If alcohol is affecting you or someone you know and their health, relationships, work, finances or other life situations, please contact us for support.

Roughly 1 in 5 lawyers are addicted to alcohol

Alcoholism or problem drinking is a chronic and progressive disease.

Lawyers are very adept at hiding personal problems, including difficulties with alcohol. The onset of alcoholism can be very gradual. Denial, combined with the fact that the progression to alcoholism can take 15 to 20 years or longer, means that many lawyers who have a problem do not face the issue until the addiction has become long-engrained. Then there is the wrongly-held belief that if you can continue to function at work and produce work, you are not addicted to alcohol.

The effects of drinking

Alcohol affects everyone differently depending on many factors. Problematic alcohol use can affect your concentration, speech, balance, vision, coordination, judgement, and overall health. Long term problematic alcohol use can also lead to professional, personal, financial and legal problems.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause
  • drowsiness
  • slurred speech
  • dizziness
  • loss of coordination skills
  • inability to think and judge things clearly
  • confusion or memory loss
  • negative mood states
  • violence
  • suicide
  • vomiting
  • irregular heart beat
  • respiratory depression, coma, or death
Long term health effects include
  • increased risk of suicide
  • increased risk of high blood pressure
  • increased risk of stroke
  • increased risk of heart disease
  • liver damage
  • stomach ulcers
  • impotency in men
  • menstrual irregularites in women
  • some types of cancer
  • death
Signs of problem drinking
  • Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Have tried to quit drinking but can't
  • Feeling a strong need to drink
  • Drink to cheer up
  • Developing tolerance to alcohol so that you need increasing amounts to feel its effects
  • Having legal problems or other problems with relationships, employment or finances
  • Drinking alone or doing so secretly
  • Making excuses for your drinking
  • Experience physical withdrawal symptoms
  • Not remembering conversations or commitments
  • Making a ritual of having drinks at certain times and becoming annoyed when this is disturbed or questioned
  • Losing interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring you pleasure
  • Irritability when your usual drinking time nears

Giving up alcohol after drinking for a long time is challenging because the body has to get used to functioning without it. Please seek advice from a health professional.

Symptoms can start within a few hours after your last drink and can last 2-7 days.

  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety, irritability, difficulty sleeping
  • Seizures
  • Delusions
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