Why do people drink alcohol or take drugs?

Why do some people do it to the point of it being a problem – to themselves, to their family, their friends and to our whole society?

Why don’t people with drug or alcohol problems do something about it, pull themselves into line?

How can we help them?

THE AIM OF THIS WEBSITE is to consider such concerns and to ‘lift the lid’ and look inside the minds of people who drink or use other drugs, to see what might be going on in there, what influences them to do what they do, and – if their habit is causing problems and when they are ready – what might get them started on the path towards doing something about it. It also lifts the lid and looks into ‘us’, not just ‘them’, showing that we all have behaviours which can be troublesome and can be explored in the same ways. It does not look at drugs themselves – an ever-growing wide variety of them – nor does it deal with the specifics of specialised treatments.

Rather, the hope is that anyone – perhaps a young teenager who is wondering whether to start drinking or smoking, or someone who is already a casual or habitual user, or is even an addict – will find the information on this site to be simple to understand, sensible and useful. And not only the users but also the parents and other concerned family members and friends, and trainee counsellors.

The information in this website is for everyone who drinks and takes drugs – and that means all of us, to some extent. Do you know anyone who does not partake of alcohol even occasionally or does not take any drug at all? Illegal ones aside, think of beer, wine, caffeine, tobacco, soft drinks laced with alcohol, painkillers such as aspirin and paracetamol, prescribed medications, and any number of items on the shelves of pharmacies, health food shops and supermarkets – drugs being either artificial or natural elements which alter physical and/or mental states.

Furthermore, it will become apparent that some of the ways of looking for deeper understanding and helpfulness in relation to drugs can usefully be applied to other concerns in life, such as overeating, domestic violence, gambling and a whole lot of other behaviours which can cause problems.

But it initially focuses on alcohol and other drugs, making use of charts and models which a small community-based team working in the alcohol and drug field developed from their own learning-on-the-job. This team found these tools useful in their dealings with individual users/abusers/addicts of substances, and in their wider task of raising awareness and understanding of substance use and abuse among young people and in the community at large. This material has also been used very effectively in group discussions and workshops, some of it in socio-dramatic form, and in other areas of counselling.

So, let us step into ‘their’ shoes, break down the flimsy fence between ‘them’ and ‘us’, and think in terms of ‘me’ and ‘we’ as we work our way – my way and your way – through the charts and pictures and discussion on this site.

Next > Why do it?

Download printable version of this website: Lifting_the_Lid.pdf

© 2015 Malcolm Whyte. All rights reserved.