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Recovering alcoholic talks of experience, says drinking culture made things more difficult

Photo: Frank May / DPA/Press Association Images

Jersey residents are among the heaviest drinkers in Europe, second only to Lithuania.

One recovering alcoholic living in the island says Jersey's culture of drinking made it difficult for him to realise he had a problem.

Alan Greenan gave up alcohol entirely 14 years ago, but says he used to drink constantly, round the clock, from the minute he got out of bed.

He says he now understands it was his way of numbing his anxiety. He'd go to work after drinking a couple of cans of beer and would 'constantly top up' throughout the day.

It was 18 months of madness, absolute madness...horrendous is the only way to describe it.

– Alan Greenan

Alan says the breakdown of his relationship and his inability to cope with life led to his heavy drinking.

He didn't realise he was an alcoholic and says a culture of drinking contributed to that. He said he grew up around a culture of drinking adding that when he moved to Jersey drinking at lunchtime and after work was accepted.

(With) the culture of drinking at lunchtime and drinking after work you think it's normal. I thought I was normal.

– Alan Greenan

When he hit rock bottom Alan ended up calling Alcoholics Anonymous. He says he was literally on his knees. He says the group saved his life.

He now describes himself as a decent member of society who can hold down a job and have a life, thanks to the help he has received from Alcoholics Anonymous and local Jersey charity Help Thy Neighbour.

It (alcohol) had been my best friend for a long, long time. I didn't realise it became my worst enemy.

– Alan Greenan

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