Date of prep: December 2020
Prescribing information and
adverse events reporting
For healthcare professionals only
Our pharmacist works in community pharmacy. She has been on the GPhC register for 20 years. She has been working in community pharmacy all this time for a number of companies. At the moment she works in a rural pharmacy and has hitherto had an unblemished professional and employment history.
She has enjoyed alcohol over the years. She feels like she ‘deserves’ a drink on a Friday and Saturday night.
We join her on a Saturday evening after working in the pharmacy all day. On the way home from work she picks up three bottles of white wine. On returning home she immediately pours a glass from one of the bottles and puts the others in the fridge.
She drinks all three bottles and falls asleep on her couch. She has always struggled to control the amount she drinks and most weekends will drink to excess.
Do you feel she has a problem with alcohol?
How would you define the term ‘alcoholic’?
“Someone who drinks on a daily basis and needs a drink to start the day.”
“Unable to function without regular consumption of alcohol.”
“Someone who drinks to excess frequently.”
“Someone who needs to drink to able to function.”
“Regularly exceeding the safe limits and reliance on alcohol to get through life.”
“Someone who is unable to control how much they consume, they may also not realise the reliance the have developed.”
“This person clearly drinks more than the recommended weekly intake. As such her alcohol intake could be defined as problematic in that she is increasing her own risk of health complication. However, in order to identify if support is needed, we need to ask her if she feels she has an issue and finds out more about motives.”
“Inability to control the amount consumed.”
“Not being able to control the amount of alcohol you drink. Drinking because you need to.”
“Someone who is dependent on alcohol and/or unable to control the amount of alcohol they drink when they do drink.”
“Drinking excessively and/or alone on a frequent basis.”
“Someone who relies on alcohol to get them through the day, or through stressful situations. Those who cannot imagine a life without alcohol.”
“Someone who drinks alcohol in excessive amounts or an uncontrolled fashion.”
“She is not an alcoholic but she is binge drinking to relieve the stress of work.”
“Dependent on alcohol.”
“Someone who cannot survive without a drink eg could not go a weekend without alcohol.”
“Someone who is either physically or emotionally dependent on alcohol.”
“When she is unable to control how much she drinks and prioritises the intoxication above the enjoyment of the taste. So drinking with the intention for intoxication.”
“Inability to control the need or desire to drink. Has more than 4+ drinks on more than 1 occasion per week OR has to drink every day.”
“A person who is unable to control their drinking behaviour.”
“Someone who relies on alcohol and can’t seem to function without it. Doesn’t have to be drinking all day every day but regularly.”
“Someone who struggles to control their alcohol consumption, and consumes alcohol in such a way that it interferes with daily life.”
“Chronic overuse or unsafe use of alcohol. May affect day to day functioning eg work performance, household tasks home administration.”
“Unable to control how much you drink, drinking frequently to excess.”
“Someone who is dependent on alcohol or for whom alcohol is a major part of their routine.”
“A reliance on alcohol and not knowing when or how to stop.”
“Heavily exceeds safe levels of alcohol regularly or binge drinks.”
Pharmacy in Practice is a UK pharmacy publication with its roots in Scotland.