Although alcohol consumption amongst Asian women is low, it is increasing and an under recognised issue. This may be linked to using alcohol as a way to help cope with abuse because women and girls experiencing domestic violence sometimes turn to alcohol or drugs as a response to, and an escape from the violence. According to the Women's Aid website, almost half of Asian women seeking treatment for alcohol misuse are experiencing domestic violence.Women and girls dependent on alcohol are likely to be even more vulnerable because it will be harder for them to report domestic violence because they may feel a sense of shame because of the stigma of being an 'alcoholic' - a stigma that is even more pronounced in the Asian / Muslim communities. Also some women and girls are introduced to substances by their abusive partners as a way of increasing control over them e.g. as in grooming and sexual exploitation. Signs of Alcohol Dependence
Physical Signs- withdrawal symptoms such as: sweating, shaking, and nausea
Psychological Signs - finding it difficult to enjoy yourself or relax without a drink.
Impact of Alcohol Addiction
Physical Impact - Alcohol dependency can lead to serious health problems e.g. high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and liver damage. The most serious form of liver damage is cirrhosis, which means the liver is prevented from working properly and can lead to liver failure and death.
Psychological Impact - Alcohol dependency can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and suicidal feelings.
Social Impact - Alcohol dependency can affect your relationships with your partner, family and friends. it can also lead to financial problems e.g. not performing well at work and losing your job or spending excessive amounts of money on buying alcohol. Some people even turn to crime to sustain their addiction if they cannot afford to buy it.
If you think that you may be addicted to alcohol or are worried that someone else is, then seek help before it is too late. You can visit the GP or contact the organisations listed below. You can also find an alcohol addiction treatment service on the NHS website here. The MWN Helpline can also try and find a culturally sensitive service for you and other forms of help depending on your situation.
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Al-Anon Family Groups
020 7403 0888
Provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not.
Offers counselling and complementary therapies for Asian, African and African Caribbean people with emotional problems, domestic violence problems and problems with alcohol. It also offers a support group for women and couple and group counselling.
Low Hall Lane, Walthamstow, London, E17 8BE.
0800 088 66 86
Provides addiction treatment and healthcare advice for a wide range of of different addiction and dependency problems. FREE 24/7 confidential helpline. However, these are likely to be private services that you will have to pay for. However, all services may not be free.