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Social Acceptability of Alcoholism Pushing the NHS to Breaking Point

The situation regarding alcohol abuse has become a major crisis in Hull, according to local medical experts. The number of people engaged in binge drinking and other dangerous patterns of alcohol consumption is rapidly increasing, and there are now a lot more people in the area who would fit the criteria of alcoholic. This is all putting a huge strain on the NHS, and there is a real concern that the service will soon be completely overwhelmed.

Why is Alcoholism out of Control in Hull?

There is a strong drinking culture in the UK generally, and evidence of the dangers of binge drinking can be found on any high street once it turns dark - especially at the weekends. Medical experts in Hull though also believe that a major reason for the problem is that too many people are self-medicating conditions such as stress and depression. More people than ever are turning to alcohol to cope with life, with this behaviour being socially acceptable; few people would question the chance to 'unwind' with a few drinks.

The Danger of Self-Medication

If people are getting some relief from depression and stress by drinking alcohol, what's the harm? The problem is that in the long-term, any type of substance abuse will just make these conditions much worse. It is important to keep in mind that alcohol is a type of drug known as a depressant, and it can actually trigger the condition even in people who have never had it. Alcohol is also a terrible solution for stress because it just adds additional sources of stress to the person's life.

One of the reasons self-medication is such an easy trap to fall into is that most individuals do not even realise that this is what they are doing. The person may claim to drink to deal with stress, but they may completely miss the fact that there is some underlying condition that is interfering with their normal ability to deal with stress; it may also be that the individual has just not managed to learn any effective coping strategies for dealing with it. There are also many dealing with depression but do not even realise it - they just start drinking and decide that this makes them feel a bit better.

The reason alcohol is such a terrible choice for self-medication is that it involves so many undesirable side effects. Part of this is the reality that once people begin abusing this substance to help them cope with their problems, they are going to develop tolerance for it, which means that they need to keep on increasing their dosage to get the same effect. The more the person drinks, the worse his or her situation gets, but this becomes a reason to drink more - it really is a vicious cycle.

Alcoholism Pushing the NHS to Breaking Point

The fact that individuals are turning to self-medication as a means of dealing with anxiety or depression is pushing the NHS to breaking point. Between 2012 and 2013 alone, there was a 6.7 per cent increase in the amount of money spent on dealing with the problem. It would be much cheaper to treat the original conditions than to deal with the damage done through alcohol abuse - in fact, all that self-medication does is create two problems when there only used to be one.

All the evidence seems to suggest that alcoholism will keep on increasing in places like Hull - the same pattern can be found all over the UK. More needs to be done to help people deal with depression and anxiety so they do not feel the need to turn to alcohol. It is also vital that the dangers of self-medication are promoted more heavily so that this behaviour is no longer considered so socially acceptable.

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