Landlord runs pub group for those with booze issues

Helping hand: Landlord Graham Rowson is helping people with booze addictions
Helping hand: Landlord Graham Rowson is helping people with booze addictions
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A pub landlord has revealed he is running a group to help people with alcohol addictions - in his pub.

As the Evening Post’s series on young people and booze draws to a close, Graham Rowson, of Preston’s Black Horse pub, said he believed booze addictions will reach “epidemic” proportions in Lancashire.

Graham, 60, turned to help from a group called SMART when he developed a drinking issue and weight gain around five years ago, having been in the trade for 30 years.

He has revealed the majority of people with alcohol, addictions who attend the self help group started drinking at very young ages, some as young as eight.

A Trading Standards survey has revealed two thirds of Lancashire’s children are given alcohol by their parents.

Today Graham said: “I have been reading the Evening Post series on young drinkers and it struck a chord because many people we help started at a young age. I think parents don’t consider how things could turn out.

“Laws are there for a reason. I have worked with people who have been through very harrowing ordeals, whose lives were almost destroyed by drinking.

“I managed to help myself before I was too far gone.”

While a pub may not seem the most appropriate environment for his sessions, Graham says he gets up to 30 members at the two meetings he hosts every week, some as young as 16.

He said: “Guests do not come through the pub, they use a back entrance into the function room upstairs. The bar is closed.

“I offered the pub when the previous place we met at was closed. These people had nowhere, yet there was so much demand.”