IT has been called the demon drink.
It can affect anyone no matter age, job or creed. It destroys families, empties pockets and ruins lives, but among all the wreckage, there is hope.
Alcoholism is still one of society’s most stigmatised conditions despite groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) operating for decades.
It affects hundreds of families in Rockingham and Kwinana. AA holds several meetings each week in the area with dozens of local alcoholics attending, sharing their stories and striving to gain control of their addiction.
The Courier met four local AA members. They share a common thread; they did not know they had a problem but AA offered more support than their family, friends or doctor could ever offer.
There was a shared experience between them. Here are their stories (Some names have been changed):
Kerry (72) – 35 years sober
I couldn’t contain it, I never had enough or too many’hen I could, I was drinking or sneaking a drink.
I tended to blend with kids from broken homes… my family was the best family that you could want.
They could help me but I was helpless.
At about 13, I was drinking in Rockingham, getting into trouble with police. I was going to parties and clubs; alcohol became a pathway to drugs for me.
I would black out and find myself in another place.
Drugs were another blackout over my personality. I had car accidents, broken bones and seen people die.
I’ve been to rehab, psychiatric hospital and had psychosis medication. I’m now not ashamed to say I am an alcoholic or drug addict.
At AA, I can relate to the 12 steps. I’ve been clean and sober for one-and-a-half years.
AA is not preachy, not run by God or by gurus. It is simple steps and it works.
To contact AA, call 9325 3566