Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Turning Around Alcoholism

Is it possible to turn around alcoholism? You may have heard of the The Priory Hospital Roehampton. It is about 20 minutes walk from where I live. Jane has been there a few times. She was there for a month or so many years ago. The whole thing was paid for out of health insurance.

Personally I don't have a lot of faith is places like the Priory Hospitals. They make a lot out of health insurance, pushing the premiums up. People who have attended the Priory (and a good number of famous people have attended the Roehampton branch) say that the success rate is very low.

I forget the figure but lets say if 100 alcoholics attended The Priory Hospital Roehampton on a full blown course intended to stop the addiction, about 5 might stop - 5%. It is something like that or even less.

For the hospital, which is private by the way and therefore heavily commercial in culture, it is more about milking the insurance companies than curing addicts.

On that basis, the chances of turning around alcoholism is remote. In any event you don't turn around or cure alcoholism, you just control it, at best. These people are called, "recovering alcoholics". A sort of euphemism.

But, and this is the odd thing, at the moment I feel that Jane after a bad time about 4 months ago, is turning the corner. She does not want to drink and looks more in control and relaxed about drinking. Just in case you have joined this blog at this point, Jane is a certified long term binge alcoholic (25 years experience or so).

So what is happening. Well, it could be me being overly optimistic and misreading the situation! I live in hope and my hope just about survives.

Or it could be that Jane has been stunned into stopping because of her waning health. Everything that I did or do is naught compared to the realization that alcoholism damages the brain and the body generally and when you get older, say in your mid fifties, you feel the damage more. Her memory is poor. Poorer than it should be. This is one example. It catches up on you in the end.

My gut feel is that Jane is turning it around, oh so slowly and it is because of health reasons and beacause, I have money! And she needs money...!

Until the next time...


  1. Thanks for you blog. I am a recovering alcoholic myself, and it is so beneficial to be reminded of the impact that my addiction can have on others.

    I am definitely a struggling alcoholic and I am still struggling to maintain a lasting period of recovery.

    I am also blogging about it, (http://stumblingalcoholic.blogspot.com/) as I also feel it is therapeutic to 'get it out there'.

    I really wish the both of you much lasting success and happiness.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I wish you the best to. I think it is possible to turn alcoholism around. it just takes a long time and persistence.

    If a person is an alcoholic all their effort must be to stop and manage it. Everything is second to that because everything flows from that.

  3. I applaud you for this blog but I have to say, you are going against everything conventional wisdom teaches about the best way to help an alcoholic get treatment. You're not letting her experience the consequences of her behavior by giving her money or staying with her. I respect you but I feel you are kind of in a codependency haze. Trust me, I've been there, so I am not unsympathetic. But i hope going to al-anon is at least helping you realize that YOU have a disease as well.


I'd like to hear the experiences of both alcoholics and the victims of alcoholics, please.