Friday, 5 June 2015

Alcoholism - the hidden disease

The sad death of Charles Kennedy highlights the common delusion that just one more drink is not going to do any harm, and that, after all, everyone is really a heavy drinker and so it can't be all that bad. T
hat was me precisely until I recognised my alcoholism and looked for treatment. 

Eventually I found a treatment that was effective and I'm now nearly 5 years sober, although I still have to be careful. I could have gone the same way as Charles Kennedy.

 Pointing out that someone is deluded about the safety of their drinking hardly ever works, the drinker has to realise that on their own. 

What I'd like to see is much, much more publicity about the the treatments available, so people can see that there is support for those who want to give up or cut back. Information has to be provided such as the problem of 'kindling', which is that giving up and then 'falling off the wagon' has a permanent effect on the brain, so that each time of giving up results in worse withdrawal symptoms.  Giving up alcohol can be dangerous if done alone, so medical advice and supervision is a good idea.

Still, I managed long-term sobriety (so far), and I am extremely weak-willed, so there is hope for all.  If you have an alcoholic friend, relative or partner, please try and be understanding.  It's a serious disease and they need support whatever their decision about future use of alcohol turns out to be.

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