What Is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction can affect anyone; regardless of age, gender, nationality, religion, social class, profession or upbringing. Alcohol addiction, as with any other addiction is classified as a “chronic relapsing brain disease” by Public Health England and addiction professionals around the world.
Those who are addicted to alcohol will suffer from the two main characteristics of the disease of addiction:
- Once they start drinking, they are unable to control the amount they consume or their actions whilst intoxicated. They will find it extremely difficult to stop, if not impossible. Usually there are mounting consequences, both to themselves and to their loved ones. They regularly lose all control of their drinking once they pick the first one up.
- Once they have stopped, whether it be due to a devastating consequence, a temporary moment of clarity or a medical detoxification, they are unable to stay stopped. At some point, without the correct professional psychological treatment and support, despite the consequences of their previous drinking attempts, they will relapse. Their mind convinces them, that “this time it will be different”. It rarely is, and usually only ever gets progressively worse without treatment and intervention.
To be addicted to Alcohol, you do not have to be dependent; some individuals can go days, weeks or even months without a drink, but once they start, the disease of addiction kicks in and the whole destructive cycle is started once again. For any individual suffering from alcohol addiction, the only way to avoid this, is complete abstinence. Yes, this means giving up alcohol for good and all. Many alcoholics struggle with this concept, as drink has become their lover, their best friend, their solution to life and in many cases their only companion. They drink to live and live to drink. Life seems meaningless without alcohol; yet deep down they know on a level that it is destroying them and their loved ones. Alcohol addiction is a very serious life threatening illness. Let’s look at the evidence, as taken directly from ONS the UK’s Office for National Statistics:
- In 2015, there were 8,758 alcohol-related deaths in the UK, an age-standardised rate of 14.2 deaths per 100,000 population.
- For the UK as a whole, alcohol-related death rates have not changed in recent years, but the rate in 2015 is still higher than that observed in 1994.
- The majority of alcohol-related deaths (65%) in the UK in 2015 were among males.
- For both males and females, rates of alcohol-related death were highest in those aged 55 to 64 years in 2015.
- Scotland remains the UK constituent country with the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in 2015; yet, Scotland has also seen the largest decrease in its rates since they peaked in the early 2000s.
Why Do We Say “Alcohol Kills”?
Alcoholism, abuse and alcohol addiction put a huge strain on the national health services. Most deaths that are alcohol related are due to alcohol poisoning, organ failure and death during acute withdrawal. This is why it is so important to get help if you have a dependency and are considering stopping alcohol. Detoxing from an alcohol dependency (where an individual is physically dependent on alcohol in order to function at a basic level) can be life threatening and cause the onset of the following dangerous and potentially deadly symptoms:
- Delirium tremens
- Heart failure
- Hallucinations and psychosis
- Suicidal ideation
- Complete organ failure due to the body going into shock
- Respiratory failure
How to Notice the Symptoms of Alcohol Dependency?
If you are wondering if you or a loved one are physically dependent on alcohol, taking any less than your usual daily intake will send you into withdrawal. The most acute period of withdrawal is for the first 72 hours, but even after that, the individual can be in danger for the following weeks. Stopping alcohol abruptly or too quickly is likely to result in the above dangerous symptoms. In addition, you may find you will suffer from the following symptoms of dependency withdrawal:
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Acute anxiety and feelings of panic
- Intense craving for more alcohol
- Increased heart rate
These symptoms will be temporarily relieved by taking another drink; this is how you will know if you are physically dependent and need professional and medical help with detoxing. The safest proven way to detox from alcohol is with a medical detox; supervised and dispensed by a medical professional specialising in the treatment of addiction. This will considerably diminish most of the dangerous and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms to manageable and comfortable levels and ensure your safety throughout the detoxification process.
What Are the Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options?
If you or a loved one are suffering from alcohol addiction and need help with stopping, Addiction Helper can help. We are the leading authority in the UK on addiction treatment. All of our staff are in recovery themselves and are highly skilled and trained to help you or your loved one find the exact treatment required for a full and lasting recovery to be possible. We have a vast range of alcohol rehab treatment programs that can help overcome alcohol addiction in its varying forms. For someone with a long standing or heavy use alcohol addiction, or an individual who is experiencing symptoms of withdrawal or displaying destructive behaviours, an immediate inpatient period of medical detoxification and to gain abstinence is strongly recommended. In addition, in order to maintain abstinence from alcohol and help prevent relapse, we can devise a bespoke intensive inpatient therapy program with an aftercare package to follow. It is vital to deal with the psychological issues underpinning the addiction if you or a loved one are stay free from alcohol in the long term. We will do all we can to ensure you access the best in evidence based treatment options according to your individual treatment needs and specific circumstances. Furthermore, we will arrange everything for you, to relieve the stress. We will also follow your progress whilst engaging in treatment and check on you after treatment is complete.
We are dedicated to saving lives and helping individuals to fully recover from alcohol addiction and lead a life free from the pain and misery of this illness!
Where Can I Find Reliable Alcohol Addiction Centres?
Alcohol rehab centres and alcohol detox clinics are essential for anyone suffering from a chronic alcohol addiction. Because alcohol affects every part of the body, it is important to treat the addiction sooner rather than later in order to lessen long-term damage. We have access to over 100 of the best treatment centres in the UK and also some elite alcohol rehab centres abroad. All are CQC regulated and we have personally approved them; based on their ethics, clinical standards, medical treatment and evidence based recovery programmes.
The best alcohol rehab centres provide a bespoke medical detoxification at the beginning, then a long-term rehabilitation recovery programme. Alcohol rehab centres should treat both the psychological and the physical aspects of addition. At the same time, they should offer flexible programmes that aid in meeting the individual requirements of their patients. Our specialist addiction treatment clinics also specialise in treating common co-occurring illnesses such as PTSD, Trauma, Depression and Anxiety and also those that suffer from dual diagnosis.
Some alcohol rehab centres provide a structured schedule of out-patient counselling sessions and all so structured day care professional help. Other alcohol rehab centres are in-patient facilities, where patients take up residence for a prescribed period while they undergo treatment. This cuts the patient off from the temptation of alcohol and also any outside issues that are likely to trigger a relapse. We believe that this is the best treatment option available. Treatment in an inpatient residential centre is by far the safer option for the patient. Being a resident, in a recovery focused and safe environment, also allows for a far more intensive level of therapy to be delivered within a shorter period of time.
The vast majority of relapses occur outside of an in-patient facility; these residential alcohol rehab centres are preferred by many patients and strongly recommended by Addiction Helper, as are proven to show the most successful outcomes.
How Do Rehab Centres Treat?
Whilst an individual is receiving inpatient detox and rehabilitation for alcohol addiction, partners and close relatives and friends may be able to access family therapy and support by attending dedicated sessions themselves. Many of the rehabs we work with offer this service. Visits are also allowed, usually supervised by a trusted relative, partner or friend, once a week at a designated time at the weekends. For this reason some may prefer to select an alcohol rehab clinic that is not too far away from home. The important thing to remember here is that it is vital that the individual receives the correct treatment for their individual condition and associated problems. It may be that a rehab nearby is not the best choice in terms of this. Please try to keep in mind that within a lifetime of addiction, a period of time away from family and friends is nothing when looking at the bigger picture. We understand that the separation is difficult, especially when it comes to children being involved, but the important thing that we consider, is providing the individual with the best in treatment options that will serve their long term recovery well.
An alcohol rehab clinical treatment team ideally should include a qualified Doctor, specialising in the treatment of addiction and mental health, qualified and experienced Counsellors, addiction specialist nurses, a qualified Psychologist, a Psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse and support staff that are highly trained and available at all times of the day and night. A patient in alcohol rehab should not expect to be looked after by one staff member only, but by the whole team of experienced and qualified staff within the vicinity. Most alcohol rehabs offer medical detoxes and a full bespoke rehabilitation programmes on an inpatient or day patient basis. The vast majority are inpatient residential only, for the reasons previously explained. Alcohol rehab centres focus on detoxing the individual where there is an alcohol dependency present, then unearthing and treating the root causes of their addiction. Their aim is to treat the physical and psychological aspect of addiction comprehensively and arm the individual with a box of recovery tools that they can access at any time on their return back home and into the community. Many of our alcohol rehab centres also offer short term, long term, secondary care and tertiary care programmes. On assessment, it will be determined which is the most appropriate programme according to the individual’s specific treatment needs and requirements.
The services offered by our alcohol rehab centres will be at their most effective when the individual has a desire to cease using alcohol. Furthermore, on entering into a rehabilitation programme, patients must be prepared to commit to the programme and be honest with rehab centre staff in order to gain the benefits of treatment.
What Are Alcohol Detox Clinics?
Alcoholism is a condition that can quickly take over a person’s life and cause a great deal of physical and emotional damage and hurt within the home and family unit. Once a person has admitted that they need help the next move is often to contact one of the many alcohol rehab centres or detox clinics, which are based all over the country. Alcoholics rarely have moments of clarity; we refer this this as a “window of opportunity”. When a person suffering from an alcohol addiction asks for help, it is important to act promptly. Failing to do this, it is likely they will quickly go back into a state of denial.
One of the first steps in the treatment is for the patient to undergo alcohol a full medical detox to remove all traces of the alcohol from their system. The process of alcohol detox should ideally be carried out under medical supervision; after which counsellors will examine the patient’s behaviour and the circumstances that led to his or her reliance on alcohol. Alcohol detox clinics specialise in higher levels of care for more complex detoxes from alcohol. This is appropriate when a patient is addicted to one or more substances in addition to alcohol, it using very high levels of alcohol in their dependency, has a history of seizures, or is in very poor mental and physical condition. Our alcohol detox clinics are staffed 24/7 by medical professional who provide enhanced levels of care. Patients are regularly reviewed at all times of day and night. Our alcohol detox clinics are fully residential and every measure possible is taken to ensure the patient’s safety at all times. Once the alcohol detox has been safely completed, we can then arrange for an immediate and seamless transfer onto a rehab centre for an intensive therapy and rehabilitation programme. Detox only deals with the physical aspect of addiction. It is imperative that the psychological aspect is also comprehensively treated by professionals for long term sobriety to be achieved and maintained.
Alcohol Detox Clinics are recognised as one of the most effective means of alcohol detoxification for complex detoxes. They are purpose built facilities, staffed with experienced and qualified medical professionals 24/7 and also offer a range of holistic therapies to enhance the detoxification process. In addition, they also educate each patient around the illness of alcoholism and addiction through educational workshops and one to one key work sessions. They also provide each individual with a bespoke discharge and aftercare plan.
Alcohol detox clinics and alcohol rehab centres can be accessed immediately through privately paid for funding, or accessed through government funding – applied for by local drug and alcohol teams. Government funding does take time and is a lengthily process; the individual must show commitment and attend many appointments and complete a pre rehab course in preparation. Not every alcoholic has the luxury of time on their side, especially in the latter stages of addiction and sadly some die waiting for the funding to be approved.
*Following alcohol detoxification it is strongly recommended that a full rehabilitation programme is immediately undertaken to comprehensively treat the psychological aspect of alcohol addiction*
Why Attend Rehabilitation for Alcohol Addiction?
Once detoxification from alcohol has been completed, the second stage of treatment is to fully rehabilitate the individual from their addiction. Neglecting this vital component of alcohol addiction treatment often leads to relapse and can be deadly. The second stage of treatment at alcohol rehab clinics is to help the individual to start making changes, both in their thinking and behaviours. Any of the negative behaviour or thought processes that led to the alcoholism has to be addressed. Our alcohol rehab staff are fully qualified in delivering the latest in evidence based alcohol rehabilitation techniques and treatments. Often there are other addictions involved, which also need to be treated; they can include anything from overspending to gambling or drug taking. By admitting to one of our alcohol rehab centres, you or your loved one will gain the following benefits:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (designed to challenge and change the thinking that drives the addiction)
- Dialectical Behaviour therapy (used to develop a trusting relationship with a qualified counsellor and encourage ownership of one’s own recovery)
- Trauma Therapy (used to process and heal past traumatic events)
- 12 Step therapy (a recognised recovery programme, that has saved many an alcoholic from death)
- Process Therapy (designed to help the patient identify and process emotions)
- Individual Therapy (enables the individual to process and resolve issues they feel uncomfortable disclosing in group or that are of a sensitive nature)
- Holistic therapies such as art, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, music and Tai Chi (alternative therapeutic mediums are non-threatening and non-invasive allowing each individual to connect to their true authentic self and express themselves without reservation)
- Fitness Programme (suitable for all ages and abilities, releases natural endorphins and feel good chemicals and helps to improve overall physical condition and self-esteem)
All of the above are designed specifically treat the psychological aspect of alcohol addiction and aid in the physical recovery. Our rehabs use only evidence based treatments that are cutting edge and delivered by qualified professionals.
What is learned whilst in treatment will not only address the issues underpinning their addiction, but also provide a valuable recovery tool box, that the individual can utilise at any point in the future to maintain freedom and their ongoing recovery from alcohol addiction.
Addiction of any kind resides in the individual’s mind and their subsequent compulsive and maladaptive behaviours; we therefore feel it is imperative to a full recovery for this aspect to be addressed comprehensively. Addiction is a disease and therefore not curable, but it can be successfully arrested and recovery maintained from there.
What Are the NHS Alcohol Rehab Options?
The NHS do offer help and we can give advice on where your local drug and alcohol team is located. Contrary to popular belief, the NHS have no alcohol rehabs in the UK; they tend to government fund patients who need alcohol rehab, but only as a last resort. Once all other cheaper treatment methods have been exhausted, they may then consider this as a valid option. Most NHS treatments for alcoholism in the UK, is in the form out of outpatient detox plus abstinence aiding drugs such as disulfiram. It is a postcode lottery in the UK in terms of what treatment you’ll get through the NHS and how quickly you’ll get it; it is often a lengthy process and resources and funding are often scarce. Recently though, Public Health in England have started to embrace peer-led therapies such as Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART groups; this can only mean good news for those wanting recovery but cannot afford inpatient treatment.
Alcohol and Drug Detox
At Addiction Helper, we are committed to finding you the right detox and rehabilitation programme for your specific addiction, whether it be alcohol, illegal drugs, over the counter medicines, prescription medication abuse or a process addiction.
Detoxification is the first step in recovery for alcohol and drug addiction. The medical alcohol detox and drug detox process (also known as withdrawal) safely removes alcohol or drugs from the system and should be undertaken in a medically-monitored environment. We would never recommend that anyone tries to withdraw from alcohol or drugs without professional help. Detoxing without close medical supervision can be painful and physically extremely dangerous. Remember that alcohol or drug dependency and abuse is more than a habit. It’s an addiction. The individual doesn’t just feel compelled psychologically to use; he or she can develop a physical dependence as a result. When the use of alcohol is stopped abruptly, the body goes into shock. The individual will experience symptoms of withdrawal, which vary in severity, depending on the substance used, the amounts involved and for how long it’s been used for. It’s important to manage this withdrawal process properly in a safe environment with professional medical assistance.
Detox alone is unlikely to result in the long-term recovery of an alcohol or drug-addicted individual. It’s just the beginning of the recovery process. Once an individual has successfully undergone detox, he or she will be ready to start the real rehabilitation program, either ideally in a residential treatment centre or as an outpatient. They’ll get the psychological support and treatment they require to address the real issues behind their addiction and to help them develop strategies and tools in order to avoid relapse.
Residential detox is the most effective way to detox from alcohol addiction; carried out as part of a comprehensive treatment programme within a residential treatment centre. Experienced and highly qualified staff will devise an individualised treatment programme and medical detox regime for each and every patient to ensure that they receive the very best physical and psychological care throughout the entire process. At Addiction Helper, we work with some of the most successful private rehab clinics in the UK and internationally also. All are certified by the Care Quality Commission and we visit them regularly to make sure that they comply with our own stringent regulations. You can be assured that we’ll find the most appropriate detox facility for your circumstances or those of your loved one.
We know that a residential alcohol detox isn’t suitable or practical for everyone. Many are put off by the idea of spending time away from loved ones or their job. The addict might have family commitments or a real worry about losing their job if they admit to a rehab. Realistically, family are usually very relieved and employers usually already suspect they have a problem. It may be the case that the individual may not be able to afford to go into detox or a rehabilitation clinic. But we don’t want anyone with alcohol or drug issues to struggle on alone and that’s why we offer home detox programmes as an alternative to residential detox. We have a team of fully qualified medical staff who will help alcohol dependent individuals to withdraw from alcohol safely, with medical assistance, comfortably and in the familiar environment of their own home. The safer option is residential detox and rehab, as you or your loved one will also undergo comprehensive rehabilitation with 24/7 care and support. But we understand that for some this is not a viable option.
So what does an alcohol home detox involve? After an initial assessment, we will devise a bespoke medical detox regime tailored to the individuals detoxification needs. If necessary, we can arrange for an addiction professional to stay with you throughout the entire process. Medical detoxes should not be attempted alone; you will need someone to be with you 24/7 to ensure you do not abuse the detox medication by taking more than the prescribed amount or drinking on top. We can organise local counselling support for the addict and their family members and will advise on post-detox rehabilitation.
Is There Aftercare Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
We can arrange with the relevant inpatient clinic or for an outpatient counsellor to follow on from your alcohol detoxification. We only use accredited BACP Counsellors who specialise in treating addiction and its common co-occurring illnesses. Where outpatient aftercare is required, we will endeavour to locate and arrange a counsellor that is suitable within a 5-10 mile radius of where you live. Your ongoing recovery is important to us, and aftercare is a vital part of addiction treatment; ensuring you stay on track, in recovery and continue to address any issues that challenge you in your new found sobriety.
We can help you or your loved one to break free from alcohol addiction, take the first step and call us today!