Booze-related admissions are a very grave concern
"MORE than 110 people a day in Plymouth are admitted to hospital with booze-related conditions," (The Herald, October 16).
This surely must be a grave cause for concern. This shocking report has prompted me to write and share some of my own experiences with alcohol.
I am an alcoholic and late one night I was arrested for breaking into a pub and was taken to Charles Cross police station. The next day I was taken to Plymouth Magistrates Court where I was released on bail to appear before Plymouth Crown Court at a later date. On leaving the Magistrates Court I went to a public phone box and phoned Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
The guy I spoke to asked me if I wanted to stop drinking and I said "yes", he then asked me if I wanted to stop now and I said "yes", he then told me there was a meeting that night at Tavistock.
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I had only been in Plymouth for three weeks and I had no idea where Tavistock was, but I found out and made my way there by bus. I arrived at the meeting 45 minutes late (I was 20 years late anyway) and at the end of the meeting a guy gave me a lift back to Plymouth and I went to bed that night without having had a drink that day. That was May 25, 1981 and I have not had another drink since.
It took 20 years of boozing to bring me to a stage where I was able to concede to my innermost self that alcohol had been in charge of my life since I was fifteen and that I am an alcoholic.
I wasn't a street drinker or a park bench drinker and I never drank methylated spirits, metal polish or aftershave. My park bench was pubs and clubs and my drunken behaviour was obnoxious.
For me, drinking alcohol brought trouble and when I stopped drinking alcohol the trouble stopped and I don't believe that to be a coincidence.
Alcoholism is both a drinking and a thinking problem and recovery from it cannot take place without abstinence, but abstinence alone is not recovery.
When I stopped drinking I ceased to be a burden on the tax payer. I stopped taking days off work with fictitious excuses. I stopped lying to people and to myself. I became teachable, accountable and responsible.
During the last 31 years I have only visited doctors five times. I take no medications and am fit and healthy.
I still attend AA meetings and am active in carrying the message of AA to others who are inflicted with this insidious condition.
I also attend because I don't want the life I have today to go into reverse.
But, first and foremost I attend because of my gratitude to AA for showing me how to stop drinking alcohol and for teaching me how to live a sober way of life.
To drink like a gentleman or a lady is the great obsession of most abnormal drinkers; many pursue the illusion to an untimely death.
If you have tried to stop drinking and find that you can't or if drinking is costing you more than money then call Alcoholics Anonymous on 0845 769 7555.
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