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Cheers by Renate Van Nijen - Alcoholism Book

The book, 'Cheers' by Dutch Artist/Author Renate Van Nijen which reveals the compelling face behind alcoholism.

Los Olivos Recovery is committed to seeking out literature, articles and the latest research all of which can go hand in hand with residential rehab and in this case alcohol rehab as part of help with overcoming addictions.

Her book which draws on personal experience is very much aimed at raising awareness of alcoholism as well as being of help to those suffering from alcohol addiction.

At Los Olivos Recovery we firmly believe in alcohol rehab as part of a specialised residential rehab programme as the current best solution for sufferers of alcohol abuse. Cheers suggests this and other possible avenues of escape from addiction.

Please read the review of Cheers by Renate Van Nijen here and see the bottom of the page for information about how best to order your copy.

cheers‘Cheers’. A compelling account of the human condition behind alcoholism.

“Cut him out of your life!” she says. Just like that. “She is my friend, but she is always saying the wrong things”. This accurately sums up the experiences of partners, friends, or family members affected by the behaviour of addicts. Alcohol abuse and alcohol-related problems are a growing phenomena in modern society. Most people have, for example, vivid images when they hear the term ‘binge drinking’.

The medical world is increasingly concerned about the price this excess use of alcohol is exacting on tens of thousands of people, physically, and governments are worried about the future health costs for society as a whole. There is no easy answer and no easy solution. Alcohol is an accepted drug and it is difficult to imagine a world without it.

Responsible drinking – whatever that is - is recommended, but we are also made to feel boring if we don´t join in with a few glasses of wine when we meet up with friends, only to be subsequently judged if we stumble out of the venue, barely able to walk upright. Mixed messages are to be found all over the media and the age at which people start excessive drinking seems to be getting younger and younger with its related problems accelerating at an alarming rate.

The mixed message of society also creates a sense of shame in those affected by the disease of alcoholism. The effects of alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction are becoming a normal sight in hospitals. Every ward, without exception, has to deal with alcohol-related problems, and yet people would rather not talk about their alcohol problems, ashamed to admit that they even have any.

Erecting a facade of normality is typical among the family and friends of someone who is suffering from alcoholism. Nobody seems to understand so why try to explain? Everybody seems to judge so why invite criticism? So people suffer in the privacy of their own homes. Children are forced to witness painful situations between their parents due to verbal or sometimes physical abuse or are sometimes themselves the object of abuse.

Taking friends home becomes unthinkable. Those affected are often unaware of the triggers that turn the usually very sensitive and sweet alcoholic into an angry aggressor.

Children, partners or other family members find themselves utterly isolated. The alcoholic is seeking isolation because he or she feels it is impossible to deal with being judged. The victims are frequently too scared and/or ashamed to seek help for themselves. But there are ways out.

Recovering alcoholics who have found such a way out of their addiction may, for example, come together in meetings where anonymity is guaranteed and which replaces this isolation. Now they are able to share their experiences with individuals who have been there and who fully empathise, and they can find such a fellowship a powerful and comforting healing tool.

They are not alone. Their problems are not unique. The relief of realising this up close and personal is immense, both for the alcoholic and their immediate family alike. But the necessary anonymity in this form of recovery process seems to confirm society’s ignorance and denial. Modern society is in denial of the problem, just as those affected by alcoholism are often in denial of their situation.

Many believe an alcoholic is a homeless guy sleeping under a bridge or on a bench in a park. If only they knew the painful truth. It is hugely misunderstood as an illness and even science hasn´t accepted that it might actually be a mental illness, like schizophrenia. In general, especially in Europe, it is not even regarded as a medical problem and therefore hardly any funds are made available to find a ‘medical solution’.

Dutch born author and artist Renate van Nijen has firsthand experience of living with an alcohol-addicted partner, and all the complexity this involves. The secrecy surrounding alcoholism in society as a whole and the non-acceptance and judgemental attitudes of family, friends and outsiders that she experienced have driven her to write ‘Cheers, the hidden voices of alcoholism’, an intriguing anthology of stories and views from those affected by alcoholism, portrayed through family connections, relationships, work, or personal struggles with alcohol.

It openly highlights the person/people behind the problem. This book will help to raise awareness of the growing problem of alcohol abuse and help those affected by alcoholism to find a way to cope with or, indeed, to discover a way out of this widespread yet frequently misunderstood disease.

Compassionately written, ‘Cheers’ also offers information about some of the many avenues of help currently available to those affected both directly and indirectly by alcoholism.

What people are saying about ‘Cheers’.

Beautifully written and very informative, this book will dramatically change your understanding of alcoholism. While reading, we get to know the characters so well that by the end they seem to have become friends we are sad to have to leave behind. Uplifting, enlightening, touching, and so very human – this is a compelling read for all.Wendy van Vreeswijk, SRN – NLP

It’s about time the silence was broken, that we voiced our hidden secrets, and that we courageously shared our experiences; together we can raise awareness and therefore inspire changeDavid Culhane MIHCA: Holistic Consultant – Psychotherapist and recovering alcoholic for twenty years.

Poignant and sometimes painfully revealing, these often heart-warming real-life stories bring a powerful message of hope to those affected by alcoholism. A must-read not only for those with an alcohol problem, and their families and friends, but also health workers and anyone with an interest in the subject.”Dr. Bernadette Veeger (GP)

To Buy "Cheers" or for more information please visit You can also order a copy of ‘Cheers’ from FOODSTORE ANDALUZ in c/Pintada 46, Nerja or contact Renate via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to find out about other places in the Axarquia where you can purchase a copy.

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