Jersey Alcoholics Anonymous still in high demand as it marks 70 years

Credit: PA

Alcoholics Anonymous in Jersey is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

The charity was brought over to the island in 1951, having started in the US in 1935.

One member, said their life "began to change in ways that I couldn't previously conceive" after turning to the charity for help.

A notice, published in the Jersey Evening Post in 1952, said: "I am very pleased to see that a branch of Alcoholics Anonymous has been established in Jersey.

"This movement as many readers will know, was founded in the New World and exists solely for the care and rehabilitation of dipsomaniacs."

"It is conducted, solely, by those who have experienced the horror of chronic drinking and who, therefore, understand the craving for drink, which makes the dipsomaniac lose all sense of reason."

Help for islanders dealing with alcohol addiction:

Figures published in 2015 revealed Jersey residents are among the heaviest drinkers in Europe, second only to Lithuania.

In addiction, statistics published in 2020 revealed over a quarter of adults in the island were drinking more than they were before the coronavirus lockdown.

Many support groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous, were prevented from holding meetings in person.

That's something that the head of alcohol addiction charity Silkworth Lodge, said would have had an impact on people's recovery.

A report by Jersey's government in 2018 revealed:

  • 11% of Jersey adults were teetotal compared 20% of adults in England

  • 945 hospital admissions were specifically related to alcohol in 2017

  • 1 in 4 assaults and more than 1 in 3 serious assaults were recorded by police as involving alcohol

Figures for 2019 and 2019 are yet to be published.

In Guernsey, there are 13 AA meetings a week serving roughly 200 members on the island.

At the same time, the future of the island's Alcohol Advisory Service is still hanging in the balance after the States decided to cut funding.