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Meet Veronica, a reformed alcoholic

My name is Veronica and I am a reformed alcoholic. And I don’t want it to happen to you too, which is why I have trained as a therapist and launched a training programme.

There has been considerable media coverage about Alcohol Concern‘s idea recommending the prosecution of parents who allow under 15-year-olds to drink. However, I don’t believe prosecuting adults this way is the right approach. I remember when I was a teenager, and how if anything was forbidden, it immediately became more attractive and desirable. What I feel is needed now is investment into young people’s emotional lives; we need to look at the root causes of why people drink to such extreme levels.

The charity is absolutely right in bringing this serious issue to our attention, highlighting the massive problem we have in this country due to alcohol abuse, how we have indeed created a culture where binge drinking has been so normalised that most young people see this behaviour as acceptable and emulate it. This isn’t the odd person from a bad background drinking too much, this is the majority of the population who drink, drinking more than is good for them and many too dangerous levels.

I was a teenage binge drinker, I remember lying in the gutter in my own vomit after pub closing time. The reason I drank was because it changed how I felt because I had no confidence or self-esteem, I didn’t know how to have relationships with people. Alcohol made all of that better, it gave me confidence and bravado, I felt invincible, and then of course came the hangovers, depression, self loathing and guilt.

What I’m saying is we need to look at the reasons why young people and adults drink and start there; it has nothing to do with accessibility of alcohol. If someone has a drink problem and likes the effects of alcohol as much as I did, trust me they’ll find a way to get it.

This is Veronica’s story in full.

* This is the first of many posts I will regularly be posting from Veronica and she will writing on this subject too on her site. We are going to be working together to promote her work with PR blogging – so do keep checking her out. I have known Veronica for a couple of years now and she is totally dedicated to this cause and very professional, she genuinely wants to help as many people as possible.


21 Comments

  1. Veronica

    What intresting feed back! I read all of the comments with great interest, even the ones that were ironic. This subject touhes people in many different ways, and everyone seems to have an opinion on it. Some opinions are informed and others are not…….but all are welcome, the more we talk about this the better.

  2. I shall be helping Veronica to promote her work with PR blogging, so I will be covering this topic regularly here. I know how dedicated she is to helping others. She knows only too well the results of alcohol addiction and how it ruins lives.

  3. Thanks for the excellent post. Incidentally, I don’t think you’re a “weak-willed imbecile.” Addiction is a disease, not a weakness of the mind. You were vulnerable, but that’s not the same thing.

    We have the same problem in the U.S., and the U.S. has significantly more restricted drinking laws than the U.K. Obviously further restricting children from accessing alcohol doesn’t work. This problem is really more of an epidemic.

    You’re right, we have to treat the root of the problem and not just the symptoms. If only we could figure out how to do that.

  4. Funny, I was watching the programme about banning young people from being introduced to alcohol by families.
    But Mediterranean countries have less of an alcohol problem. I don’t mean only those in north Africa, but those in southern europe where children are not ‘banned’ from drinking.
    On the contrary alcohol is something they are introduced to at home with wine at the table, rather than like in the uk by peers on street corner drinking alcopops.

  5. I was shocked to hear in the news yesterday that it is only an offence at the moment to give a child under five alcohol in the home. I think it takes great will power to overcome any addiction, whether it is alcohol,nicotine, gambling or to chocolate. Veronica did very well to turn her life around and deserves praise for doing it.

  6. electro-kevin

    Ellee, I do think there’s a mischevous minky posting in other peoples’ names here and on other threads.

    I did write number 11, however and it wasn’t really appropriate I agree. Sorry, Veronica – I agree with PH who says you’re scrummy.

    Actually my uncle died of alcoholism last week and I should have known better. It was such a long descent that his true character vanished some years ago, so I’m not grieving (should I feel bad about that ?).

    A terrible thing to get out of and stay out of. Be vigilant, Veronica and good luck.

  7. Ellee I do agree and regretted my post however the latter one is not me ( which I find somewhat concerning).

  8. I think some of you guys need to calm down. This is a serious subject for those whose lives have been devastated by alcohol, it takes a lot of courage to admit it and share those experiences. I admire Veronica so much for picking herself up from the gutter and not only making a life for herself again, but doing her utmost to help others too. I have deleted a couple of comments, for obvious reasons.

  9. I didn`t post that last remark .

  10. The Hitch: You’re sick!

  11. electro-kevin

    Good on Veronica.

    I know that when I wake up and the cocktail cabinet is empty (yet again) I am ok so long as the Varninks Advocat is still there. If I’ve drunk that then I know that I have a problem.

    The next thing I do is take my boots off, make a strong coffee and check the internet for all the wreckage I’ve caused the night before.

    The Varninks Advocat is still there so I can’t be an alcoholic.

    (I’m not sure I’ve spelled Varninks properly, I can’t find the bottle at the moment – ooh er !)

  12. was a teenage binge drinker, I remember lying in the gutter in my own vomit after pub closing time. The reason I drank was because it changed how I felt because I had no confidence or self-esteem, I felt invincible, and then of course came the hangovers, depression, self loathing and guilt.

    Yeah been there who hasn`t . So what? I `m concerned that what is basically a matter of personal weakness and responsibility is going to be turned into a ” Condition”. Dyslexia is another and so are lots of sorts of depression.Doctors are hilarious on this subject . They all drink for England

  13. Education is still at the root of this and many other problems. Yet why do we persist in spending less than most comparable countries in Europe on educating our kids?

    It’s almost beyond stupid. We have no problem spending money on ‘policing the world’ but fail to address this fundamental issue. The quicker we got over the days of Empire and imperialism the better.

  14. Steven_L

    How ironic, I was just thinking about cracking open a bottle of wine now my hangover is wearing off.

  15. This is a very important issue and thanks for posting this story. It is very powerful.

  16. I think Veronica’s story is a very strong piece of writing and should be a salutory lesson to anyone who thinks that hard drugs should be legalised.

    I am not sure that the story of a person who clearly is prone to addiction, who became dependent on alcohol at least partly as a result of bad trips with other drugs, has much to tell me about whether or not I should allow my (hopefully normal) children to have a glass of watered down wine with their supper on special occasions

  17. The problem with this country is that we have these lobby groups against things like smoking and drinking full of well paid professional PR types who do these campaigns and then succeed in some target like banning ads or whatever and then just go rolling on to the next target – cuz they need to keep their jobs and so we end up with things like banning smoking in pubs and shite like arresting parents for giving a glass of wine to a sophisticated 14 year old. Its all bollox.

    Oh and don’t get me on to “think of the children” – it is infantilising our whole country. May the last health campaigner die strangled in the bowels of the last …. and mines a pint and fag…

  18. I disagree and think it is a rubbish post. just because you had a bad time and were a weak willed imbecile; does not mean everyone else is too.

    Whay should the state interfer with what has been a normal process of growing up for centuries?

    The idiotic stuff I have heard about alcohol control this week has driven me mad. We should be legalising things and making this a freer society; not letting the state in to control us even further.

  19. Yes, it’s an excellent post. This is a problem which many do not understand. I agree with all that Veronica says, especially the fact that once you are hooked on the effects of alcohol, you will get it somehow.

  20. Gosh ! You’re scrummy !

  21. A girl threw up in the back of my car after she’d called me to come and get her. Had to sell the car but the thing was why she did it. The drinking to excess, I mean. the other was a corollary. She didn’t know. She just did it, like the rest of it too. This post helps a lot towards an understanding, Ellee.

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