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Alcohol Problem Help



Statistics from the Health & Social Care Information Centre show that in 2012 there were more than 1.2 million hospital admissions in England directly related to alcohol abuse or addiction. In 2012, doctors dispensed more than 178,000 prescriptions for medications relating to alcohol dependence. Both statistics show an increase over previous years.

The truth of the matter is that the UK has one of the highest rates of alcohol dependence in the world. Why that’s true is anyone’s guess. However, you don’t have to be among those statistics if you currently have an alcohol problem. You can get the help you need to fully recover.

Help is available through the NHS, alcohol charities, non-profit support groups, and private alcohol rehab clinics. Each one of these organisations brings different things to the table. As an independent referral service, our job is to help you sort out all the options so you can make an informed decision.

Assessing Your Alcohol Problem

It goes without saying that the level of alcohol dependence in one person may be substantially different when compared to someone else. So determining how serious your problem is should be the first step in seeking appropriate treatment. You need to know whether you are an excessive drinker, and alcohol abuser, or an alcohol addict (alcoholic).

Consider the following:

  • Excessive Drinker – As an excessive drinker you may regularly consume alcohol in amounts greater than what is considered healthy. Yet intoxication is not a normal course of action for you. You also do not spend your days worrying about being able to drink or planning all your social activities around alcohol. This suggests you’re probably an excessive drinker.

  • Alcohol Abuser – You may be an alcohol abuser if you casually drank more than once or twice per week or find yourself binge drinking on a regular basis. For you it is not a case of not being able to survive without alcohol; it is a case of believing that everything is made better with alcohol. You can live without drinking, but you don’t want to.

  • Alcohol Addict – You are likely an alcoholic if your whole life revolves around drinking. You drink first thing in the morning; you drink throughout the day; you fall asleep with a drink in your hand. A very good sign of alcoholism is when friends and relatives are constantly expressing concern about your drinking habits. If you’re an alcoholic, they will recognise it before you will.

A doctor or other health professional with alcohol experience is the most qualified to assess your level of alcohol use, abuse or dependence. Our organisation can also offer a preliminary assessment based on the answers you provide to our questions. In either case, you need to get a proper assessment if you believe there is any chance you might have a drinking problem.

Types of Help Available

When you seek help for an alcohol problem, you’ll discover most programmes or services fall under one of the following four categories:

  • Group Support – Support groups like Al-Anon exist to help alcohol abusers and addicts achieve and maintain abstinence. They do so through group counselling, mutual accountability, and other strategies designed to take advantage of a group of individuals all working to overcome together.

  • Professional Counselling – A professional counselling service will offer alcohol counselling in addition to the rest of its services. This type of individualised counselling is normally scheduled on a weekly basis at the office of the counsellor.

  • Detox – The chronic alcoholic will need to go through detox before he/she can ever hope to fully recover. Detox breaks the physical addiction to alcohol by forcing the alcoholic to be separated from both his/her drink and daily circumstances. It is an unpleasant experience, albeit one that can usually be completed in a week or so.

  • Rehab – The most comprehensive type of alcohol recovery help is known as rehab. Alcohol rehab is a group of treatments all combined and offered over a long period of time. The best rehab programmes begin with 6 to 12 weeks of direct treatment followed by several months of aftercare.

Within the scope of these four treatment categories is also the question of outpatient or inpatient care. Choosing between these two options is critical for long-term success. Outpatient care might be the best option for one individual, while another would do better with inpatient care.

Outpatient Care

Outpatient care is provided by alcohol charities, professional counselling organisations, and the NHS. It’s called outpatient care because the individual visits a facility for only a few hours at a time. Afterwards he or she is free to leave and resume their normal daily activities.

The advantage of outpatient care is that it is both local and less time-consuming. The disadvantage comes by way of not being separated from those daily circumstances that might enable continued drinking. For some people, outpatient care is an open invitation to keep drinking while living under the illusion that they are actually being helped.

Inpatient Care

Inpatient care is defined as care made available through a residential treatment programme. Residential treatment requires the individual to live at a treatment facility, 24 hours a day, for the duration of the treatment. These types of programmes are offered by private rehab clinics and a handful of alcohol charities.

Inpatient care is the best option for the chronic alcoholic because it completely separates him or her from the life and circumstances they are used to. That separation forces the individual to deal directly with their alcohol problem. They have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do.

Because residential treatment involves both separation and a concentrated focus, these types of programmes tend to have higher success rates. Again, whether you choose inpatient or outpatient care depends on individual circumstances.

How to Get Help

If you need help for yourself or someone you love, you could take the next few weeks or months researching all of the options. However, why spend that time when we’ve done all the work for you? We are an independent referral service tasked with the mission to always stay abreast of addiction programmes throughout the UK. We know what’s available at any given time.

All you need do to get the appropriate help is get in touch with us. We will explain all of your options, make our recommendations, and assist you with admission arrangements. Just a few minutes from now, you could be getting the help you need. Please don’t wait; there’s no need to continue living with an alcohol addiction.

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