Advice and help about drinking - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Advice and help about drinking

Chester1971 profile image

Hi Everyone, I have been worried about my drinking for the past 20 years and over the past 5 years have been trying to stop. I usually stop for a few months, but one drink and I start again. I am not a blackout drinker, but when I start I drink every night. Over the last few years when I have started to drink after stopping for a few weeks or months I loose complete control and drink every night, probably about 10 units a night. Every time a relapse it gets harder to stop and it is making me feel over emotional and depressed. Should I go top the Doctor? I have been previously over the years with pains in my side, but I think I want them to ask about my drinking and for them to tell me to stop, a cry for help I suppose.

11 Replies

Hi, having been on the receiving end of a diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver attributed to perhaps 20 units a week and a lot of painkillers I suspect you would be advised to stop drinking. When I hospital I meet a counsellor who gave good advice, she also gave me details of AA meetings. I have not accessed this resource yet but it is available. For me stopping drinking was based on being open and honest with everyone, friends and family they know the situation and the implications. basically advice would be Dr so you know the facts and support to deal with the information you get.

Good Luck Tim


Many thanks for your reply. I have a Dr Appt tomorrow and just hope I can go through with it.



in my experience it is better to know so you can plan accordingly.

Good luck.


Well done for the last five years ! Never easy.

Not sure on the 'every night'. Is it pub, at home, after work? Spirits, wine, beer?

For some the focus on the positive reason WHY you should give up is the answer. Could be better health, improved relationships etc. .

A doctors visit could be the start of that process. AA has helped many people. All those giving up, need a reason and support. I found that once I had been consistent in saying 'no thanks' around those I drank with, they soon became supportive rather than destructive - banter and p taking soon became boring to them as well as me !

Your acknowledgement of the problem is a fantastic start. Relapses, though frustrating, can be just that - a relapse ( not an excuse to go on the lash occasionally !!). Some people find that not putting themselves in the situation where drinking is expected, the norm or encouraged is of benefit. Other or new interests can help. Fitness and health is free (walking etc) and once started can aid your motivation.

Keep trying - you'll get there.


Many thanks for your reply. The last 5 years have been hard, but I know deep down I have to beat this or it will beat me. I know I must not drink, but when that that switch goes in my head it makes me feel so happy that I am going to have a drink, but that only lasts for a few hours and then the guilt takes over.



Hi Steve,

Don't be afraid to see the doc and don't worry about the stigma just be totally honest and they will give you support, there are many different types of support to include places such as AA,as they have their place, but there are many other just as good types of support out there.

You don't have to be alcoholic to end up with liver problems. That's a definite fact. blood tests that aren't too bad or are normal doesn't mean it's a thumbs up to carry on. It's not just our livers it's our brains, hearts, kidneys, you name it..

I'm in the uk, near me there are a good few really good places offering support, some people are cutting down and some have totally quit, whatever works... for me alcohol is a no, it's not a treat it's poison and was a false friend. Two faced, cunning, baffling, totally loyal, yep it will stay with you to the end if you want it to... but what an ending... I personally do not believe we are helpless and I don't believe we can't change. Clearly you have been worried a long time. Doesn't that ring alarm Bells?

I like the saying "you can't eat an elephant in one sitting"..

Seeing your GP is a great place to start.

Best of luck,

Michelle :)

hi there/ I relapsed over and over for years.

Last week I celebrated 9 years sober through AA.

In America, AA is the go to for all doctors. It has the highest proven success for long term sobriety.

I had a transplant in 2015 and am currently back on the list, as my new liver is failing mechanically. That along with a new kidney is needed.

I did not get sick until I had 3 1/2 years sober, as Hep C kept hurting my liver.

The sooner you stop, the more likely it is you have a fighting chance.

Most of us die. Period.

It does not matter how often you relapse, it matters that you keep trying. Most of us have a few relapses prior to actual sobriety.

But you really have to want to be sober.

Sobriety is not for those who need it. It is for those who want it.

Changing old behaviors and looking at things differently is much easier when your involved with others like yourself. And AA is NOT a religious answer. It is based on spirituality..whatever that looks like for you. Meaning, you can be an atheist and still feel connected to the universe and nature, etc.

Talk to your doctor.

download the Free App "Steps Away" for the nearest AA meetings near you

cheering you on,



Thank you for your advice. I have booked an appointment for tomorrow, but am not sure if I can go through with it. I have not drunk for 2 days now and am starting to get the old feeling that I don't have a problem and it will be hard to explain to the Dr the issues when I feel like that. Deep down I know there is a problem so I will try to express this tomorrow.


davianne profile image
davianne in reply to Chester1971

Hi Steve, I have been dry for 8 months now, and I tried AA, and found them very supportive and friendly (we were all in the same boat). What made me stop was a diagnosis of fatty liver, and then cirrhosis, a real wake up call!!!! My GP was very supportive, and offered me counselling. What made it easier in the early days was alcohol free beer, so I didn't feel I was missing out. I realised that I was not addicted to alcohol, it was just a habit, especially when I had nothing else to do. My advice is to go to your GP appointment , and be honest with him about your worries and concerns. It would be better to stop drinking before you get a diagnosis like mine. you CAN beat it with a little willpower, and help from friends and family.

Take care, I will be rooting for you.

Best, David

Take a look it's free to join.

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Get help!!!

Do not end up like me..end stage liver disease-terminal with added complications of hepatic encephalopathy, cerebral atrophy ataxia and osteoporosis..

Yup all caused by alcohol x

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