News Flash

If you or someone you love has recently decided to seek treatment for a drinking problem, then as bad as things may seem, congratulations are in order. This is a courageous step to take and it's one that offers the best chance of giving up drinking and staying alcohol free.

The next decision is not an easy one, either: is an outpatient or residential rehabilitation programme the best choice?

For some people, outpatient care offers a flexible approach and the opportunity to maintain links with family, home and work. But research conducted over the last few decades shows a clear link between positive outcomes in giving up drinking and longer, more intense treatment programmes.

In this respect, a residential rehabilitation programme has much to offer. In order to stop drinking, most people with alcohol dependence problems need to change both their behaviour and their surroundings. Going into a residential programme assists in removing an individual from the influences that led them to drink in the first place.

In addition, they will also find themselves in the company of people pursuing the same goal -- a powerful incentive to make the necessary changes. Backed up by counselling and one-to-one therapy, this can provide the basis for healthy living in future.

"We like to see ourselves as providing a retreat," says Jill Antley, the manager at Linwood Park. "We offer clients an escape for a short time from outside pressures to allow time for reflectio n and re-grouping. For many, the relief of slowly unwinding in a peaceful, supportive atmosphere has a very beneficial effect in helping them to achieve their goal of recovery."

In fact, she says, there are many situations where residential rehabilitation is strongly recommended over an outpatient alternative. It should be strongly encouraged if:

  • the individual needs to undergo a period of medically supervised detoxification prior to embarking on a period of intense therapy;
  • the individual has previously tried outpatient care and found that they could not maintain sobriety;
  • the home environment offers too much temptation or insufficient support to enable the individual to maintain their commitment to not drinking;
  • the individual is in danger of losing their house, job or spouse as a result of their drinking;
  • the drinking has started to have serious health consequences and the individual cannot afford to waste any time in getting well.

If you or your loved one are ready to experience life without the daily grind of having to drink, effective help is available at reasonable cost. Please contact Linwood Park for confidential help and advice.

Call free on 0800 066 4173 (or if you are calling from a mobile phone or from overseas, call 01226 698 054) for professional, confidential advice on those vital first steps on the road to recovery. Alternatively you can complete the form here on the web site, to be found at the foot of each page.

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Drinking too much - safer drinking tips for party goers.

As Don Shenker, the chief executive of Alcohol Concern was recently quoted in the national media*: "We'll all enjoy a festive drink over the coming weeks, but there is no longer any doubt that far too many people are drinking at dangerous levels."  Although the festive season is meant to be about celebration and enjoying time together, there are many that are drinking too much over the holiday period.  In fact the Department of Health is so concerned about this trend, that they have announced a mobile phone application that can be downloaded that acts as an alcohol tracker.  (see iTunes or visit NHS for more information).

Although this innovative new tool allows drinkers to input how much they are consuming and view graphs of whether they are sticking to recommended units, there is still an element of discipline and pre-planning required to do this.  So, how can you enjoy the festive season, but not put yourself at risk?  A spokesperson from  Linwood Park gives you some hints:

Know your limit - First of all, it is important to know ‘how much is too much'.  Government guidelines for safe drinking suggest that 21 units for a man and 14 units per week for a woman are safe.  This works out at 2-3 units of alcohol per day for a woman and 3-4 units for a man.

Size matters! - Remember that the measurement of a unit of drink is suggested as being half a pint of beer, a glass of wine or a pub measure of spirits.  If you are celebrating at home it is worth keeping in mind that measures will be vastly different to those in a pub and watch out for those specialty beers and spirits that will be more units per glass.

Advanced planning - Before you go out for a celebration, think how much you plan to drink and stick to it.  Also, if you think that no food is going to be served there, eat first.  Drinking on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster.  Finally, think about how you will be getting home and don't leave it to chance, have taxi numbers in your phone or pocket to ensure the night doesn't end badly.

Social drinking - Round-buying is the ticket to disaster.  Either choose to skip rounds or buy your own, so you don't ‘drink to keep-up'.  Also keep an eye on the number of times a drink is topped-up.  Just because you haven't had to go to the bar for a refill, doesn't mean you aren't consuming way over the legal limit.

Pace yourself - Pace is key to a night you will want to remember, not forget!  Alternate alcohol and soft drinks, or dilute alcoholic drinks to ensure you don't overdo it.  Remember the darker the drink the worse the hangover, so go for spritzers or shandy rather than red wine or whisky.

Dance the night away - Rather than placing all of the focus on drinking, why not make sure that there is something else planned for the evening of festivities, such as dancing, bowling, a pub quiz/games Etc.  This will help take the focus off of the alcohol and ensure that the night's fun revolves around more than just getting drunk.

Whether you are planning to party out and about, or at home this festive season, remember that you can be in control of your drinking.  By thinking ahead and planning your evening you can ensure that not only will you have a night that you remember, but one that your body doesn't regret for days afterwards.

If the thought of regulating your drinking seems unthinkable, or you are finding that the need to celebrate the festive season doesn't end on January 1st and you think that you are drinking too much, why not check out Linwood Park's Traffic Light Drinking system to see if you need to get some professional advice on taking control of the drink, before it takes control of you?

If you would like to find out more about drinking too much or need help with yours or a loved one's drinking, then why not call Linwood Park's confidential helpline on: Freephone 0800 066 4173 (or if you are calling from a mobile phone or from overseas, call +44 1226 698 054) to find out how to get help sooner rather than later? Alternatively you can complete the form here on the web site, to be found at the foot of each page.

*The Guardian, Saturday 12 Dec 2009 ‘MP's back alcohol price control to curb drinking'.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 19 April 2011 09:13)

 

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Looking for Help with Alcohol or Drug Problems? We can help, either call us now by landline on FREEPHONE 0800 066 4173 or use this form to receive for FREE, expert advice in complete confidentiality. Alternatively if you are calling from a mobile or If you wish to call from overseas (outside UK drop the 0 and add 44), call (0)1226 698 054

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