CASE STUDY: Aileen in South Lanarkshire
Geneticists have for many years sought to discover if alcoholism is a hereditary condition. Are some people simply predisposed to drinking to excess? If you are a problem drinking parent of young children, does that mean your kids will also abuse alcohol when they are older? Can someone whose alcoholism is thought to be ‘passed down’ from a previous generation overcome the urge to drink heavily and regularly, or is there simply nothing they can do?
Until recently, Aileen – a 34-year-old Legal Secretary in Hamilton – drank to excess every weekend, and sometimes during the week (work permitting), yet when she was in her mid-twenties both her parents died from alcohol-related illnesses.
“I think to say that you drink to excess because your parents do (or, in my case, ‘did’) is just an excuse, to be quite honest. I come from a long line of alcoholics: my parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents… all of them drank like fish. So, abusing alcohol could be said to be in my blood. But I feel strongly that every single individual is responsible for their own life, for their own behaviour.”
“Ultimately, life is about choices, and drinking to excess is a choice – every time. No one puts a gun to your head and forces you to drink that extra pint, or to polish off that second bottle of Chardonnay. You do it because you want to; because you personally can’t resist it; because you don’t have the mental strength not to, to say No.”
Wise words indeed, but Aileen didn’t come to this conclusion all on her own, without benefitting from counselling and talking therapies offered at an addiction rehab clinic, as she readily admits:
“Without the brilliant counsellors and clinicians at the private Rehab clinic in Scotland that I went to, I would never have got my head right and my life back on track, no. For years I had been one of the worst offenders when it came to blaming my problems with alcohol on having a hereditary condition. But I learnt that what I was doing was abdicating responsibility – hiding behind excuses, displacing blame…”
“I would never have fully taken responsibility for my own actions if I hadn’t gone to Rehab. I think I would have just stayed in my own little irreproachable world, until eventually my health deteriorated to a point where I simply wouldn’t have been able to function, on any level, at all.”
At a private Rehab clinic, Counselling, Psychotherapy (both group and individual) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) can all be part of a treatment programme specially formulated to meet an alcohol addict’s particular needs. Other modules include:
- 12-Steps Abstinence-Based Therapy
- Nutritional Support
- Family Support
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Relapse Prevention, and
What’s more, (if you abuse alcohol but badly want to change) you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t cost a king’s ransom to take advantage of all that professional help.