

Re: [Special guest] Thinking about Drinking with Hello Sunday Morning

hey everyone
thanks for coming @Briony-HSM
//caught in fire, watch me burn gonna live my life, mark these words cause I'm home//
Community Manager
Posts: 5,599
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

Re: [Special guest] Thinking about Drinking with Hello Sunday Morning

Welcome everyone! Thanks for stopping by for a chat Smiley Happy 

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Stuff that's happening on the forums:
Community Manager
Posts: 5,599
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

Re: [Special guest] Thinking about Drinking with Hello Sunday Morning

Let's start off with a nice and easy one. Do you drink alcohol, or, are you thinking about drinking alcohol one day?

 

Yep i drink alcohol

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