Alcohol misuse is when you drink in a way that’s harmful, or when you’re dependent on alcohol. To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, both men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week.
A unit of alcohol is 8g or 10ml of pure alcohol, which is about:
A small glass (125ml, ABV 12%) of wine contains about 1.5 units of alcohol.
How alcohol misuse is treated depends on how much alcohol a person is drinking.
Treatment options include:
detoxification – this involves a nurse or doctor supporting you to safely stop drinking; this can be done by helping you slowly cut down over time or by giving you medicines to prevent withdrawal symptoms
There are 2 main types of medicines to help people stop drinking.
The first is to help stop withdrawal symptoms and is given in reducing doses over a short period of time. The most common of these medicines is chlordiazapoxide (Librium).
The second is a medicine to reduce any urge you may have to drink. The most common medicines used for this are acamprosate and naltrexone.
These are both given at a fixed dose, and you’ll usually be on them for 6 to 12 months.