Helping you get through tough times

Drink becoming a problem?

As we’ve said elsewhere, drinking in moderation can be grand and most of us do it. We also know that sometimes things get out of hand.

Measure, drink, cupIt can be hard to realise your drinking has become a problem, or to notice that a friend is drinking too much, because it’s so socially acceptable.

Here are some signs you should keep an eye out for:

  • Neglecting school work/college assignments/skipping work
  • Getting into trouble at school/work/home
  • Feeling hungover in the mornings more than every now and then
  • Thinking about drinking a lot during the day
  • Feeling very edgy for no apparent reason
  • Regularly drinking more than you meant to
  • Finding you have to drink more to get the same effect as you used to.

Make a list of all the “good” and “less good” things about drinking. Work out how much money you spend on alcohol each week.

If you’re not happy with the result you may need to manage your drinking a bit better.

If you’re worried about your drinking

Managing how much you drink can be difficult, especially when social life in Ireland is so centred around going to the pub. If you’re worried about how much you’re drinking, what you’re like when you drink or if you can’t seem to stop, talk to someone about it.

Loads of people are in a similar situation. There’s a lot of advice out there and nothing to feel ashamed of. Talk to a friend, a family member, doctor or a counsellor.

Your GP is often a good place to start, or if you’re in college, the student’s union welfare officer will be able to help.

Have a look at alcohol counselling, getting help and the benefits of talking to someone.

Phone numbers and websites

  • Drugs & Alcohol Awareness Programme – DAP provides live helper-interactive services, telephone and mobile help-line services and various other online services for drug and alcohol issues. Visit or call 01 8360911. You can also call the HSE Drugs helpline on 1800 459 459
  • Al-Anon & Alateen – a support service for relatives and friends of problem drinkers. Alateen offers understanding and support specifically for children of problem drinkers. 
Call 01 8732699 or visit
  • Alcoholics Anonymous – through mutual support, the AA aims to help its members achieve and maintain sobriety. There are no membership fees. Call 01 8420700 or visit


This article was last reviewed on 21 August 2018

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