Alcohol advice and services
Regular, heavy drinking interferes with chemicals in the brain that are vital for good mental health. So while we might feel relaxed after a drink, in the long run alcohol can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety, and make stress harder to deal with.
Alcohol alters your brain chemistry. The brain relies on a delicate balance of chemicals and processes. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can disrupt that balance, affecting our thoughts, feelings and actions – and sometimes our long-term mental health. This is partly down to neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help to transmit signals from one nerve (or neuron) in the brain to another.
For example, the relaxed feeling we can experience if we have a drink is due to the chemical changes alcohol has caused in the brain. A drink can make some people feel more confident and less anxious, as the alcohol begins to suppress the part of the brain associated with inhibition.
As we drink more, the impact on the brain increases. And regardless of the mood we’re in, with increasing alcohol consumption, it’s possible that negative emotions will take over. Alcohol can be linked to aggression and some people report becoming angry, aggressive, anxious or depressed when they drink.
Realising you have a problem with alcohol is the first big step to getting help.
You may need help if:
- you often feel the need to have a drink
- you get into trouble because of your drinking
- other people warn you about how much you're drinking
- you think your drinking is causing you problems
A good place to start is with a GP. Try to be accurate and honest about how much you drink and any problems it may be causing you.
If you have become dependent on alcohol, you will have found it difficult to fully control your drinking in some way.
So you'll probably need some help either to cut down and control your drinking or stop completely, and also some plans to maintain the improvement after that.
The GP may suggest different types of assessment and support options available to you, such as from local community alcohol services.
You can also ask about any free local support groups and other alcohol counselling that may suit you.
10 Market Street
If you are concerned about your own, or someone else's drinking you could try visiting
NHS choices website where there is some useful advice.
Alcohol and drugs local services
Wakefield Young People's Drug and Alcohol Service
This service is a drug and alcohol service for young people aged 18 and under which provides free, friendly, and confidential support for young people who are worried about their drug and/or alcohol use.
There are a number of local organisations we support, working across Wakefield to offer support, advice and treatment.
This service provides support and advice for anybody experiencing problems with drugs and/or alcohol. The service operates from two hubs – Wakefield city centre and Castleford as well as having satellite sites across the district.
Wakefield Council is a member of the Yorkshire and Humber, Alcohol Alliance. To find out more visit alcoholalliance.co.uk