The question of where to get alcohol treatment is one that is commonly asked by family members of individuals who they believe are in need of help. However, before treatment can be sought, the person with the addiction must be ready to accept that he or she has a problem in the first place, which can often be the hardest part of the recovery journey.
Are you worried about your drinking habits, or has a loved one expressed concerns that you may be drinking too much? If this is the case, it is worth taking a good look at your life to consider how often you drink and how much. You should also think about your ability to stop drinking once you start. It is this that usually indicates a problem, and not the type of alcohol that you consume.
For example, there are many people who only ever drink beer and, as such, believe they cannot be alcoholics. Nevertheless, when they do drink beer, these individuals find that they are unable to stop. The person has no control over their consumption but because he or she does not drink spirits, he/she believes they could not possibly be addicted. This is not the case.
Do You Need Treatment for Alcoholism?
The very idea that alcohol can be addictive or harmful is unthinkable for many. This is usually because they do not see alcohol in this way. To them it is a substance that everyone drinks and enjoys socially. They cannot see it any other way. Does this sound familiar to you?
Consider this: the UK Government reviewed its safe alcohol guideline amounts in January 2016 because of the damage that this substance can cause. Prior to this, the safe limit for men was deemed to be 21 units of alcohol per week and 14 units for women. Calls for these levels to be evaluated due to the harm caused by alcohol abuse led to a review and the weekly limit for men was reduced to fourteen units to bring it in line with the limit for women.
However, there are many individuals across the UK who regularly drink more than their recommended fourteen units per week for safe consumption – are you one of them? Some people even drink their full week’s allowance or more in one drinking session. In fact, there are estimates that some individuals are regularly drinking up to fifty units per week, putting their health and their lives in danger in the process.
It is difficult to accept that you may have an alcohol addiction, and the idea of having to quit alcohol forever can be enough to prevent some from accessing help. Nonetheless, failure to put a stop to this cycle of alcohol abuse now could have disastrous consequences for you and your family.
There are no physical tests to determine if a person has alcoholism. There are no blood tests either. The only way to know for sure is to evaluate an individual’s behaviour and attitude to drinking, but this requires the individual to be honest about his or her drinking.
Consider your own drinking for a moment. Are you drinking more now than you used to? Do you find that you cannot stop drinking once you start? Or do you often plan to not drink but find yourself doing so anyway?
The amount of control you have over your drinking is a major indicator of whether you have a physical dependence or not. If you find that you cannot stay away from drink, despite promising to do so, it could be that you have a problem that requires attention. If you are suffering with headaches, nausea, vomiting, shaking, sweating, or mood swings when you have not had a drink for a while, it could be that you have a physical dependence. These withdrawal symptoms are normal for those who are physically in need of a drink.
Why You Need Help Now
If you have an addiction to alcohol or are in danger of developing one, you should consider getting alcohol treatment as soon as possible. It is easy to brush the situation under the carpet and pretend that nothing is happening as that way there is no need to stop drinking.
However, failure to get help for an alcohol problem could result in many negative consequences for the individual and his or her family members and friends. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and affects almost every cell in the body. Abuse of alcohol has been linked to hundreds of different mental and physical health problems. In fact, alcohol abuse is one of the top three contributors to poor health and premature death here in the UK, yet millions of people continue to abuse it. They are completely oblivious to the damage being caused to their own life and the lives of those they love.
To prevent poor health, relationship problems, and financial struggles, those with alcohol addiction need to tackle their problem head-on. Although some people do manage to reach a point where they know they need to quit alcohol and just stop, this is very rare.
It is much more common for those with alcoholism to get to the point where they realise they have an addiction and reach out for help. Going it alone can be done, but those who do manage to get sober rarely stay sober without help and support. If you want to overcome alcoholism for good, it is best to seek professional advice and help.
What is Alcohol Treatment and Where Can You Find it?
You need to remember that alcohol addiction cannot currently be cured. It is an illness of the brain that can be treated but it will always be lying dormant, threatening to resurface if the individual does not maintain his or her sobriety.
If you are really serious about getting better, you need to remember that total abstinence is the only way to beat this addiction for good. Controlled drinking never works, no matter what anyone has told you. There are some alcoholics who have tried this and have eventually found themselves right back where they started again. To get your life back on track, you must be prepared to turn your back on alcohol for good. This is the only way to put things right in your life.
Alcohol treatment almost always begins with a detox and this is because alcoholics tend to be physically addicted. An alcohol detox can be a complicated procedure as there is a risk of serious withdrawal symptoms occurring, particularly for those who have been drinking heavily for many years.
It is possible to detox at home but is generally not advised due to the complex nature of an alcohol detox. Most people will experience withdrawal symptoms to some degree. These may be mild and include sweating, shaking, nausea, and vomiting or could be severe and include seizures, convulsions, and hallucinations.
It is advisable for those who are trying to quit alcohol to do so in a dedicated facility where professional and experienced staff are on hand to make the detox more comfortable and safer. Detox programmes usually last for around a week to ten days and staff can help to ease symptoms by prescribing medication if it is deemed appropriate. A medical professional may decide to prescribe a sedative replacement drug over the course of five days in decreasing doses to help minimise the withdrawal symptoms. Certain supplements have proven to reduce the risk of seizures as well, so these may also be prescribed.
What About Rehabilitation?
The temptation to quit the recovery process after the detox has been completed can be quite strong for many individuals. These people may believe that they are better now that they have not had a drink for up to two weeks. If they do not want a drink, they may think that their journey is over, but this is never the case.
Recovering alcoholics will inevitably go through various ups and downs during their journey, but it is important to remember that the cause of the addiction will not be addressed during the detox process. Detox programmes are designed to deal with the physical addiction only; they do nothing to address any psychological issues the patient may have.
A programme of rehabilitation is therefore vital if a long-term successful recovery is to be achieved. So where can you get alcohol treatment?
There are various organisations in the UK that provide alcohol treatment, and the NHS is just one of them. Most people will head to their GP in the first instance in the hope of getting the help they need. Nevertheless, although there are many fine programmes provided by the NHS, these tend to be heavily subscribed. They will already be full and will have a waiting list of people who also want to access treatment for addictions such as alcoholism.
Thankfully, other programmes are also available and are provided by the following:
- Charities – Charity organisations are often formed by former addicts who want to help as many people as they can to get the help they did to recover. Since charities rely on fundraising and funding from the government, they are often under pressure to provide necessary spaces. They typically provide outpatient programmes but there are some that have a limited number of residential spaces for those in most need.
- Local Counsellors – Local counsellors are either funded by the NHS or are privately run. Programmes are outpatient based and patients usually attend regular counselling sessions before returning home.
- Private Clinics – Private clinics are operating around the UK to provide addiction services that the NHS and charities cannot. They tend to provide inpatient programmes, which offer patients an intensive and time-consuming approach to recovery.
Those who want to overcome addiction have a number of choices in terms of treatment providers. For those who want to access an NHS-run programme, it is likely that they will be faced with a lengthy wait for treatment. Although this might sound like the ideal scenario for the alcoholic who is reluctant to say goodbye to alcohol for good, it can be detrimental to progress and can often cause the individual to change his or her mind about getting treatment.
It is far better to be in a position to access a treatment programme soon after deciding to get well. For most, this will mean considering a private programme as admission can usually take place within a day or two after the initial enquiry.
The cost of funding a private programme can often be the bugbear for many of those looking to get better. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that some clinics offer payment plans or even accept government funding if the patient is eligible.
It is also worth considering the savings you will make if you get treatment for your addiction as soon as possible. Many people do not realise the negative impact that an addiction to alcohol can have on their financial situation. As well as funding the addiction, they may lose income from being unable to work. By paying for treatment now, the affected person will be able to get their financial situation back in a healthy position. They may even be able to return to education and work towards promotions that were always denied to them because of their crippling addiction.
If you would like more information about where to get alcohol treatment, contact us here at Oasis Bradford today. We provide excellent detox and rehabilitation programmes for those who want to enjoy a substance-free life going forward. Call for information about our clinic and how we could help you say goodbye to alcohol once and for all.