South Africa is a nation of heavy drinkers and it’s an ingrained behaviour that is killing us. As consumers of more than 5 billion litres of alcohol a year, a World Health Organisation study ranks South Africa as number four on a list of countries with the riskiest drinking patterns.
This classifies us as heavy drinkers who as heavy drinkers who binge drink on a minimum five glasses of beer or wine in a single sitting for men, and more than three drinks for women. However, more people are becoming conscious of their drinking habits and are taking steps to either become sober or moderate their intake; and the sobriety trend is catching on.
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Janet Gourand is one such person who is in recovery and despite the high levels of alcohol consumption and abuse in South Africa, she found very few programmes around that encourage, coach and support people to take control of their drinking behaviour and learn new ways of coping and managing. “When I stopped drinking earlier this year, I was driven by fear.
"The fear of damaging my health irrecoverably as well as a desire to escape the downward spiral of drinking, hangovers and more drinking,” says Janet. “In spite of several attempts to moderate, I wasn’t winning, so I decided to quit. I soon realised the lack of programmes or support groups that could help me through this transitional period and it was quite a lonely place to be.”
Read: Steps to end alcohol abuse in SA
This was the motivation needed to set up World Without Wine, a social network aimed at men and women who make the choice to either cut back their drinking or become completely sober. “As many former drinkers can attest to, finding ways of fitting in and feeling comfortable can be difficult and it is social pressure that often drives people to return to their old drinking habits.
"I also really wanted to link up with people who had the same goals as me, and together, we could get the support and encouragement we needed and be there for each other,” explains Janet.
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As a qualified coach, Janet is using her extensive experience in training and development to offer members a platform to express themselves, support each other and seek advice. World Without Wine offers workshops, recovery coaching, social events and support groups. Register online for the next Cape Town workshop on 7 November 2015.
World Without Wine is a social network that enables men and women to successfully moderate their drinking and become sober by developing tools to support their journey to sobriety. Workshops, sobriety coaching and support groups all work together to provide the encouragement needed.
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