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How to Get Alcohol Treatment


Thinking about how to get alcohol treatment for yourself or a loved one is an issue that many face when alcohol abuse becomes a problem. However, it is often the case that those with the actual alcohol problem fail to see how serious their substance abuse is, and it is down to their loved ones to worry about treatment and how to get it.

Coming to terms with the fact that alcohol may have reached a stage where it is having a negative impact on daily life is tough. Most people who are struggling to control their use of chemicals such as alcohol will find it difficult to admit this.

As alcohol is a legal substance and one that is enjoyed in modern society, the very idea that it can be harmful or addictive is something that many struggle to accept. However, the reality is that alcohol is a destructive force in the lives of many people across the UK, and those who have a problem will need to know how to get alcohol treatment if they are to recover and get their life back on track.

Who Provides Alcohol Treatment

Alcohol treatment is provided by various organisations across the country. This includes the NHS, local charities and support groups, local counsellors, and private clinics. Accessing treatment is easy with the help of Addiction.org.uk as we work with all these organisations.

Your first port of call is likely to be a GP, who will refer you to an alcohol treatment programme if necessary. You should be prepared for a lengthy wait though, as most NHS-run programmes are oversubscribed and underfunded, meaning that most new cases will have to wait for treatment.

The same is often true of charity organisations; the treatment programmes provided by these organisations are also heavily oversubscribed and they struggle to meet demand.

You can also access treatment programmes provided by private clinics that are not restricted by funding issues. Private clinics do not usually have long waiting lists for treatment, so you will be able to access a treatment programme almost immediately after initial enquiry.

What is the Best Treatment Programme

Those considering alcohol treatment will also be thinking about which programme is best. The answer to this depends on the individual because what is best for one person may not be best for another.

It was once the case that every patient would receive the same treatment for addiction, but this approach proved to be ineffective for the majority. This is because every person has individual needs. Bespoke treatment plans are provided now because experts know that this is the best way to treat addiction.

Nevertheless, which treatment programme should you choose? To answer this, you must consider your own requirements and what each treatment programme would mean for you. For example, if you have a severe addiction to alcohol, you may need to enter a residential programme where you will have no access to temptations or triggers from the outside world.

Nonetheless, your own circumstances may prevent such a programme from being appropriate for you. It could be that you have a very young family and nobody to take care of them should you enter a residential programme. Or maybe you have a demanding job with deadlines that you must meet. In these circumstances, the alternative is an outpatient programme.

An outpatient programme may also be the best choice for those who do not have a severe addiction to alcohol and who have a lot of support at home. Similarly, those who would fail to thrive in a residential programme due to being separated from loved ones would also fare better in an outpatient programme.

While most experts agree that a residential programme is best because it offers the chance to get well in the shortest space of time, it is important to think about personal circumstances before deciding on the best programme for you and your situation.

What is Alcohol Treatment Like

Those looking at how to get alcohol treatment will also be thinking about what it is like. Knowing what to expect from treatment is one of the best ways to prepare yourself before it begins. What you should know is that most affected individuals will require an alcohol detox in the first instance. If you are physically addicted to alcohol, this part of your illness must be addressed first.

It is vital that the cycle of addiction is broken before you can tackle any underlying issues that may have caused your illness in the first place. If you have suffered with withdrawal symptoms when in need of alcohol, then you are likely to be physically addicted. You may have noticed these symptoms in the mornings when you wake. They would include nausea, shaking, sweating, vomiting, headaches, and mood swings. You may have also noticed that these symptoms subside with a sip or two of alcohol.

Specialist clinics provide alcohol detox programmes, and you will enter for a period of between one and two weeks. You will quit alcohol and wait for your body to eliminate any remaining traces. As it does this, you are likely to experience a range of withdrawal symptoms, which can be quite mild to quite severe in intensity.

Detoxing from alcohol is a complicated process. Since alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, it affects almost every single cell in the body and so withdrawing from it suddenly can be dangerous. There is a risk of severe withdrawal symptoms known as the DTs (delirium tremens). These symptoms can be life-threatening and should always be treated as a medical emergency. However, in a dedicated detox facility, it may be possible for staff to prevent the onset of the DTs with medication or nutritional supplements.

When your detox is complete, you can continue your treatment with either an inpatient or outpatient programme. Rehab programmes aim to help you get to the cause of your addictive behaviour and teach you how to return to everyday life without the use of mood-altering substances such as alcohol.

Counsellors and therapists make use of a variety of treatments to help you address the issues that led you to this point in your life. It is likely that any treatment programme you are given will contain elements of:

  • one-to-one counselling
  • cognitive behavioural therapy
  • dialectical behavioural therapy
  • contingency management
  • group therapy
  • motivational enhancement therapy
  • 12-step work
  • family therapy.

You will also be given recovery materials to familiarise yourself, such as books and leaflets. There are plenty of resources available online too that you can utilise to help you with your recovery. In addition to the above traditional treatments, your plan of care may also include various holistic therapies.

Most rehab clinics utilise both traditional and holistic treatments as they know that a combination works well to help treat the person as a whole and not just the illness. Holistic therapies help to reduce stress and to improve your overall sense of wellbeing. Examples of holistic therapies include yoga, massage, and art therapy.

Why Alcohol Treatment is Necessary

Overcoming your addiction is important. You should know that the longer you struggle with an addiction to alcohol, the worse your situation will become. Addiction is a treatable illness of the brain, but it will not go away on its own.

In fact, without treatment, it is more likely that your illness will progress. Your health, which you may have already noticed is suffering, will continue to do so. You are likely to develop more and more health issues, some of which may become life-threatening.

Your home life will also suffer greatly; relationships could already be under pressure because of your addiction, but these will not improve until you can put your substance abuse behind you for good.

If you require help for your illness and are wondering how to get alcohol treatment, please get in touch with us here at Addiction.org.uk. We will provide helpful advice about where to go for treatment and the programme that is best suited to your needs.

As part of our free service, we can assess your situation to determine the severity of your illness so that you have a greater understanding of what you are dealing with and the type of treatment that you might need. We can answer any queries you have or simply provide a listening ear if you need someone to talk to. Call today for more information on how we can help you overcome your addiction for good.

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