There was a recent upsetting story in the Metro newspaper titled, A Life Wrecked by Alcohol: Image of Woman, 35, Dying after Decade of Alcoholism. The report claimed that Beverley Pickorer consumed 24 cans of lager and a bottle of cider every morning before even going to the pub. She now has liver cirrhosis and suffers from seizures – Beverly is not expected to live for much longer.
The Reality of Alcoholism
In this day and age of social media and 24-hour news coverage, it is understandable that people have become immune to the horrors in the world. Most already know about the potential dangers of alcohol abuse; however, it can be difficult to appreciate what it all means in reality. The picture of Beverley Pickorer on her deathbed in the Metro article is a jolting remainder of the real suffering involved with this sort of addiction.
It is estimated that up to 10,000 people die each year in the UK due to alcohol abuse (source: Office for National Statistics). There are also believed to be about 10 million people who are putting their health at risk due to binge drinking – this is a lot of people. This means that everyone in the UK is impacted by alcoholism, and it is a reality society ignores at its peril.
The Devastation Caused by Alcohol Abuse
Beverley Pickorer appears to have been a particularly heavy drinker, but it is not necessary to be drinking at this level to suffer severe consequences. Just regularly drinking more than eight units of alcohol (where one unit is equal to a pub measure of wine or half pint of beer) could mean that you are in danger of:
- fatty liver disease (the first stage of alcoholic liver disease) can begin after just a couple of episodes of binge drinking
- alcohol is a toxin and it can damage almost every organ in the body
- alcohol abuse can quickly lead to alcoholism
- excessive alcohol intake can cause memory blackouts
- people who are intoxicated are far more likely to commit crimes or become the victim of crime
- alcohol abuse is linked to domestic abuse
- excessive drinking is bad for society because it can lead to increased crime and lower work productivity
- alcoholism is often referred to as a ‘family disease’ – children suffer the most
- there is a strong link between alcohol abuse and suicide
- overindulgence in alcohol can exacerbate mental health problems and trigger depression
- this behaviour robs the individual, his or her family, their friends, and the rest of the world of a life with purpose – it is a loss for everyone.
Could Life Have Been Different for Beverley Pickorer?
It is not possible to force somebody to break free of addiction if he or she does not want to do so. Beverley has four children aged between six and fifteen, but their needs were not enough to encourage her to stop. It is hard to know how much help she was offered; maybe if the right resources had been available at the right time, she would have been willing to try sobriety. There would have been underlying issues driving her behaviour and, if these had been dealt with, it could have been possible for her to break free.
The image of a dying Beverley Pickorer is a powerful reminder of the dangers of alcohol abuse. This is a very serious business, so it is vital that anyone who is engaged in similar behaviour is encouraged to get help before it is too late for them. It is common for alcoholics to believe they have plenty of time to sort out their problems but many of these individuals end up facing the same fate as Beverley.