Adrian Chiles’ battle with alcohol led to major health scare

Adrian Chiles first tasted beer at the age of 14. What the popular TV presenter’s former self could not have predicted at the time was that this event would foretell an unhealthy relationship with alcohol for decades. The presenter charts his journey to sobriety in his new book The Good Drinker.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Chiles revealed the extent of his excess.

He would drink 36 units of alcohol a day – that’s more than double what men and women are recommended to drink in a week.

Part of the problem stems from the way alcohol consumption is framed by the medical community, Chiles said.

“We have this idea of the ‘alcoholic’ or ‘alcoholism’, which implies it’s a disease which we have or haven’t got.”

Chiles felt he didn’t meet this rigid criteria of “extremes” so he was okay to keep on drinking at the rate he was.

“My problem was that I was too good at it. I didn’t get hangovers.”

But, the cumulative effect of drinking up to 100 units a week was inflicting serious harm on his body.

A liver scan revealed the presenter was at risk of permanent liver damage.

He started to look more lucidly at the problem: “The first drink gives you a change of emotional state – you feel good.

“Every subsequent drink you then have is a fruitless attempt to recreate the first drink. I became mindful of that.”

The physical toll it was taking on his body also drove him to recovery.

“I suffered from anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, reflux stuff. All those things have improved.”

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