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What Alcohol Advice Can You Get For Free in the UK?

Lisa Taylor
Lisa TaylorAddiction Counsellor

Every day we have the opportunity to speak with alcohol abusers and alcoholics looking for free advice for drinking problems. We are thrilled to be able to give them the most appropriate advice we can. After all, offering free alcohol advice is one of the reasons our organisation exists. We also provide free evaluations and treatment referrals to rehab clinics and other service providers.

It is interesting that one of the questions we hear quite frequently is one of what kinds of alcohol advice can be had for free. For some reason, it seems to escape people that calling our 24-hour helpline and asking for advice is free. That notwithstanding, free advice can be had from a long list of sources. You can get free alcohol advice from:

  • your NHS physician
  • a local alcohol charity
  • alcohol and addiction websites
  • members of an alcohol support group
  • alcohol and drug helplines like ours.

The bigger question is what kind of advice you will get and whether or not that advice is appropriate to your situation. We believe your best option in the short term is to call our 24-hour helpline. Our fully trained counsellors are more than capable of giving you the kind of advice you need to get started on the road toward solving your drinking problem.

Different Kinds of Advice

It may very well be that the type of advice you are after will dictate the source from whom you seek it. For example, you might simply be wondering whether or not you drink too much. You are a casual drinker who is concerned that your habit of getting drunk every couple months is a problem.

The first thing you might want to know is how to measure what constitutes too much drinking. For that kind of advice, you can go online and scour dozens of different websites offering the right kind of information. You can look up the government standards for safe levels of drinking; you can log on to the websites of various alcohol charities and support groups to find out what they have to say about how much is too much.

If your question involves a more serious issue, such as wanting to know the signs and symptoms of alcoholism, you are probably better off speaking to someone live. Why? Because the signs and symptoms of alcoholism are only a guide. They can give you a pretty good idea of where you stand, but only a comprehensive evaluation by a trained professional can truly determine whether you are an alcoholic.

For these kinds of questions, a service like ours is your best bet. We utilise established medical standards to evaluate those who call us for alcohol advice. In cases where our evaluations determine a high risk for alcoholism, we can refer clients to treatment providers in their local area. For one client that might be a private rehab clinic, for another it might mean a trip to the local counsellor.

Free Services from the NHS

One source of alcohol advice that is always free is the NHS. To access this advice one only need make an appointment to see the GP. In your case, you can tell the GP all of the concerns you have about drinking; he or she will respond with a list of targeted questions designed to assess your risk for alcoholism. A high risk would indicate the need for counselling at the very least. It might also necessitate prescription medications and entry into a detox programme.

There are times when we refer clients to the free services offered by the NHS. For example, a client whose evaluation does not indicate chronic alcoholism may do very well by visiting the GP and following up with support group membership and private counselling. But for full-blown alcoholics, we tend to prefer private rehab clinics.

The NHS does as good a job as it can to provide healthcare services with limited resources. But it is overwhelmed by the responsibility of having to treat every patient who walks through the doors, regardless of the issue at hand. The reality is that the NHS simply does not have the necessary resources to help alcoholics with the best possible treatments. Furthermore, NHS alcohol programmes are often oversubscribed and involve long waiting times.

Free alcohol advice notwithstanding, the NHS really isn't the best choice for the clinically-diagnosed alcoholic. A private rehab clinic is a much better option. One of the benefits of calling us for free alcohol advice is the fact that we can refer you to a local rehab clinic that might be able to begin your treatment in as little as 24 hours.

3 Things Private Rehab Offers

Free alcohol advice only goes so far in helping the alcoholic get better. Above and beyond that advice, the alcoholic needs professional treatment to solve his/her problem. It is in the arena of treatment that the private rehab clinic truly excels. Below are three things private rehab offers that you will not find elsewhere:

  • Separated Environment – Private rehab clinics utilise a residential model in order to ensure a separate environment. By separating the alcoholic from his or her daily routine and surroundings, any distractions that might inhibit recovery are eliminated. The alcoholic is free to focus on treatment.
  • Concentrated Treatments – Because addiction recovery is all the private clinic deals with, treatment providers are able to concentrate all of their efforts on that one area. Doctors, nurses and therapists are not distracted by countless numbers of additional patients suffering from all sorts of issues.
  • Bespoke Treatments – Lastly, and this is so important, private rehab clinics treat patients on an individual basis. They do not prescribe the same treatment programme for everyone, preferring instead to create a bespoke treatment plan based on individual needs. Bespoke treatments are much more conducive to a full and complete recovery because they account for differences in circumstances, history, etc.

There are a lot of places in the UK to get free alcohol advice. Once you have that advice, what will you do with it? That is the most important question. Getting advice for a drinking problem is only the start. Doing something about a drinking problem requires making the effort to access professional help.

Our role as an independent provider of advice, evaluations, and treatment referrals allows us to work with a full range of treatment providers in the UK. We are not obligated to a single rehab clinic or treatment methodology. If you or someone you love has a drinking problem, please contact us on our 24-hour helpline right away. We have the free advice you need to get started on the road to recovery.

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