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Alcohol Addiction – UK Expert Help and Advice

Lisa Taylor
Lisa TaylorAddiction Counsellor

How much do you know about alcohol addiction in the UK? If you are like most people, your knowledge is limited to a few pieces of information you may have read online or heard on the news. What most people don't know is that dependence on alcohol currently affects more than 1 million people. Every year the NHS spends billions of pounds treating alcohol-related illnesses and injuries; every year thousands of people die.

The statistics should be alarming if you are at all concerned about the health of your country. They should be even more alarming if you are concerned that you or a loved one is suffering from a drinking problem. Alcoholism is very real; there is no denying that. But denying that you or your loved one has a problem is only going to make the problem worse. You need expert help and advice right now.

We provide that help and advice in our role as an independent referral organisation for alcohol addiction. UK rehab clinics and other treatment providers rely on us to help make connections with alcoholics and their families. We act as a middleman of sorts, bringing together those in need with those who provide treatments. We can help you as well.

Assessing Your Drinking Problem

The very first step in getting help is admitting that you have a problem. We cannot do that for you. Only you can honestly assess your drinking habits; only you can acknowledge that you drink too much, too often. By the way, admitting to a drinking problem is usually the hardest step for most people. If you can make that first step, you will be well on your way to a full and complete recovery.

The next step is to allow us to assess your drinking problem. It is important to know whether you are suffering from problem drinking, alcohol abuse, or alcohol addiction. We can help you figure this out through the use of a proven assessment utilising the latest alcohol screening tools including AUDIT and what is known as the Alcohol Dependence Scale.

Our assessments involve a series of questions we ask the client. Each question includes five answers to choose from; the answers are scored from 0 to 4. Upon completion of the questionnaire, we tally the scores from each question to come up with a total that is then compared with the Alcohol Dependence Scale. The higher a person scores on this scale, the more likely that person is an alcoholic.

This means of assessment is relatively routine for identifying alcohol addiction. UK doctors and therapists have been using it for decades. If you are willing to admit that you may have a drinking problem in need of professional treatment, why not contact us so we can conduct an assessment for you?

Getting the Necessary Treatment

How high on the Alcohol Dependence Scale you score tells us what kind of treatments you need to get well. Please understand that the number of treatment options is fairly large. The alcohol recovery community no longer treats alcoholism as a condition with a single treatment for everyone. Simply put, we no longer subscribe to the one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. We now use bespoke treatment plans that match patients with the best kinds of treatments for their circumstances.

Each of the treatments we recommend can be obtained either on an outpatient or inpatient basis. Here is an explanation of the differences between the two:

  • Outpatient Treatment – Outpatient treatment involves going to a clinic on a regular basis. During the first few weeks, the patient usually visits the clinic every single day. He or she is provided with a medical exam as well as prescription medications if they are deemed appropriate. Counselling is also included, at both the clinic and at the offices of professional counsellors.
  • Inpatient Treatment – Inpatient treatment involves a residential stay at a clinic that can take anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks. The first week of residential treatment is usually devoted to medically supervised detox; several weeks of psychotherapeutic treatments follow.

Both forms of treatment have their advantages and disadvantages. Beginning with outpatient treatment, its main advantage is that patients return home every night. This reduces costs and allows the individual the comfort and stability of his or her own home and daily routine. The two biggest disadvantages of outpatient treatment are that it tends to take longer and patients can be subject to a number of distractions and temptations that may drive them back to drinking.

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We prefer residential treatment due to its main advantage of a separated and concentrated environment. A residential stay completely removes the patient from his or her normal surroundings so that he/she can concentrate fully on recovery. The one disadvantage of residential treatment is that it costs more.

It is our position that alcohol addiction is best addressed through a residential treatment programme at a private clinic. When you contact us for more information, we can explain to you how residential treatment works, how much it costs, and what clinics are available in your local area. We can also explain the various payment options. Private clinics accept private health insurance, credit cards, and cash; some may even offer financing plans from time to time.

The Price of Delaying Treatment

We hope our mention of paying for residential treatment will not discourage you from getting help for alcohol addiction. Where there is a will to get better, a way can usually be found to pay for it. Also, be aware that there may be a significant price to pay for delaying the treatment. It is not necessarily a financial price – although that can be part of it – but it is an expensive price nonetheless.

Delaying treatment will make any physical problems you are now experiencing that much worse. Forgoing treatment could lead to significant issues including liver disease, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Do you want to risk deteriorating health by delaying treatment?

Not being treated for alcohol addiction will also have psychological consequences. The longer you delay treatment, the more your mind will be convinced that you cannot live without alcohol. You may even progress to the point of developing clinical depression or anxiety. That is a heavy price to pay to keep drinking.

Lastly, delaying treatment could wind up costing you your job, your house, and even your family. It is not worth it. Delaying treatment can only result in further and more serious problems. So don't wait. Alcohol addiction in the UK is a very real issue, but it is one you do not have to continue being a part of. Now is the time to end your addiction. Now is the time to take your life back from alcohol.

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