Treatment Options For Alcohol Addiction

The majority of problems caused by alcohol can be resolved through addiction treatment at a rehab centre in the UK. Whether you have been abusing alcohol for a short period of time or have become seriously addicted over a longer spell, the best time to seek treatment is now.

You may be exhibiting physical or psychological symptoms of addiction that means it’s time to get help immediately. These can range from blackouts and loss of libido to the craving to have a drink when you wake up in the morning. Help is available at alcohol rehab centres, whether private or funded through the NHS. Here you’ll undergo detox from alcohol and learn coping tools to help you recover and stay sober.

When Is It Time For Treatment?

It’s time to seek treatment for alcohol use disorder when you discover your addiction is affecting your relationships, your work or your physical health and life in general.

Physical and psychological symptoms of addiction can negatively impact your health and wellbeing. You may suffer from cravings, loss of control when you drink and shame or guilt about your drinking habits. Physically you may experience loss of appetite, tremors, loss of libido and skin sores, as well as blackouts after drinking.

If you are addicted to alcohol it will affect your relationships and your work.  You may hide your behaviour from loved ones, become angry and abusive if confronted about your addiction or even steal money to fund your drinking. Eventually, alcohol addiction can lead to the breakdown of your relationships with family and friends.

You may take time off work when you have been drinking or be unable to perform your job properly when you do go to work. This could lead to you losing your job. There’s also the risk of mixing alcohol with prescription drugs, which can further damage your health.

It is never too late to seek treatment for alcohol addiction, and help is available should you decide it’s time to face your addiction head on.

What Options Are Available?

There are several different options available to you when it comes to treatment for alcohol addiction. You could attend a private rehab, spend time in a rehab centre funded by the NHS or seek private addiction counselling. There are also support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous which can help you to stay sober even after you’ve complete rehab.

Private Rehab

Private rehab is a popular choice for those who can afford it, as there is no need to wait months or even years for NHS treatment. UKAT has private rehabilitation centres across the UK and we offer 7, 14 and 28 days treatment programmes for alcohol addiction.

We evaluate each patient individually and this is a key part of our process. A one-size-fits-all approach to alcohol addiction treatment is rarely successful, as everyone’s addiction is different. We assess the addiction and how long you have been struggling with it, as well as finding out if you have any other addictions (to prescription drugs, for example). We’ll also want to find out about your history and your home life, as this can help us recommend the right treatment programme for you.

Rehab treatment starts with alcohol detox and withdrawal before moving on to rehab where you will work with trained therapists to overcome your addiction.

Therapies available include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • One-to-One therpy
  • Grouop therapy
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Art and music therapy

Our experienced staff will also offer support with things like eating healthily and exercising, as this can help you stay sober in the long term. We also offer addiction intervention, so if somebody you love is addicted to alcohol, we offer advice about conducting an intervention or support from a professional counsellor.

Other services we provide include:

  • 12-step therapy – A programme for alcohol recovery
  • Aftercare – This is essential to help you stay on the road to recovery after you leave rehab

We also provide a family support programme which provides weekly support groups for families or anyone close to an addict who is undergoing treatment at one of our centres. At these groups you can get answers to your questions as well as accessing our support network. We can help you to understand that the addict’s behaviour is not your fault, as well as how to implement and enforce boundaries. We’ll also help you look after yourself.

To find out more about any of our services, just get in touch.

How Much Does Rehab Cost?

The cost of rehab can vary but generally you will have to pay for private rehab treatment yourself. Many people assume they won’t be able to afford treatment and that they can’t access the help they need. When you consider the cost of maintaining an alcohol addiction over time, the cost of private rehab is minimal and well worth it to ensure you can live a happy, healthy, alcohol-free life.

Pros

  • Treatment tailored to your specific needs
  • Choose the rehab centre you wish to attend based on location, facilities etc.
  • Option to choose a luxury rehab with facilities such as gym, spa etc.
  • Payment plans which allow you to spread the cost of your treatment are available at some rehab centres
  • Treatment is generally available quickly, so no hanging around on NHS waiting lists
  • A wide range of treatment centres to choose from
  • More one-on-one support to help you overcome your addiction and stay sober
  • Lower risk of relapse due to personalised treatment programmes and ongoing aftercare

Cons

  • You will have to pay for treatment yourself as private rehabs are not NHS funded
  • More expensive than other forms of treatment
  • You may need to put your life on hold for weeks or months to undergo inpatient treatment

NHS Services and Charities

If you think you are addicted to alcohol, your first port of call should be your GP. Try to be honest with them about how much you’re drinking and any problems it’s causing you. They can suggest different types of assessment and support available to you, such as local community alcohol services in your area, cognitive behavioural therapy or self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

There are a number of charities and services that don’t require a referral from your GP:

  • Compass provides substance misuse treatment across the UK, with drop-in centres and structured treatment programmes.
  • Change Grow Live (CGL) is a charity providing support to help you change your life for the better. Their service is confidential and they have an open access policy.
  • Adfam is a national charity working with families affected by alcohol and drugs.
  • Addaction is an agency that can help you manage the effects of drugs and alcohol misuse.

Getting A Referral

Once you have spoken to your GP about your alcohol addiction they will usually refer you for treatment or support based on the severity of your addiction.

If your GP refers you for treatment such as detox in an NHS-funded rehab centre, cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling, you may find yourself waiting on a list for weeks, months or even years, depending on the area of the UK you live in.

Medication

Your GP may prescribe medication to help with alcohol withdrawal. Here are a couple of the most common medications:

Naltrexone: This is a drug which reduces cravings that compel you to drink as well as lessening the pleasure you get from consuming alcohol. Naltrexone is one of the best anti-craving medications and is often used in the long-term treatment of alcohol addiction. It works by preventing the brain from generating dopamine (the hormone which gives you pleasure) when you drink and it also prevents feelings of intoxication.

Acamprosate (Campral): This is a relapse prevention medication which helps restore the brain’s natural neurotransmitter balance. It can help to reduce short and long-term relapse rates when combined with other treatment such as psychotherapy.

Pros

  • You don’t need to pay for treatment on the NHS, which makes it affordable to all
  • You may find it easier to speak to your GP about your addiction than a stranger

Cons

  • Long waiting lists may mean your addiction worsens while you wait for treatment
  • In some areas (such as big cities), you may wait longer for treatment
  • Treatment programmes are generally less personalised than at private rehab centres
  • You’ll have less choice over the treatment you receive and the location
  • There may not be NHS support available in your area if you live in a rural area

Fellowship Groups

Fellowship groups (such as 12-step groups) are when a fellowship of men and women get together to share their common experiences, strength and hope to help battle their addiction and stay on the path to sobriety.

What Is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the most famous 12-step group. It is a group designed to help you stay sober and resist the temptation of alcohol. The fellowship is focused on personal recovery and continued sobriety and membership are open to all. New members of AA should accept or follow the 12 steps laid out by the society if they are willing and able to do so.

AA meetings happen across the globe, so you’re sure to find one near you. They hold closed meetings for those with alcohol problems and open meetings, where family and friends are welcome. Meetings usually last around 90 minutes and can take place in your local area or online. They’re a chance to discuss your experiences and share with others battling alcohol addiction.

How Is It Useful?

Attending AA meetings can be an important step on your road to recovery from alcohol addiction. By sharing your experiences and what has worked for you with others in a similar situation, and listening to their experiences and advice, you will get the support you need to stay on the path to sobriety. You will usually be paired with a ‘sponsor’ – somebody you can call if you are craving alcohol or at risk of relapse, which can be helpful to anybody battling addiction.

Pros And Cons

Pros of AA

  • Support from others going through recovery from alcohol addiction
  • Somebody to talk to when you are struggling with cravings or at risk of relapse
  • Open to all and free to join
  • Anonymous
  • Meetings across the UK and online, if you can’t find one in your area

Cons of AA

  • The 12-step programme may not be for everyone
  • AA does not take the place of treatment such as rehab or therapy
  • You may need to attend meetings online if you live far from a city – and you may not be able to do so if you don’t have access to a PC and wireless internet

Private Addiction Counselling

Private addiction counselling is one just one type of treatment that can help you overcome alcohol addiction. One of the most popular types of therapy used in private addiction counselling is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). There are also other types of therapy available such as group or individual counselling, dialectical behaviour therapy and psychodynamic therapy. You will work with an experienced, qualified counsellor or therapist either one-on-one or in a group (often, a combination of both) to help you overcome your addiction and maintain sobriety in the long-term, which is often harder than it sounds.

How Does It Work?

Private addiction counselling is personalised to suit your specific needs, so you will be treated and assessed as an individual. One of the most popular types of therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) works by helping you to identify and correct your behaviour as well as identifying and addressing underlying problems that can co-occur with addiction. Effectively it targets the root cause of your addiction, which can help you to overcome your problems. CBT helps rewire your thoughts, feelings and actions by removing your troubled way of thinking and helping you to see things in a new and more positive light.

Pros of private counselling

  • Treatment tailored to suit your type and severity of addiction
  • Choice of different types of counselling, such as CBT or group counselling
  • With many different types of counselling available, you’re likely to find something in your local area
  • You can find a counsellor or therapist without a referral from your GP

Cons of private counselling

  • Counselling is just one form of addiction treatment and in order to fully recover from alcohol addiction, you’ll have to go through detox and rehabilitation
  • Private counselling can be expensive and may not be affordable for everyone
  • You will probably attend counselling in your local area where the temptation of alcohol abuse may be ever present

Which Treatment Service is Right For Me?

Although there are plenty of different options when it comes to treatment for alcohol addiction, private rehabilitation centres offer the best, holistic treatment programmes to ensure that every aspect of your addiction is treated. We take a holistic view of treatment which means we offer a range of services to guide and support you throughout your recovery, including:

  • Medical detox
  • Personalised treatment programmes
  • Individual and group therapies
  • Family support service
  • Aftercare and support

Whichever treatment option you ultimately decide to embark upon, you should always ensure that you sign up to attend a fellowship group, either in your local area or online (if you can’t access one in person). This is a vital part of your long-term recovery plan and will provide you with invaluable support from others facing the same challenges as you. You can share experiences, talk about issues and setbacks you are facing and help each other maintain long-term sobriety, which is often the real challenge after rehab.

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