Health information on alcoholic beverage containers

untitledThis was an Addiction research report published online last month looking at health information on alcoholic beverage containers: has the alcohol industry’s pledge in England to improve labelling been met?

Aims:  In the United Kingdom, alcohol warning labels are the subject of a voluntary agreement between industry and government. In 2011, as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal in England, the industry pledged to ensure that 80% of products would have clear, legible health warning labelling, although an analysis commissioned by Portman found that only 57.1% met best practice. In a research report for Addiction it was assessed what proportion of alcohol products now contain the required health warning information, and its clarity and placement.

Design: Survey of alcohol labelling data.

Setting: United Kingdom.

Participants: Analysis of the United Kingdom’s 100 top-selling alcohol brands (n=156 individual products).
We assessed the product labels in relation to the presence of five labelling elements: information on alcohol units, government consumption guidelines, pregnancy warnings, reference to the Drinkaware website and a responsibility statement. We also assessed the size, colour and placement of text, and the size and colouring of the pregnancy warning logo.
The first three (required) elements were present on 77.6% of products examined. The mean font size of the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) unit guidelines (usually on the back of the product) was 8.17-point. The mean size of pregnancy logos was 5.95mm. The pregnancy logo was on average smaller on wine containers.
The UK Public Health Responsibility Deal alcohol labelling pledge has not been fully met. Labelling information frequently falls short of best practice, with font and logos smaller than would be accepted on other products with health effects
The full conclusion went on to say:
New labelling guidance could be derived from existingguidance on consumer products, such as that used on medicines, tobacco packaging and other products which, like alcohol, carry known health risks. Further research with consumers to explore the legibility and comprehensibility of text and logos is also warranted. Compliance with any labelling guidance also needs to be monitored and reported on entirely independently of alcohol industry bodies [23]

Full pdf

If the industry agrees to self-regulate and then falls short of its own standards where there is a health implication then the responsibility should become more formalised and independent in my opinion and in agreement with the researchers conclusion.

Addiction in the Workplace: Recovery is Possible

This is an excellent blog once again from Castle Craig that was published last month.addiction-at-work-poster

  • Do you have employees or colleagues who are habitually late for work, are increasingly absent or functioning at two-thirds of their capacity, and/or with impaired decision making?
  • Do you notice poor team morale and staff relations, as well as damaged customer relations, centered around a particular person?
  • Has your company had a sudden increase in accidents?
  • Has a colleague’s productivity been affected by cancer, liver disease, heart disease or stroke – or even by risky sexual behaviours with adverse outcomes?

If your answer is “yes” to any of the above questions, your solution could be identifying and addressing substance abuse in the workplace. Addressing health issues today is not merely a ‘virtuous circle’ but a hard economic factor with high stakes, as the following UK statistics highlight:

  • £7.3billion a year is lost in productivity due to alcohol (2009/10 costs)
  • Using US figures as a comparator, lost productivity from illicit drugs is a very close second
  • 14-20million working days are lost each year from alcoholism
  • 60% of workplace deaths are linked to alcohol
  • 40% of accidents are linked to alcohol
  • £30,614 is the average cost to recruit a single staff member, according to Oxford Economics.

There is also lost productivity from those around the person with the substance-abuse problem: for example, 14% of employees in one survey said they had to re-do work due to a co-worker’s drinking.

Moreover, upwards of half of working family members of alcoholics report that their own ability to function at work was negatively impacted by their family member’s drinking. There is even a book on this subject by New York Times bestseller Janet Geringer Woititz called Self-Sabotage Syndrome: Adult Children [of alcoholics] in the Workplace.

When organisations need to retain key employees, the returns on investment are inarguable. So why do too many people let these damaging behaviours go on too long?  Reasons include: fear, company culture, no procedures, perceived human rights, lack of knowledge and thus confidence to do anything, discomfort in change, and the misperception that it is easier to do nothing.

Despite denial, 76% of people with drug or alcohol problems are employed – firing them won’t make the problem go away, but addressing the core issues can yield improvements.

“A former star performer who seems to have fallen off the face of the earth will do everything possible to cover up the problem,” says Jeff Jay, co-author of Love First: A New Approach To Intervention for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction. “So first make sure you have all the facts. Review your company’s policy for alcohol or drug abuse. If you’ve decided that the person needs help, talk to other managers, consider calling in a professional then meet with the employee.”

During an intervention like this, you can expect the substance abuser to explain away his or her declining productivity with excuses and rationalisations that come down to one thing: ‘I’m not responsible’. Your job is to help them get back on track.

This is not the first post about alcohol and workplace issues I’ve written and you can see the rest of them here :)

Defence against the dark arts

Stealing from Harry Potter and those who taught ‘defence against the dark arts’ I wanted to close this Alcohol Awareness Week with two contrasting views.

defence against the dark artsPresenting the Scottish First Minister opening speech at the the Global Alcohol Policy Conference in Edinburgh in October which was both eloquent and steadfast with the BBC responding with praise for its “political courage” in attempting to introduce a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol.  She spoke not just about MUP but other approaches too such as a ban on advertising after the watershed and the creeping presence of alcohol advertising on all media platforms.

It is well worth your time to listen and I continue to support their efforts as both a nurse and public health professional, a parent and member of society and as someone in recovery from alcohol dependence.

And lets face it’s needed as this also appeared in the news the same day:

Strongbow ad banned for suggesting that alcohol is more important than relationships

Heineken, which owns Strongbow, posted the ad on its YouTube channel. It was based around the idea of a spoof awards ceremony in which the winner, Carl, gave a speech after accepting an award called “best Strongbow as my other half”.

A message read out on Carl’s behalf said: “I dedicate this award to my family, to all the lovely creatures out there, and to my other half. I love you. I’ve loved you since the first day I met ya. And I always will do. My dear Strongbow.”

But the ad drew fire from organisations such as The Youth Alcohol Advertising Council (YAAC) and Alcohol Concern for showing alcohol as indispensable.

I was really pleased to see that the story was picked up by the BBC children’s news programme Newsbeat which widened it’s reporting on the story:

Strongbow’s YouTube spoof and seven other banned alcohol adverts

Now I get that Heineken said this is a spoof and a parody but how does a young person watching on Youtube know this?  And it seems utterly ironic to me that cider, which used to be know as ‘tramp juice’, is now being spoofed in this way.  There are plenty of people homeless and sleeping rough because cider has literally destroyed all their real human relationships because of addiction.  Without wishing to sound all Mary Whitehouse to think that this is funny is beyond a joke and pretty sick ………..

Oh and the drinks industry is also busy trying to rebrand ‘binge drinking’ (seeing as it has such negative connotations these days) as ‘high energy’ drinking.  To quote The Independent:

Britons were also more likely to  binge drink with 15 per cent saying they had at least one “high energy” night of drinking per week.

This quote is lifted from a report in which “6,500 people across the UK, Germany, Australia, America and China were interviewed by Maxus, a media agency for the drinks industry, who found that Britons had the most liberal attitude to alcohol.” (bolding is mine)

Defence against the dark arts indeed ………

Local Nalmefene pathways emerging to ensure prescribing adherence

This excellent post came from Alcohol Policy UK in October regarding Nalmefene (Trade name Selincro) and pathways to prescribing.

selincroFollowing NICE’s technical appraisal authorising Nalmefene (Selincro) last year, local areas have been developing protocols to ensure prescribing adherence – see below for examples.

Nalmefene was authorised as a drug to support a reduced drinking goal amongst mildly dependent drinkers, although has been considered controversial in some respects. To be eligible, drinkers must be assessed as alcohol dependent, but not be physically dependent (i.e needing a detox).

In addition drinkers must be exceeding 5 units in a drinking day if female and 7.5 units in a drinking day if male, described as a high ‘Drinking Risk Level’ (DRL). Once prescribed, the drug is to be taken ‘as needed’, for instance if a person anticipates a drinking occasion. However patients can only be prescribed Nalmefene if they still meet this criteria two weeks after initial assessment and agree to psychosocial interventions for the length of treatment.

Local pathways

As a result, local areas have been developing pathways to ensure that where Nalmefene is prescribed, it is done so in adherence with NICE guidelines. Concerns about Nalmefene being prescribed without psychosocial interventions may be in some part be driven by media reports or coverage neglecting to highlight or emphasise the key requirement for psychosocial intervention.

As highlighted in a detailed guest post by Dylan Kerr, a number of issues need careful consideration, including how ‘dependence’ is assessed, and the role of brief intervention and psychosocial support. The effects of the latter are hard to extrapolate from the effects of the drug, and indeed the research trials showed only relatively small differences between those receiving psychosocial support and a placebo (control group) and those receiving psychosocial support plus Nalmefene.

In addition, Nalmefene can only be prescribed if a patient is still drinking at high ‘DRL’ two weeks after an initial assessment. In the studies, many patients had cut down significantly as a result of the brief intervention alone, and thus no longer drinking at a high DRL.

Local areas may also be carefully considering the cost as austerity continues to bite. At £3.03 a pill it will not be considered a cheap drug by CCGs, although presently Nalmefene represents only a fraction of the spend on alcohol prescriptions – albeit likely to rise. However Lundbeck, producers of the drug and sponsors of a range of alcohol activity in recent years, have announced major restructuring suggesting a change in priorities.

One positive indirect effect of Nalmefene’s availability could be regraded as increasing ‘help-seeking’ amongst a population of mildly dependent drinkers who would otherwise not have sought help. The issue may be ensuring that the role Nalmefene plays is one in which it is always as part of psychosocial support within a robust pathway, with further evaluation of its benefit outside research conditions.

Some examples of local pathways are below.

Anecdotally I have only spoken to one person  at one of my How to Quit workshops who has used Selincro to try to manage their drinking and their experience was that it did not help them cut down.  I’d be interested to hear any other experiences if you’re happy to share either in the comments below or on email to me :)

Under pressure

This was a new report on high blood pressure (hypertension) and drinking behaviours that Alcohol Policy UK shared in October.

under pressure‘Under pressure’ [pdf], a new report on alcohol and high blood pressure, makes a series of recommendations to address what are ‘two of the most common preventable health harms in the UK’. The report was developed by an expert group, initiated and supported by Lundbeck pharmaceutical.

The report says improvements in primary care for hypertension and alcohol misuse are required for better integrated screening, brief interventions, and treatment for both conditions, which would reduce the incidence of other cardiovascular diseases. Both alcohol misuse and hypertension affect around a quarter of adults, however four out of ten people with high blood pressure (BP) will be undiagnosed.

A series of recommendations are made including improving brief intervention (IBA) rates for those with both conditions in primary care, and raising awareness of the links. Currently under NICE guidelines, primary care has a responsibility to deliver IBA to those with high blood pressure as part of its QOF. However the report includes results of a survey which suggests low levels of IBA amongst patients with high BP:

“…even in this ‘at risk’ population, screening for alcohol problems is only done on an intermittent basis; the results of the GP survey … indicate that only about 1-in-5 people with hypertension are screened for harmful drinking”

The report also identifies issues relating to pathways for referral of alcohol treatment services and challenges within the new commissioning landscape. Recommendations within the report include a move to ‘joint commissioning for a holistic and integrated alcohol treatment service that reflects the patient pathway from prevention through to specialist services’. The development of networks for trainers and clinical leads to support skills and best practice are also suggested.

See here for an Alcohol Concern factsheet on alcohol and hypertension.

This is an excellent recommendation as checking someone’s blood pressure is part of the easy non-invasive screening process that should be done on all almost irrespective of why you are going to see your GP.  And it is the ‘canary in the coalmine’ indicator with drinking that may give away an issue even if the person is reluctant to share honestly how much they are actually drinking.

Alcohol Marketing & highlights of Alcohol Awareness Week

marketing seesawSometimes an image can convey so much more than words – like this one …….

In November the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance‘s 2015 Conference, co-hosted by Alcohol Focus Scotland, took place in Edinburgh on the theme of ‘Momentum for change: research and advocacy reducing alcohol harm’.  Alcohol Policy UK wrote an excellent summary post which you can read here.

I don’t know why I have such a bee in my bonnet about this subject but I do.  Is it because I have young children?  Probably.  Is it because I have a public health background?  Probably.  Does it really matter why it lights such a fire under my arse?  Probably not.  The use of the word ‘grooming’ in relation to alcohol marketing certainly got my attention and is absolutely appropriate.

The image comes from a presentation given by Gerald Hastings at this conference called:

Alcohol Marketing: The Need for Radical Action, Gerard Hastings.

I’ve tried to upload the full pdf and was unsuccessful but if you want to see the full presentation access and save it before the end of November via the above link.  I would put up more slides as it is so powerful and important and is really worth a read as he encapsulates it so brilliantly!

The second presentation that caught my eye was this one:

Understanding Alcohol Industry Strategies and Tactics in the UK, Prof. Jim McCambridge

And it was this slide in particular that summed it up perfectly:

  • Largest and most successful companies deliberately engineer addiction
  • Addiction is fundamental to business models
  • Applies across companies through R & D
  • Obvious vested interests in opposing policies that better manage addictions

And finally this presentation:

Protecting children’s right to grow up free from alcohol marketing, Melvyn Freeman

There are many many more presentations touching on things such as TTIP and its impact so do take a look :)

Plus Lucy and Laura spoke at the Society for the Study of Addictions (SSA) recent annual symposium and you can listen to their presentations here:

From internet revolution to sober revolution with Lucy and Laura leading the charge!

Bring on the changes 😉

PS Some of you may have had a sneak peek of one of my sober advent calendar windows today!  Apologies for trigger happy scheduling error 😀

Drink driving consequences

This is not the first time I’ve written about drink driving and it has increasingly been in the press here because of the changes to the Scottish drink driving laws this year.  You can read all my posts about the issue here.

drink driving consequencesBut then two stories arrived in my email inbox in the same week and so I felt compelled to revisit the subject again.  Drink driving isn’t just about driving under the influence in the daytime or evening it can include being over the limit the next morning too.

A year ago today was like many other days. Corey Mantia woke up and went to work. Parker and I stayed at home and played together all day. Corey later came home played with our sweet baby as we waited to load up for a wrap appointment. That spare cash was much needed for our little family. Well time comes for us to leave. Little did we know in a few short minutes everything would change. We would no longer get to live our future together. Any dreams we had would no longer happen together. We wouldn’t get to purchase our first house together, we wouldn’t get to take Parker for his first hair cut, his first day at school, and our family would never grow. This would be it. Everything we would have ever known would come to an end and not by choice.

On our way to this wrap appointment my amazing husband whom was driving, my precious baby whom I still nursed and kept rear facing watching Mickey Mouse Club house, and I were struck nearly head on at an excessive speed by a drunk driver. This is a date and time that will forever be embedded in my head. The action of this one selfish person who thought they were “ok” to drive instantly took the life of my sweet innocent 15 month old son in the back seat. She would cause my husband and I to be air lifted from the scene where my husband would loose his fight 24 hours later. She would cause a family to be devastated and emergency personnel to need counseling.

One selfish decision to drink and drive caused me to be a widow and a mom to an angel at the age of 21. She has caused many nightmares with the news of various reports being released such as an autopsy of my baby being sent to me or many reconstruction pictures. Many things a 21 year old should never have to see or imagine. She ended any dreams that we may have had together and caused pain I never knew existed.

That day the Destiny that was a mom and wife died as well. I’ve sense had to find myself. I never knew the strength I could pull out that I never knew I had. I think I was able to find this strength through the prayers and support of many friends and family and also an amazing widows group who kept me knowing I was normal for feeling how I felt.

This hurt, pain and our future could of all been prevented if someone would have stepped up and stopped this selfish woman from drinking and driving. You can save someone’s life too! Don’t allow your friends and family drink and drive. Don’t share DUI checkpoints. Be an advocate! Stand up with me! Let’s stop this. One is too many. DONT DRINK AND DRIVE!

Read full story here.

And then this news coverage:

A first responder with 20 years of experience says Sunday’s crash in Vaughan, Ont., that killed three children and their grandfather has left his colleagues heartbroken.

“It’s one of the most horrific things I’ve seen,” Vaughan Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Andy Zvanitajs told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning on Tuesday. “From the collision and the damage to the vehicles, it’s one of the worst ones I’ve seen in 20-plus years of being a paramedic and a firefighter. These first responders, these firefighters, are heartbroken.” 

More than 30 first responders attended to Sunday’s crash, which involved an SUV slamming into a minivan carrying six family members. At one point, firefighters and paramedics were working to resuscitate four people at once.

The Neville-Lake family’s van was T-boned at the intersection of Kirby Road and Kipling Avenue, north of Kleinburg.

Three siblings – Daniel 9, Harrison 5, and Milly 2 – were killed along with their 65-year-old grandfather, Gary Neville. The children’s grandmother and great-grandmother are in stable condition in hospital.

Jennifer Neville-Lake said she first heard about the crash while watching TV. She also posted on Facebook Monday morning that “all of my children have gone home to God with my dad. My mother and grandmother are still in the hospital.”

In the post to the Today’s Mom Facebook group, she also thanks people for their support.

“Your kind words and messages mean so much to my husband and I as we sit in our son’s empty room surrounded by our children’s things,” she writes. “Please keep us in your prayers. God bless.”

Marco Muzzo, 29, of King Township, who was driving the SUV involved in the crash, faces 18 charges:

  • Four counts of impaired driving causing death.
  • Four counts of driving over the legal limit.
  • Four counts of dangerous driving causing death.
  • Two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
  • Two counts of driving above the legal limit causing bodily harm. 
  • Two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

The consequences of getting behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of alcohol can be fatal both to you and others.

And then a couple of weeks later Alcohol Policy UK sent out this news piece:

10 million UK drink drivers survey claims

Nearly a third (31%) of drivers that drink admit to driving when over the legal alcohol limit – equivalent to 10 million UK adults – according to a recent survey. The survey was commissioned by insurance company RIAS, who warn many people are still prepared to risk drink driving despite a huge decline in drink driving.

Read their full report here

‘Crewe is UK’s drink-driving capital’

Moneysupermarket analysis of car insurance quotes puts Cheshire town’s drivers at top of the list for driving under the influence, with Wales following closely | Guardian, UK

And then this story hit the headlines too:

Oklahoma car crash: ‘Drunk driver’ kills four people including toddler in high-speed accident
44 injured as horror crash sends spectators flying “like rag dolls”​ :(


Quit smoking to stay sober

This was some research featured on Eureka Alert in September and looked at the issue of recovering alcoholics and smoking.  The subtitle was ‘smokers with a history of alcohol problems who continue smoking are at greater risk of relapsing’ and the research was carried out at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

quit smokingAdult smokers with a history of problem drinking who continue smoking are at a greater risk of relapsing three years later compared with adults who do not smoke. Results of the study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York appear online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Most adults who have alcohol problems also smoke cigarettes. Yet while treatments for alcohol abuse traditionally require concurrent treatment for problems around illicit substance use, smoking has not generally been part of alcohol or substance use treatment. According to lead author Renee Goodwin, PhD, the thinking in clinical settings has been that asking patients to quit cigarette smoking while they try to stop drinking is “too difficult,” and that continued nicotine dependence would make no difference in the long run.

“Quitting smoking will improve anyone’s health,” says Goodwin, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. “But our study shows that giving up cigarettes is even more important for adults in recovery from alcohol since it will help them stay sober.”

The researchers followed 34,653 adults with a past alcohol use disorder enrolled in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) who were assessed at two time points, three years apart, on substance use, substance use disorders, and related physical and mental disorders. Only those with a history of alcohol use disorders according to DSM-IV criteria were included in the final sample. Daily smokers and nondaily smokers had approximately twice the odds of relapsing to alcohol dependence compared with nonsmokers. The relationships held even after controlling for factors, including mood, anxiety, illicit drug use disorders, and nicotine dependence.

It’s unclear why smoking makes alcohol relapse more likely, but the study’s authors point to past research on the behavioral and neurochemical links between smoking and alcohol, and the detrimental effects of smoking on cognition.

This makes sense to me and this is a good study sample size so the research findings are robust.  Whether you stop together or one at a time is down to the individual and Club Soda did some great blog posts about this recently which you can read here:

It’s Different for Girls

benchgirlHave you ever seen this photo accompanying an article about women and drinking?  The ubiquitous #benchgirl photographic image from 2008 gets a mention in this excellent presentation (the back story being that whenever this image appears in the media accompanying a new story about alcohol, researchers take to Twitter with the hashtag benchgirl as it has become so well known!)

This was a webinar entitled ‘It’s different for girls’ presented by Soberistas and featuring Dr Sally Marlow a research scientist from King’s College London.  Dr Marlow is also featured in the excellent documentary film A Royal Hangover.

Within this 50 minute presentation Sally discusses:

  • Perceptions about women and alcohol
  • The truth about women and drinking
  • Differences between men and women when it comes to alcohol – biological, including the telescope effect;  psychological, including the self-medication hypothesis and social.
  • Stigma, shame and barriers to getting help
  • The abstinence violation effect (which I discussed here)

It is an excellent discussion, very informative and I highly recommend :)

Please do share your thoughts and comments below!

Sharing success

As you know earlier this year I teamed up with Club Soda to launch and run a How to Quit Workshop here in the UK.  It is based on my Udemy online course material and this week-end we ran our fourth one of the year :)

club soda advertOne of our attendees at the first one in May (who wrote the lovely review entitled ‘Wonderful Stop Drinking workshop’ to the right hand side of this piece on the website) came back and joined us again for the September workshop sharing with the attendees their story.  She has very kindly given me permission to share her success and what she said.

I am here today to share my success story after doing this workshop earlier in the year.
Firstly a bit about my drinking history.I have always been a heavy drinker. I never allowed myself to drink during the week but I would cram it in at the weekend. It felt like ground hog day on Monday morning waking up hungover ,depressed and tearful. I would often take my daughter to school then go back to bed as there was no one around to witness it.Whereas over the weekend I had to put on a brave face and carry on even though I felt awful – it was exhausting .
Another problem that went with the hangovers was binge eating . I would wake up and find wrappers of stuff I had forgotten I had eaten and because I was hungover I would binge on crap all day.
I knew I wasn’t a normal drinker as I was always the first to finish my drink,trying to slow down in case people noticed or pouring an extra glass in secret. Towards the end of my drinking I would share a bottle of wine with my husband but have an open bottle of wine in the garage to have an extra couple of glasses as half a bottle wasn’t enough.On Sunday I would persuade my husband to eat out so I could have more wine because  if we stayed in he would felt it unnecessary to drink wine if we had been drinking the night before. I would come home Sunday afternoon have an extra couple of glasses in secret then collapse on the sofa missing out on valuable family time.Funny thing is my husband doesn’t think I have a drinking problem he just thinks I am a bit greedy with wine.My heavy drinking friends also tell me there’s nothing wrong with my drinking. My closest friend said she preferred me when I was a drinker as I am quieter now and go home earlier when they start to sound pissed. It doesn’t matter if I am told I am a normal drinker as they are not the ones in bed on Monday crying.
I am not sure if I am an alcoholic but even if I am the label doesn’t matter. Also when or how much you drink doesn’t matter – if it feels like a problem then it is a problem.
My aunt has one glass of wine a day but says she could never have a day without . To me one glass is nothing but she is still alcohol dependent so maybe she could be classed as an alcoholic – who cares ?
In the past I have tried to moderate my drinking by only allowing myself a couple of drinks or just drinking beer etc.but nothing worked. I found the amount of head space it took up very draining.I have read books and even done Allen Carr’s Stop Drinking Workshop twice ( £299 a day now) but still went back to drinking. At the end of his workshop they do a bit of hypnotherapy telling us we are now non drinkers. When I asked about follow up support he said I won’t need it as I was now a non drinker and that was that!
However after doing Louise’s workshop I feel different this time as if something has clicked into place – the final piece of jig-saw I needed.
I found it a good balance of medical information and psychological support . I had a follow up chat and I emailed her daily on my first boozy holiday with friends. I also think becoming a Club Soda member has been fantastic,I regularly read blogs and look at their Facebook page. I have a Club Soda Buddy who I email regularly. I don’t feel abnormal anymore.
I feel so much happier and have more energy at weekends to live a full life with my family. I have started a bit of jogging ( fast walking ! ) and lost some weight which is a bonus.I still have times where I want a drink but it really helps to play the tape forward and remember how I will feel the next day. I have to be aware of my triggers- the worst for me are pre-dinner drinks .
My 24 year old daughter spoke to me a few weeks ago and said how proud she is of me. I feel guilty as I have encouraged her to drink with me in the past so I won’t look so bad.  What a terrible example. She is having September off drinking and said she is feeling fantastic and that I was her inspiration. I felt emotional and proud of how well I am doing.
I don’t feel a victim to my old drinking and want to move forward. I thought about going to AA but feel they are stuck in the problem depending on meetings but you have to do whatever works for you.
Thank you Louise and Laura you are life savers – literally .
It seems only appropriate to share this today as it is also the one year anniversary of the launch of my Udemy online course which has now had over 450 people sign up.  I am so pleased with its success to date and have all of you to thank for that :)  Thank you!