Most of us have a drink from time to time, but you may need help if you often feel the need to have a drink, get in trouble because of your drinking or you think that your drinking is causing problems in your life. There are places to get help and support, you are not alone.
There is a high rate of co-occurence of BPD and alcohol misuse – it’s estimated that over 75% of adults who have been diagnosed with BPD will have a co-occuring problem with alcohol or substance misuse in their lifetime. It is not uncommon for people living with BPD to use alcohol in an attempt to cope with their extreme and intense emotions, or perhaps as an attempt to block out unwanted thoughts or traumatic memories.
Drinking is a short term solution to problems, and can cause serious health issues, especially if you are drinking alcohol while on medication such as antidepressants or mood stabilisers.
The first step is admitting there is a problem, and a good place to start is with your GP. Be completely honest with them about your drinking and the reason you think you are drinking too much, and they will be able to help you. It may be they can refer you to a nearby support group, local service or refer you for therapy.
If you have become dependent on alcohol, you will find it harder to get it under control – and there may be serious health risks to cutting down suddenly, and you may suffer withdrawal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, anxiety, shaking, sweats or even hallucinations – so your GP can advise you on how to do it safely.
Your local health authority may also have information on their website regarding local services. The NHS websites have service directories which include support services for people with alcohol problems.
Alcohol treatments may include medication to help reduce cravings, stabilise mood or deal with symptoms of anxiety or depression. You may be referred for therapy, counselling or to a support group. Wherever you live in the UK, there will be a service in your area which supports people with alcohol problems.
Alcohol Change UK
If you feel you are drinking too much, Alcohol Change UK can offer advice and support. On their website you will find a simple quiz which will help you determine if your drinking is likely to affect your health.
Drinkline is a free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm)
If you live in Wales, you can contact the DAN 24/7 alcohol and drug any time of the day or night. Freephone: 0808 808 2234, or text DAN to: 81066.
Alcoholics Anonymous offers support, advice and understanding to anyone affected by drinking, including friends and family. You can call their helpline on 0800 0086 811, which is open 10am to 10pm. Their website has lots of useful resources. If you would prefer, you can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or live chat via their website at www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk.
DACW (Developing a Caring Wales)
DACW provides a range of services for people affected by alcohol or drug misuse, and mental health issues. Visit their website at www.dacw.co.uk to find out more (the website is available in Welsh and English).
If you are looking for urgent support please contact the Samaritans, who are available 24/7 on 116 123 or email@example.com.