A local drug and alcohol charity in Hull has experienced quite a significant increase in the number of people seeking help for alcohol related problems this year. The Alcohol & Drug Service (ADS) was expecting some increase, but not the 67% they have seen. According to charity officials, the recession is partly to blame.

ADS assisted 1,059 people last year through their 12-week detox and rehab programme. This year they are already up to 1,773. ADS spokesperson Justin McKeown said that the numbers are a concern. He told the Hull Daily Mail that the charity was expecting increased demand for their services as the recession continues to linger. The question is one of how long it will last.

Even though unemployment is down along with inflation, wages have remained stagnant. Moreover, even with all of the new jobs that have been created over the last year, most of them have not been high-paying jobs with career potential. Those struggling with unemployment are finding little respite and little hope for paying their bills, leading some to take refuge in alcohol.

According to Hull City Council’s Vicki Harris, another possible contributor to the increased need for services in Hull is greater promotion within the community. She said that other charities have also seen numbers consistent with what ADS has reported so far this year. She went on to say that, all of the local organisations together helped more than 300 people during the month of October.

On a positive note, ADS volunteers are regularly encouraged to continue the work they are doing by seeing lives transformed for the better. McKeown said that he personally loves to see the transformation occur. He said it is a journey that can be ‘both terrifying and rewarding’ at the same time.

McKeown believes a different kind of education among young people could be effective in helping to reduce future alcohol dependence. He recommends that students meet some of the addicts they have helped in order to hear their stories and perhaps understand some of their experiences. Maybe explaining what potentially awaits a young person will convince that individual to stay away from drugs and alcohol, or get help now they have already started using.

More Long-Term Recovery

Regardless of what is fuelling the increased need for alcohol and drug services, one thing is clear: success is more often found when helping those in need is focused on long-term recovery rather than just short-term detox. That may be the most important lesson of all here.

Long-term recovery is a philosophy anchored in the belief that recovering addicts and alcoholics can change their behaviours by changing the types of decisions they make. Programmes such as the ADS 12-week recovery do not treat addiction recovery as just a medical issue requiring a prescription. They treat it as an issue involving mind, body, and spirit – an issue that requires a new way of thinking and looking at life.

A typical long-term rehab programme starts with detox. From there, it moves into a range of counselling and psychotherapy treatments that help identify the root causes of addictive behaviour so they can be avoided. Recovering addicts are then taught coping strategies along with the life skills necessary to re-enter society without the need for drugs or alcohol. This is the kind of programme we should be investing in all across the UK.

At Addiction Helper, we are here to assist you if you are struggling with drugs or alcohol. Please take advantage of our free and confidential services by calling our 24-hour addiction recovery helpline. We will provide you with information about addiction politics and available options.

Sources:

Hull Daily Mail – http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/8216-Spectacular-8217-rise-people-seeking-help/story-24632039-detail/story.html

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