Despite the fact that alcohol is a widely available and legal substance, many people throughout the UK struggle with devastating addictions to this chemical substance. Many cannot comprehend the harm that can be caused by alcohol and will regularly drink above the Government’s recommended guidelines for safe consumption. Those who do drink heavily are risking addiction and may need an alcohol detox followed by a programme of rehabilitation to recover and get their lives back on track again. However, many individuals never get the help they need for one reason or another.
A new report has revealed that thousands of high-risk alcohol drinkers have died because they never accessed the alcohol detox and rehab treatment they needed to get better. This was despite them having been hospitalised on numerous occasions. Between 2005 and 2014, nearly eight thousand people died due to alcohol-related illnesses. A third of those were under the age of fifty.
With the right treatment, those affected by alcoholism can manage to overcome their illness. Engaging with vital services is extremely important as most people are unable to beat this illness alone. Those who do manage to quit alcohol without professional help will be far more likely to relapse at a later date because they have not tackled the underlying issues that caused the addiction in the first place.
There are many reasons some people do not reach out for help with their alcohol issues. One of the biggest obstacles is fear of what others will think. The stigma attached to illnesses such as alcoholism means that those affected are often afraid to admit the truth of their situations. They fear being judged or seen as weak.
With so much negative stereotyping attached to addiction, it is easy to see why. Most believe that alcoholics drink as soon as they wake up in the morning and then continue to drink throughout the day. While some alcoholics may exhibit these traits, most do not. Many people who struggle with alcoholism manage to hide their illness from others, especially in the early days. Their fear of what others will think may cause them to lie about how much they are drinking or hide evidence of their alcohol consumption.
This is very harmful because failure to get help means that the illness is likely to progress to a point where the damage caused cannot be reversed.
Alcoholism can lead to both mental and physical health problems. There are hundreds of illnesses associated with alcoholism including liver disease, heart disease, cancer and chronic depression. For the almost eight thousand individuals in Wales who died as a result of their heavy drinking, the sad truth is that many could have been saved had they reached out for help.
Public Health Wales (PHW) has said the reason many of these people did not reach out for help was because of ‘cultural and service barriers’. PHW is now calling for people to spot the signs of heavy drinking in themselves and others. They say that people need to realise when their own drinking is getting out of control so that they can reach out for help as soon as possible.
The programme and national lead for substance misuse at PHW, Josie Smith, said, “We knew anecdotally, and now from the findings of this report, that not enough people are seeking help for their problems with alcohol. People may feel that they do not want to seek support to reduce their drinking due to fear of being labelled an alcoholic, or thinking that they may have to stop drinking altogether. We need to break down the stigma and talk more openly and earlier to those that can offer help about any concerns.”
For most alcoholics, the first stage in the recovery journey is an alcohol detox where they will begin the separation process between themselves and alcohol. This can be difficult because as the body tries to get back to normal, various withdrawal symptoms will occur.
An alcohol detox should be carried out under supervision either at home or in a dedicated facility. At UKAT, we believe that most people should consider a dedicated alcohol detox facility as this is the safest and most comfortable way to detox. Medical professionals will be on hand to monitor the process and will be able to provide medication to ease symptoms where appropriate.
Once the alcohol detox has been completed, rehab can begin, and this will take place in an inpatient or outpatient facility. For more information on the various treatment options available from UKAT, contact us today. We offer a range of programmes to suit the needs of the individual. Call our helpline now.
If you successfully complete our 90-day inpatient treatment program, we guarantee you'll stay clean and sober, or you can return for a complimentary 30 days of treatment.