Alcohol abuse eclipsing heroin

From The Australian, 23 February 2008:
Awareness that Australia has a drinking problem has reached the highest levels of government, writes Bianca Nogrady.
ANDREW didn’t think his friends had a drinking problem. That is, until a few drink-driving offences landed him in the Odyssey House drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Now Andrew sees alcohol a little differently.
“I was drinking pretty much half a bottle to a bottle of bourbon a night, and a six pack of beers,” he says. “I sort of thought I had a drinking problem, but I thought I had youth on my side — I thought it wasn’t something I had to address right now. (I thought) it wasn’t causing much of a problem for me — but it was causing a problem for my health.”
That’s putting it mildly. When he came off alcohol he had “the DTs”, or delirium tremens — the confusion, disorientation and agitation sometimes experienced by long-term heavy drinkers who suddenly cut their habit. He had a heart murmur, and his doctors told him he had a high chance of having a stroke. That was just over a year ago. Andrew is 24. Read more.

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