What you should be aware of when you drink
Alcohol is often used as a social lubricant in social settings. Drinking is legal in Singapore if you are 18 and above. Even though alcohol is legal and socially accepted, there are risks and problems associated with persistent drinking.
When you are intoxicated, you put yourself and others at some risk. Your judgement is impaired and you walk unsteadily. If you drive under the influence of alcohol, you risk getting into a car accident. You might even experience drug-induced blackouts where you are unable to remember what happened. You need the people around you to fill you in the blanks.
Moreover, the ability to manage your emotions and behaviour is compromised. There is a tendency to end up fighting or engaging in risky activities like casual unprotected sex. Many incidents of robbery, sexual harassment or rape are often the consequences of risky drinking.
Binge drinking is defined as 4 or more standard alcoholic drinks* on one occasion for women, and 5 or more for men. A binge drinker can consume a huge amount alcohol in a short period of time. Once the binge starts, the session can last up to a few days. During this time, you may suffer from alcohol-induced blackouts, make risky decisions or engage in unsafe behaviour.
When you do not need to drink every day, you may think you do not have a drinking problem. Even if you are not currently dependent on alcohol, you will still suffer the consequences of risky behaviour when you binge drink.
*A standard alcoholic drink contains 10 gm of alcohol. This is roughly equal to:
When you are dependent† on alcohol, you need to drink the first thing in the morning. Without your daily drinks, you cannot function normally - you may be emotionally volatile and physically aggressive.
Drinking helps you to relieve the unwanted feelings of withdrawal. You are unable to stop drinking. You cannot refrain from pouring the next one. This is loss of control, and it is one of the defining features of addiction.
Social and family relationships will be negatively affected. You will not be able to focus on your job. Your work - or your studies - will suffer.
†Alcohol Use Disorder refers to a problematic pattern of alcohol use that leads to significant clinical distress and serious health, relationship and social consequences (as defined in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition: DSM-V).
Excessive alcohol consumption will lead to several health concerns such as kidney damage, liver disease, a weakened immune system and diminished cognitive development. You drink in order to reduce loneliness and anxiety. However, drinking itself leads to a range of mental health issues like depression, increased anxiety, and impaired cognitive and memory functioning.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder
Do you find yourself….
Help and Treatment
You do not need to suffer from alcohol dependence to have a drinking problem. If you find yourself binge drinking, you have a drinking problem. If you behave in a risky way when under the influence of alcohol - you have a drinking problem. Seek professional help early to reduce harmful consequences and social and economic costs.
Screening - The aim of the initial session is to identify the presence of drinking problems and/or effect of negative consequences of excessive drinking. Our professional WE CARE counsellor will screen for any other existing mental health conditions to gain a deeper understanding of our client.
Assessment - This is a comprehensive understanding of the severity and depth of the drinking problem in the client's life situation. We also evaluate the individual's strengths, weaknesses, problems and needs so we can determine an effective solution. Potential risks, and how they are to be managed, will be integrated into the treatment planning. If medical detoxification is required, the client will be referred to the appropriate agency, as WE CARE does not offer medical detox services. Otherwise, a suitable treatment plan can proceed, after a discussion with the client, and with his approval.
Treatment Planning + Counselling - Tailored to the client's needs, the treatment plan will also establish immediate and long-term goals. A discussion of WE CARE's holistic services is included in the treatment planning. The length of the recovery approach will depend, among other factors, on the intensity of the client's alcohol problem.
Your sessions with WE CARE counsellors are strictly private and confidential.
The SOAR (Substance or Alcohol Recovery) Programme is a structured therapy programme designed for persons with substance, prescription meds and/or alcohol abuse problems. Counselling is provided by trained addiction specialists.
The basic programme comprises:
Depending on their needs, some clients may require further sessions after the initial phase of the programme.
To download the SOAR flyer, click here.
To make an appointment, call 6547 5459 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WE CARE has started a new support group called “Family and Friends Support Group”. Facilitated by WE CARE counsellors, this group is meant for spouses, partners, family members or friends affected by an addicted loved one.
"Family & Friends" teaches effective strategies for self-care and how to cope with the recovering addict. The support group focuses on changing the way you interact with the recovering loved one. Using the CRAFT Model and SMART Recovery tools, we will touch on important topics that family members and friends experience, including:
The goals for "Family & Friends" are
"Family & Friends" is scheduled on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, 7pm to 830pm, at WE CARE. The group has been meeting since August 2018 but you can join in at any time.
If you are an affected family member or friend and you wish to attend "Family & Friends", contact Sida at 6547 5459 or NoorSida@wecare.org.sg to register.
SMART stands for Self-Management & Recovery Training. Participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups. All facilitators are registered SMART Recovery Facilitators.
SMART Recovery Details
Day: Every Thursday
Timing: 300pm to 430pm
Venue: WE CARE, 11 Jalan Ubi
SMART is an ongoing closed group & is catered for individuals with a history of addictions. Interested participants are required to undergo a clinical intake before attending SMART Recovery.
If interested, please email to email@example.com
Mindfulness For Recovery
Mindfulness for Recovery is an open group to learn and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness helps participants to break away from their own destructive habitual patterns. All facilitators have personal experience practising mindfulness. This group is catered for people with a history of addictions, reactive behaviours and/or mood disorders.
Every Friday, 630pm to 730pm
Venue: WE CARE Community Services
To register: call 6547 5459 or email firstname.lastname@example.org