How do people give up drinking? North Somerset volunteer shares her experience

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 August 2018

Sharon Charles found Addaction's support invaluable. Picture: Addaction

Sharon Charles found Addaction's support invaluable. Picture: Addaction


A volunteer has spoken out about the invaluable support offered by Addaction when she gave up drinking.

The drug and alcohol charity is encouraging people to seek help if they want to break the habit as it is often more successful to give when supported by others.

Volunteer Sharon Charles, aged 44, was very nervous when she first sought help, but staff made her feel very welcoming and nobody judged her.

She said: “The staff were so welcoming from the start, it was a relief to not feel judged and to just be listened to by people who genuinely care and most importantly know what you’re going through and how to help.

“First step was having an assessment where we talked about what my goals were. Not what I should be doing, but what I wanted to be doing, what I wanted my own life to look like.

“From then we worked out the steps to getting there. Nobody decided for me, I made all the decisions and Addaction provided the tools to get there.

“I was really nervous in the groups and didn’t really speak to begin with, but once I started to get to know people and hear their stories I realised that although everyone was from a different background, we were all in the same boat.

“I wasn’t going mad – there were other people struggling in very similar ways and being with them made it so much easier. I opened up and they became a support to me.

“Over the next few weeks we looked at why I picked up the drink, peeling back the layers, getting to the core issue and by understanding myself better I was able to make long-term changes. It gives you the tools and then it’s up to you to use them.

“Many people relapse and the people at Addaction – staff, volunteers and other clients – are there for you then too, not judging but making you realise it’s a journey and one worth taking.”

Sharon shared her experiences as part of Addaction’s campaign to raise awareness of harmful drinking and to show people where to get help.

Addaction launched a campaign due to the increasing number of over 65s drinking more than the recommended daily limit.

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