Alcoholism

Introduction

An estimated 1.6 million people in England are dependent drinkers and making the decision to seek treatment can be one of the hardest decisions a person has to make.

Cardinal Clinic offers a wide range of treatments for alcohol, substance and behavioural addictions, which are tailored to individual needs.

Many alcohol programmes start with a detox period, which lasts 7 to 10 days. At Cardinal Clinic this is carried out under the medical supervision of a Consultant Psychiatrist and fully trained nursing staff. Medication is prescribed to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. After the detox period the patient will then be assessed again to look at the underlying reasons for their drinking and to consider how these can be addressed.

It is not always easy to spot the signs as alcoholics can be very secretive and may become angry if confronted. However, there are some signs to look out for.

Symptoms Exhibited by Alcoholics

  • A lack of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Appearing to be intoxicated more frequently
  • Needing to drink more to achieve the same effect
  • Appearing tired, unwell or irritable
  • An inability to refuse alcohol
  • Anxiety, depression or other mental health problems
  • Becoming secretive or dishonest

Causes of Alcoholism

Not every person turns to alcohol to relieve stress, some people do. If a person has a really stressful job they may be more likely to drink heavily as a coping mechanism. People that start drinking from a young age are more likely to develop an alcohol problem or a physical dependence on alcohol as they get older. This is due to drinking becoming a comfortable habit and the body’s tolerance levels may increase.

Some mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression may increase the risk as it is easy to turn to alcohol when you are feeling anxious or depressed. The temporary effects of the alcohol can take away the feelings, which in turn, can lead to increased levels of drinking. If you have a parent or close relative who is an alcoholic your risk automatically increases. This is partly due to genetics, but also your environment, as spending time with people who drink heavily or abuse alcohol can influence you to do the same.

Treatments for Alcohol Dependence

Cardinal Clinic offers a wide range of treatments for alcohol, substance and behavioural addictions, which are tailored to individual needs.

Many alcohol programmes start with a detox period, which lasts 7 to 10 days. At Cardinal Clinic this is carried out under the medical supervision of a Consultant Psychiatrist and fully trained nursing staff. Medication is prescribed to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. After the detox period the patient will then be assessed again to look at the underlying reasons for their drinking and to consider how these can be addressed.

Treatment Structures:

  • Consultant Psychiatrist
  • Medication assessment to include blood screen
  • Individual and group counselling to help the patient to understand their drinking and address some underlying issues that help prevent relapse
  • Family support meetings. There is also individual support for the family, as helping someone with alcoholism can often be tiring
  • Links to local support groups. For example, we strongly encourage all patients to attend AA meetings during and after leaving Cardinal Clinic

We have a 10-day and 14-day fixed price alcohol detox programme that is designed to help stop drinking safely. The packages include:

  • Consultant assessment and in-patient charges
  • Physical assessment and blood screen
  • 10/14 day in-patient care in individual en-suite bedroom
  • Medication to reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
  • Full Clinic programme to include alcohol support groups
  • Literature/recovery information
  • Relatives support

Treatment can usually be started within 24-hours. The package is paid for on admission:

  • 10 days £7,500
  • 14 days £9,900

Medication Approach

You may be prescribed medication to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. There are other licensed medications that can be prescribed to help prevent a relapse for people who have successfully achieved abstinence from alcohol. You may also need psychological therapy to reduce the alcohol craving.

Therapy Approach

Behavioural therapy is commonly used for alcohol addiction as it helps you change the way you act by modifying the way you think. Negative actions often stem from maladaptive thoughts.

Outcomes for Dependent Drinkers

It is beneficial for recovering alcoholics to stay away from people and situations that can prompt you to start drinking again. You can take positive steps to avoid a relapse including surrounding yourself with positive people. If you relapse it is important to reach out and seek help from your consultant.

Find a clinician for help with alcoholism

In order to see one of our clinicians, patients first need to obtain a GP referral.

Our Clinicians