Campaign launched to help 'high-flying' City alcoholics

Apr 05 2005 by Nic Paton Print This Article

The Priory, the hospital chain famed for its work in treating the addictions of celebrities, is to start offering free consultations to "high-performing alcoholics" in the City.

City workers will be able to visit any one of its 15 clinics to discuss their addiction and how to overcome it.

The chain has launched an advertising campaign designed to "normalise" alcoholism by picturing typical, confident City workers.

It is estimated some four million people in the UK have a drink problem, and the issue is often a problem in high pressure "status" careers such as finance, medicine and even teaching.

Worries about failing in their career or personal lives and the stigma of not being thought able to cope are often major concerns for such workers, leading to feelings of isolation and desperation.

The Priory chain already its own alcohol and addiction specialist, Dr Neil Brener, located in the City every Thursday, who takes a clinic at Bishopsgate.

"Many, many people have drink problems in the City," he told The Times newspaper.

A survey in March last year found that women in senior executive positions were more likely to develop a drink problem than their male colleagues, and were more likely to have a drink problem than more junior staff.

The study, published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that while men's drinking patterns remained unchanged whichever level they were at, senior female executives were more than three times as likely to be problem drinkers as women working in the lowest clerical grades.

High-achieving women were also more likely to lack the support of partners and friends, it concluded.