OUR NATIONAL DRUG
Whilst we understand that alcohol plays a big part in our culture, and for many people drinking is a healthy part of their lives, it is important to recognise its potential to cause harm.
For some people, harm could be the consequences of one bad experience – something that was said that was better left unsaid or a loss of control that put them in a dangerous situation. For others, the harm comes from continued use in spite of repeated and worsening consequences.
Some say alcohol isn’t an issue in modern day sport. We can categorically say that isn’t true. Furthermore, here at Sporting Chance we’re here to support athletes through their whole lives, not just as active competitors, and it’s often in the transition from competing to another phase of an athlete’s life that alcohol and recreational drugs can cause problems.
Do you have an alcohol problem?
We think it’s important to encourage athletes to look at their alcohol use honestly rather than getting caught up in labels and diagnoses which can sometimes get in the way.
Alcoholism (also known as alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder) occurs when you drink to the extent that your body eventually becomes dependent on, or addicted to, alcohol.
But there are lots of people that might have a problematic relationship with alcohol and would benefit from some support, even if they don’t fit this diagnosis.
If you are concerned about your relationship with alcohol in any way, answering the questions below might be a useful starting point:
+ Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
+ Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking-- stop telling you what to do?
+ Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
+ Have you had to have a drink in the morning during the past year, to get started, or to stop shaking?
+ Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
+ Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
+ Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
+ Do you ever try to get 'extra' drinks on a night out because you do not get enough?
+ Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don't mean to?
+ Have you missed days off work because of drinking?
+ Do you have blackouts? (drinking hours or days we cannot remember)
+ Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions it may be worth examining your relationship with alcohol further.
Support is available
Sporting Chance offers a range of services to professional sportspeople to help with problem alcohol use, other addictive or destructive behaviours and emotional wellbeing.
It is important to recognise that those struggling with alcohol are not alone and that many people who have experienced the same issues have gone on to successfully overcome the problem.
Identifying that there might be a problem is an important and courageous first step. The next, equally brave, step is to talk to someone about it and ask for help.
Those who are eligible for Sporting Chance’s services can call or text our helpline or e-mail us. You can find the information of how to get in touch here.
Sporting Chance offers a range of services to individuals and organisations that are concerned about alcohol:
If you are concerned about your alcohol use or the impact that somebody’s else alcohol use is having on you please contact us.
We have a nationwide network of counsellors and therapists enabling our clients to access confidential, professional support.
For those suffering from more severe addictive disorders, our residential clinic offers professional treatment programmes.
Sporting Chance offers an education and training programme to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol use.