Peter is a young man aged 21. He had been drinking for 3 years straight. It all began when she said she did not love him anymore, he always believed she was the finest person in the world and nothing could compare to her. The sound of her words cut so deep into his flesh that he did not hope anything could heal him. During his sad moments, a friend convinced him to “drink” on his problems. A strategy that had worked so well for him on many occasions. Feeling convinced about the idea, Peter then, confident drinking could help him get over his break up with his longtime girlfriend, started drinking every time he thought of her. Shockingly every time he sobered up, he still felt abandoned, betrayed and lonely.
A few months had passed but Peter did not stop drinking. He felt worthless and guilty because most people judged him as a spoilt brat who could not own up to his problems, this only pushed him to drink more every day. He was rarely sober because there was a lot to worry about every time he was not “high”. He felt isolated from his pals so he chose a new set of friends in his neighborhood who occasionally spent their days drinking and smoking because they did not judge him and were always ready to give him his next “fix”.
While a number of people drink to be merry, other people slowly but surely get sucked into the habit of drinking solely because they are trying to escape a number of problems. It starts with a few bottles in the first days, the thrill eventually kicks in and they are set lose with no worries of what tomorrow brings. The feeling is nothing like the constant worry they go through in an effort to resolve their problems.
The Global status report on alcohol and health 2014 states that 3.3million deaths were attributed to alcohol consumption in 2012, of which 7.9% were men and 4.0% were women but 61.7% of people 15 years and above had not drunk alcohol in the past 12 months.
Drinking is on many occasions a negative copying strategy. Many people lack essential life skills that can help them overcome their challenges in a healthy and non- destructive way. Some may fear to confront their problems head on, while others hope drinking will miraculous make their worries disappear.
Anyone can get a drinking problem at any time because of various reasons but the most important step is knowing the motives for drinking, is it because of recreation or it is an escape route? Identifying the motive for drinking is vital for one to know what exactly they are dealing with in terms of magnitude and consequence. In case it is a problem then it gives a clear picture of what is at stake and whether it calls for individual or collective effort to resolve, “a problem shared is a problem solved.” Lastly social support is key when it comes to rehabilitating people that have been dependent on alcohol because they need someone to support and believe in them if they are to make any efforts in transforming their lives.(image credit to www.medlines.org)