If you’re a functioning alcoholic, to overcome your alcohol addiction and live an addiction-free future, Paying for Rehab is your best course of action. But, perhaps understandably, the thought of detoxing in the initial stages of treatment horrifies you, as it does many other alcohol abusers. For most, the prospect of detox simply isn’t worth the struggle of getting sober. Maybe, like them, you’ve had a bad experience with a previous detox? Or perhaps you’ve heard detox horror stories and think you’d never handle it?
Like revering the Queen, and calling The Beatles “amazing”, drinking alcohol is somehow expected of us, isn’t it?
Many friendships are formed around hilarious drunken antics, horseplay, tomfoolery, booze-fuelled lively banter, or even potentially disastrous high jinks, just as more formal social events can be celebrated with a glass of bubbly all round.
The coming of winter also brings the usual, alcohol-filled suspects. No, we don’t mean bleary-eyed and bolshie Oliver Reed reluctantly moonlighting as Santa in a Slough shopping centre grotto, we’re talking about Halloween, Bonfire Night, and, OK, Yuletide and New Year (with the less said about Festive Season office parties, the better!).
You’re thinking about being admitted into Rehab and turning your life around for the better, but you’re worried about the bills while you’re away: the mortgage; gas, water, electric; home insurance, car insurance (pet insurance?!); not to mention school fees, and maybe even repayments on that gorgeous new Vienna Oak kitchen, right? In the face of all that, ‘shelving’ Rehab for while is understandable; but is it the right thing to do? Your priority has to be your health. With a little forward-planning, you could put a temporary financial plan in place, and then commit to going to Rehab feeling focused, ready to fight your addiction with expert help: getting yourself on a pathway towards a healthier, happier and more fulfilling life.
So, let’s get started!
If you’re unsure about paying for rehab treatment, just ask yourself this: Have you ever wanted to press a ‘Pause’ button, on EVERYTHING? Just for a while so that you can simply breathe and maybe take stock? Rehab can provide you with an ideal place to do that. Choosing sanctuary over stress, if only for a few weeks, could enormously benefit not just you, but everyone around you, in both the short- and long-term. Committing to residential rehab treatment means: Continue reading “How Paying For Rehab Treatment Can Get Your Life Back On Track” »
So, you’ve decided to really go for it! Or maybe you’re still in two minds? Hmm… Well, wherever you are in your efforts towards beating the booze, it’s good to know that a private rehab clinic is proven as being one of the best places to go for help. There’s plenty of clinics around the UK; all you need do now is find the right one for you, right? Right.
All rehab centres will differ in what they can offer you; however, you can expect a stay at a private clinic to generally follow this path:
Admission > Detoxification > Rehabilitation > Aftercare
You’re becoming addicted to alcohol. You’re desperate to do something about your escalating alcohol intake, but you work full-time. You simply can’t be away from your job, attending a private rehab clinic as a residential patient, right? OK. So, how about receiving treatment and guidance as an Outpatient instead?
*Outpatient: A patient who’s not hospitalised, but instead comes to a doctor’s or consultant’s office, clinic, or day surgery for treatment.
Busting The Outpatient Treatment And Therapy Myth
If you’ve got a committed support team around you (family, friends, colleagues…), and you can be available for appointments at certain times during the month, the Outpatient option is definitely something to seriously consider. Get all the help you need, but without missing a single hour at your desk, on the sales floor, or in another type of working environment. And don’t worry that the quality and standard of Outpatient treatment is lower than that provided to residential patients: find the right clinic for you through Rehab Treatment UK, and look forward to receiving expert help from vastly experienced professionals.
Attending a rehab treatment private clinic could prove to be one of the best decisions you ever make. It could start you on the road to better health and a brighter future. Financing rehab? Now, that’s something else. It’s not a secret that private treatment for addiction can be costly; prices can start from £1,000 a week, to as much as £20,000 for a 10-day stay at some clinics across the globe. But, before you throw your hands up in defeat, ask yourself:
- How much is your health and happiness worth?
- How much is your FUTURE worth?
- Are they worth investing time and money into?
So, you’ve made the decision: to take the first step towards recovery, towards making a better life for yourself and a brighter future. Great!
But, where will you go? Will you opt for a private rehab centre, or will the NHS be the safest bet? Hmm… How will you know which is the best choice for you? What may work for one person, may not work for another, after all, so it’s a good idea to thoroughly research what’s on offer to you.
Here are a few points to consider, to get you started:
You could describe paying for rehab treatment a bit of a ‘no-brainer.’ Why wouldn’t you want to invest in your own well-being? OK, at first, the prospect of going into a private clinic can feel overwhelming, as you wrestle with fears over seeing through and successfully completing your treatment, being in a new environment with strangers, coping with the financial side of it all… But most people who’ve undertaken a course of residential treatment have found it to be extremely beneficial – “well worth doing”, in fact.
How to get the most from your residential stay at a private clinic
With most challenges in life, it’s about getting your head right first, isn’t it? Much can be achieved once the right mindset has been adopted! This is SO true of alcoholism rehab treatment at a private clinic.
Don’t even consider parting with your cash and arranging admission into a clinic unless you’re absolutely sure that you want professional help and that you’re ready to accept it; it can be surprising how many functioning alcoholics across the UK try to sign up for rehab before they’re ready.
It’s asking for trouble, isn’t it? A ‘recipe’ for disaster, in fact! Drinking like a fish at Christmas, that is.
Drinking excessively, mixing drinks, overeating, blotting your copy book with unacceptable behaviour at the office party, making offhand remarks that you’ll later regret to family or friends, and then of course climbing behind the wheel of your car in the small hours when the shindig’s finally over, when you should really book a taxi instead…
Blimey. With all this, it’s not hard to see why Christmas drinking risks are often described as “perhaps too many to list” by rehab professionals, GPs, paramedics, A&E staff, and police officers alike.
It’s true. Once another yuletide bash is over, if you’ve guzzled wine, beer and/or spirits to beat the band, there’s likely to be a lot more to face than clearing up and a horrible hangover.
Still don’t believe us? OK, take some time now to drink in these sobering stats’:
- Alcohol-caused hospital admissions can skyrocket over Christmas, when excessive drinking costs the NHS millions
- An estimated 1.8 million married couples and cohabiting partners will consider splitting up, with drunk-fuelled rows often finally bringing things to a head
- An average of 30,000 people die each year from alcohol misuse-related illnesses, alcohol addiction and incidents, with many of these fatalities occurring between mid-December and early January
- Interestingly, 3.18pm on Christmas Day is the specific time when the majority of family drink-driven arguments start behind the front doors of Britain over the festive period, which proves that alcohol-related incidents are not solely night-time events!
- Extreme alcohol consumption (and related behaviour) makes Christmas a time when domestic abuse peaks; this can be both physical and emotional abuse committed by both sexes
- According to the Association of Chief Police Officers, drink- (and drug-) driving arrests over Christmas and New Year in 2014 amounted to over 7000 across England alone. That is 7000+ potentially deadly law-breaking acts in about a fortnight
That last stat’ is particularly alarming, isn’t it? With the celebrations seeming to start earlier and earlier each year, police forces everywhere are now forced to launch and enforce month-long drink-driving monitoring campaigns (which often extend into early January, when New Year revelry can sometimes last an entire week).
When it comes to drink-driving, you don’t have to be drunk for your reflexes and general driving awareness to be slower; just a small amount of alcohol in your bloodstream can result in you losing concentration on the road, potentially costing someone their life. Remember, with alcohol, it is not about how much you drink, but how the amount you drink personally affects you. We are all different.
Talking of that…
We are all different, so don’t feel pressurised by others.
Being called “boring”, a “killjoy” or a “party pooper” is no fun at all, of course, but why should you drink your head off this Christmas (or even drink at all) if that simply isn’t you? Sure, it can sometimes take immense mental strength not to cave in to other people’s demands to match them drink for drink, but keeping your resolve will pay off when 2016 kicks in, and you reflect upon it all and recognise the benefits of having avoided all that bad-for-you booze when Santa came to town:
- NO extra weight gain caused by excessive drinking and eating over the Christmas period (alcohol increases hunger pangs, remember, which is hardly good for the waistline!)
- NO damage done to your liver, heart, kidneys, brain, skin, or immunity system
- NO sitting in A&E for hours waiting to be seen, after injuring yourself in some ridiculous alcohol-caused accident
- NO worrying overdraft to deal with next year, through buying alcohol with abandon with a debit card or other, and thinking about the cost later
- NO mortifyingly embarrassing raucous party antics to apologise for when you finally go back to work in early Jan’, to face your boss and colleagues
- NO ‘I’m Sorry’ cards or texts to send to family and friends who you might have insulted through an off-the-cuff booze-fuelled comment or joke made over the holidays
And, most importantly:
- NO court hearings to attend to answer for your drink-driving behaviour (and no funerals to attend either. That might sound a bit much, but it is the reality).
There IS another way
But if you simply hate sugary soft drinks and iced tea, what on earth are you supposed to stand there and sip at the office party, company Christmas do in a hired venue, at family gatherings, your local Dog and Duck’s annual Ho! Ho! Ho! Night, or at some other kind of yuletide must-attend event where booze is as ubiquitous as David Tennant on the telly, or Wizzard blasting through every shopping centre ‘integrated audio solution’ across the land?!
Well, why not give alcohol-free beer or de-alcoholised wine a try this year? They look and taste like the real thing – without the Christmas drinking risks ‘built in’!
The cost of rehab can vary considerably, depending upon where you look for treatment and the type of help you need. But paying for rehab treatment shouldn’t be something anyone should rush into. There are key questions you need to ask yourself, before even picking up the phone and asking Rehab Treatment UK to arrange admission into a private clinic. For example, have you taken ownership of your addiction? If you’re an alcoholic, only one person can change your addictive behaviour. YOU. But how do you know if you perhaps drink a little too much sometimes, or if you’ve got a full-blown addiction? Denial is a massive barrier to alcohol abusers seeking help. Drinkers tell others lies. But not as many lies as they tell themselves.
Some people find the cost of Rehab too high. For others, it’s more affordable than anticipated. For most Middle Class functioning alcoholics across the UK, paying for a course of alcoholism rehab treatment isn’t going to break the bank. The vast majority of former patients reflect upon their time spent in a private clinic as “the best thing they ever did” and “the best investment they ever made”. What a shame, then, that all too often high quality Rehab is portrayed in the media and press as something that only the rich and famous can take advantage of.
Busting The Myth About Rehab
“I mistakenly thought I had to be a pop star or an ex-footballer to go into Rehab!” explains Gavin in Bournemouth. “When I looked into seeking help in my local area, I was surprised by how ordinary and down-to-earth everyone was at the private clinic in Dorset. It was good to focus solely on overcoming an addiction, rather than half-heartedly tackling it at home, where there are simply too many distractions. And it was helpful to share time with others who’d been going through the same alcoholism hell as me. I found common ground with people who were by no means rich and famous, but who I thought the world of by the end of my residential treatment stay.”
Recovery With No Distractions
As Gavin says, being in an environment where there are none of the usual everyday distractions can be a massive help when it comes to concentrating on treatment. You can’t beat the booze until you recognise that you have a serious problem, and take ownership of it. But it’s only really possible to do that if you pour all your energies into fighting alcoholism in an environment purposely created to facilitate real change.
Residential Help Is Proven To Work
“If the outside world is somewhere you’re not completely insulated from, you’ll struggle to give your fight against addiction your all, I think,” explains Sarah, who attended a private clinic in Surrey during the summer. “Statistics show that those who tackle alcohol abuse as a residential patient at a private clinic somewhere in the UK are much more likely to win their battle with the booze (and to remain ‘dry’ for at least five years), than alcoholics who try to overcome their problem at home or through some kind of community-based service.”
Sarah makes some good points, but it’s also important to point out that Outpatient help can often prove beneficial for people who, for whatever reason, simply can’t attend a residential clinic for a six-week+ period. For them, at least the option of availing of Outpatient treatment and therapy (provided by Rehab clinic professionals) is there, even though their chances of success might be lower through them being unable to entirely insulate themselves from the outside world, by committing to a tailored programme at a residential facility.
Detox Must Be Managed Carefully
At a private clinic you’ll be given a course of treatment put together specifically for you, rather than being expected to do your best with a kind of one-size-fits-all programme, which rarely proves successful at clinics across the world. It’s essential that the detoxification stage of your bespoke treatment is supervised by experienced professionals, making a residential stay a by far safer choice compared to other treatment approaches. Finally, don’t forget, once you’ve completed your treatment programme your clinic will also provide excellent Aftercare and be there for you for any long-term ongoing help and support you may need in the future.
For functioning alcoholics across the UK, all this makes opting for professional residential care over community-based help something to seriously consider.
Rehab Treatment doesn’t come cheap. Correction! Excellent Rehab Treatment doesn’t come cheap. Sure, there are plenty of low-budget treatment options out there, if keeping costs down is your primary focus. But shouldn’t overcoming your addiction to alcohol for good be the number one priority here?
Avoid paying twice for alcoholism treatment
By paying for first-rate help you’re giving yourself your best chance of beating the booze: by making an investment in high quality treatment and therapy. And it is an investment. Follow the course of treatment and all the advice and guidance given by addiction specialists at your chosen private clinic, and the money you spend on help may be an investment in your future that you only have to make once.
Draw strength from others, get support, and feel so much better
Treatment, medication, accommodation and food. Rehab fees cover those four. But you get much more for your money besides. Being in a positive and supportive environment where you can finally tackle your alcohol abuse without distractions can feel utterly priceless.
“My experience of going into Rehab was one hundred per cent positive. As well as getting personally tailored treatment, I met others in a similar position to myself,” explains Louise in Dorset. “Getting support and drawing strength from other patients was a massive part of my recovery in the private clinic in Bristol, and was something that I actually didn’t anticipate. Prior to seeking help, I’d been existing in a lonely, isolated drink-fuelled world. Finally connecting with others in a Rehab facility was such a relief. It definitely helped me on my road back to long-lasting sobriety.”
At your chosen clinic, as well as undergoing medicated treatment and nutritional support, Psychotherapy and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) may also be made available to you. Your treatment programme will be deliberately devised to meet your own particular individual needs, don’t forget, rather than being a kind of one-size-fits-all general programme for every patient in residence.
Ultimately, Rehab success is up to you
How long does a Rehab course of treatment take? Well, it’s hard to put an exact timeframe on it. It all depends upon your particular needs, your specific situation… Usually, the longer the treatment, the greater the chance of addiction being overcome. But it’s important to point out that – while the alcohol treatment specialists will do their utmost to help you during your time at the private clinic – ultimately, YOU are responsible for your recovery.
“My advice to anyone seriously thinking of tackling their addiction to alcohol is to pay the money for high quality treatment, rather than seeking a low-cost option,” says Alex in Essex. “But not only that… Be prepared to go into a private clinic for as long as it takes, to get dry. Of course, it won’t happen overnight, but the foundation stones of long-lasting abstinence from alcohol abuse will be laid. Then, it’s up to you to maintain it. It’s about adopting the right mindset. But, don’t worry; at your chosen clinic they’ll give you all the advice, guidance and tools you need to stay off the booze once you leave. And the excellent Aftercare option is always there if you need it, don’t forget.”
Always there for you
A post-Rehab life of sobriety is best achieved where a long-term view is adopted, one that involves applying yourself to making the most of the treatment available to you at the clinic, and also maintaining your discipline (when it comes to resisting alcohol) once you return home. But don’t be concerned that, after treatment, you’ll be left to simply get on with it all without advice and support. No. As Alex helpfully mentioned, all the private clinics into which Rehab Treatment UK can admit patients offer Aftercare, meaning that you can get professional guidance once you leave the facility on your last day.
If you’re an alcoholic who has yet to seek professional help, what’s your present lifestyle costing you? And not only you, but the people around you? Maybe that’s simply too difficult a question to deal with, to face…
When it comes to estimating the cost of drinking heavily, that can mean financial cost as well as the personal price that you and your family are paying. Then again, perhaps you simply don’t know – your addiction to alcohol means that you go through money all the time without keeping a close eye on your bank balance. And as far as the impact that your alcohol abuse has on those around you goes, you couldn’t really say: you’ve never asked them; or you’re so focused on getting your next drink, “there isn’t time” in your life anymore “for all that family stuff.”
If you’re concerned about a family member or friend who’s seriously dependent on alcohol, Rehab Treatment UK can help. As well as finding out about treatment for alcoholism, at our website you can you learn about payment options, should you wish to cover treatment costs on another’s behalf. But is paying the bill for someone else a wise idea? What if, when it really comes down to it, they’re not entirely ready to accept help? What if it all turns out to be a bit hasty? Maybe the person you’re trying to kindly support hasn’t really hit rock-bottom yet, and, in truth, they’re in denial – refuting that they’re struggling with what is a potentially life-threatening illness?
Alcohol abuse. What are the indicators?
You may suspect that someone you care about is a secret alcoholic. But what are the typical behaviours that could help reinforce your suspicion?
If you’re addicted to alcohol and thinking of tackling the problem without paying for professional help, PLEASE think again. Safe withdrawal is essential during detoxification (usually the first step of a Rehab treatment process), which can be a complex and potentially dangerous course of action if rushed and if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. A functioning alcoholic who can meet the cost of Rehab should not dismiss professional treatment and therapy. Paying for Rehab* could be the best investment you’ll ever make. In fact, it could save your life.
* Payment advice is available, you can also call Rehab Treatment UK on 0845 680 4902 for more information.
Don’t be deterred
Every year, thousands of people across the UK try to overcome their serious dependency on alcohol on their own, only to find their period of abstinence proves a short-lived experience. Many consider paying for professional treatment at a clinic, but then allow themselves to be deterred by others, or they talk themselves out of it – a mistake made by Lindsay in Hampshire in the New Year.
“January arrived,” explains Lindsay, “and my New Year’s resolution was to give up drinking altogether, but I should’ve phased it out gradually, and sought professional advice. I’ve always been a heavy drinker, but, I mean, over the Christmas holidays I drank SO much booze I could barely remember any of the Yuletide festivites afterwards! Imagine what a shock it was to my system to quit drinking heavily so ridiculously abruptly when the New Year arrived. I have never felt so ill in my life. My advice to anyone set on fighting their addiction to alcohol (or any other type of addiction, for that matter) is to do so with guidance from experienced and qualified professionals. If your mates tell you that Rehab is a waste of money, ignore the lot of them. Prioritise your health.”
A supervised, measured approach is best
The ‘shock to the system’ that Lindsay spoke about is something most alcohol abusers experience when trying to give up drinking overnight, without adopting a more measured approach. As your body reacts to the withdrawal of a substance it has become dependent upon, it will let you know that it isn’t too impressed by your decision. How? By putting your through ALL this:
An almost overwhelming substance craving
- Shaking and sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
As well as:
- Abdominal cramping and diarrhoea
Myriad mental reactions
As well as the aforementioned craving, your brain will react to your substance withdrawal in other ways. You can expect to experience confusion, a feeling of being agitated and irritated (when alone and also in the company of others), and anxious moments will become frequent, as Tim in Bedfordshire found out:
“As well as all the other problems I experienced, I also found it nigh on impossible to fall asleep!” explains Tim. “I would lay there for hours, still being awake and feeling troubled in the small hours, which didn’t make me very popular with my wife who had to be up for work each morning at six o’clock. Although nighttimes were bad, days were definitely the worst. Why? Because of the debilitating feeling of depression that would come over me and which would last for a very long time.”
Don’t make the journey alone
With all this, doesn’t it make sense to undergo detox under the care of professionals who know exactly what they’re doing and can help you through every stage of the withdrawal process? Substitute medications can be prescribed (to be administered in a controlled way, with gradual reduction of dosages to complete stoppage) to help make your detox process much more comfortable, as well as being far safer than hurriedly quitting the booze without guidance and help.
Rehab Treatment UK has private detox and Rehab clinics throughout the UK ready to admit you NOW.
The cost of addiction rehabilitation treatment can vary. For some people, the level of luxury at a private clinic is a key determinant when choosing a facility in their region. But is tackling an addiction such as alcoholism really about comfort and opulence, or is it all about getting down to the nitty gritty at a functional facility that seems perfectly adequate, but where it is strictly ‘no frills’?
Hmm. Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between…
The ‘average cost of Rehab’? Now, there’s a question. In saying that, we at Rehab Treatment UK don’t mean to come across as evasive; we are actually wholly transparent about private clinic rehabilitation fees! It’s just that coming up with an average figure is not as easy as one might think. Why? Because some patients may not opt for residential care, but seek ongoing help as a rehab outpatient. Others may return to a private clinic for another period (a few months, say, after their initial phase of treatment). And where a patient has come on in leaps and bounds during their residential stay, they may still request treatment as an outpatient once they’ve returned home. These are just some of the reasons why establishing a ‘typical’ cost for alcoholism rehabilitation treatment can be difficult to do.
Imagine a year without beer. Hey, that rhymes! As does, and ‘I must say, you’re looking cool today.’ And ‘no pain, no gain.’ The list goes on and on, doesn’t it? As does the list of reasons why heavy drinkers should seriously consider cutting down on their regular alcohol intake, and how quitting the booze altogether can be the smartest move any of us can ever make.
If you’ve been struggling with serious alcohol misuse for some time, chances are that your addiction is not a singular disease – it may have developed and escalated in tandem with an existing mental health condition worsening. For the vast majority of people seeking help for alcoholism, that’s certainly true. But residential care may not be necessary…
You might not require in-house treatment
If you’re on a low income or you simply feel unable to work, how on earth are you going to afford to pay for a 28-day residential treatment programme at a private clinic? It’s a question that so many alcohol abusers ask themselves every day. The good news is that many people with alcohol issues don’t require residential treatment: they can be professionally helped as an outpatient.
Most of us prefer a fixed price whenever we pay for a service, don’t’ we? Paying a professional (or a team of them) by the hour, day or week can be a little frightening as worries over spiralling fees becomes a distraction, or even a stomach ulcer-engendering concern!
With any service, you need to have trust in the people you are dealing with; trust that they will only charge you a fair price, that they will be honest about what’s involved and how much time is required to get the job done.
Paying for alcohol addiction rehab treatment at a Private Clinic is no different.
Here’s a question: when contemplating going into alcohol addiction rehab, people can wrestle with it all for ages; but what ultimately determines their final decision? What does it usually always come down to?
“Cost” might be your answer. But what exactly does “Cost” mean?
Seeking help for alcohol abuse
If you are struggling with a drink problem, seeking help for alcohol abuse might be something you’ve been thinking about for some time; years, even. Or you may be worried about a family member or friend who obviously needs help in overcoming their addiction to alcohol, but seems unlikely to even research rehab treatment unless you, or someone else who cares about them, does so on their behalf. Cost* will be a major factor, of course. But deciding against opting for treatment on financial grounds could prove a false economy in the long run. Why? Because of the comparative cost of not seeking help.
* You may be eligible to claim a portion of the costs if you have Private Health Insurance and your Policy covers you for Addiction.
It’s asking for trouble, isn’t it? A ‘recipe’ for disaster, in fact! Drinking like a fish at Christmas, that is.
Drinking excessively, mixing drinks, overeating, blotting your copy book with unacceptable behaviour at the office party, making offhand remarks that you’ll later regret to family or friends, and then of course climbing behind the wheel of your car in the small hours when the shindig’s finally over, when you should really book a taxi instead…
Blimey. With all this, it’s not hard to see why Christmas drinking risks are often described as “perhaps too many to list” by rehab professionals, GPs, paramedics, A&E staff, and police officers alike.
It’s true. Once another yuletide bash is over, if you’ve guzzled wine, beer and/or spirits to beat the band, there’s likely to be a lot more to face than clearing up and a horrible hangover.
Drinking alcohol excessively on a regular basis – as a means to cope with feeling lonely – can lead to all kinds of health problems, some of them life-threatening.
Blotting out reality
Many alcoholics, who initially turned to drinking as a way to simply get through the days and nights and to somehow blot out life’s sometimes harsh realities, find themselves in a vicious circle: drinking helps them temporarily to get through lonesome times, but the more they drink the greater their tolerance for alcohol becomes, meaning that, over time, the amount of alcohol they consume each week rises to a dangerous level.
Their alcohol-influenced behaviour also leads them to alienating others, which results in them spending even more time alone (Catch-22?)
Changing a person’s behaviour, so that they no longer use alcohol to cope with loneliness can be an incredibly difficult thing to achieve, but it can be done, with the help of trained professionals experienced in treating alcohol abusers from all walks of life, and all sections of society.
Returning home after a period spent as a residential patient at a private rehab treatment clinic should be a time to celebrate. All being well, with the help of experienced clinicians, counsellors and therapists, you’ll have finally got to grips with your alcohol addiction. You’ll be in recovery and determined to enjoy a meaningful life: a life of sobriety. The future will look bright; and it will be a future in which alcohol will play no part.
But what if you are returning to a home environment where there is always beer in the fridge, and maybe even wine in the cellar? What if your partner or another person in your home drinks regularly, and refuses to change their lifestyle, despite your Herculean efforts to beat the booze?
If alcohol is readily available in your home,
can you really be expected never to relapse?
Yes folks, you read that right. Or maybe you read that wrong? By ‘how to stay sober, for life’, we don’t mean, how to never ever drink a single drop of alcohol from the day you were born, and to go to your grave after declaring from your death bed that you “never even had a wine gum or a sherry trifle in all my years!”
No, what we mean is: how to seek help for an addiction to alcohol, beat that addiction, and then never again succumb to the temptation to hit the bottle.
Take advice from seasoned pros (not the bloke next door)
The best way to beat the booze is to seek professional help. Don’t let a family member, friend, workmate or another person in your life convince you that they know better than rehab treatment clinic professionals. They won’t. And, what’s more, the advice they give you (to “save you the hassle, astronomical cost, and all those boring weeks away holed up in some rehab clinic out in the sticks”) could be highly dangerous to both your physical and mental health.
Continue reading “How to Stay Sober, for Life” »
Consider this: In the time it takes you to read this article, someone somewhere in the UK will have been injured, or worse, in an alcohol-influenced car accident (in the USA, two people an hour are killed by a drunk driver).
If you’re caught drink-driving you could be imprisoned, banned from driving, and handed a hefty fine. But no matter how much the UK Police try to clamp down on this particular offence, and regardless of how much awareness is raised (by the Government/DVLA, the NHS…) about the dangers of driving a vehicle while over the legal limit, people still drink and drive. And their behaviour is as short-sighted as it’s appalling…
One in three people in the UK will be involved in an accident involving a drunken driver at some point in their lifetime – some as the driver, but most as an innocent victim of an alcohol abuser’s selfishness and recklessness. And when someone is hurt in an accident caused by a driver with alcohol in their bloodstream, it is not only them who pay a high cost. [If caught] As well as facing one or more of the aforementioned punishments, the driver could find that their conviction is never really spent – it could be a black mark against their name that haunts them and impacts on their life for ever.
Continue reading “How a Drink Driving Conviction Can Mean a Life Sentence” »
CASE STUDY: Sonia in Middlesbrough
Every year in the UK thousands or people go missing. Most return home or are found safe and well. Sadly, many don’t. Sonia, a 33-year-old mature student in Middlesbrough was one of the fortunate ones:
“I went missing years ago, all because of booze,” Sonia explains. “I was young and stupid, and very obstinate. Whatever someone told me to do; I’d do the opposite. So, when my parents tried to stop me from drinking, with the threat: ‘quit the booze or find another place to live’, there was only going to be one outcome.
What I didn’t stop to think about back then, though, was how on earth I was going to support myself once I packed my bags and moved out. Where would I go? What would I do for money? How would I put a roof over my head?”
Living by her wits
After catching a train south, Sonia drifted around London for months, staying with strangers; booking rooms in B&Bs and then doing a flit before paying the bill; sleeping in public parks, bus shelters, the back rooms of pubs, and at railway stations before finally having enough and phoning her Aunt Jennie in Portsmouth.
After taking Sonia in, it was Aunt Jennie who very compassionately covered the cost of rehab treatment for her on an outpatient basis at a private rehab treatment clinic on the south coast.
“For those months that I basically vanished, my parents must have been frantic,” Sonia continues. “I was officially a missing person in the UK, on a police database, and the subject of a major search. They even had specialist police divers search ponds, lakes, rivers and a water treatment works on Teesside, looking for my body. And all that time I was hundreds of miles away, drinking my head off in the capital.”
Continue reading “Because of Alcohol Abuse, I Became a Missing Person” »
CASE STUDY: Alan in Cambridge
“When I packed my suitcase, kissed my family goodbye, and headed to Wiltshire for a six-week course of residential rehab treatment for alcoholism in the summer of 2013, I didn’t really know what to expect,” explains Alan, a 46-year-old web design and internet marketing specialist in Peterborough. “Well, that’s not entirely true. When I approached Rehab Treatment UK initially, to talk over treatment options, the staff there couldn’t have been more helpful.
They were so supportive and encouraging. And they were so exceedingly patient when answering all the questions I bombarded them with, both on the phone, and during my initial meeting where it was discussed and decided upon which private clinic would be most suitable for me.”
Continue reading “Alcoholism Rehab Treatment Made Me a Team Player” »
To be stigmatised. To be socially stigmatised. To be socially stigmatised on Social Media. For goodness’ sake: what’ll the next form of stigmatisation be? Who knows… It’s unlikely to be very pleasant, anyway.
Being the butt of jokes and the target of downright cruel and nasty comments on Social Media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter etc can become so utterly intolerable for some people that, tragically, they take their own lives.
“My son Ian, who was an alcoholic, was mercilessly bullied on Facebook,” explains Angela, a 42-year-old call centre worker on Scotland’s east coast. “Every day, trolls would leave comments and put posts, images, supposed jokes, and videos: all about how Ian was an ‘addict’, how he was a ‘loser’, had ‘no real friends’, ‘would never find a girlfriend’, and so – the trolls said – ‘he might as well just commit suicide’, which he did on New Year’s Eve in 2013.
Ian left a note to say that he felt stigmatised, due to having a problem with alcohol misuse.
What really made my blood boil is that the monsters who waged such a hateful campaign against him were probably no strangers to the pub or the local off licence themselves.”
Continue reading “About Alcoholism and Online Bullying” »
If you’re struggling with an addiction to alcohol, chances are that your family and friends will also be struggling with it.
Thought is was just you going through alcoholism hell?
Your drinking will be affecting others
Unless you live alone on a desert island, make no mistake, your alcohol abuse will undeniably be impacting on other people: your partner, children, parents, the wider family, your friends, work colleagues, and maybe even your neighbours.
So, how do you feel about all that? Dismayed? Appalled? Ashamed? Or are you one of those lovely people who know their drinking is devastating everyone around them (even their very nearest and dearest) but simply couldn’t care less?
When your alcoholism affects your family and friends, typical feelings they experience will include:
- Frustration, a sense of subjection…
- Terror, at what your addiction is doing to you, where it is all going, where it will all end
- Anger (“Why can’t you just stop!” “Why are you putting us all through this!”)
- Confusion, bewilderment, not knowing what to do for the best
- Wanting to be protective, and wanting to adopt a tough love approach
- Fear… feeling frightened at how you will react if the subject of your addiction to alcohol is raised, or if steps are taken to limit the amount that you drink (e.g. by pouring wine down the sink, or cutting off some of the finance that is allowing you to spend hugely on alcohol each week)
CASE STUDY: Mark in London
Before drinking alcohol inside football grounds (while seated and watching the match) was strictly prohibited, football supporters saw boozing on the terraces and in the stand every Saturday afternoon as the norm. That was back in the days of rattles and Bovril, Brylcreem-haired referees dressed all in black, and when the FA Cup was THE football event in the annual football calendar, before the Champions League became ‘king’.
CASE STUDY: Tasha and Johanna in Dorset
These days, renting a flat is far from easy, is it? It is not like in times gone by when you saw a room, bedsit, studio flat or three-bedroomed pad “with all mod cons” advertised in the local rag, eagerly arranged a viewing, paid your first month’s rent in advance and were then simply given the keys by a kindly landlady in a padded floral housecoat: “It’s yours… for however long you want, dears. Now then, how about a nice cup of Tetley and a macaroon?”
Now, renting a place can be a right palaver
…There can be countless stipulations involved. And make sure you behave yourself once you’ve moved in, or you might find yourself out on your ear without a hope in hell of ever seeing your deposit again, as Tasha and Johanna in Bournemouth discovered last summer:
“We loved our old top-floor flat. It was handy for the shops, roomy, nicely furnished and beautifully decorated,” Tasha explains. “The problem we found, though, was being located right in the centre of town made our place a magnet for friends and hangers on. They seemed to see our flat as some kind of downtown party venue at weekends, and even sometimes during the week. It was like a nightclub without an entrance fee! It wasn’t long before things got out of hand.”
The yob element ruins it all (surprise, surprise)
“Damage to the property occurred after a group of lads got drunk after a World Cup match on TV,” Johanna explains. “A booze-fuelled fight between three girls a fortnight later resulted in damage to walls and the banister in the hallway leading up to our front door. And, in August, the landlord received several complaints from neighbours about door slamming in the small hours. We were evicted in the end, and never saw our deposit again.”
Have you heard the news? Have you caught on yet? No? Why not? Hundreds, nay, thousands of other people across the country have. And if you too don’t ‘get with the programme’ pretty sharpish, you’re going to find yourself left behind. You’ll be out in the cold, persona non grata, as welcome as a pork chop seller at a synagogue. And you don’t want that!
What on earth are we blathering on about? Great nights out, without a drop of alcohol in sight; that’s what. Or to describe the evenings in question more succinctly: ‘dry nights out’.
Some drinkers couldn’t care less what others think of them (at least, that’s what they claim); while others do their level best to hide their drinking, often for a multitude of reasons; if they were unexpectedly ‘outed’ and their secret addiction was suddenly revealed to the world, they would be utterly mortified.
If you abuse alcohol, how much do you worry about how you are perceived? Perhaps you are past the point of caring, and you simply get bladdered night after night regardless of others’ comments (or how your behaviour is affecting them). Or maybe you do your utmost to conceal your reliance on booze, keeping evidence of it to a minimum.
But, have you ever thought about what alcohol thinks of you?
Are you sitting comfortably?
If you drink a lot, and sit down a lot, you will gain weight. FACT. Yeah, yeah… we know that much is made of the ‘huge benefits’ of exercising at your desk and all that malarkey. But unless you’re up and about, being active for at least two hours during the daytime, you are simply not going to burn off all those calories. No way.
“Calories? What calories?”
The calories in alcoholic drinks, of which there are LOADS. Beer, lager and cider can pack a monstrous 250 calories per pint! And don’t get us started on wine, whiskey, gin, vodka and rum; not forgetting the accompanying peanuts, crisps, pork scratchings, and the Doner kebab on the way home from the pub, eh? Oh and what about that all-essential fry up (to clear your hangover) the following morning?
And all this before you head off to the office (sitting in your car) for eight hours of sitting at your desk!
What a quandary. You want to give up drinking, but you don’t want the world to know. You realise that you’ll only be able to stop drinking with professional help, but what if local gossips find out? Surely someone someday somewhere will twig; they’ll mention it; they’ll harp on; you’ll be badgered as to why, when, what, where, how…
People talk, unfortunately
If you go into a private rehab treatment clinic for alcohol abuse as a residential patient, your absence will surely be noticed. Your private battle against the booze could become common knowledge, and you will be ‘monitored’ from then on. People will watch to see what you order in the pub, what you drink with your meal out, if you look or behave any differently… And suddenly your laser focus on achieving your goal (long term abstinence from alcohol) will be in danger of becoming fragmented. You’ll not only have to answer to yourself, but to others.
All that is enough to drive anyone to drink!
Is money the root of all evil? Correction: is the love of money the root of all evil? Maybe not. Perhaps alcohol is:
- Alcohol abuse is the primary cause of violent deaths in the UK
- 86% of all reported instances of domestic abuse are alcohol influenced
- Most car accidents are caused by one or more of the motorists involved being intoxicated at the wheel
- Most foetal abnormalities occur through the mother having drunk alcohol regularly during pregnancy
- Thousands of missed production targets (sometimes leading to company closure) across the UK last year were due to alcohol-caused work absenteeism and presenteeism
- Uniformed staff are increasingly leaving the emergency services due to threatening behaviour from drunks during call-outs. Control room telephonists in the Police, Ambulance and Fire Services are also leaving their jobs in droves, having had enough of verbal abuse and threats from callers who ring 999 when inebriated, demanding help ‘or else’
- Over half of A&E patients presenting injuries or other worrying heath conditions arrive at hospital drunk
Alcohol, rather than money, being the root of all evil is something that many people across the country would agree with, therefore. But you can’t have one without the other, can you? Alcohol isn’t free, after all.
‘Bargain’ booze is ubiquitous. But what’s the real price?
The average Brit spends more on alcohol than food. Imagine that! So, when people were moaning about not having enough cash to “get some shopping in” when the economic downturn was at its lowest, did they mean bangers and beans, or beer and brandy?
Total abstinence from alcohol. For thousands of people across the UK, that is the dream. But how many really stop drinking for good, without relapsing? It’s impossible to calculate of course. But what can be measured is the number of alcohol abusers who take prescribed medicines to help them beat the booze.
Up to now the most commonly prescribed drug has been Antabuse. But now there’s a new kid in town. Nalmefene costs £85 a month and will soon be available on prescription across the UK. Unlike Antabuse, Nalmefene (developed in Denmark) isn’t supposed to make you feel dreadful if you grab a sneaky pint or cool glass of Chardonnay after taking it. Instead, your craving for alcohol will be markedly reduced. Well, that’s the idea!
“Can anyone set up a rehab treatment clinic?”
“How will I know the Addiction Therapists are fully trained?”
“What if the Consultant Psychiatrist who sees me is a charlatan!”
“Will I be put on a kind of one-size-fits-all programme?”
“Is 100 per cent confidentiality definitely assured?”
“Is help genuinely available 24/7?”
“Is an initial assessment totally free, or is there a hidden cost? What’s the catch?”
With Rehab Treatment UK, there is no catch
A neighbour from hell. Have you got one? Is it the bloke next door, the couple upstairs, or the pensioner in the garden flat? Or maybe it’s someone from across the street. Whatever their proximity to your home, a noisy neighbour can make life an absolute nightmare. But watch out. If they blame their behaviour on alcohol problems, it might be you that gets it in the neck, not them.
An urgent need for discussion
“It’s true,” agrees Clementine, a 43-year-old freelance proof-reader in Ashby-de-la-Zouch (Leicestershire). “I complained about noisy neighbours, and wound up with a warning from Leicestershire Police.
Continue reading “Alcohol Issues – Have You Go Noisy Neighbours?” »
CASE STUDY: Moira in West Dunbartonshire
“You could say that my story really is a sort of poacher turned gamekeeper tale, yes!” Moira, a 55-year-old addiction counsellor in Dumbarton, says with a smile. “Ten years ago, before a 21-day residential stay at a private rehab clinic, I was a raging alcoholic. Now I counsel people who are struggling with addiction – alcohol addiction being the most common problem of all.
My clients are from all over: West and East Dunbartonshire, Stirling, Argyll and Bute, and Renfrewshire. I find it hard to believe that in my twenties and thirties I used to drink in pubs, bars and clubs in all of those places (really!). Now, I can’t even stand the smell of drink, let alone the taste.”
CASE STUDY: Cadfael in Glamorgan
“My mother named me after an early Welsh saint,” explains Cadfael, a resettled ex-offender now participating in a Back to Work scheme organised by the Wales Probation Trust. “But a saint is the last thing I am, to be quite honest. Just ask my mates. Even the lads on the community-based rehabilitation programme find me hard to handle!”
Cadfael was imprisoned in 2011 for repeatedly driving his motorbike while over limit, and almost causing a fatal crash. He would think nothing of riding his Harley-Davison XLS1000 through the Welsh countryside after sinking three or four pints at his local pub (stopping off on the way occasionally to “refuel”).
Much is talked about the dreadful impact heavy drinking can have on the body: rapid weight gain, greying skin, sagging jowls, bloodshot eyes, bad breath, slurred speech, shaking hands… But what about the less evident alcohol-caused damage: the gradual destruction that you just can’t see?
If you’re an alcoholic and are serious about wanting to break free from your addiction, seeking professional help is the best thing you can do (tackling any addiction alone rarely works). But don’t worry that once your treatment period as a patient at a residential clinic comes to an end you will be ‘thrown to the wolves’: left to fend for yourself in the big wide world again, without any kind of ongoing encouragement or support. You won’t be; even if you live thousands of miles away from your chosen private rehab clinic.
Case Study: Gordon in Stirling
Gout? That’s what salty old seadogs who spent their Naval career drinking too much port below deck suffered from in later life, isn’t it?
Anyone can get gout
Gout has always been synonymous with seafaring folk from a bygone age; but mariners were (and are) far from the being the only people who develop the condition through alcohol abuse over a long period of time.
No, we don’t mean a download from an App store. We’re talking about application – the willingness to really apply yourself to beating the booze, if given the chance. Talk is cheap. Rehab isn’t; so, if you’re going to invest thousands of pounds in tackling alcoholism under the care of experienced rehab treatment professionals, make sure you’re 100 per cent serious about beating the booze. Because if you’re not, you may end up paying twice:
“I bitterly regret rushing into rehab treatment in America when I lived in Connecticut in the 1990s,” explains Matty, a 55-year-old case administrator with the probation service. “It cost me an absolute fortune. Within a week of leaving the clinic after a 28-day residential stay, I hit the bottle again.
Looking back, I can see now that first time around I simply didn’t want to give up drinking badly enough. In the States, I also let others influence my decision. Family and friends, and even some co-workers, urged me to seek professional help for my alcohol addiction. But, as much as their intentions were well meant, an alcoholic should not need any kind of convincing at all from those around him or her, to seek help.”
“Back in the 90s, I just didn’t want to quit drinking badly enough,” Matty continues. “I only reached that point years later, when I was back in the UK, drinking heavily and suffering from liver cirrhosis. I knew then that I definitely had to stop. With the help of Rehab Treatment UK I was admitted as a residential patient into a private rehab treatment clinic local to me in Bristol. The key to it all was that this time I was willing to apply myself.
As well as benefitting hugely from a range of treatment modules, I found the whole experience life-transforming.”
It’s human nature, isn’t it: to prefer to learn through your own experiences. But is that always a wise approach? Hmm…
The double-decker bus theory
You don’t have to stand in the middle of the road and wait for a bus to run you over, to find out that if you do so you’ll probably pay with your life (or end up in a wheelchair for the rest of your days), right? So, why would you abuse alcohol until you’ve lost absolutely everything before doing something to avoid that?
Without wishing to sound callous, isn’t it smarter to learn from the mistakes of others and to not replicate those mistakes?
“As my alcohol consumption increased to a dangerous level, I knew I was mad to carry on drinking so heavily day after day, night after night,” says Simone, a reformed alcoholic, in Cheshire. “I mean, we have all read horror stories in the papers about people who, because of their addiction to alcohol, have lost everything and literally ended up in the gutter. Yet still so many drinkers keep on abusing alcohol. They drink more and more, and see their life go into freefall, yet they don’t stop.
Subconsciously, the addict waits until that ‘rock bottom’ moment before finally holding up their hands in surrender and saying: ‘That’s it. I can’t do this anymore. I want to stop. I NEED to stop. Help me!'”
CASE STUDY: Coira in Liverpool
Most of us have done it: drunk too much, lost our inhibitions and done something stupid, something embarrassing. But it’s safe to say that very few of us have acted as idiotically as Coira, a 32-year-old former college administrator, did in Liverpool last Christmas:
“I have always been a quiet person, not the type to invite attention or to crave being the life and soul of the party,” Coira says. “After a few drinks, however, I can be a totally different individual.
Last year, after an alcoholic drink too many at a colleague’s retirement bash, I had what I refer to now as my moment of madness. I came up with the ‘brilliant’ idea of stealing the keys to the College minibus and taking it for spin up and down Heyworth Street in the middle of the night.
I won’t go into details here, except to say that I wrote off the minibus, caused thousands of pounds of damage to College property (and several vehicles parked on College grounds), suffered a fractured right femur as well as whiplash, and ended up with a criminal record. Needless to say, I also lost my job and have struggled to find work ever since. My boyfriend, Martin, broke up with me too, over the whole thing.”
CASE STUDY: Lara in Guildford (Surrey)
“I saved up over 18 months for cosmetic breast surgery, only for my boyfriend to blow all the money on alcohol. I was distraught. I went from looking forward to feeling the boost in self-confidence that so many women experience post-breast enlargement surgery, to utter despair that the man who claimed to love me would do something so selfish, so despicable.”
That’s a sad tale, to say the least
And it gets sadder… Lara still hasn’t recovered financially from her former boyfriend, Stephan, stealing her savings from her account. She ended up falling behind with the mortgage payments, in fact, and in the past year alone she has been threatened with repossession.
“My top priority changed virtually overnight from being: saving up enough money to cover the cost of the breast augmentation procedure (I had already attended two pre-surgery consultations on Harley Street), to clinging on to my home. Thank goodness the property is solely in my name, or Stephan would probably have tried to borrow money against the house as well, to fund his alcohol addiction.
My mistake, of course, was to agree to us having a shared bank account in the first place. If only I could turn back the clock…”
Continue reading “Drinking Problems – What Price are You Paying?” »
- Nowadays, people drink more regularly than in previous decades
- Alcohol-influenced crime is on the up
- Younger people are drinking more frequently and in larger quantities than in the 70s, 80s and 90s
- The number of visits to hospital A&E departments due to alcohol-caused injuries and/or ailments is almost thrice that of previous decades
- 40 per cent of all crimes committed in the UK are alcohol influenced
Ah, Summertime… Barbecues in the garden; afternoons on the beach; Wimbledon, Test Matches, the US Open and the Commonwealth Games on the telly; music festivals, family days out to farms, zoos, and theme parks. A break from work and a couple of weeks away somewhere exotic might even be on the cards!
What did you get up to last year? And, like thousands of other Brits boiling in the heatwave, did you eat less but drink more?
When you drink more, do you even notice?
When the sun comes out, it’s inevitable that people everywhere eat light meals, or even skip a few of them during a typical week, but drink a few more cold glasses of wine or beer than normal. That’s fine, as long as your average alcohol consumption level remains moderate, rather than excessive. Why? Because the combination of scorching weather and increased drinking can lead to all manner of problems, some of them extremely serious:
Some people never stop drinking, while others wake up one day and say: “That’s it; enough is enough.” The vast majority of alcohol abusers fall into the latter category: they misuse alcohol for years, but then suddenly see the light; somewhat ironically, when they’ve reached rock bottom. Sadly, most then abstain from drinking only for a short period, before hitting the bottle again.
Gwennie, a 51-year-old administrator in a Cardiff care home, explains: “I remember I was sitting in my local pub one night with a group of friends, when one of them asked casually: ‘How does it feel to be 43-years-old and on the scrap heap?’
I went home in tears, vowing never to touch a drop of drink again, and to take immediate steps towards getting my life back on track. But my period of abstinence didn’t last long. My craving for white wine soon got the better of me. I was turning up for job interviews and for college night classes with booze on my breath, having drunk a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc prior to leaving the house.
It was when my husband left me that I finally sought professional help for my addiction.”
Continue reading “Want to Avoid Alcoholism? Act Now” »
If your mum or dad drinks heavily, does that mean you will? “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” and all that? Well, studies show that some people might possibly possess a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, but that doesn’t mean they are doomed.
The power to overcome addiction is in all of us. It is about taking complete responsibility for yourself. Therefore, just because one or both of your parents drink like a fish, it’s not a given that you’re powerless to alcohol’s control over you. Drinking is a choice, after all.
Continue reading “Alcoholism – Like Father, Like Son?” »
CASE STUDY: Phil in London
Phil, a 48-year-old gym manager in Hammersmith, was once a promising middleweight boxer, tipped for the big time. But then diabetes-related health issues – brought on by excessive alcohol consumption – put paid to all his hopes and dreams of one day fighting for the British Title, and then climbing higher, perhaps to an eventual World Title shot in Vegas.
Continue reading “Drinking Risks: Alcohol and Diabetes” »
CASE STUDY: Malky in Aberdeen
When Malky, a 52-year-old offshore oil platform worker, told a colleague in supposed confidence that he was a victim of domestic abuse, he regretted it immediately.
“My explanation was met with laughter. And it wasn’t long before my secret was out. Word spreads quickly up here in the oil and gas industry; so much for having ‘close friends and confidantes’. But how else could I account for the black eye and other marks and bruises on my face, neck and arms when I returned to the platform after a three-week break in January? I even had bite marks and cuts on my right forearm and on both hands, where I had raised my hands to fend off another drink-fuelled frenzied attack at home by my partner.”
Continue reading “Alcohlism Stories: “My Girlfriend Became a Monster”” »
Astounding really, isn’t it? Twenty-two grown men in shorts chasing a ball around a field for an hour-and-a-half. Who’d have thought that such a spectacle could attract an audience of billions across the Globe? We’re not referring to some inconsequential Sunday morning kickabout down Hackney Marshes, of course. And we don’t mean a relegation battle on a rainy February night in Rochdale. No, we’re talking about the big one: the FIFA World Cup being held in Brazil this summer. It’s the 20th World Cup since the tournament’s inception, and it’s set to draw a record-breaking TV audience.
Where will you watch the matches? And, equally importantly, how will you watch the matches?
Continue reading “Drinking During the World Cup” »
If you drink heavily, reducing your regular alcohol consumption to a moderate level is a very sensible idea. Giving up drinking altogether ‘overnight’, however, is not. Kicking the booze so abruptly, without seeking professional advice and support, could even prove life-threatening.
Take it in stages
Most people who wake up one day – possibly with the shakes, feeling stressed and anxious about the day ahead, and sweating heavily – and resolutely declare: “That’s it. I’m never touching a drop of drink again!” usually fail.
Continue reading “Why Quitting Drinking Abruptly Can Be Deadly” »
CASE STUDY: Cerys in Wales
“I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse.” A bit of a cliché, isn’t it – a well-worn expression that we’ve all used at some time or other? Some amongst us, however, are much more imaginative when it comes to expressing an urgent need for, er, sustenance:
- “I’m so hungry; I could eat a buttered monkey!”
- “I’m so hungry; I could eat my grandmother’s hair in a bun!”
- “I’m so hungry; I could eat a Jersey cow between two bread vans!”
- “I’m so hungry; I could eat a Cabbage Patch Doll from the neck down!”
And (brace yourself):
- “I’m so hungry; I could eat a 15-tog duvet through a three seater bench!”
- (Now THAT’s hungry)
Cerys, a 33-year-old reformed alcoholic who is now working as an addiction counsellor in Aberystwyth, claims to have been something of an expressions expert in her hey day back in the Nineties:
“My favourite phrase was one I stole from my Dad: ‘Don’t look at me in that tone of voice, it smells a funny colour.’ That was my party piece when I was an insufferable brat.
As I got older – much older, I might add – my friends and I would make up outrageous phrases and expressions during binge drinking sessions, usually when our hunger pains became agonising, and all we could think about was wolfing down a Chicken Doner kebab. My best one ever one night was: ‘I’m so hungry I could eat a frog in a frock in a thick woollen sock!’ Goodness knows how I came up with that one.”
Continue reading “Alcoholism Stories: “Binge Drinking made me Ravenous!”” »
Resisting pressure from other people to drink alcohol can be extremely difficult. In a pub, at a party, even in a restaurant where other diners are enjoying a glass of wine with their meal… ordering a soft drink gets noticed, let’s be honest. Sooner or later someone in your social group will comment on the fact that while everyone else is guzzling wine or beer, you’re washing your dinner down with a Coke, an orange juice or maybe a J2O.
In a situation like that, you can be made to feel like an outcast, an oddity, even. It’s a horrible feeling; as 25-year-old Tabitha in Chalfont St Giles discovered when trying to kick the booze back in 2010.
“I had just finished Uni in Buckinghamshire and had started my first real job working in the IT department of a large corporation. I got on well with the staff and enjoyed socialising with them at first, until I was made to feel like a freak, simply because I didn’t drink at all.”
The power of group demand characteristics
Tabitha had decided to quit drinking as part of her ‘fresh start’: with her Uni days behind her – where, she explains, the focus always seemed to be on getting hammered rather than getting a degree! – she was determined to stick to her guns, and to remain teetotal. But it didn’t work out that way:
“In the end, I simply caved into pressure to drink alcohol like everyone else, after fearing that I may be ostracised by the group. I mean, what was I supposed to do? It was either never be involved in any of the nights out, or drink as much as they did. Looking back, I wish I’d been stronger.”
Continue reading “Pressure to Drink – Are You Under the Influence?” »
To cool off on a scorching summer’s afternoon, can anything beat a dip in a swimming pool, or even a paddle in the sea? If you’re of the opinion that humans originally came from the ocean rather than the trees, you’ll probably find our need for water submergence completely understandable. The evolutionary theory that aquatic apes were our forefathers is as much derided as it is frequently debated, however. What isn’t debated enough is the practise of swimming after drinking alcohol.
Fun and stupidity: it’s a fine line
However, this is something that Louisa, a 32-year-old palliative care worker in Kent experienced.
“I took my two little ones to Malaga for a two-week summer break last year,” Louisa explains, “for what proved to be the most horrendous holiday. The British yob element staying at the hotel ruined it for everyone else. Honestly, they were ape-like. To describe them as Neanderthals would be being too kind.”
What happened exactly?
“A group of British men, who seemed to be in southern Spain on some sort of lads only holiday, had the run of the place; until it all went wrong. One of them decided to drink six pints of strong German beer and to then swim 20 lengths of the hotel pool, for a bet. He never made it out of the water alive. It was awful. My kids were utterly traumatised by the whole affair.”
Continue reading “Alcohol Dangers: Why Drinking and Swimming Doesn’t Mix” »
CASE STUDY: Darius in London
“Bailiffs are usually nightclub bouncer look-alikes hammering on debtors’ doors demanding cash or goods to the equivalent of the money owed, from poor people who can barely find the rent each month. At least, that used to be the image and scene conjured in my mind whenever I heard the word Bailiff or the term Debt Collection,” explains Darius, a 33-year-old independent fashion retail consultant in the Capital’s Regents Park (no, readers, he doesn’t actually live in the Park, he’s owns a sumptuous ground floor flat on Chester Place!).
Continue reading “Life before Rehab – “I Had Baliffs At My Door” »
There are accidents, and then there are ACCIDENTS. If you’re a guest in someone else’s home, knocking over a tall glass of Lambrusco onto their cream-coloured carpet when you’re sloshed is hardly a reason to flee the country; but it’s not good, is it? Spilling your vodka and cranberry juice across their £12,000 snow-white Lexington Upholstery sofa might be another story!
Home is where the heart danger is
The scope and scale of drink-related accidents can be broad: from staining a rug, to risking life and limb by stupidly sprinting across a level crossing, and even to crashing a plane. Fortunately, most drink-related accidents do not require investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority: the vast majority of accidents take place in the home. Nevertheless, a visit to the GP may be required, and an ambulance might be called, if someone sustains a serious injury.
Continue reading “Drinking Risks – Alcohol Related Accidents” »
CASE STUDY: Harriet in Devon
“I never thought I would ever be in trouble with the police, or be up in court on any kind of charge,” Explains Harriet, a 51-year-old business consultant in Plymouth. “But it happened to me last year; and to make matters worse, at the time I was a local magistrate!”
Continue reading “Life Before Rehab – “I Felt Dizzy When I hadn’t Had a Drink”” »
What is the one feature that the vast majority of British men find most attractive when it comes to the opposite sex? Answer: a woman’s hair.
Yes, it is rather surprising, isn’t it, given the pressure women are put under to be pretty and slim, to “Spend a fortune enhancing their bodies in all the right places, if needs be; or forget about finding a bloke” (yes, a London casting agent actually said that in a radio interview earlier this year). Well, according to surveys carried out by leading men’s magazines – FHM, Men’s Health, GQ… – if a girl gets her Barnet right*, she’s certain to be considered the Belle of the Ball. Men will simply fall at her feet. They’ll be positively DROOLING.
* Barnet Fair – Cockney slang for hair (for the unversed)
As for women surveyed in 2013, a man can have the body of Adonis; the tall, dark and handsome qualities of Mr Darcy, and the debonair sophistication of 007 (apart from that Daniel Craig bloke), but if his breath smells like something even Dyno-Rod couldn’t sort out, he’s not going to be considered a lady-killer – unless the poor gal drops dead from a halitosis-laced exocet direct hit; sorry, we mean a breathy kiss from him at the garden gate.
Continue reading “Binge Drinking and Bad Breath – What Happens?” »
Facebook, Pininterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter… will these social networking platforms still be around in twenty or even ten years time? Perhaps. What is certain is that alcohol-related problems and full-blown alcoholism will be. How do we know? Because people have always drank and always will, for pleasure or as a form of self-medication. Through good and bad economic times, alcohol sales have always been strong.
About life’s ‘essentials’
Alcohol is as vital to some people as food, shelter, warmth and even the oxygen they breathe. For young people, social networking can be equally important! What is particularly worrying these days for many parents across the UK is the convergence of social networking and the drinking culture amongst young people:
Continue reading “Alcohol Abuse – How Social Networking Can Increase It” »
“You’re coming down the Station with me, lad”. Plenty of young drunken ne’er-do-wells in days gone by will have been told that, after having their collar felt by a Bobby on the beat. In previous eras in Britain’s social history, when people had an almost innate fear of and respect for authority: the police, teachers, doctors (and possibly even the local lollipop man!), a telling off by a police officer and the threat of a night in the cells was enough to bring even the most belligerent whippersnapper into line. Not anymore…
How times have changed
These days, as each weekend approaches, the Police brace themselves for mayhem across our cities and towns. Alcohol-fuelled antisocial behaviour, criminal damage, violence, and other crimes committed by both sexes has become the norm’, with police officers and other members of the emergency services often being on the receiving end of both verbal and physical attacks.
Continue reading “Alcohol Misuse: Drinking and the Law” »
Do you like to be up with the larks? When the cock crows do you excitedly leap out of bed, exclaiming: “Yippee! It’s a BRAND-NEW DAY!”? Perhaps a quick jog around your local park followed by an ice bath is your daily routine each time dawn breaks? Or when you finally stir and then reluctantly swing your legs over the side of the bed after sleeping through the alarm for at least another hour, is your first instinct to drink (and no, we don’t mean tea, coffee or Nesquik)?
If you hit the bottle as soon as you get up each day, you’ve got a problem; a serious problem; a potentially life-threatening addiction, in fact. But don’t despair; there is hope. The solution to overcoming alcohol addiction is private rehab treatment arranged through Rehab Treatment UK.
Each year, Rehab Treatment UK assists thousands of people in their battle to beat the booze. Functioning alcoholics from all walks of life are helped to get the right treatment, and from there they go on to lead active, happy and genuinely fulfilling alcohol-free lives.
Continue reading “How to Stop Drinking First Thing in the Morning” »
“If you’re brave enough to say Goodbye, life will reward you with a new Hello”
Who said that? Paulo Coelho, that’s who. And, no, he didn’t play in goal for Inter Milan during the 1970s. Nor was he an intense postmodern Spanish artist prone to tantrums to rival Goya. Coelho is actually still alive and well, living in his native Brazil, and writing award-winning lyrics and novels!
Let’s just run that line by you again: “If you’re brave enough to say Goodbye, life will reward you with a new Hello”
Hmm… Bravery. What’s that all about? How do you measure it? Does it take as much guts to
stand in defiance of a column of oncoming tanks on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and refuse to move (remember that white-shirted lone protester in ’89, older readers?) as it does to confront a potentially life-threatening craving – to take that first vital step towards overcoming addiction by seeking professional help?
For some, it certainly does.
Continue reading “Going into Rehab – Your Stepping Stone to a New Hello?” »
CASE STUDY: Claire in Surrey
Let’s be honest, drinking can make you feel great, at least for a while. It can also make you feel awful, both physically and mentally. And the awful feeling tends to be more long-lasting!
Drinking’s physical effect is something most functioning alcoholics are all too familiar with: the hangovers, nausea, loss of balance, blurred vision, slurred speech etc. And awareness is growing about the impact drinking to excess regularly can have on the mind: depression, anxiety, panic attacks… if you drink a lot, you are susceptible to all that.
But hang on, aren’t we forgetting something here? What about the feelings of guilt that can plague us if we drink each day like there’s no tomorrow?
Continue reading “I’ve Finally Forgiven Myself for my Alcohol Misuse” »
“I could murder a drink.”
“I’m dying for a glass of wine.”
“If I don’t get a drink in a minute, I’ll go mad.”
“What I’d give for a pint right now. The Dog and Duck being shut is doing my head in!”
What would you give to get a drink? How much do you love it?
Continue reading “Alcoholism – Are You in a Long Distance Relationship?” »
CASE STUDY: Toby in Kent
“Before I developed a problem with my left knee, I hardly drank at all. But the escalating pain in the knee joint led me to drink more and more.”
Toby, a 43-year-old software developer in Maidstone, used to be sports mad. Then a heavy tackle while playing non-league football brought an abrupt end to his active lifestyle. What followed was four years waiting for an operation on his knee at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, Middlesex: yes, the demand for knee and hip operations on the NHS can mean waiting an eternity before eventually ‘going under the knife’.
As well as struggling to cope every day (and night) with the excruciating pain, Toby became depressed. His weight also ballooned.
“Lose the weight, or forget about an op”
“I was in a Catch-22 situation,” Toby explains. “The knee consultant at Stanmore insisted I lose at least two stone in weight, before allowing me to have the operation. It’s too much bodyweight pressing down on a rebuilt joint, you see. But, being inactive, I found it impossible to lose any body fat at all. My weight gain was not just through comfort eating and being almost permanently sedentary; my alcohol consumption level gradually increased to the point where I was binge drinking regularly. And lager is so fattening, isn’t it?”
Continue reading “The Root Cause of My Alcohol Abuse was a Disability” »
Somerset: “a rural county of rolling hills”. Over January and February, Somerset dominated the news; through coverage of some of the worse flooding the Somerset Levels has ever seen. What a shame that such a beautiful county in England’s South West should receive so much negative media attention, due to the horrendous weather’s impact.
Somerset welcomes thousands of visitors each year, many from abroad. When seeking the very best in alcoholism rehab treatment in the UK, in fact, people from the European mainland (and even further afield) head for Somerset. Why? Because of a private rehab treatment clinic there that has an astonishing success rate in helping alcoholics beat the booze for good. And it is all to do with something called the Minnesota Model (which the Somerset clinic uses as its ‘blueprint’).
Continue reading “Rehab Treatment – The Minnesota (Via Somerset) Model” »
CASE STUDY: Claire in Herefordshire
What price are you willing to pay to get your ‘fix’? No, we’re not talking about recreational drugs in tablet or powder form, or injected using a syringe; we mean another potentially lethal substance* that can be as addictive as ecstasy, cannabis, cocaine and heroin, and which can lead people to taking astonishing risks: the drug we’re referring to here is of course alcohol.
* A Governmental research report in 2006 classified various drugs according to their health and social risks. Heroin and cocaine are the most dangerous two drugs, with alcohol being the fifth most dangerous and tobacco the ninth.
When drinking stops being funny
If you abuse alcohol, the enjoyment you get from it probably outweighs (in your mind) the potential health risks that heavy drinking poses. You choose to ignore the dangers, simply because drinking makes you feel so good, it’s your escape, your way of coping, of ‘getting through’.
Continue reading “Alcoholism Stories: “I Went Blind Because of Alcohol”” »
We live in the Digital Age. Information seems omnipresent. Blogs, forums, walls, feeds, tweets… Good grief! It’s as though the whole world has suddenly been given a voice. Everywhere, supposed experts are increasingly contributing to online debates; they are sharing their self-proclaimed oracular wisdom, raising awareness, seeking to ‘make a difference’, convincingly providing ‘key’ answers to pressing questions…
But who do we believe?
When seeking advice on a serious matter, such as tackling alcoholism, who can really offer specialist guidance? And whose alleged voice of authority should we unequivocally ignore? The given advice might be unsafe, and if acted upon might even prove fatal.
Continue reading “Giving Up Drinking – Advice You Should Not Ignore” »
Caught up in the heat of the moment, many of us have hastily fired off a letter (remember those!), or an e-mail, giving some poor soul both barrels – suddenly cutting them to the emotional quick. And, in turn, some of us have been on the receiving end of such an attack. But what if it becomes a habit? What if, as the aggressor, a pattern develops: you use mobile phone messaging to attack others persistently?
Most serial mobile phone abusers are alcoholics – their addiction is a primary underlying factor in shaping and driving their bullying behaviour.
Continue reading “Another Kind of Alcohol Abuse – Do You Drink and Text” »
Are you an alcoholic trying to come to terms with your condition? Do you live in a city or a large bustling town? If tackling your addiction in a welcoming haven far from the pressures and hassles of everyday life appeals, then booking into a rehab clinic through Rehab Treatment UK is absolutely your best bet. But don’t make the same mistake as some alcohol abusers when arriving at a private clinic in their preferred region:
“I had to go to rehab twice. First time around I didn’t really take it seriously. Foolishly, I saw it as a break, a holiday!” Christopher in London explains. “The clinic was set in a naturally therapeutic environment of beautiful Wiltshire parkland. It was a glorious summer that year, and my mind was more tuned in to relaxing and taking a break from the hurly burly of city life for five or six weeks, than to genuinely tackling my alcohol addiction – which was the whole point of me being there.
Continue reading “Rehab Treatment: It’s Not a Luxury Holiday” »
CASE STUDY: Michael in Buckinghamshire
“Don’t get me wrong. The wedding ceremony itself went like a dream. It was a sundrenched Saturday afternoon in June 2011. We made our vows, exchanged rings, promised to love and care for each other in sickness and in health… Oh joy of joys! But I don’t think my new bride, Jacqui, quite expected to honour that vow so soon after also sincerely making this promise at the Altar: “Our Father created woman to be man’s helper. It is my desire and delight to follow this scriptural teaching. With all my heart I make this pledge to you.”
Continue reading “Alcoholism Stories: “I Was Helicoptered Out of My Own Wedding!”” »
‘Drink responsibly’. We’ve all heard the phrase. We’ve seen it on ads for beer, wine and spirits. In the run up to Christmas being urged to drink responsibly occurred recurrently, didn’t it, as the Festive Season drew closer and parties were arranged by the dozen.
Drinking responsibly is primarily about controlling your drinking, of course. But when it comes to knocking back those frothy pints of Heineken, or cool glasses of Pinot Grigio, it is not so much about the quantity that you drink, but about how the amount you imbibe affects you. Some people can guzzle eight pints every night and still walk in a straight line, while others feel themselves toppling like an Emerald Ash after just a couple of Maynard’s wine gums (well, you get the gist!).
Going further, ‘drinking responsibly’ is also about managing your behaviour before, during and after drinking.
Continue reading “Problem Drinking – Time to Take Responsibility?” »
CASE STUDY: Bryn in Glamorgan
“‘I’m Bryn, a recovering alcoholic. Nice to meet you’ is not the sort of thing I say whenever I’m out and about; in social situations where there is alcohol available, I mean. It tends to put a dampener on things just a tad!”
Bryn – a 52-year-old Job Centre Plus relationship coordinator based in one of Wales’ most historic counties – is not alone in his reluctance to talk about the past: his addiction to alcohol; how he took control of his drinking through going to rehab; and how he is now striving to live an alcohol-free life. Thousands of people across Britain rarely talk about their recovery from alcoholism.
Continue reading “Alcoholism Stories: What Me? I’m on the Wagon” »
It’s a curious thing, human nature. Self-defeating actions are something many of us repeat, even though we know they are doing us no good, and could even be endangering our health:
“I know I shouldn’t drink so much, and I tell myself that I’ll stop or at least reduce the amount I drink to a sensible level each week, but it never happens. If anything, as the weeks pass I drink more. In fact, the more I tell myself not to drink, the more I drink!”
“If I carry on as I am – drinking excessively night after night – I know I’ll probably lose my job, house, family, health and possibly my life; yet after work I can’t get down the pub quickly enough. You’d think, with so much to lose (I’ve got a lovely wife and two gorgeous little girls) that I’d seriously tackle my alcohol misuse, wouldn’t you? I know in my heart that is simply not going to happen. While there is alcohol available to buy, I’ll always be a heavy drinker.”
“I’d love to lose weight, have clearer skin, feel less depressed all the time, and generally get my life back on track; and I know that quitting drinking would help me to have all those things. But, for some reason, I choose to stay exactly where I am: drinking my head off every night of the week. I don’t understand why – when I know tackling my problem with alcohol would transform my life – I never take the step. I must be mad.”
Continue reading “Alcohol Dependence – How to Overcome Maladaptive Behaviour” »
Alcoholics generally deride non-drinkers. They’ll even go as far as targeting them through Social Media, sending them nasty messages on Twitter, Facebook and the like. Targeted teetotallers are told (usually in the crudest terms) that they are: “Boring” “Guaranteed to spoil the party”, “Holier than thou” etc. But surveys show that more non-drinkers despise drunks than alcoholics loathe teetotallers.
Most alcohol abusers are in denial
Heavy drinkers hide their addiction. When asked about how much and how regularly they drink, alcoholics will become belligerent, their classic retort being: “It’s up to me how much I drink. It’s my business, and no one else’s. I mean, how does my drinking affect you?”
Continue reading “Alcohol Misuse – Why most People Hate Drinkers” »
CASE STUDY: Robyn and Noah in West Yorkshire
“I’ve got to hand it to my husband, Noah,” explains Robyn, a 34-year-old hospital play specialist in Calderdale. “To hide his drinking the way he did – prior to seeking help for his addiction – required real ingenuity and invention. He was found out in the end, of course, as most closet alcoholics are. But he certainly had me fooled for a while. I thought he was only drinking about a third of the amount that he actually was on a day-to-day basis.”
Continue reading “Alcoholism Stories: A Life of Sobriety is so Much Easier” »
For most alcoholics, it isn’t so much going into rehab and confronting their addiction that worries them (when it comes to finally tackling their alcohol abuse), it’s how they’ll cope after treatment – when they are home and back in the big wide world again, surrounded by the following temptations:
- Pubs, clubs and bars
- Off licences and the alcohol section of their local supermarket
- Parties and other get-togethers (where drink is sure to be readily available)
- The ‘easy’ option of buying alcohol online and having it delivered directly to their door. Note: According to BBC online, figures show that young people are increasingly using online supermarket delivery services to buy alcohol. Older drinkers are following suit
- Restaurants, where “just a small glass of wine”’ with a meal can soon become a whole bottle, or even two, can’t it?
Thousands of functioning alcoholics across the UK drink heavily because they have stressful jobs: they work to impossible deadlines; their work carries an enormous amount of responsibility; day after day, they toil in a high pressure environment where results are everything, and where there is no time to pause for a moment and to assess if where they work (and if the job they do) is massively detrimental to their health.
It is perhaps understandable, then, that a few drinks after work is something that many of us regard as “essential”.
Continue reading “Alcohol Issues: Are Bar Staff More Likely to Drink?” »
How much did you have to drink over the weekend, or last week, or the week before that? Are you able to accurately tally it all up? And how much alcohol will you put away in the next seven days, do you think? Could you come up with a realistic estimate? Probably not. Not if you are a compulsive drinker, that is.
Definition (as noun): A person with behaviour patterns governed by a compulsion, an urge, a craving, an impulse…
If you are a functioning alcoholic, you are probably like thousands of other people across the UK who simply drink when they feel like it, spontaneously, and in quantities that they rarely if ever keep a tab on (excuse the pun!).
Continue reading “How to Stop Compulsively Drinking” »
Case Study: Denise in Hampshire
“Late one afternoon in the summer of 2008, my husband Roger asked me for the PIN number of my debit card. I was in an awful hurry to get to work, and so gave it to him without properly thinking it through. I only had about thirty pounds in the bank at the time, so it wasn’t as if there was a fortune there for him to help himself to!”
“However, when I checked my balance via internet banking at the end of that week, I was horrified to discover that – using my £1000 overdraft facility – Roger had withdrawn a staggering £750 in three days.”
“It later came out that he’d used the money to buy cases of wine and to pay off debts he owed to different pubs and bars across Portsmouth, where he had run up enormous tabs.”
Although Roger had used Denise’s bank card with her permission, he was technically guilty of theft. He had committed a crime, and Denise would have been well within her rights to contact Police and bring charges against him. Yet she didn’t.
Continue reading “My alcoholic partner stole from me” »
CASE STUDY: Rob in Clackmannanshire
“Years ago, I lived in Edinburgh as a student, and then in Glasgow after I first entered the world of full-time work. How I completed my studies or held down a job I just don’t know, given the amount I was drinking back then. My problem was that I couldn’t face social situations unless I’d had a few pints or a couple of shorts. Booze gave me the confidence I so badly needed.
I learned later, after completing a course of treatment as a Day Care patient at a private rehab clinic here in Scotland, that developing genuine confidence and high self-esteem can only be achieved once your addiction to alcohol has been conquered: after you have beaten the booze and moved on.”
Continue reading ““Giving up drinking boosted my confidence”” »
If you frequently abuse alcohol, consider this: If every time throughout 2013 you’d stuffed all the money you spent on alcohol into a jam jar instead, what would it have amounted to by the end of the year? Come to think of it, you’d probably need a large Rover Teatime Assortment biscuit tin (or a wheelie bin, maybe?), rather than a jam jar, in which to cram those thick wads of notes and all those one and two-pound coins!
As for the price you’ve paid health-wise through drinking like a fish; that is probably incalculable. Why? Because, unlike counting the pennies, quantifying the damage abusing alcohol has had on your body and brain is practically impossible.
Continue reading “Alcoholism: What Did Drinking Cost You in 2013?” »
With the Festive Period already seeming like a distant memory now, chances are that you’ve broken all those promises you made to yourself; those New Year resolutions that you said: “This year, I’m really, definitely, absolutely, completely, totally going to stick to.” They lasted as long as an economy size jar of cranberry at a rugby club’s Christmas banquet, didn’t they?
Continue reading “How to Stop Drinking, Without Relapsing” »
It’s not a very good idea to work as a heart surgeon, an air traffic controller, or indeed a Formula 1® racing driver if you’re addicted to alcohol, is it? The potential consequences of being boozed up in a role like that don’t even bear thinking about. Drinking ‘on the job’ in any form of employment is unacceptable, in fact; but countless people still do it.
Every day across Britain thousands of people turn up for work drunk, or they enjoy a couple of pints or glasses of wine during their lunch break, and then spend the rest of their working shift in an intoxicated state. That is hardly fair to employers, fellow employees, or indeed, customers, is it?
The drinking doesn’t stop at clocking off time, of course. A “swift half” after work rarely ends at that. You can still be in the pub or a local wine bar at eight or nine o’clock as drinking round after round with your colleagues sees you lose complete track of time.
Continue reading “Alcohol Issues – Are You Ever Drunk on the Job?” »
CASE STUDY: Margaret in Bristol
Do you hate your job? Margaret does. She’s a nurse working in the Accident and Emergency Department of a Bristol hospital, and she detests the place. Why? Too many drunks. WAY too many.
“The Department is a 24/7 service. It used to be the best place to work in the hospital. I worked on the Children’s Ward for over a decade, and I really thought that nothing could beat that. But when I moved to A&E years ago, I found it an even better place to work, as strange as that may sound. Not now though. A&E has changed. Britain has changed. Alcohol abuse has risen to almost epidemic proportions. And people are so much more dangerous now.”
“My mother used to always say: “You never know what a nutter is going to do”, but now I would say that about alcohol abusers. The heavy drinkers we see here night after night seem capable of anything, to be quite honest. And that’s why I’ve decided to retire early, to get away from these people, before something horrendous happens to me.”
Continue reading “Problem Drinkers: The Scourge of A&E Departments UK-wide” »
When it comes to washing down roast turkey with all the trimmings, nothing beats a glass of wine, beer or pale ale, does it? Mouth-watering Christmas pudding with brandy butter after the main course can be a delight. And prior to all that, a mid-morning glass of champagne by the fire with family and friends can be a lovely shared experience. But why go and ruin it all by drinking till you drop? Why spoil what for many families is the only day in the year when they can all get together, by polishing off can after can, or bottle after bottle, and then either starting a row or falling asleep for the rest of the day in the lounge (snoring like a honking goose through all that great telly)?
Continue reading “Alcoholism: The Christmas Killer” »
Countless functioning alcoholics across the UK are torn: torn between wanting to quit drinking or to reduce their regular alcohol consumption to a sensible amount, and dreading the withdrawal phase that would be involved if they ‘take the step’. They’ve heard horror stories; frightening accounts by former alcoholics of the “hell” that beating alcoholism can be.
Continue reading “Rehab: About the Alcohol Withdrawal Phase” »
Most functioning alcoholics have families, own homes, progress in their careers, enjoy hobbies outside of work, and basically live full and interesting lives. The fact that they consume excessive amounts of alcohol regularly (and are gradually increasing the amount they drink as their tolerance rises in tandem) is usually hidden.
Continue reading “Alcoholism Dangers: Do You Hear Voices?” »
CASE STUDY: Gareth in Carmarthenshire
“In Laugharne, I could barely show my face around the pubs, clubs and hotel bars, without someone making a remark about my relationship; my previous relationship, I mean. To say that my former partner put me through hell is an understatement. But ultimately I don’t hold her responsible; I blame it all on alcohol.”
A loss of control
Gareth – a 38-year-old mechanic in West Wales’ beautiful Carmarthenshire region – feels he became nothing short of a laughing stock in his local area after his former girlfriend, Gwen, forged a reputation for promiscuity there. After a few drinks, Gwen became extremely flirtatious; but whereas most people know where to stop, where to draw the line, Gwen simply didn’t.
“The more Gwen drank, the flirtier she became,” Gareth explains. “I tried talking to her. We all did. But every weekend it would be the same. Life somehow took on a pattern. I put up with it for far longer than I should of. But when you love somebody it’s hard to give them up, isn’t it? In the end, fate decreed that Gwen and I were not destined to share a future together anyway.”
Having read that headline, you’re probably casting your mind back right now. You’re racking your brain. You’re trying to pinpoint exactly when it was all those years ago that you got that parking penalty. Or when was it that you were sent a strong letter by TV Licensing threatening you with prosecution and a fine of up to £1000? (Yikes!).
If you are a functioning alcoholic (an educated, financially secure professional), and your regular alcohol consumption is above the recommended amount*, chances are that you break the law more often than you think – especially if you drive regularly.
According to Government guidelines, the current recommended limits are 21 units of alcohol a week for men, and 14 units a week for women. A unit is roughly half-a-pint of beer or cider, a small glass of wine, or a single pub measure of spirits.
Alcohol-related crime stats
At its simplest, alcoholism-related crime usually involves two parties: the perpetrator and the victim. But the misery caused by alcoholism-related crime can be incredibly far-reaching. As a direct or indirect consequence of a crime being committed, marriages can break up, kids can end up in care, jobs can be lost, homes repossessed, people can find themselves in a mountain of debt (that they could never hope to pay off), personal and professional reputations can be ruined… the list is virtually endless, and all because an individual (or in some instances, more than one person) drank too much alcohol – it really can be as plain as that.
Imagine feeling healthy and positive every day. Picture having boundless energy, losing weight, having great skin, being someone others love having around them, enjoying more disposable income, considerably decreasing the risk of developing serious health conditions or getting life-threatening diseases, getting more done at work and at home (while still having time to pursue leisure activities and interests, where you’ll meet new like-minded people and make new friends).
Continue reading “Stop Drinking – For GOOD” »
Functioning alcoholics can only function for so long before eventually something has to give. Does that chime with you? Perhaps you are a reformed problem drinker who wisely sought help by going to Rehab, and you look back now and shudder sometimes at just how close you came to paying the ultimate price for your addiction. Maybe you lost your job, home, family and friends (through abusing alcohol), and it was only when you hit rock-bottom that the penny finally dropped: you realised that unless you did something about your addiction, you’d be looking at spending the rest of your life in the gutter.
Continue reading “Alcoholism: Are You Dying for a Pint?” »
No, please don’t misinterpret that headline. It is not in any way implying that the French are the worst in the world when it comes to snoring loudly after drinking alcohol. It’s not meant to infer that our good friends across the Channel are the only ones struggling with the boozing =snoring problem. Au contraire!
The headline (which, you have to admit, caught your attention and made you want to read on!) refers to French wine: Chablis, Marguax, Pétrus, Saint Emilion… (the list is endless ), all of which were once quaffed regularly and in considerable quantities by Gerard – a 52-year-old art gallery manager in Gloucestershire – who snored so loudly after drinking that he once fell asleep in his first floor flat and activated a car alarm on the street below!
“Tis true,” Gerard confirms. “On one hot summer’s night last year, I snored so loudly that the resultant vibrations made the open sash windows of my flat shudder in their frames. The reverberation was so severe that, incredibly, it somehow transmitted to a Lexus LS parked on the street below, causing its very sensitive car alarm to go off.”
Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the racket outside didn’t disturb Gerard!
As Gerard remained sound asleep, neighbours and householders across the street woke and grew increasingly angry as the car alarm continued to blare for a full hour before the vehicle’s owner finally arrived.
An ‘alarming’ tale indeed.
“Prior to seeking help for alcoholism, on the evenings when I was somehow able to resist having a glass or three of my beloved French wine, I didn’t snore at all,” Gerard helpfully explains with a smile.
So, why does drinking alcohol often result in loud snoring? What’s the link? And is there light at the end of the nostril (oops!) tunnel for those poor souls out there who are married to (or cohabitate) with a heavy drinker who snores all night like an asthmatic camel?
Feeling pressurised into having an alcoholic drink can be awful. You try to be polite. You explain that you’re driving home and so “don’t want to risk it.” If that doesn’t work, you claim that you’re “on medication at the moment”. When these perfectly reasonable explanations fall on deaf ears, you are left with three options:
- Stand your ground and continue to stick to soft drinks only
- Walk out
- Let the bully win by finally bowing to pressure (agreeing to have “one for the road”)
CASE STUDY: Aileen in South Lanarkshire
Geneticists have for many years sought to discover if alcoholism is a hereditary condition. Are some people simply predisposed to drinking to excess? If you are a problem drinking parent of young children, does that mean your kids will also abuse alcohol when they are older? Can someone whose alcoholism is thought to be ‘passed down’ from a previous generation overcome the urge to drink heavily and regularly, or is there simply nothing they can do?
Continue reading ““I Come From a Long Line of Alcoholics!”” »
CASE STUDY: Hugo in Surrey
“Going to Rehab was the best thing I ever did. My life changed completely. Not only did I kick the booze once and for all – after committing to a specifically-tailored treatment programme – I also met the lady who later became my spouse.”
The private alcoholism Rehab clinic in Surrey that Hugo attended is actually a Grade II-listed Georgian Manor set deep in the heart of the Surrey countryside. It is private, tranquil and safe: perfect for romantic walks in between treatment sessions with addiction clinicians and counsellors, in fact!
Yes, you read that headline correctly! You are being asked if, during a typical week, you drink enough alcohol, or if you overdo it? That is, are you a social drinker who knows their limits and drinks to a moderate level, or do you knock back pint after pint, wine glass after wine glass, without a care, simply drinking till you drop – or at least until you can just about stagger out of the pub to a waiting taxi and somehow get yourself home?
Continue reading “Alcohol: Do You Drink Enough?” »
What’s the difference between being a ‘social’ drinker, and being seriously dependent on booze? The answer to that is not a mathematical one. It’s not about units. You don’t need to regularly consume excessive quantities of alcohol to be described as ‘dependent’. If you drink moderately, or even very little, and you simply cannot get through the week without that amount of alcohol, then you are, to some degree, dependent on it.
Continue reading “Alcohol Dependence – How to Overcome It” »
Fish, chips and mushy peas without salt and vinegar is unthinkable, isn’t it? And what can beat a nice bag of salted peanuts or salt & vinegar crisps with a relaxing pint at lunchtime or after a long day at the office?
Nothing on Earth, quite frankly. But, beware; sprinkling too much salt on your food can impact badly on your blood pressure, both now and in the long term.
Although most of us add salt to our meals every day without giving it a second thought, the link between blood pressure problems and having too much salt on (and in) our food is actually widely known. But what about regularly drinking alcohol to excessive amounts? Can that negatively affect blood pressure too?
Most of us need a bit of Dutch courage every now and again, especially when facing a situation that makes us fearful or anxious: having to give a speech to a room full of people (or even just a handful!), asking someone we’re attracted to dance, or even to go out on a date… in such situations, alcohol can seem like the Cavalry, rescuing us at a vital time, giving us the confidence to ‘take the step’…
But why does having a drink or two do the trick? What is it about alcohol – or rather, what is it in alcoholic drinks – that alters our mental state (for better or worse)?
Continue reading “Problem Drinking – Why Alcohol Alters Your Mood” »
CASE STUDY: Penelope in Buckinghamshire
“Domestic abuse, where the root cause of the aggressor’s behaviour is alcoholism, is generally portrayed by the media as being something that only goes on amongst the working classes, or people surviving on Benefits on sink estates across the country”, explains Penelope, a 33-year-old jewellery designer from Chalfont St Giles. “But, it is prevalent amongst the middle classes, too. And if you want a blow-by-blow account – quite literally – then come and talk to me; I know all about the living hell that is cohabitating with a violent alcoholic.”
Continue reading “Alcoholism: My Husband’s Drinking Almost Killed Me” »
If you want to stop drinking heavily when you socialise, don’t socialise with other heavy drinkers!
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
But, in reality, how easy is it to leave one social circle, and join another?
Continue reading “How to Gain Support for Living a Sober Lifestyle” »
CASE STUDY: Dahlia in Bristol
“When you regularly binge drink, it isn’t solely the alcohol that gradually destroys your looks and your internal organs; it is what you are not putting into your body that does an equal amount of damage to your overall health,” explains Dahlia – a 36-year-old mature student who lives only a stone’s throw from the beautiful Avon Gorge. “By the time I finally made it to Rehab in 2009, I was severely malnourished. And, I can tell you, I was not a pretty sight!”
Dahlia undertook a 9-week alcoholism rehabilitation treatment programme at a private clinic in Dorset, where medication and nutritional support were two of the key modules integrated into her recovery schedule (which was formulated specifically for her).
Continue reading “Alcoholism Left Me Severely Malnourished” »
CASE STUDY: Thomas in Berkshire
Chronic liver failure (caused by alcoholism) usually results in 1) death, or 2) a lifesaving liver transplant. You’d think that the lucky few who are given a transplant would never drink another drop of alcohol again, wouldn’t you?
Thomas – a 68-year-old retired civil engineer from Windsor – was back on the booze within weeks of returning home from hospital, post-transplant; something he bitterly regrets now:
Continue reading “I Had a Liver Transplant, And Still Drank!” »
Heavy drinking on a regular basis can create an increased risk of:
- High blood pressure
- Some psychiatric conditions (anxiety, depression, stress)
- Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, which can result in birth defects
- Heart disease
- (irreversible) Severely impaired brain function
If you abuse alcohol, your aging process will also be noticeably accelerated. The excessive amount of alcohol that you regularly drink will grey your the skin by dehydrating your body overall, thereby depriving your skin of essential nutrients and vitamins. Your face and neck (and other parts of your body) will become spotty and sore. Also, your cheeks will become permanently bloated due to the damaging toxins you’re putting into your body, day after day, night after night, week after week…
And that’s ‘not all’
Another serious health condition caused by alcoholism is Alcoholic Hepatitis (also known as Acute Liver Disease): inflammation of the liver due to excessive intake of alcohol, over time.
The problem with making a huge promise to yourself is that – when you almost inevitably break it – you feel bad. You feel frustrated with yourself. The disappointment others then have in you hurts. Through making the vow in the first place, you’ve actually regressed! Unless you’ve not told a soul, that is.
This raises an important issue for people struggling with alcohol abuse…
Continue reading “Alcoholism Rehab – Three Common Misconceptions” »
No, that’s not the Commander in Chief of the British Armed Forces talking, that’s an experienced addiction rehabilitation clinician imparting a pearl of wisdom that no raging alcoholic can afford to ignore.
Knowing your enemy does not just mean: knowing all about the destructive power of alcohol itself, but also about the triggers that occur prior to (and during) times when you crave a drink; knowing the cues, the activators…
Continue reading “Alcohol Abusers: “Know Your Enemy”” »
CASE STUDY: Beth in Manchester
“My dad used to call me Me Me Me. He didn’t called me Beth for a long time. There was a reason why, of course. For years I was a selfish drinker, a binge drinker, a raging alcoholic. All I ever really thought about was myself – where could I get my next drink; like a drug addict who’s always focused on getting their next fix. But it wasn’t only me who was affected by my behaviour, I’ve come to realise.”
Continue reading “Alcoholism Stories: “My Baby Was Born Drunk”” »
CASE STUDY: Edward in Southampton
“It all started off so well. My planned stag weekend (a four-day binge, actually!) kicked off with an enjoyable drinking session on the ferry between Harwich and Esbjerg, on Denmark’s west Jutland coast. By the evening of the third day, however, I was in intensive care.”
Edward – a 41-year-old stockbroker from Hampshire – has been enjoying booze cruises for several years. He and half-a-dozen colleagues look forward to going away at least twice a year on short sojourns to France and Belgium, to buy in bulk cheap wine, beer and spirits. But there is more to a booze cruise than simply stocking up, as Edward explains:
Continue reading “Alcoholism Stories: My Booze Cruise Nightmare” »
- An alcoholic at your wits’ end?
- Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired (due to regular heavy drinking), but you just can’t seem to give up the booze, no matter how hard you try?
- Fed up with being addicted to drink, and long to give up – to get your life back, to simply feel well again?
“At first, it was just a couple of pints on a Friday night after work. Then it all kind of snowballed.”
It all kind of snowballed… Hmm, the abdication of responsibility in that statement is typical of an alcoholic who is in denial; not denial about how much they regularly drink, but refutation about how their alcohol consumption somehow grew to an excessive level, and there was absolutely nothing that they could have done about it – it just sort of ‘happened’.
Continue reading “Alcoholism Rehab Treatment: It’s YOUR Decision” »
What’s your idea of the dinner party from hell? Perhaps it’s having your mother-in-law or your bullying boss round for tea. Or maybe it’s a potentially wonderful evening getting ruined by a burnt meal that you’ve slaved over for hours (and probably worried about for weeks!).
One dinner party host who has nothing but dreadful memories of what was supposed to be “an enjoyable night to remember for family and friends” is Katie – a 34-year-old data analyst in Oxfordshire:
Continue reading “Binge Drinking Dangers: Alcoholic Poisoning” »
Ahh, the good old days… Remember them? At a party, favourite games would include pin the tail on the donkey, Simon says, charades, musical chairs, apple bobbing, and that all-time classic: pass the parcel! Looking back, the list really was endless. And what fun we had as we laughed and joked while we let the sausages-on-sticks and the trifle go down, eh?
How times have changed since those innocent days when even for adults, a shandy (or two) often sufficed! Now party games are something different altogether. Drinking games are king. It is as if Nicholas Parsons was somehow replaced at some point in the past by Oliver Reed as party game organiser across the land, as a bottle of pop was gradually supplanted by a bottle of Bud, a double vodka, a or something even stronger – all so that wannabe drinking ‘legends’ could somehow prove their drinking prowess in the company of their mates.
Continue reading “Alcoholism: The Perils of Drinking Games” »
If you were about to agree a contract at a business meeting with a company boss, and you realised that they had been drinking, would you shake on the deal?
Chances are that the company boss’s hands would already be shaking. Why? Because most functioning alcoholics (well educated, financially secure professionals) drink at some point in the day (and probably most nights of the week) – and regularly drinking to excess can create an increased risk of myriad health problems, including a progressive neurological disorder called essential tremor.
Continue reading “Binge Drinking Dangers: Essential Tremor” »
What a nightmare. You’re the only one not drinking on a night out. While all about you are enjoying a cold pint, a cool glass of wine, or a wham-bam whiskey shot on a summer’s night in Wigan, Warrington, Wrexham or West Kilbride, you’re stood at the bar sipping a Coke. Or you’re clutching a J2O, mumbling something about “driving”, “an early start in the morning”, or being “on medication”.
Continue reading “Binge Drinking: Where’s the Fairness in That?” »
CASE STUDY: Jeanine in south London
“I mean, do I look to you like the type of girl who would be part of a gang; picking on people in south London, at random?”
The answer to Jeanine’s question is a resounding No. She’s well turned out, polite and respectful to others. She’s quiet and shy, even. There is no indication at all that Jeanine – a 22-year-old trainee sound engineer from Charlton – could ever have had it in her to deliberately frighten vulnerable people in society: people who wouldn’t stand a chance should they ever have the misfortune to fall under the gaze of an aggressive girl gang out on the prowl at night-time, or even during the day.
Continue reading “How Alcohol Abuse Has Ruined My Life” »
Most parents hope their children will grow up to be healthy, happy and well-rounded individuals, with fulfilling and successful careers. Law, engineering, software development, medicine… working in those fields can be satisfying and handsomely paid. But – although the money’s good – is being a doctor these days really all it’s cracked up to be? Not according to many GPs (speaking strictly off the record) it’s not:
Continue reading “How Alcoholics Are Leaving GPs Bewildered” »
CASE STUDY: Aaron in Birmingham
There’s debt, and then there’s DEBT. Aaron – a 34-year-old freelance photographer in Birmingham’s Erdington district – explains:
“When I owed £300 to the bank, I never really thought about it; just about everyone I know is overdrawn. It was when I owed money to several creditors that I began to feel like I was carrying a huge weight. Three hundred quid somehow grew to three grand. And then four. And then five… The worry of it nearly killed me. And it was not like I had anything to show for all that money. Every penny of it went on drink.”
Continue reading “Alcoholism: I Drank Myself into Debt Hell” »
Why Booze Slurs Speech
It’s the Digital Age. People everywhere are tweeting, posting, blogging, texting and cloud computing. They are pinging, sharing, connecting, communicating, conversing, poking and smiling ? without, er, actually meeting!
Of all the people you’re somehow connected to online (i.e. through Social Networking), how many have you, in reality, met socially in the past month? Not many, eh? None, maybe. And chances are you never will meet most of your Cyberspace pals, which – if you’ve got a problem with alcohol – is probably a good thing.
Continue reading “Problem Drinking: Are You Clear on Alcohol?” »
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is used in the treatment of depression and other mental illnesses, and can play a vital part in an alcoholic’s recovery.
Continue reading “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as Part of Alcoholism Rehab” »
CASE STUDY: Greg in Salisbury
“I wasn’t even going particularly fast.” This is an all too familiar comment by people found guilty of drink driving. “It’s not as if I was doing eighty-miles-an-hour in a residential area, or something.”
Continue reading “My Drink Driving Put My Dad in a Care Home” »
CASE STUDY: Danuta in Bournemouth
“I met my ex-partner through an online dating website. His profile said that he ‘craved love’. What I didn’t know then was that he also craved alcohol, ALL THE TIME.”
Continue reading “Alcoholism Stories: Living With a Binge Drinker” »
Addicts whose lives seriously go off the rails are usually people with a drug problem, right? Their love of cannabis, cocaine or heroin has cost them everything. Their addiction has left them friendless, penniless and purposeless; and maybe in the most tragic cases even cost them their lives.
But beer, wine and spirits regularly imbibed in excessive quantities can prove as lethal as all the aforementioned drugs. They can create the same dreadful problems, leading the drinker to an equally horrific and seemingly inexorable end.
Continue reading “Alcohol Abuse Are You Addicted?” »
Rehab is proven as being the key to beating alcoholism – the best way to achieve it. But there is no one-size-fits-all treatment on offer that all patients undertake. The clinicians and counsellors at Private Rehab Clinics across the UK recognise that treatment needs to be specifically tailored towards the individual. In other words, no two alcoholics are the same.
But what happens once Rehab is over? How can reformed alcoholics stay strong and not return to their old ways?
Continue reading “Alcoholism – Warning Signs of a Potential Relapse” »
Never underestimate the power of a myth. Fables, parables, legends, falsehoods call them what you will; ultimately they all amount to the same thing. But the way they can spread and somehow become universally-held truths can be startling terrifying, in fact!
Continue reading “Binge Drinking – How to Cut Down” »
CASE STUDY: Persia in Sandbanks
Sandbanks in Dorset… What a place. In Britain, it’s where the rich live; wealthy people such as 34-year-old interior designer, Persia: “By the national media, Sandbanks is often described as Britain’s Palm Beach. Sandbanks Beach and the property here is highly regarded. It also has plenty of pubs and bars – where, for me, my problems with alcohol actually began.”
Rehab is not all about physical health
When Persia entered a private Alcoholism Rehab clinic in Dorset (for a five-week stay) last year, her absence from the Sandbanks hostelries did not go unnoticed by the regulars. “They thought I had gone to Rehab to – as one of them put it upon my return – ‘save my liver from total annihilation’, but the real reason I sort help was to address problems with my mental health.”
Persia had battled depressive Illness since 2004, when she lost a dear family member in the Indian Ocean earthquake and Tsunami. Prior to that, she’d been teetotal. “Before I started drinking, I was already depressed,” she explains. “I began drinking as a way of self-medicating. But then I found myself in a vicious circle. The self-medicating drinking deepened my depression.”
Continue reading “How Alcoholism Worsens Depression” »
CASE STUDY: Paul in Oxfordshire
Paul used to be fit. Not just fit in the physical fitness sense, but also “fit” in the eyes and minds of female admirers at work, when he went out for the evening in his de rigueur slimfit shirt, dark wash jeans and leather-weave slip-ons. When he stood in a bar alongside his identikit mates, he still stood out, simply because he had the best body. This coupled with his winning smile and cheeky one-liners made him a magnet for the opposite sex.
“As the pounds piled on, the girls’ interest waned”
Paul began binge drinking upon returning home after watching England play at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in the summer of 2010. “It wasn’t the 4-2 defeat to Germany that did it! I just started drinking much more when I was away in Bloemfontein with my fellow footie-loving mates, and sort of carried on the tradition, so to speak, once I got back to Oxfordshire. What a mistake that was.”
By Christmas that year, Paul’s weight had risen from a trim 12 stone, to a whopping 15 stone and 4 pounds. And it wasn’t just all those take-aways he was putting away night after night at his luxury flat in Abingdon – the underlying reason for his waistline growing by the week was his addiction to alcohol, which saw his consumption level increase at an alarming rate.
Continue reading “Alcohol Dependence and Weight Gain Explained” »
So, no one in the pub can drink you under the table, and you’ve forged a reputation amongst your mates for being ‘the Daddy’ (or indeed ‘the Mummy’!) when it comes to knocking back the booze at parties; but have you seen yourself lately? Have you compared pre-alcoholism headshots of yourself with recently taken photos?
These people did, and what they saw gave them a bit of a shock. Read their stories:
Continue reading “Binge Drinking Makes You Look Awful. Face it!” »
You love drinking, but it’s killing you. So what do you do? You seek expert help, that’s what. One call to the Rehab Treatment UK team (0845 680 4902) will get the ball rolling. Friendly professionals are waiting to take your call right now. So what’s stopping you?
The answer is YOU, right?
Sure, you can find a thousand excuses and reasons not to do something about your addiction (and alcoholism is an addiction, even if to have your problem described so hurts like hell), and you can probably find plenty of other people to blame for delaying taking that all-important first step towards finally being alcohol-dependence free (“I can’t leave my wife alone at home to deal with the kids, the bills, and everything else, while I’m away at some luxury private alcohol treatment clinic in Surrey or Wiltshire or somewhere else deep in the British countryside”)…
Continue reading “Quit Drinking or Die. It’s YOUR Choice.” »
Drinking to excess can make you feel bad afterwards, can’t it? The hangovers, the sluggishness, the prickly eyes, the aches and pains, the vomiting! And we haven’t even got started yet on the impact of alcoholism on mental health…
Low self esteem can often be a secret problem
The link between alcohol dependence and depression is often highlighted in medical features on TV and in the newspapers. But low self esteem as a direct consequence of alcohol literally controlling a person’s life – their outlook, appearance, behaviour – is rarely openly talked about.
Continue reading “Stop Drinking and Enjoy Improved Self Esteem” »
Were does Britain stand in the ‘Drinking Global League’? Can the Germans drink us under table? Does the amount of booze the Dutch regularly put away make our amount seem positively minuscule by comparison? Are we ‘up there with the Yanks’, or are American drinkers simply in a different stratosphere when it comes to sinking can after can, bottle after bottle, on a daily basis? And how can we ignore the legendary drinking habits of the Aussies? (Actually, let’s not even go there!).
Continue reading “Alcoholism in Britain – How Do We Compare to Overseas Drinkers?” »
CASE STUDY: Miriam in Wiltshire
If you worked in a pub or a hotel bar or anywhere else that sold alcohol (perhaps you do?), and a heavily pregnant woman strolled in alone, sat down and ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to drink all by herself, would you serve her or refuse to?
Hmm. Not easy, is it? Of course, one’s first instinct is to say: Tell me to mind my own business, Madam, but are you sure you should be drinking? I mean, what about the baby?
In response to this, you could get an earful of abuse (and possibly a right-hander!). You could even lose your job. After all, you’re paid to serve drinks; you’re not a social worker, right?
Continue reading “Drinking While Pregnant No Way, Baby!” »
What’s your earliest childhood memory? Most of us have been asked that at some point in our lives. It’s up there with those other classic questions, such as: What would you do if you won the Lottery?, What’s your favourite Beatles song? and Where were you when Timmy Mallet first burst onto the scene? (Well, perhaps not that last one; but you get the gist!).
The question about childhood memories is always a funny one. Why? Because many of us can remember, for example, playing in the sandpit or running after an ice cream van when we were little. But we couldn’t tell you what we had for tea last night!
Where memories are kept
Human memory is made up of two parts a) short-term memory, and b) long-term memory. Knowledge, experiences, and, well, memories are stored away somewhere in long-term memory (in a kind of ‘bank’). But some memories (usually of traumatic experiences) are simply too suppressed: buried deep in our subconscious, never to resurface in our lifetimes.
Continue reading “Why Does Alcoholism Cause Memory Loss?” »
CASE STUDY: Adrian in Belgravia (London)
Adrian is a venture capitalist. If someone comes to him with an idea for a promising business venture (or they already have a small, fast-growing company that cannot raise funds on the stock market), he considers investing in it. He fronts the money, and then sits back and waits for his outlay to pay dividends later on. The guy is a multi-millionaire with an eye for the main chance. But his smartest investment of all was in himself (and it didn’t cost him £millions).
Going to Rehab was the best money I ever spent. If I hadn’t finally faced up to my addiction,
I’d probably be dead by now, to be quite honest.
Continue reading “Alcoholism Rehab My Best Investment Ever” »
Life-Transforming? Or just All Talk?
These days, it seems you can get counselling for anything, doesn’t it? Even hamster counselling is available for those with a rodent struggling with ‘issues’! But seriously; the scope and wide availability of counselling is almost impossible to quantify. And what a far cry all this is from previous eras when people kept their problems to themselves, maintaining a stiff upper lip, suffering in silence (Which is never a good idea.)
Who needs counselling most?
The two most common troubles that people seek counselling for in the UK are depressive illness and relationship problems. Coming a close third is counselling for alcoholism. But does it work? Can it really be life-transforming? Can talking with a trained professional for an hour a week about alcoholism really lead to kicking the booze?
Continue reading “Alcoholism Counselling” »
What do you get for your money?
The ‘problem’ with celebrities, sports stars and other well-known people being in the newspapers due to them entering Rehab, is that non-famous alcoholics often assume you have to be a millionaire to afford Rehab Treatment.
Continue reading “About Alcoholism Rehab Costs” »
No one knows you like your family. Is that really true? Not according to many families across the country! Thousands have had a secret drinker amongst them for some time, and didn’t have a clue.
Continue reading “Have You Got a Secret Drinker in the Family?” »
CASE STUDY: Celia in Chalfont St Giles
Here’s the thing. You don’t approve of your teenage daughter’s boyfriend, but to voice your concerns will surely only result in one outcome: a strengthening of her determination to continue the relationship (a digging in of those impossibly high heels!).
But you are convinced that the guy is a “bad apple”, “bad for her” a “bad influence”. His hold over her is increasingly becoming a concern, in fact. Her behaviour is now shaped by him. The way she comes across, her reactions to remarks and situations, her decisions, her attitude… The guy she’s now involved with seems to be somehow determining all of it.
All you want to do is send him packing and to get your darling daughter back (doesn’t seem long since she was playing with Barbie, does it!), but there appears to be no way to do it; other than to bide your time…
Your friends have told you not to interfere, but to simply wait until your daughter realises for herself what a creep her boyfriend is, until she finally decides for herself to finally give him the elbow, to ‘kick her addiction’, which most teenage girls invariably do.
Continue reading “I Sent my Daughter to Alcoholism Rehab” »
CASE STUDY: Saskia in York
We’ve all done it: had too much to drink, made a fool of ourselves, done things we’ve felt utterly mortified about the next day. But usually, it’s soon all forgotten. After all, another week soon passes, another weekend looms up again suddenly, and the next thing you know, it’s time to, well, go drinking again.
But alcohol-fuelled behaviour can change some people’s lives for ever.
Continue reading “About Alcoholism and Promiscuity” »
CASE STUDY: Jonathan in Cheshire
Women like a big man, don’t they? By that we mean an Alpha male, a super-confident bloke (this is not to be confused with super-arrogant, by the way, women hate that), who walks tall and proud, dresses well, knows how to flirt, is decisive, naturally commands respect, is decisive, attracts others to him, is decisive…
Continue reading “About Alcoholism and Erectile Dysfunction” »
Becoming an expert in any discipline takes patience, dedication and a motive for applying oneself: a reason why. Becoming a ‘drinking specialist’ (avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, and drinking sensibly instead*) is no different!
* According to Alcohol Concern.org, men should not regularly drink more than three to four units of alcohol per day. Women should not regularly drink more than two to three units of alcohol per day
Continue reading “Beat Alcoholism – And Set Yourself Free” »
Alcoholism detox (short for detoxification) is a bit like a spring clean: ‘stuff’ that has accumulated over time needs to be cleared out, got rid of, binned from your body. It can be tough, but once done, you’ll immediately begin to feel better.
Detox is ‘just the beginning’
If you drink too much and are desperate to change – to live a full and happy life in which alcohol plays no part – then opting for a tailored treatment programme at an Addiction Rehabilitation Clinic is undoubtedly your best bet. As well as detox, your programme could have other modules incorporated into it; modules like these:
· Psychotherapy (both group and individual)
· CBT (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy)
· 12-Steps Abstinence-Based Therapy
· Nutritional Support
· Family Support
· Alcoholics Anonymous
· Relapse Prevention, and even an
· Aftercare Programme
Continue reading “Alcoholism Detox – Don’t Try This at Home” »
You drink heavily. Each week, you notice your alcohol consumption level rising. And as your alcohol tolerance level increases in tandem, you find yourself caught in a trap from which there seems no escape: the more you drink, the more you can drink; and the buzz that alcohol gives you only comes over you if you imbibe a huge amount (i.e. a couple of pints “Just won’t do it, mate”).
You know you need to do something about your problem
…But it’s your problem that’s stopping you from taking that step. This is exactly the situation Shelley – a Scarborough-based mature student – found herself in three years ago: “Back then, my life was a mess. Over time, I’d lost my marriage, friends and eventually my job, all because of my binge drinking. Drink turned me into a monster. Everyone ignored my phone calls, e-mails and texts. In the end, I had no one. No one at all.”
Continue reading “Why You Don’t Have to Cope with Alcoholism Alone” »
CASE STUDY: Edward in Newcastle
Binge drinking is bad for your health. Fact. At most hospitals, health centres, GP surgeries, pregnancy clinics and other health facilities across the UK, you are sure to find leaflets and posters designed to hammer home that message: excessive alcohol consumption can seriously damage both your physical and mental wellbeing, and it can even kill you (or someone else: a family member, friend, colleague or someone you don’t even know).
So you’ve finally done it. After much coaxing and cajoling by family and friends; after weeks, months (or possibly even years) of putting it off, you’ve decided to take the plunge: to seek help for your drinking problem. You’ve resolved to once-and-for-all get expert advice and guidance from professionals experienced in offering a range of Alcoholism Rehab Treatment Programmes and Clinics that can include all this: Continue reading “Thinking Of Going On A Bender Pre-Rehab? Think Again!” »
CASE STUDY: Rob & Rachel in Brighton
A black eye. A ruptured cheekbone. A broken nose. Multiple bruises
No, that information is not taken from a doctor’s report detailing a boxer’s injuries after a KO defeat, it is from notes written down by a nurse at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital after examining a man, Rob, who had arrived their by ambulance on Christmas Eve. Continue reading “Alcohol-Free Living – You Can’t Beat It” »
Jazz. It’s what musicians play when they don’t know how to write a proper, foot-tapping, everybody sing along with the chorus, tune, isn’t it? As long as the serious-looking and bespeckled Miles Davis and John Coltrane-worshipping string pluckers and muted trumpet blowers all start and finish together, that’s usually enough to keep a Jazz crowd happy.
It always comes across as being like a little club too, doesn’t it the Jazz world: a society, a closed shop, a cult or a sect that only a certain type of person can join.
What has all this got to do with drinking, or rather quitting drinking?
Well, there are parallels between the exclusivity that the Jazz scene exudes and great British public’s common perception of alcoholism, problem drinkers, raging alcoholics. That is: an alcoholic is certain type.
Alcoholism – NO ONE is safe
The truth is that anyone can become an alcoholic. Alcoholism is inclusive not exclusive. If you are as poor as a church mouse or as rich as Croesus, the demon drink can take a hold of your life, and gradually destroy it. If you are as brainy as Einstein or have an IQ that’s as low as a baboon’s hairline, if you take on the booze, you’ll lose. Lose what? Probably the LOT: your significant other, your kids, your friends, financial security, your physical health, and probably your mind.
The good news? There are steps you can take to take control of and reduce your drinking and even to give up alcohol altogether. And this is where alcohol and Rehab share common ground: neither discriminates.
Rehab is not just for ‘a certain type’
That’s right. Alcohol Rehab Treatment Programmes are not solely tailored towards a particular demographic, a ‘class’ of person, a ‘type’. They are open to everyone.
To find a facility that is both right for you and suited to your budget you don’t have to spend hours on the Internet researching Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Centres throughout the UK. For confidential advice leading to a stress-free immediate admission onto a Rehab Programme that could include all this:
- Psychotherapy (both group and individual)
- CBT (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy)
- 12-Steps Abstinence Based Therapy
- Nutritional Support
- Family support
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Relapse Prevention, and an
- Aftercare Programme
simply click here or call 0845 680 4902 NOW (in confidence).
You’re worried sick about a drink problem. Not yours; you’re teetotal, abstemious, as dry as a Benedictine Nun’s… habit after it’s been in the convent tumble dryer for a good hour (be sure to empty the fluff filter before loading, ladies).
No, it’s your brother’s binge drinking that’s keeping you awake at night. Or maybe it’s your boyfriend’s boozing you’re worried about? Or how about your mother? Or then again it could be your father, son, daughter, best mate or a work colleague you’re fretting about in the small hours (while they’re probably tucked up in their jimjams enjoying an alcohol-induced deep sleep. Ironic, ain’t it!).
Continue reading “Beating Alcoholism – Time to Intervene?” »
OK, as a fully paid-up member of Britain’s massively subscribed Hidden Drinkers Club, you’re confident that you’re doing a great job of keeping your excessive alcohol consumption under wraps. After all, you’re no mug; you’re a functioning alcoholic: a well educated and financially secure middle class professional, aren’t you? Despite regularly knocking back copious amounts of booze behind closed doors, to the outside world you seem in full control of yourself: your career, your future, your life. And nobody around you ever ‘feels a thing’!
– Something to Chew Over…
When you’re peckish, there’s nothing worse than someone suggesting that you: “Have an apple” or, “Enjoy a lovely raw carrot”, or even: “Make a vitamin-packed smoothie!” is there? What you want is a ‘grab bag’ of crisps, a king-size chocolate bar, a take-way sausage roll smothered with ketchup, or maybe even a Scooby Doo monster sandwich (remember them?).
To hear: “Just think! If you have a fruit salad, you’ll get a delicious snack AND a shed-load of vitamins all rolled into one!” just doesn’t do it, does it?
Are you rapidly turning into the last person you thought you’d ever be (i.e. the archetypical pub bore?). Do you always drink to get drunk, rather than being a friendly ‘social drinker’?
If your answer to these questions is Yes, chances are that – because you’re a raging alcoholic (and whether you like it or not; you are) – you almost certainly also do all this:
CASE STUDY: Hannah in Bexhill
A heaving club on a Saturday night: music thumping, strobe lights swirling, glitter-balls twinkling, drink flowing… If you’re up for a great night out; in such an electric atmosphere, what more do you need?
Well, no-one needs this:
At the end of September last year, 24-year-old Hannah, a hotel receptionist in Sussex, had spent the entire week looking forward to her Saturday night out with the girls. It’s what they live for. But it certainly isn’t something they’d die for. Hannah nearly did though: “When you go out for the night, you expect to come home again. I didn’t – I came out of a coma in my local hospital’s ICU* months after someone spiked my drink in a club. I’m lucky to be alive.”
* Intensive Care Unit
CASE STUDY: Caroline & Tony in Swindon
The things we all say, eh? Not when we’ve had a drink; but when we’re sober, clear-headed, lucid, and often spouting more guff than when we’re three sheets to the wind:
“I love you so much, darling, I promise I’ll kick the booze soon. I give you my word.”
“I’ll stop drinking from Monday. I’m actually quite looking forward to turning over a new leaf!”
“Alcohol is my God? Are you kidding? You are my priority. You and the kids.” Continue reading “Alcoholism – Time to End the Affair?” »
-Thousands of people, actually.
Do you care for someone with a drink problem? You do? Right. Bet you don’t feel like a ‘real’ carer though, do you? You know the carers we mean; they are the ones you see on NHS Carers Direct posters helping an elderly person, a disabled child, someone with cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, or Special Needs.
Those smiling, compassionate, gentle souls, who play a critical role in society, personify everything we think of when we hear the word ‘carer’, don’t they? Continue reading “Alcoholism. Who Cares?” »
Seeking help for alcoholism…. You know you should do something about your increasing alcohol consumption, but there are so many reasons to put off trying Rehab, aren’t there?
At Private Alcoholism Rehab Clinics across the country the vastly experienced personnel have heard it all: the excuses people ring up and give (or send via e-mail) for not turning up for the first day of their Treatment Programme, that is. Continue reading “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Rehab” »
How alcohol-free living promotes better sleep
Annoyed about the misleading headline? Feeling short-changed because you thought you were about to enjoy a highly charged article that would make Fifty Shades of Grey read like Janet & John? Gutted because the notion of learning how to catapult your sex life into another stratosphere appeals immensely (if you could just kick the booze)? Continue reading “Quit Drinking and Instantly Become AMAZING in Bed” »
It’s official: alcohol is good for you. No, really; according to unconfirmed reports (that you should take not with a pinch of salt, but a veritable handful), alcohol consumed in moderation is thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease. It can also keep you safe from blood clots – through raising ‘good’ cholesterol concentrations in the blood. Continue reading “Alcohol – How much is too much?” »
It’s Saturday night in Cardiff…
A rugby team strolls into a pub. After a tough match on a rain-lashed, windswept quagmire, fifteen strapping lads are now showered, dressed, reeking of Paco Rabanne, and bent on having a rip-roaring night on the town. Continue reading “How to Say No When Others Pressurise You into Drinking” »
CASE STUDY: Amanda in Berkshire
“It was only the odd drink,” Amanda explained, two years after giving birth. “A chilled glass of wine after work, usually – served in a small glass. I thought, what harm could it do? It’s not as if I was secretly binge drinking at home seven nights per week, or always going out on the town with my girlfriends. I’d have a wine on a Friday night, and then perhaps at home on a Saturday or Sunday evening while unwinding in front of the television.” Continue reading “Drinking While Pregnant. What Are the Dangers?” »
You’re a middle class professional and a parent of young children. After another long day at the office, you’re home, and so now it is teatime, bath-time, book-before-bedtime, bedtime, “get back to bed!” time, and then the moment you’ve been looking forward to all day: glass of wine time. “At last!” Continue reading “Alcoholism – Are You Caught in the Trap?” »
1) How can you tell if someone you know regularly binge drinks on the quiet?
2) If you suspect that they do, should you tell them? Continue reading “What To Do If You’re Concerned About Someone’s Drinking” »
How alcoholism can lead to male infertility
CASE STUDY: Tom in London
Some women love a bad boy, don’t they? You know the type we mean, chaps: the impossibly good-looking self-declared “toughest guy in the bar”; Jack the lad with his ready wit and savage one-liners; the lovable rogue whose roving eye glints as brightly as his chunky watch beneath the rotating mirror ball and strobes in the club each Saturday night. Continue reading “Time to Man Up?” »
This Christmas, despite tough economic times, alcohol sales across Britain will undoubtedly be massive. When you think about the beer, wine and spirits purchased to be drunk at home; combined with drink sales in pubs, bars, hotels, and at functions, that all amounts to a pretty penny. Continue reading “How to Enjoy an (Alcohol-Free) Life!” »
There’s nothing more mind-numbingly wearisome than an inebriated pub bore, is there?
Come to think of it, perhaps there is… Continue reading “How Quitting Drinking Could Make You Rich” »
These days, people are busier than ever. The demands of work and home can often feel all too much, can’t they? Being unemployed can also be stressful: “Will I ever get a job. Will my life ever change? The world feels like it is turning around without me. I feel out of the loop, and that is making me stressed, even more than when I was in work in a demanding job!” Continue reading “Tips on How to Reduce Stress (In an Alcohol-Free Way)” »
Singleton Claire, 32, in Manchester, is a lovely girl but she drinks a lot. She is clever, funny, brilliant at her job, and is rarely absent from work, but she also tells a lot of fibs about how much she drinks. Continue reading “I Only Had The One – Yeah, Right” »
“The homeless are what you step over when you come out of the opera.” In the Nineties, the British Conservative MP (and now 6th Baronet) Sir George Young said that. Not very nice, is it? In fact, it is bl**dy awful. Young was the Minister for Housing and Planning at the time. His controversial comment created outrage.
More than a million people in the UK are estimated to be addicted to prescription drugs known as benzodiazepines. Read more…..
One in eight deaths of UK adults under the age of 64 is caused by alcohol….. read more
Dentists should screen patients for unhealthy drinking habits during routine appointments Read more….
Death from liver disease have risen by a quarter in eight years due to alcohol and obesity, a report has warned. read more…..
Teenagers with a family history of alcoholism are more likely to develop similar addictions because of the way their brains are
wired, say scientists. Read more…..
There has been a sharp rise in the number of elderly people being treated for
drinking problems in London, figures suggest. Read more….
Evidence suggests that a significant and growing number of older people are at risk of alcohol-related harm. read more….
The biggest increase was in men and women aged 25 to 29, up by 60% and 88% respectively between 2003 and 2010, read more….
Urgent action needed to tackle problems suffered by doctors, lawyers and people in other high-profile jobs, say healthcare experts. ……Read More
AFP – The pressure on London bankers to get to grips with the global financial crisis has led to stress, depression and insomnia among City workers, affecting even the most experienced bosses. ……Read More
- We are seeing a lot of professionals coming in, particularly from London. They are in workplaces where you really wouldn’t want them to be’
- 1 in 15 doctors develop an addiction at some point
- 24% of lawyers will battle alcohol during their careers