The Road to Alcohol Rehab – an increase in drinking and decline in our physical and mental health

Like other health conditions, alcohol abuse requires professional addiction help

Generally, if we have something that is affecting our health, we will seek help from a professional as soon as possible.  However, one of the strange things with alcohol addiction is that we will deny the extent of the problem even when it is impacting on all areas of our life. It may be that our alcohol abuse is so harmful that it could destroy everything we hold dear, including ourselves – but still we will refuse to get help. 

Alcohol addiction is increasing

road to recovery

There are various obvious reasons why alcohol addiction is seriously having an impact on many people’s lives – including today’s younger generation.  Covid and lockdowns didn’t help with the increase in daily home consumption and those with a predisposition for an alcohol dependency were shortening the time for when they would need to be asking for help.

However, even if there were not lockdowns, there are a staggering number of pubs closing and younger people are choosing to drink at their home or at their friends’ homes, as it is cheaper to drink that way.  No one pours small measures at home and so by drinking this way we are drinking larger amounts than if we were buying rounds in a pub.

This behaviour will also be followed by our tolerance levels being raised to alcohol and to get some sort of effect we will start to drink more. So, the double trouble of larger measures and an increased volume. Not everyone that drinks in this manner will become addicted. Some will realise themselves that there is an escalating problem or be told by family or a loved one that they are starting to drink too much and will be able to reduce or control the amount they are drinking.  Then there are those that can’t reduce or control their consumption and it is that group of people that have become addicted to alcohol.  There is no medically proven fact that determines which group any individual will fall into.

Those with a developing dependency though will slowly realise that their drinking is not normal.  They may even find a new group of friends that drink more so that their own raised consumption is not questioned. If challenged by family or friends, they will find excuses as to why they are drinking so much and for a while their justifications will be accepted. Eventually though, alcohol will start to impact on their health, family and relationships, work, social life and finances.

Secret drinking, hiding and lying about drinking is a sign of alcohol addiction

At this stage, there will be a promise to yourself and others that you will do something about it and if it hasn’t already started it is when we start to secretly drink, to lie about our drinking and to hide bottles.  There used to be legally restricted times to buy alcohol in the UK, but not any more and no one looks twice if you have got a bottle of alcohol in a shopping basket first thing in the morning.

People with alcohol dependency find it almost impossible to cut down

It is extremely difficult for anyone with an alcohol addiction to try and cut back on their consumption. This is because once we drink alcohol – even at a reduced amount – the brain is recognises it and the body wants more to function.  This leads to dreadful obsessive thoughts of drinking and will usually means we go straight back to upping the consumption further even though we are trying to reduce it. 

This behaviour is usually coupled with a general deterioration in our life and will lead to major depressive episodes and rapid mood swings.  This is possibly the first point that we will see our GP and at The Haynes Clinic we have noticed the increasing numbers of especially younger people that have been prescribed anti-depressants where the root cause of the problem is in fact alcohol.  If the alcohol was removed so would be the depressive episodes.

Alcohol actually negates any medical help anti-depressants are prescribed for; therefore, people think they should be feeling better with the medication but it is not working and they end up feeling more depressed.

You do not need to reach ‘rock bottom’ to get help – just recognise you cannot sort out your alcohol problem on your own

There is a common saying that is used a lot, that people need to reach ‘rock bottom’ before they seek help. This really is not true, but it is very important that people reach a point when they realise that they need help. They need to recognise that they cannot make changes they need to make to their addictive thinking and behaviour without receiving help from others who understand.  Everyone is different, they drink in different ways, at different times of the day and different types of alcohol.  The commonality is that between them they have a problem with alcohol.

Just stopping drinking without medical help and an alcohol detox can be dangerous

It can be very dangerous to try and reduce or even stop drinking as usually what happens is that on day three you can suffer a seizure or fit, which has the possibility of dire consequences and health issues. Many people now realise that the safest and quickest way to stop is by being admitted to a residential alcohol rehab and to commence a medically assisted alcohol detoxification, which is overseen by the GP at the clinic.    

An alcohol detox alone will not solve the problem; therapy and addictions counselling is required

At The Haynes Clinic we will often get family members asking about our structured daily alcohol therapy programme as they also realise the importance of gaining an understanding of the changes that need to be made with our thinking and behaviour in order to get on the road to being sober and to start to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.  They realise that it is not just about an alcohol detox but the necessity of a structured therapy programme and the commitment to a residential alcohol rehab treatment period of 28 days.

Again, everyone is different and to get to the critical point when they break down a small level of denial and realise that they need help will vary.  Generally, if there is an agreement to go into a residential alcohol rehab there is a small window of opportunity for that to happen before the individual changes their mind and says they will try and do it their way yet again!!!  That’s simply because they are not ready to stop

The closest alcohol addiction rehab clinic may not be the best alcohol clinic

Choosing an alcohol rehab is a bit like a minefield but most people will try and choose an addictions rehab or alcohol clinic close to where they live. At The Haynes Clinic though, being a well-established and well-known addictions rehab, we get people coming to us from all around the country and we will even get a member of staff to collect from a home address if the family choose not to make the journey to the clinic. 

When we get enquiries at Haynes, we are very clear and explicit about everything we offer from the accommodation to the daily structured programme and in particular the ongoing support that we offer via our Aftercare programme for those that have been in treatment for 28 days who can come back to the clinic once a week, free of charge for up to 12 months, or attend Zoom meetings if living further away.    This continuing support can make all the difference between getting and staying well or relapsing back to drinking.