It is one of the hardest drugs to kick once you are hooked. It is a depressant. However it is advertised as something that will give you an edge; it makes you sexy, strong and brave. It makes you feel alive and that nothing is impossible.

It is highly addictive to some, and it is legal.

The sound of ice tumbling into a glass and liquid pouring down and over it can trip up the most resolute of character.

So what makes you drink?

  • I feel low and it makes me feel better
  • She died and I couldn’t handle it
  • He left me
  • My husband hurts me
  • I feel so lonely
  • I am unemployed
  • I am bored
  • It relaxes me
  • It gives me confidence
  • It keeps out the cold
  • It stops me remembering
  • My job is so stressful
  • I am unhappy

There are countless reasons that people start to drink, the addictive nature of alcohol and the immediate relief that it brings can start a behaviour that quickly becomes entrenched and very hard to break.

What is the effect of your drinking on those around you, those closest to you?

A recent interview with a representative of The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) stated that children have to be ok all the time, they have to be more normal, so that the secret is not discovered. In other words they are not free to be children. The parent appears to love their drink more than the child and this is devastating for any child.

The damage within marriage is also very significant and can result in violence and divorce. Jobs are lost and thus planned futures sabotaged, and families destroyed.

I am facilitating in a group on a Recovery Course at present. The addictions vary but alcoholism appears to be up there with heroin addiction in the degree of difficulty to quit. People from all walks of life find themselves in need of extra support; bankers CEO’s, shop workers, teachers, policemen, lawyers, mothers, hairdressers and many more.

The government is allocating funds to support mental health to bring it nearer to the amount spent on physical illness. But how will it work? More drop in centres like Ruby Wax mentioned on BBC news yesterday. Yes, a good idea but we need to now stop the slide into the abyss and get people talking earlier on. So school counsellors as the norm and in house support in the workplace would go some way to redress the balance.

Meanwhile, if you are aware that you are starting to slip down this nasty slippery slope, do not delay. Ask for help in order to prevent long term damage.