Free refresher week at Dara Rehab


DARA Rehab invites clients back for a free “Refresher Week” one year after their initial stay. This is available for any client who stays a minimum of 28 days.

We understand sobriety is not an easy process. 

It is valuable to have our clients return with 12 months of sobriety and share their experiences with our current clients.


Are Strict Australian Laws Encouraging Alcoholism?

Are Strict Australian Laws Encouraging Alcoholism?

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Treatment, Understanding Addiction

Are Strict Australian Laws Encouraging Alcoholism?

Alcohol addiction is no respecter of person, age, race, nationality, or sexual orientation. There are new horrible stories that come out daily, hourly even, that involve tragedy and alcohol. One of the most tragic stories is that of one that passes alcoholism from generation to generation. While an alcoholic parent or sibling does not guarantee that another child will exist, the risks are higher.

Trying alcohol at a young age does not necessarily mean a problem will exist. However, repeating the experience over and over points to a problem. When you first start drinking, the sensation is enjoyable. You are often able to forget your problems all because of a drink. This makes it more tempting to drink again. Once you continually turn to alcohol every time a problem arises, the body gets used to the sensation and wants you to drink more alcohol. This makes the addiction turn into alcoholism, which is a horrible reality.

Specific to Australia, alcohol addiction tends to start with simple gatherings. This is a cultural and social activity that is highly common. The problem is when a person reaches harmful levels of drinking it can become a major health issue. In Australia, it is common for alcohol to be abused. In fact, around 120 thousand patients received drug or alcohol treatment in the country alone. Of those, over fifty percent were between the ages of 20 and 40. Another 33 percent were over 40. Furthermore, about a third of all young people that received youth supervision had to undergo alcohol or drug treatment.

Alcohol Laws in Australia

As alcohol dependence increases in Australia, the government has sought strict laws surrounding alcohol use. The laws cover things like the following:

  • Additional taxes on given amounts of beer or liquor
  • Prohibiting licenses for those selling cheap alcohol
  • High regulatory rules for pubs or bars
  • Nanny state laws
  • Harsh penalties for those who break these laws

These laws are considered safety and health measures. However, they simply encourage higher prices and self-purchase of alcohol instead of going out, effectively hurting businesses. Furthermore, the high prices of alcohol could lead people to seek alternatives, such as illegal drugs. When a pill carries a lower price tag than a single shot, some people may be willing to switch to drug use. This is also true because the alternative is just as available in pubs as alcohol.

When New Zealand first introduced stricter laws, the idea was to reduce alcohol related accidents. However, the number of accidents did not decrease. It seems younger drinkers just learned to buy alcohol from supermarkets instead of bars. The laws further had no impact on the amount of drinks, or on binge drinking. In fact, many areas just saw a shift in those drinking in pubs to the outskirts of the area. This increased violence and alcohol related incidents in suburban areas while only slightly decreasing the rates in the formerly high-risk areas.

This leaves everyone wondering what will work or will happen. Basically, the responsibility boils down to being a responsible citizen. If a problem exists with yourself or a loved one as far as drinking or addiction issues, then seek help. One strong treatment option will be explained below.

Signs of Alcoholism

If you are concerned about your own or a loved one’s drinking, but unsure if a problem exists, then there are some warning signs that can be red flags to alcoholism. These various warning signs will help you detect potential alcoholic tendencies. Some signs are highly recognizable. However, others may be a bit more difficult to identify. Those who are more severe alcoholics may show stronger signs or more symptom. If several are present, then help is needed.  For many, alcohol abuse is ignored in the minor stages. If concerned, a professional can help.

Common symptoms of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, warning signs, can include, but are not limited to:

  • Temporary blackouts
  • Short term memory loss
  • A change in appearance or the group someone is hanging out with
  • Irritability and extreme mood swings without warning
  • Feeling hungover, even when not drunk
  • Making excuses for drinking (commonly relaxation, stress relief, or to feel normal)
  • Choosing to drink instead of fulfilling other obligations
  • Drinking alone or hiding drinking behaviors
  • Isolating from friends and family members to drink

None of the symptoms should be ignored, even in the mildest cases as it can and will likely get worse. If diagnosed with an alcohol use issue, other issues may arise that begin affecting overall health.

Finding Help

Are Strict Australian Laws Encouraging Alcoholism?

If you or a loved one is developing or has already developed an issue with alcohol then seek professional help. One of the top facilities in the area is DARA in-patient facilities with locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, and Brisbane, among others. DARA offers stays of varying lengths at affordable, all-inclusive rates in a luxury resort type rehab that can get you well started on the road to long term recover. DARA focuses on the whole person, mind, body, and spirit in a variety of ways. Through the use of CBT, massage, recreation time, physical activities, and proper nutrition, DARA provides the tools and education necessary to get you a head start on the recovery process.

Using CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, DARA trained counselors will help each patient learn the connections between thoughts and actions, while learning to alter those thoughts to make better choices. Weekly workout sessions, as well as recreational activities and three massages a week are paired with healthy, proper nutrition to get the body to help detox and heal itself while staying at the facility. Time for relaxation and meditation is also available to help heal the spirit. Group and individual counseling are required as is education about addiction in general.

Through all these activities, each patient will build tools to handle addiction upon leaving the facility. The best way to start recovery is by getting out of the environment in which the addiction started, DARA can make this happen while staying at the facility, allowing each patient to be strong enough to move forward upon returning home addiction free. When you are ready, make the call. DARA is waiting.

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone right now.

Alcohol Misuse on the Rise in Australia and New Zealand

Alcohol Misuse on the Rise in Australia and New Zealand

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Treatment, Understanding Addiction

Alcohol Misuse on the Rise in Australia and New Zealand: The Over 50 Crowd

Alcohol is legal for those who are of age. However, that does not mean it cannot be misused or abused. A substance being legal does not mean it is safe in excess or even in general use. Australia and New Zealand are seeing a rise in the misuse of alcohol, especially in those over 50 years of age. While it is perfectly legal for people over this age to drink as much or as little as they desire, it can be dangerous.

Identifying Alcohol Misuse

Due to the rise in misuse in this age group, it has become important for aged care workers, as well as doctors, to be able to identify this type of misuse. Medical personnel should also be able to identify and watch out for long term impacts of alcohol misuse on cognition for this age group. Having the right response to those in this age category as far as medical needs is important as the number of individuals with issues will grow.

It appears that baby boomers worldwide are drinking more than previous generations. However, those in New Zealand drink more frequently and more during each drinking episode than older adults in at least nine other countries. This covers up to 40% of adults over 50 years of age. Specific to Victoria, those over 50 are responsible for the greatest increase in ambulance calls for alcohol related incidences. This is tied to an increase in young onset dementia.

Older drinkers have a higher sensitivity to alcohol physiologically and tend to have previous health conditions that are exacerbated by excessive alcohol use. Medications that are common to this age group are also affected by alcohol use, making it more dangerous, especially in excess. It is recommended that those over 50 should have only a single standard drink a day, with at least two alcohol free days each week. However, those with dementia, should not drink at all as it can make the disease progress faster. Unlike younger drinkers who tend to drink more in a shorter period of time, older drinkers drink less, but for longer periods. This increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, and a number of cancer types. Sadly, this is not a well-known or advertised fact for older adults.

Signs of Alcohol Misuse and Abuse in Older Adults

Since alcohol is legal for adults few people know what to look for as far as signs of alcohol misuse or abuse when it comes to this age group. This is especially true for those older adults who may not have been heavy drinkers in their younger years. Older people are often about to feel the effects of alcohol, the ‘high’, without increasing the amount they drink. This means a drink or two a day can have the effect on an older person that several have on someone younger. Unfortunately, this tends to lead to accidents like car crashes, falls, and fractures more often with this age group. For those 50 and older, drinking over a long period of time can lead to:

  • Cancer, liver damage, brain damage, and immune system disorders
  • Worsening already present health conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, memory loss, mood disorders, ulcers, and stroke)
  • Make medical issues harder to treat or even find (i.e. warning signs for a heart attack)
  • Cause confusion or forgetfulness which is often mistaken for Alzheimer’s and treated as such

Furthermore, alcohol can affect overall safety for adults in this age category. In addition to the increased rate of falls and household accidents, alcohol is a factor in 30 percent of suicides, 40 percent of crash and burns, and 50 percent of drownings and homicides. The falls that people in this age group have can lead to fractures and other injuries that cause permanent damage. Furthermore, alcohol misuse in this age group can strain family relationships and contribute to familial violence.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Though there are no hard and fast rules about who will become a problem drinker later in life or not, there are some factors that have been identified as contributing to the problem. As a person gets older, they tend to face major life changes like poor health, financial difficulties, and even loneliness. Other situations that may create a problem include:

  • Empty nest syndrome, when children move away
  • Boredom with lack of social activities
  • Loss of friendships
  • Traumatic events, when a spouse dies
  • Sadness or depression following a life change, downsizing a home

Since alcohol is a depressant, it is responsible for brain changes. However, it works on the brain to make a false sense of happiness. Signs of alcohol abuse in seniors include:

  • Drinking to cope with depression or loss
  • Drinking with prescribed medications
  • Being in danger due to drinking habits
  • Being agitated when sober
  • Lying about drinking amounts
  • Hiding liquor bottles
  • Slurred speech with the smell of alcohol on their breath

Seeking Help

Alcohol Misuse on the Rise in Australia and New Zealand

No matter the age someone starts drinking or when they become a problem drinker, it is important to seek professional help. DARA offers help for those with alcohol issues and additions. With locations in several countries, including four in Australia (Melbourne, Auckland, Brisbane, and Sydney), DARA works with each person, mind, body, and soul.

DARA uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help each person learn how behaviors affect thinking and thinking also affects actions. If we are able to change the thoughts, then the behaviors will follow. Paired with individualized and group therapies are recreational and physical activities, proper nutrition, massage, relaxation time, and meditation. This allows a person to heal from the inside out while learning more about addiction in general. When a person leaves a DARA program, they are well equipped to stay on the road to long term recovery.

If you or a loved one is in need of help for alcoholism, alcohol dependence, or a simple alcohol problem, then call DARA anytime, day or night. The first step is up to you, make the call to change your life for the better.

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone right now.