“It’s my duty to tell people about the very misunderstood problem of addiction”

Alcohol is a disease of the mind. But it’s not the substances that cause the damage, it’s the person that is allergic to it and hence cannot manage to deal with it. I am currently in recovery, I do not drink and I cannot have one or else I trigger the allergy and am unable to stop. So I live one day at a time and follow the program and the steps they set out for me…

What do you mean by ‘allergy’?

Alcohol is allergic to some people who can not manage it. Once they start they cannot stop, so you have to admit. You cannot just have one drink, and this is hard for them to accept because they will not want to believe it, so they keep trying but it gets worse and worse each time they try.

Can you explain the feeling of having the urgency to consume alcohol?

Alcoholics cannot manage there lives without having a drink and that’s the sad thing so they drink because it’s their way of managing. But alas it only gets worse until they are honest (alcoholics don’t like admitting this).

Do you think people suffering with this addiction, have a need to escape reality? Because they are unhappy with the way their lives are, so they resort to drinking?

Yes and no. Alcoholics are always making things up because they live in a fantasy for a lot of the time. Most will say they are not unhappy, but until they get honest with themselves they will never know true happiness…

It is the ‘making things up’ part that confused many people, because it makes it difficult for us to understand what is really going on. Why do you think this occurs?

When you drink you become a better you and more confidence in yourself. It’s another mask. Perhaps your self esteem is low, or you were treated poorly and are very easily upset – most alcoholics are very sensitive.

How did you get out of this mind set…because at the end of the day that is what it comes down to, do you agree?

Yes but you need help to do this, and that is where rehab and treatment centre’s come in. It’s not easy to change a mind that is attached to a body that relies on this way of life.

God forbid anyone that becomes an addict, be it alcohol or gambling, it is a very hard problem to manage. The only way I know how to stop is by first accepting I have a problem and then asking for help. And by living one day at a time and also accepting that I cannot do anything without being humble.

-James Stiley, UK

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