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Coming out as alcohol dependant

Published 14/12/2007

Recovery from alcohol dependency doesn’t end with the completion of an alcohol rehabilitation treatment programme. It involves a lifelong commitment to stay sober.

Telling people about your situation can be tough, though. The social stigma surrounding alcohol dependency leads many people to equate the term ‘alcoholic’ with park-bench vagrancy, surrounded by empty cans of Special Brew. It is seen by some as a moral failing, deriving from a lack of will power.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Alcohol dependency is a disease that affects 1.8 million people in the UK, and over which sufferers have no control – unless they complete an alcohol rehabilitation programme and give up alcohol completely.

It has consistently been shown that by talking about your problem, and admitting it to others, you can begin to lessen the hold alcohol has over your life. The counselling you will receive as part of a rehabilitation programme will help you make those first steps to alcohol recovery and equip you with the skills and advice you need to face up to life alcohol-free.

During treatment, counselors and therapists will work with you to develop a plan for your life on leaving the centre that will help you stay sober, healthy and free from addictive behaviour.

After that, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can put you in touch with a local group of people in the same situation, who work together to help and support fellow sufferers to get over their problems.

With that support behind them, most sufferers find they have the confidence to share their past problems openly and honestly, which in turn, reinforces their commitment to alcohol recovery still further. And who knows? By following a similar strategy, you may also be able to inspire someone else who has problems with alcohol to seek help themselves.

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