A 35 year old SPR5 approached a consultant involved with the Sick Doctors Trust at the same hospital for advice and to talk about his drinking.
Over the previous two years, he and his friends noticed a change in that he often became violent when drunk. This had resulted in physical injury, fortunately only to himself, on two occasions. However, the injuries were visible and provoked questions at work. He had always been a beer drinker, but had recently started drinking wine once back at home after a night out.
There were also some issues outside work, to which he attributed his increased consumption. There was no history of memory loss when drunk, neither did he have any withdrawal symptoms. He was not a daily drinker, had never drunk during the day or at work, and did not suffer particularly for not drinking when on-call but did suffer bad hangovers, resulting in some days off sick.
He was referred to a treatment centre for a formal assessment. It was decided that he had not crossed the line from alcohol abuse to alcohol dependence and he was given advice and some coping strategies.
Since then he has remained well, drinks only moderately, does not go out as often, and is now well established as a consultant.