Different Attitudes, Successful Results


60 different medical conditions can be attributed to alcohol misuse. For example, 3 glasses of wine a night increases the risk of breast cancer by 40-50%.
52% of children now living with a harmful or hazardous drinker. 30% binge, 22% dependent.
The current available facts are the tip of the iceberg. I completely agree with Professor Gilmore, as the article so rightly points out, these are hidden drinkers, and because of that there is little data apart from the consequences that are now presenting. None of the women I treat will be honest to mainstream agencies or GPs, fear, guilt, shame. My local surgery even calls them niche drinkers, which is rather a quaint attitude considering the actual size of the problem. They just want empathy and support along with a non-judgemental way of breaking the dreadful cycle they are now in. Many are not alcoholic yet, just habitual or dependent, and they want control back. We must de-stigmatize this. Openness has to be key, and wellness must be celebrated not scorned just as it is with giving up smoking. Attitudes have to change, among professionals and employers. The majority see this as a lifestyle choice or terrible weakness. It eats them alive. Have to talk honestly to someone they trust.
The Sanctuary is successful, 87% recovery rate after six months, because I was just like these women. Empathy and a real understanding is the only way for good outcomes. No-one feels vulnerable with me, nor do they have to beat themselves up for the rest of their days for a problem that they once had.
There is plenty of help for the disadvantaged, and for those time rich enough for eight week rehab, but not for middle class women who are falling through the cracks. These are the women that look after and help, and every day I hear from more and more. It takes tremendous courage and humility for them to face their problem. Have so much to lose as they see as do others this as a total taboo. Many talk online anonymously which is great, and can be a useful tool.
We juggling so much. We wanted equality, for the most part we got it. But we are just not physical able to drink as heavily as men without expecting consequences. It all starts with having a drink to relax. We use it to self-medicate, stress buster. Wine has become a social oil. Then a drink to forget, and slowly it isn’t fun anymore. No cup of tea at teatime, just a glass 250ml glass of pinot. These women never drink in units, just glasses.
Legal acceptable and everywhere. Minimum pricing will not affect problem drinkers.
Mothers drinking usually is more chaotic to the family, without being sexist the Mother is the lynchpin of the family. The family suffers all the symptoms of the illness, except for the physical need. Not only that they feel helpless, because of course being so close, so loving and loved this is another side effect and deeply frustrating.

We do need to start to celebrate being well and alcohol free, and not be categorised as dull and boring, for there is nothing more boring than a room full of drunks, repeating themselves over and over, and those that attack us are simply defending rather than accepting.

So please will the powers that be treat this as they did with tobacco, and for once LISTEN to those of us who are not pious or judgemental, and set up open and honest discussions with so many of us who want to help and create a different view of being sober. The costs to the NHS would reduce dramatically, as would the harms and hurts that so many families are going through.

Author: Sarah Turner

Founder of the Harrogate Sanctuary.