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"We're all alcoholics and we're all anonymous": AA members in Harrogate urge others to get help

"We're all alcoholics and we're all anonymous": AA members in Harrogate urge others to get help

Published at 7:06am 12th November 2018. (Updated at 10:57am 12th November 2018)

Members of Alcoholics Anonymous in Harrogate are encouraging others with alcohol dependency to get help. 

They've been sharing their stories with Stray FM to mark Alcohol Awareness Week, which starts today.

34-year-old "Megan" has been going to meetings for the last 4 years. As a mum, she says her breaking point was the threat of losing her son. 

You can hear her story here: 

 

"Megan"

 

Figures from Public Health England show only one in five people in North Yorkshire with alcohol dependency are getting treatment.

The statistics show that 23% of alcohol-dependent residents went for any therapy in 2016-17 - compared to 19% on average in England.

This proportion was even poorer two years earlier when 17% received psychological treatment.

Public Health England estimates that North Yorkshire had 5,340 people suffering from alcoholism based on a national survey of 7,500 adults across England.

The survey revealed that nationally, men were more likely than women to drink at hazardous levels.

There are a number of AA meetings in the Harrogate area, which are held throughout the week. 

38-year-old "Bill", who's been sober for just over 2 years, says it can be very difficult to take that first step. 

He said: 

"Some people go to a meeting in Leeds or York so there's no chance they can bump into someone they might know. 

"But i think the main thing to encourage people is we are all alcoholics and we are all anonymous. Your secret would never come out through coming to AA. It's one of our founding principles. 

"It's prob one of the hardest things to do, to walk through that door. But for me, doing it has turned my life around completely."

40-year-old "Joseph" is another member of Alcoholics Anonymous in Harrogate. He's been sober for over 10 months now and is also encouraging people who have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol to get help. 

You can hear his story below: 

"Joseph"

 

The Harrogate Groups of Alcoholics Anonymous are holding an Open Forum on Friday 16th November from 1pm-3.30pm at The Friends Meeting House on Queen Parade in Harrogate. The group says anyone is welcome to attend. 

You can find a list of meetings at www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk 

The AA's National Helpline is 0800 917 7650