During difficult times in life, people sometimes turn to alcohol to help them cope. But alcohol can in turn damage your mental health.  Signs that alcohol use is becoming a serious problem include:

  • Becoming dependent and needing alcohol to function.

  • Allowing alcohol to affect your relationships, work or family life.

How much is too much?

Visit www.drugs.ie for information on how to recognise when someone is drinking too much.

Alcohol and mental health

There is a strong link between problem drinking (alcohol misuse) and mental health problems. People who have mental health problems may drink alcohol as a way to try and cope with or hide away from how they are feeling.

When someone has an addiction problem and a mental health problem, it is called a dual diagnosis or it is said that the person has multiple or complex needs. Health services must work together to provide the best care and support for both the addiction and the mental health problem. You can find out more about dual diagnosis on the Dual Diagnosis Ireland website.

Supporting someone and minding yourself

The Drugs.ie website provides information on what you can do to support someone with an alcohol problem:

Find supports and services

  • Drugs.ie: Lists services throughout the country, including supports for family members.

  • HSE Drugs & Alcohol Helpline: This confidential service has both a free phone helpline (1800 459 459) and an email support service (helpline@hse.ie). The Helpline provides support, information, guidance and referral to anyone with a question or concern related to drug and alcohol use and/or HIV and sexual health.

  • Dual Diagnosis Ireland: Information for people affected by dual diagnosis issues.