In the UK, alcohol-related harm affects all sections of society. In the UK, 20 people die every day from alcohol-specific causes.  In 2019, King’s College London researchers found that one in ten hospital inpatients are dependent on alcohol.  If you or a loved one suffers with alcohol addiction, it can be a very isolating and frightening situation – but help is available in alcohol rehab centres nationwide.
In this article, we cover the warning signs of alcohol addiction and what is involved in alcohol rehab.
Am I Addicted to Alcohol?
According to Jason Shiers, Psychotherapist at UK Addiction Treatment, people addicted to alcohol can still function in many areas of life. ‘The stereotype of an alcoholic, drinking first thing in the morning, can be extremely unhelpful,’ Shiers says. ‘21% of adults drink more than the recommended 14 units per week . Some of these people develop alcohol dependence – currently, almost 600,000 adults in England.  Many alcohol addicts work, raise children, study and run a household. Alcohol addiction isn’t about what you have in life – it’s a learned way of coping with what looks like your reality.
There are some drinkers who become physically addicted to alcohol. Typically, they drink every day, though the quantities vary greatly. There are top-up drinkers, who might have three or four cans of lager throughout the day, through to people who consume far greater volumes and strengths. If you’re physically addicted, it’s essential to get medical assistance to stop drinking. An alcohol detox in a residential treatment centre is the safest way to clear alcohol from your system.
What every person addicted to alcohol has in common is some level of psychological dependence. You might drink after work every night, to relieve the stress of the day – though you promise yourself more alcohol-free days, it’s hard to keep your commitments. Or you don’t have alcohol at all during the week, only to binge heavily most weekends. Perhaps you’ve had bad experiences associated with drinking – and yet, you still can’t keep alcohol in check. Or the idea of going without a drink for several months or a year feels frightening or impossible. Many people also drink to escape difficult emotions or past trauma – though they may not be aware of this connection whilst actively drinking.
Alcohol Rehab – Assessment, Detox, Rehab and Aftercare
If you are worried about alcohol addiction, please ask for an assessment from your GP or an alcohol rehab provider. It’s the first step towards gaining an accurate picture of your condition and whether you would benefit from alcohol rehab.
If you choose alcohol rehab, you should look for a package of care that treats both the physical and psychological aspects of your addiction. A medical detox will address your physical dependence, ensuring you are physically stable as you withdraw from alcohol. Alcohol rehabilitation, ideally blending a range of therapeutic techniques and recovery strategies, increases your addiction awareness helps to prevent relapse.
Whether you choose residential or outpatient alcohol rehab, it’s beneficial to build recovery support networks in your local area. This can include attending aftercare sessions at a rehab centre, going to community-based recovery meetings or working with a qualified alcohol counsellor.
For more information about alcohol addiction, as well as UK-based alcohol rehab programmes, please visit the UKAT website.