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Heavy drinking and health module

Further Perspectives on Alcohol

Personal stories

In this section you’ll find participants’ accounts of drinking, their health issues and experiences of treatment. The stories in this section were carefully written to highlight the complexity of participants’ experiences, the importance of their relationships with family, friends and health professionals in managing drinking, and they ways in which people care for their health while managing difficulties associated with drinking.

NOTE: While these narratives were written from the participants’ interview transcripts and rely on their own words, some aspects have been paraphrased to improve coherence and readability. In making these changes we have worked hard to remain faithful to participants’ original meaning and intentions.

Anthony lives by himself in a rooming house in Sydney. He works casually in hospitality for several entertainment venues.
Arjun started drinking with friends when he was younger, and gradually over time his drinking became heavier.
Bryan has been drinking heavily for the last six to eight years, but at the time of the interview he hadn’t had any alcohol for three weeks.
Dylan started drinking heavily eight years ago when he was involved in a drug court program related to heroin use.
After Jakub moved to Australia in his 50s and divorced from his first wife, he started drinking heavily. He was ‘bored’ and ‘lonely’.
Six months ago, John admitted himself to hospital and was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and ascites.
Michael started drinking heavily following the death of his mother and a subsequent cycling accident.
Rudy’s drinking has changed over time. At the time of the interview, he was drinking less and mostly limited his drinking to ‘social gatherings’.
Steve used to drink heavily but in recent years has been drinking less.
Wayne started drinking heavily in the mid-1980s as a way of relaxing when his children were young.