‘Alcohol became everything to me': The stark reality of life with a serious addiction

Tony Wright. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Most of us like a drink to socialise or relax. It’s part of our culture. But for some people, alcohol becomes everything.

Tony Wright spent twenty years presenting breakfast radio. He’s also an actor who’s raised thousands of pounds for charity.

What started as a few drinks in the evening, over time, grew into serious addiction.

"You create a habit... if you’ve had a bad day, you think 'I’ll just pour myself a glass of wine, it’ll make myself feel better'. Any excuse really", said Tony.

Tony Wright battled an addiction with alcohol for a number of years Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Tony’s addiction became so bad, he thought about killing himself.

He managed to fight his addiction and get his life back - but others are not so lucky.

The number of people dying because of alcohol poisoning has gone up by 12% in Wales over the last decade. And the number of overall deaths related to alcohol has remained the same, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

As well as that, who is drinking is also changing. A recent survey found people in professional and managerial jobs report higher levels of unhealthy alcohol consumption than those in other professions. 65% of all deaths are men and the highest number are in the over 55s.

It’s something which experts in the field say is a real concern. "Potentially, we’re heading towards a crisis in relation to the amount of physical damage that alcohol has on the body", said Dr Julia Lewis, an Addiction Psychiatrist in Newport.

Experts say we should rethink our relationship with alcohol Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Welsh Government says it is tackling the problems alcohol can cause.

Tony now lives a happy and healthy life without alcohol.

  • You can see more of Tony's story on Wales This Week, tonight at 8pm on ITV Cymru Wales.

  • If you’re concerned about your drinking or that of someone you know, the advice is to contact your GP or Alcohol Concern Cymru at alcoholconcern.org.uk.