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Articles tagged with: Alcoholism

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[5 Feb 2010 | No Comment | ]
Alcohol attitude must change

Alcohol must stop being such an intrinsic part of Australian life if the wave of alcohol-fuelled violence is to be stopped, a leading expert in the field said yesterday.
Griffith University Emeritus Professor Ross Fitzgerald, a member of the NSW Government Expert Advisory Committee on Alcohol and other Drugs, has battled with alcohol addiction for most of his life.
Professor Fitzgerald has been sober for 40 years, with his last drink on Australia Day 1970.
“That means I’ve had 40 more years on the planet than I otherwise would have had,” he told …

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[2 Feb 2010 | 4 Comments | ]
My Name is Ross – An Alcoholic’s Journey

Speech in response to Gerard Henderson’s launch of Ross Fitzgerald, My Name is Ross – An Alcoholic’s Journey (New South Books) 6pm Tuesday February 2, 2010, Clayton Utz Seminar Room, Level 30, 1 O’Connell Street Sydney.

Thank you Gerard for a friendship that has lasted many, many years.
I remember once telling Gerard that I thought I was becoming more neurotic. To which Gerard replied. “That’s scarcely possible!”
I’d especially like to thank Nigel Marsh who suggested that I write a memoir with my alcoholism at its core; my Brisbane-based agent Margaret …

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[30 Jan 2010 | One Comment | ]
Reflections through a sober eye

HERE I am, stretched out straight and still, enclosed in a tunnel, having an MRI brain scan at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney to find out why I’m bleeding from the brain in four places.
The only way I can survive the 25-minute claustrophobic ordeal is to wear a sleeping mask and recite, like a mantra, the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
My situation brings back deeply buried memories of …

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[30 Jan 2010 | One Comment | ]
The struggle to be sober

MANY great writers were alcoholics. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, James Joyce and Henry Lawson are but a few from a very long list. Shakespeare’s drinking habits are not known, but several of his most memorable characters put away plenty of grog. The Porter in Macbeth, severely hungover, pronounces to his aristocratic betters that drink is a great provoker of three things . . . nosepainting, sleep and urine.
For Ross Fitzgerald, those three afflictions must have seemed relatively trivial. Starting at the age of 15, he drank for …

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[30 Jan 2010 | No Comment | ]
Personal pain of demons and drink

IT would be easy to fill every shelf in a bookshop with books published on, for, about and by alcoholics. A quick search online reveals thousands of books on alcoholism, from self-help to the confessional, and everything in between.
Australia is a nation whose identity, for better or worse, rests squarely on the consumption of alcohol. It is part of our social fabric and always has been. Captain James Cook took beer with him on the Endeavour and the first settlers brought beer with them in 1788. Our first prime minister …

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[28 Dec 2009 | 6 Comments | ]

WITH the rise of Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott federally and Kristina Keneally in NSW, religion is re-encroaching on politics.
The biggest influence is in NSW. When Catholic World Youth Day descended on that state in July last year, many taxpayers resented being forced to pay $20 million in security charges for the event and $40m for the use of Randwick racecourse. The reason that atheists, agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Anglicans and even a few Catholics were being forced to go along with this was essentially because then premier Morris …

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[13 Dec 2009 | 64 Comments | ]

From his first drink at the age of fourteen Ross Fitzgerald has struggled with alcoholism. His story is one of despair, courage and hope – and living to see another day.
He writes about growing up in Melbourne, drinking his way through university in Australia and the US, being incarcerated and subjected to electric shock therapy and reaching rock bottom before being saved by Alcoholics Anonymous.

One of Australia’s most widely-published historians, his story is truly inspiring. Insightful and brutally honest, “My Name is Ross” is his account of life as an …

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[13 Dec 2009 | One Comment | ]

Let me put some of my cards on the table. I turn 65 on Christmas Day. And if I survive until Australia Day 2010 I will have had no alcohol or other drugs in the last 40 years. This means I’ve had 40 more years on the planet than I otherwise would have had.
Like a lot of teenagers who are prone to addiction, I got into trouble with alcohol at an early age , in fact from my first drink of alcohol at age fourteen I drank in a manner …

Columns »

[31 Oct 2009 | One Comment | ]

IN our society, significant pressure is often applied to those who need to remain abstinent from alcohol and other drugs to stay alive.
This also applies in our prisons, where 80 per cent of inmates have significant problems with alcohol and other drugs.
Yet even within our prison population there is strong pressure from psychologists and other professionals to advocate so-called harm minimisation as opposed to the goal of total abstinence.
In common and often professional usage, the notion of harm minimisation conflates two very different ideas. Only one of these do I …

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[5 Sep 2009 | No Comment | ]

IN August 1806 the newly appointed governor of NSW, William Bligh – he of Mutiny on the Bounty fame – made a tour of the Hawkesbury district.
He found to his dismay that “a pernicious fondness for spiritous liquors was gaining ground, to the destruction of public morals and happiness”.
Bligh’s concerns were shared by his superiors in Britain, the local clergy and many industrious free settlers throughout the colony. Soon afterwards, Bligh introduced tough measures to address the problem, including a total ban on distilling.
The …

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[5 Sep 2009 | No Comment | ]

Alcohol abuse and misuse is increasing “exponentially”, with the number of young women indulging in binge drinking increasing by 200 per cent since 2000, the co-author of a new book on the role of alcohol in Australia warns.
Speaking at the launch of Under the Influence at Annandale Galleries, in Sydney’s inner west on Wednesday night, co-author Professor Ross Fitzgerald referred to a finding by NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione that a violent city like Los Angeles has fewer alcohol-related assaults than Newcastle and Sydney.
“Faced with the reality that tens of …