Please accept our gratitude for helping my family, most importantly of all for helping my sister."
The Sooner You Get Expert Alcohol Treatment the Better
Are you familiar with the old analogy of putting a finger in the dyke? It is an analogy to explain that small problems quickly become big problems if we try to cover them over rather than fix them. Just like putting a finger in a dyke is unlikely to prevent complete structural failure, trying to treat an alcohol problem by ignoring it or switching from spirits to wine will do very little to head off alcoholism.
For the record, alcohol dependence and alcoholism are the same thing. They require professional alcohol treatment regardless of the term used. The fact is that someone who is dependent on alcohol is in the very same position as someone who might be addicted to heroin or cocaine. The only difference is the drug of choice. And as you probably know already, any addiction requires professional treatment to overcome.
The other thing you need to know is that undergoing alcohol treatment as quickly as possible is key to a full and complete recovery. The sooner a person gets treatment, the more likely he or she is to achieve success. And with successful recovery, a person is less likely to relapse in the future.
Alcoholism a Progressive Disease
You may be wondering why we recommend alcohol treatment to people who have not been clinically diagnosed as alcohol dependent. The answer is simple: alcoholism is a progressive disease in the same way that cancer is. In other words, a person does not go to bed fully healthy and wake up the next day with the body riddled with cancer. Cancer begins as one cell that gradually spreads through reproduction. Likewise, someone does not go to bed a casual drinker and wake up a full-blown alcoholic.
Alcoholism always starts as casual drinking. For most of us, casual drinking is normal and something that can be handled without issue. But for the eventual alcoholic, casual drinking is the first step to a very serious problem. Much of it comes down to how the body reacts to alcohol consumption.
Drinking causes the brain to produce certain chemicals in response to exposure to alcohol. These chemicals produce the pleasurable feelings that are associated with drinking. The problem with all drugs – alcohol included – is that persistent use enables the body to adapt to those drugs over time. The result is one of a diminished feeling of pleasure that requires more alcohol to produce. The more a person drinks, the more he or she has to drink to feel the same amount of pleasure. This is the progressive nature of alcoholism.
Interrupting the Drinking Cycle
As a person progresses from casual drinking to problem drinking, he or she begins to feel certain ill effects between drinking episodes. It is not long before the person figures out that consuming alcohol is the best way to feel good again. What he or she often fails to realise is that those ill feelings are actually withdrawal symptoms caused when the amount of alcohol in the system begins to wane. Drinking may help a person feel better in the moment, but alleviating withdrawal symptoms by drinking more only causes an alcohol problem to progress further.
Alcohol treatment is designed to interrupt the cycle of drinking and withdrawal symptoms. Treatment may include any or all of the following, depending on the severity of a person's problem:
- Detox – The first step in interrupting the drinking cycle of an alcoholic is detox. Short for 'detoxification', detox is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of alcohol by either reducing consumption or stopping it altogether. Detox can usually be completed within 7 to 10 days.
- Prescription Medications – Prescription medications can be an effective first step for people who have drinking problems but are not yet considered alcoholics. Medications can control cravings that, in turn, can help a problem drinker reduce the amount of alcohol consumed.
- Psychotherapeutic Treatments – Most alcohol treatment programmes include some sort of psychotherapeutic treatment that addresses the psychological and emotional aspects of alcohol addiction. The truth is that alcoholism does not affect just the body. It also affects the mind, the thoughts, the emotions, and the spirit. Psychotherapy addresses these other areas.
- Group Support – Alcohol recovery experts have found over the years that group support is very effective in helping people overcome alcohol problems. Group support provides mutual accountability, understanding, and shared experiences.
- Nutrition and Exercise – Encouraging alcoholics to address nutrition and exercise is becoming a more common part of alcohol treatment in the UK. That's because we have discovered that nutrition and exercise, combined with a healthy lifestyle mindset, can act as an effective replacement for drinking.
We work with private rehab clinics and other treatment providers throughout the UK. Many of our partners use all of the above treatment options on a case-by-case basis. Others use additional treatments not listed here. The important thing to understand is that private clinics no longer rely on the 'one size fits all' approach to alcohol treatment. Today's treatment providers are more apt to develop bespoke treatment plans for each client.
What Happens If You Don't Seek Treatment?
What if you have an alcohol problem but do not seek treatment? While it is possible that you could simply decide to stop drinking by yourself, and succeeded in doing so, such cases are very rare indeed. It is almost impossible to solve a drinking problem without professional alcohol treatment. If you don't seek treatment, your problem will only get worse.
Untreated problem drinking almost always leads to alcohol abuse. Likewise, untreated alcohol abuse almost always leads to alcohol dependence. With each step in the progression from problem drinking to alcoholism, there are certain physical, emotional, and social side effects the drinker has to deal with.
One example of a physical side effect is something known as neuropathy. What is neuropathy? It is nerve damage in the extremities that can manifest itself in a number of ways including numbness and tingling, a 'pins and needles' sensation in the fingers and toes, an inability to distinguish between hot and cold, and burning and stabbing pains. Some people even develop ulcers, skin infections, and gangrene.
It is well-known that alcohol abuse leads to physical damage of the body as well as mental and emotional damage. But it does not stop there. Untreated alcohol abuse also devours finances and destroys relationships. You could lose everything that is near and dear to you if you fail to get treatment for an alcohol problem.
You need to know that alcohol treatment is available in your local area. Between the NHS and private clinics, you can get the help you need to overcome a drinking problem. We can refer you to an appropriate alcohol treatment programme if you are willing to contact us on our 24-hour helpline. When you do contact us, we will provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your situation along with all of the referral information you need to make a treatment decision.
Remember, the sooner you pursue alcohol treatment, the more likely you are to experience a full and complete recovery. The opposite is also true. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to ever successfully stop drinking.
Daniel’s guidance, professional and very heartfelt approach gave us the confidence and determination to go through with it."
- Free advice from a trained alcohol counsellor
- Access the best treatments in the UK and around the world
- Care for the alcoholic AND their family