alcoholism – best defined for me by a close relative as his ‘morbid and insatiable craving for alcohol’; however, the spectrum of qualifying behaviours is broad, very broad. Many more millions would be defined as suffering from it by exceeding ‘guidelines’ for safe consumption than would be referred to as ‘functioning alcoholics’, though a non-functioning one is fairly easy to spot. It is undoubtedly a physical addiction and withdrawal symptoms can be severe even if judged only by the alternate substances people will consume in attempts to satisfy their cravings. Much debate relates to whether it is an affliction, a genetic inevitability or a choice. A consumption that exceeds the individual’s ability to deal with it either physically, psychologically or circumstantially is the common element but if the ‘problem drinker’ is recognised early, preferably by themselves, then – through intervention, moderation or abstinence – they can most often be kept from the park bench.


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On writing

I have been writing about drinks since 2000, mainly for newspapers and magazines, and also through my blog, which is being updated alphabetically here (see below).

Drinks blog

The Knowledge: Red Wine.

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