‘Why I made a film about my addiction’

A recovering alcoholic, who nearly lost his life to drink, has made a film about his struggle. Jit Chauhan, 48, of Oadby, Leicestershire, said he was drinking a litre of whisky a day when his addiction was at its worst. Jit, who is of Gujarati heritage, said he found it difficult to get help. He has now made a film to try to break the stigma he says surrounds addiction in South Asian communities. The film has been shown around Leicester, including the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara.

He said: “Initially I was a bit ‘Oh gosh, I can’t watch myself on screen’. But you look at the bigger picture and you think ‘Yeah, let’s get this out there. Let’s help’.”   Video journalist: Alex Thorp  

BBC News – Published 5th September 2022

”I spent years trying to drink and eat myself numb. Then I began a year of intense transformation”

Who, at my age, truly starts over? But I did. I gave up booze, took up running and found the strength and stamina to fight for a better future. 

At 42, I believed that my food and alcohol dependencies defined me. In my mirror, I would always be as I saw myself then: fat and drunk. I was over the hill and past the point of any meaningful change. Who, at my age, truly starts over? I had clearly missed the opportunity to be one of those healthy, mindful people I mocked on Instagram. I was who I was: destined to remain in those cycles of dependency and to be unhappy, discontent and stuck. Then disaster struck. Read the full article on the Guardian

Ⓒ The Guardian – Published 31st December 2021

Jamie Klingler with her dog, McNulty. Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian

‘I beat my addiction, but alcoholism killed my son’

Fred Parry credits his 20-year sobriety to the time he spent in Castle Craig, a private rehab clinic in the Scottish Borders.

The 66-year-old says recovering from alcoholism was the best thing that ever happened to him, and is now a cellist, a music teacher, a husband and father. When his son Adam began battling addiction, Mr Parry sent him to the same clinic in the hope that he would also recover. But on 6 May, 2021, Adam died in his room after a suspected withdrawal seizure. He was 32. Read the full story on the BBC News

BBC News – Published 1st May 2022

Alcoholism: Photography key to man’s escape from addiction

A man from North Yorkshire has described how photography has helped him recover from alcohol addiction. David Lobley, 54, from Harrogate, was addicted to alcohol for a short period during his early 40s. That all changed in April 2015 when he contracted sepsis as a result of his severe alcohol consumption and from that day he has never drunk alcohol again. He has since found a passion for photography and has said it means “everything” to him.

BBC News – Published 9th February 2022

Shrewsbury family highlight danger of alcoholism in short film

The family of a man from Shrewsbury, who died in 2013 from alcohol abuse, have released an emotional documentary to highlight the dangers of the addiction. Tom Maybury died aged 29 and his mum, Sally, and her youngest son Henry have been campaigning across the country to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol. They have screened their short film titled Wish You Could Have Stayed and spoken about the loss of Tom in schools, rehab facilities and prisons in the hope of helping others

BBC News – Published 16th November 2021

Westminster is a very easy place to hide if you’re an alcoholic, says Labour MP

Labour MP Dan Carden made a moving speech to the House of Commons in July, detailing his personal battle with alcoholism. He began his recovery journey three years ago, after receiving a letter from his mum, which stated her concerns about his relationship with alcohol. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Naga Munchetty he said, before becoming sober, he had been under the influence of alcohol while at work as an MP.

“Westminster, like many workplaces, is a very easy place to hide if you’re an alcoholic,” he said.

Mr Carden is now campaigning for an independent review of alcohol harm and is setting up the first regular recovery support group for anybody struggling with alcohol within the Houses of Parliament.

BBC News – Published 20th September 2021

Giving up alcohol: ‘I feel like I’ve been reborn’

Recovering alcoholic Nikki gave up alcohol in July 2020. She posted two photos on Twitter to show the difference seven months of sobriety had on her. Posted under the handle @PosseRecovery, her pictures have been liked more than 200,000 times.

Nikki says she now wants to help other people who are struggling to give up alcohol. She told BBC Radio 5 Live‘s Stephen Nolan: “Before, everything in my life was chaos and the only thing that has changed is I’ve stopped drinking.”

If you are concerned about addiction, help and support is available at BBC Action Line.

BBC News – Published 20th March 2021

Tackling addiction: Retired rugby star Rhys Thomas speaks out

Retired Wales international Rhys Thomas and former boxing champion Russell Pearce talk about tackling their addictions. Both drank heavily during their careers before seeking help for alcoholism in retirement. They want to raise awareness to prevent more people suffering.

BBC News – Published 7th September 2020

Coronavirus: Charities warn of alcohol problems increasing in lockdown

Alcohol charities are warning of the dangers of more people drinking during the pandemic. Addiction services say they have seen an increase in referrals and different groups of people trying to access help. One support organisation has recorded a 200% increase in people contacting its online service in Scotland. They are calling for more resources to continue to help.

Musician Nick Davis was already in recovery when lockdown started and has had to find new ways to stay sober. If you’re concerned about addiction, BBC Action Line has help and support.

Read more: ‘I became alcoholic during lockdown’

BBC News – Published 23rd August 2020

Coronavirus: ‘Isolation’ of drug and alcohol addiction under lockdown

Drug and alcohol referrals have fallen by 57% during lockdown, a charity has warned. Kaleidoscope said the “significant reduction” came after it closed non-clinical bases and recovery hubs on 18 March.

Rachel Cook, 44, said she had found not having face-to-face meetings “very difficult”. “It is different when you’re not getting that face-to-face contact, you’re not getting that cup of tea when you get in the door, when you’re not sitting down in the waiting room chatting to other people in recovery,” she said.

The Welsh Government said services had “adapted rapidly” during the pandemic.

BBC News – Published 11th June 2020

‘I picked up a drink and casually set fire to my life’: how addiction nearly destroyed me

Find a job, lose the job, go to jail: Guardian reporter Mario Koran found himself in a dangerous cycle. But behind bars, he discovered a new purpose. 

”Invariably, once enough time had passed since the last crisis – whether days or years – I’d forget the humiliation of the last bender and convince myself that alcohol was the key to the missing piece of me and the only logical choice was to drink it. This time, the outcome will be different, I’d sincerely swear. But it never was”…..The insidious part of addiction is that it damages the part of your brain that’s able to recognize your own bullshit. That is, the booze-addled part will tell you every day that you can now safely manage a drink, maybe three. Over time, if you’re not careful, you’re bound to listen to it. Read the full article on the Guardian

Ⓒ The Guardian – Published 21st September 2020

Guardian Mario Koran

‘I was told I wouldn’t see my 22nd birthday”

More UK Punjabis are reportedly seeking alcohol support after a BBC survey found 27% had a family member with a problem.  Bhupinder Kullar, also known as Tubsy, said he was told, aged 21, that he would not make his 22nd birthday.  Meanwhile, recovering alcoholic Sanjay Bhandari, said his motivation for addressing his drinking was “my wife walking out the door”.  According to Jennifer Shergil, an alcohol practitioner, there is still a stigma within the UK Punjabi community around alcohol abuse.  Read Tubsy’s story about his struggle with alcohol in Facebook Messenger, or by visiting BBC Asian Network on Facebook and clicking “Send Message”.

Ⓒ BBC News – Published 9th May 2018