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.
Local alcohol support services
If you are concerned about your own, or someone else's drinking you could visit:
Inspiring Recovery is a free service available to anyone in the district over 25. It offers various services including:
Information and advice
Interventions on site and in the community;
Wellbeing and healthcare,
Harm reduction interventions,
One to one appointments,
Drug and alcohol detox and prescribing
Shared Care services across the district working with local GPs providing interventions in the community
Specialist Outreach Services and Workers
Specialist alcohol team
Links to the criminal justice system
0300 123 1912
A free service available to families, carers and anyone in the district up to the age of 25. It offers:
Advice and support for young people who are worried about drug and/or alcohol misuse
Family support through one – to – one interventions and bespoke group work including parenting programmes, and information & advice sessions.
0300 123 1912
NHS Choices provides useful advice about alcohol misuse
NHS choices website
Wakefield Council is a member of the Yorkshire and Humber, Alcohol Alliance. To find out more visit