“Apocalypse” of alcohol-fuelled crime

“Apocalypse” of Alcohol-fuelled Crime Source – BBC Website https://www.bbc.co.uk ews/uk-scotland-12815538

The head of the prosecution service has warned of an “apocalypse” of alcohol-fuelled crime unless Scotland curbs its hard-drinking culture. Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini told the BBC Scotland that reducing the availability of cheap alcohol would help tackle the problem.

She said alcohol played a part in almost every violent crime in Scotland. Ms Angiolini said the country faced a “real apocalypse” unless it “gets to grips” with over-consumption. Ms Angiolini, who has announced she intends to step down after the Scottish elections in May, said continental style licensing-laws, with longer opening hours, had not worked. “Common sense” suggested reducing the availability of alcohol would reduce consumption and that making it more expensive would be one way of achieving that, she added. The Scottish government tried to introduce a minimum price of 45p per unit of alcohol but the measure was thrown out by the Scottish Parliament.

Ms Angiolini, who has been Lord Advocate for five years, said it was not her job as a prosecutor to provide the solutions to the problem. However, she added: “I do think price is a factor. I don’t think it is a panacea.” She added that education and a change in the culture around alcohol could have an effect. “But we have tried the continental approach to alcohol of having longer hours and cafe culture and I don’t think it has worked,” she said. “If you look at the liberalisation of the licensing laws in the mid-70s and the consumption of alcohol there is a very acute increase from that period.” The 50-year-old prosecutor said that when she was a teenager in the 1970s the price of a bottle of vodka would have been “prohibitive”, costing the equivalent of about £45 at today’s prices. “What I see now, in many cases, is both the accused and indeed victims purchasing very substantial quantities of very cheap alcohol,” she said. “It is consumed on a night out in quantities which, quite frankly, are fatal. I think that is something which is seen throughout the country.” She added: “It is a major health issue for the young people but from my own very narrow perspective, in terms of crime, there is a real apocalypse, if we don’t actually get to grips with the acceleration of the consumption of alcohol.”

New drink-code shunned by health-bodies

New drink code shunned by six key health bodies Source – The Guardian Six health-organisations have walked away from the government’s ‘responsibility deal’ on alcohol, saying that Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, has allowed the industry to drive through a series of insignificant pledges that will do nothing to reduce drink-related illness and deaths.

The deal, due to be announced on Tuesday, will see supermarkets, pubs and drinks-manufacturers pledge to do their bit to reduce harmful drinking, such as labelling bottles and cans with the number of alcohol units. Other pledges will be made by the food and fitness industries. Health representatives on the alcohol panel, which has been meeting for several months, say the government listened to industry and refused to allow issues that could make a difference, such as price and promotion to children, to be discussed. The Royal College of Physicians, the British Liver Trust, the British Association for the Study of the Liver, the Institute of Alcohol Studies, the British Medical Association and Alcohol Concern have written to Lansley, rejecting a deal that they say: Prioritises the views of industry.

Health groups’ proposals for bans on price-based advertising and cinema advertising during under-18 films, and health warnings on bottles and cans, were all turned down. Aims to “foster a culture of responsible drinking” – not tackle illness and death. Does not provide any way of measuring the success of the pledges. Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, special adviser on alcohol to the Royal College, said it was perfectly appropriate for government to take the economic impact of any policy into account, but “it is not acceptable for the drinks industry to drive the pace and direction that such public health policy takes.” The pledges would not give doctors, “who see the rising tide of health harm from drink in their daily practice, any confidence that they will get to the core of how we reverse this entirely preventable cause of illness and death”. Lansley has said there will be a government alcohol-strategy later in the year. But the six organisations say they have seen no evidence that the government is working towards “a comprehensive, cross-departmental strategy to reduce alcohol harm, based on evidence of what works, with rigorous evaluation”.

They also complain that government has not committed to any alternative actions – such as legislation – if the pledges fail to cut alcohol-related harm. Lansley said: “We have made clear from the start that the responsibility deal is just one strand of the government’s wide public health policy. It explicitly excludes cost and price competition to avoid conflicts of interest. The Treasury have already announced a new tax on super-strength beers; the Home Office have made their announcement on a ban in sales of alcohol below cost and plans to tighten licensing laws; and our public health strategy sets out how local areas will be given a ring-fenced public health budget to ensure alcohol misuse gets the priority it deserves. In tandem to this action, the responsibility deal is working with the industry on voluntary agreements to get speedier results. For example, to improve unit labelling. The Responsibility Deal has achieved more in the last six months than the previous Government’s Coalition for Better Health did in a year and a half. What is more, this is only the first step” Alison Rogers, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said there was “a fundamental conflict of interest” for industry, whose objective is to sell more alcohol, sitting on a panel with the aim of reducing alcohol harm. “We know that the most effective measure we could be taking is to cut total population consumption and the drinks industry are never going to do that. Our fundamental concern is that they are sitting at a policy-making table here.

Drink deaths will cost an extra 250,000 lives by 2031


Drink deaths will cost an extra 250,000 lives by 2031 Source – The Guardian Up to 250,000 people could die because of alcohol over the next 20 years unless ministers take strong action to tackle Britain’s chronic drink problems, leading doctors are warning.

The prediction comes in the edition of the Lancet medical journal by three senior experts on alcohol, two of whom are advising the coalition on how to reduce drink-related harm. In a scathing critique of the government’s approach to alcohol, the trio accuses ministers of pursuing policies that will make no difference to the soaring rates of drink-related liver disease. Ministers, including the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, are “too close” to the drinks industry and too reluctant to take effective steps, they say. They welcome the government’s decision to continue raising the cost of drinks at 2% above inflation.

Related How To Detox From Alcohol At Home 

However, “plans to ban the sale of alcohol beverages below cost (duty plus VAT) and to increase duty on beer over 7.5% strength is inconsequential because of the tiny fraction of sales that fall into either category”, write Dr Nick Sheron, Professor Ian Gilmore and Professor Chris Hawkey. “These policies suggest that the government remains too close to the industry and lacks clear aspiration to reduce the impact of cheap, readily available, and heavily marketed alcohol on individuals and on society,” they write. Sheron, a clinical hepatologist, and Gilmore, the chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance of medical groups and charities, both serve on the Department of Health’s Responsibility Deal Alcohol Network along with representatives of the drinks industry.

The doctors estimated how many lives would be saved or lost in England and Wales by 2031, depending on whether ministers pursued a strategy of only minimal change or robust regulation, over and above those that are already expected on current trends. Liver deaths have more than doubled in the UK since 1986. Introducing a minimum price per unit of alcohol and adopting a French-style ban on drink advertising and sponsorship could together see liver death rates fall from the existing estimate of 18,000-30,000 to just 2,500 by 2019, they calculate. But allowing the current upward trajectory of such mortality to continue unchecked would lead to 77,000 extra liver deaths by 2031. However, the wider harms from alcohol, such as deaths from accidents and violence, could mean that as many as 160,000 to 250,000 lives are lost or saved over the next two decades, depending on whether effective action is taken or not.

Historical precedents, such as action to tackle the gin epidemic of 1730-50 and the Defence of the Realm Act in 1914, show that raising the price of alcohol and restricting its availability are the two proven ways of reducing drink-related harm, the authors argue. Yet ministers, they say, have rejected major changes in both areas. “How many more people have to die from alcohol-related conditions, and how many more families devastated by the consequences before the government takes the situation as seriously as it took the dangers of tobacco?” asked Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians, which represents hospital doctors. He accused ministers of ignoring international evidence showing that price rises and reduced availability are the best two ways to reduce the consumption of alcohol. “Just as the government would expect us to treat our patients with effective medicines, we expect the government to take much stronger action to protect people from alcohol-related harm,” he said. “When will that happen?” The Department of Health rejected the doctors’ views. “The government has wasted no time in taking tough action to tackle problem drinking, including plans to stop supermarkets selling below-cost alcohol and working to introduce a tougher licensing regime,” said a spokeswoman. Reforming public health would also help, and there will be a new alcohol strategy in the summer, she added.

Survey reveals cost of alcohol abuse

The price of a drink Survey reveals cost of alcohol abuse Source – The Guardian

The toll that alcohol takes on many people’s lives is laid bare in a survey which has prompted fresh calls for action to tackle widespread chronic drinking across Britain. Alcohol’s role in everything from injury and relationship breakdown to trouble with the police, emerges in a poll commissioned by a group of senior doctors. Some 11% of people polled have seen a friend or relative’s relationship end as a direct result of heavy drinking. One in five (21%) know someone who has driven while over the legal alcohol limit. And 51% know someone who has been a victim of drink-related violence, or has been attacked themselves. The survey also found that 14% of children are being brought up in a family where at least one adult has a drink problem.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), paints a graphic picture of alcohol’s many negative consequences. The survey of 2,221 people found that: – 14% admit they have injured themselves while drunk; 2% have injured others. – 43% know at least one person with a drink problem, and 5% say they know more than five people. – 12% have a family member who they believe drinks too much. – 13% go to work at least occasionally feeling unwell due to a heavy drinking session, and 9% have taken time off for that reason. – 4% of women and 1% of men have been involved in domestic abuse linked to alcohol. – 11% know someone who has had to be treated in A&E because of alcohol. – 5% of men have ended up in trouble with the police for that reason. Young people are disproportionately likely to suffer harm.

Some 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 31% of 25 to 34-year-olds admit injuring themselves while drunk, while 12% and 15% respectively of the same age groups have taken time off work due to drink. “These findings show there’s a big problem in terms of harm, aggression, antisocial behaviour and actually some very sad outcomes,” said BSG spokesman Professor Chris Hawkey. “Dysfunctional and violent behaviour due to alcohol have become social norms. There used to be shame attached to alcohol dependence and its consequences, but clearly there’s much less of that around now.” He called on ministers to introduce a minimum price of 50p a unit and implement tough restrictions on the advertising of alcohol based on those in France, which bans drink ads on TV and in the cinema, and forbids alcohol sponsorship of sporting or cultural events.

Alcohol Concern, which represents drink treatment services, said the poll undermined industry claims that only a small number of people were affected by excess consumption. “This research shows drunkenness has become a cultural norm and is negatively impacting the lives of millions of people, many of whom are responsible drinkers,” said Don Shenker, the charity’s chief executive. He also called for tougher action against drinks retailers and promoters. “Their irresponsible practices are creating the mirage that drinking is a social right with no consequences.

The reality is far from that. What we have is alcohol being sold for pennies and an accepted culture of excess which blights our town centres and affects friends, neighbours and loved ones,” he added.Professor Steve Field, until recently president of the Royal College of GPs, welcomed the coalition’s plan to ban the sale of alcohol at below cost price. “This is a step in the right direction,” Field said, but added : “The policy must be kept under review: if it is not shown to make a difference on the public’s health, and on antisocial behaviour, then I would urge ministers to look again at a minimum price per unit of alcohol.” A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The majority of people drink responsibly but these findings reflect that alcohol consumption is a serious problem for too many. No one thing will solve this complex challenge of alcohol misuse and the Government is taking action on all fronts including banning the sale of alcohol below cost price and giving local authorities more power over local licensing decisions.” She added: “It is not clear that national minimum unit pricing is the best way to reduce harm so we need to look at other options in England.” Return to All News

United States FDA Concerned Over Caffeine

The US Federal Drug Administration has issued warnings targeting specific drinks in a clampdown on alcoholic beverages with a high caffeine content. The drinks in question are mostly seen in the States, and are malt based and premixed drinks. The FDA is concerned that the drinks labelling does not state that adding caffeine is “generally recognised as safe”. In some cases, the drinks contained other stimulants alongside caffeine itself. The FDA website claims that they have data and expert opinion that caffeine can: “…mask sensory cues that people rely on to determine how intoxicated they are.

Kids as Young as 10 Are Drinking and Using Drugs

Edinburgh Evening News reported (22/11/10) that over the course of the year a total of 26 children had been reported for drink and drug misuse. Among them were four 10 year olds, all of which were reported between April and March. The children were referred to the Children’s Reporter, full title The Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, a Scottish Government sponsored body that focusses on the needs of young and vulnerable children. Although the number is high, it is a reduction on the number of cases from last year, where a total of 53 children were identified, the youngest being 12 years old.

The Edinburgh Constabulary has put the drop down to new education incentives in schools and a focus on illegal sales of alcohol to minors. The Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, Dr Evelyn Gillian: “Parents, teachers, Police and local authorities all have a role to play to ensure that children are protected from the harm caused by alcohol”. “We should be giving children and young people a clear message that excessive drinking has more negative than positive consequences.” The manager of the East Region of the SCRA, Tom Philliben, said that the decline in numbers may be down to “pre-referral screenings”, where-by at risk children are identified at an even earlier stage. He added: “…there is still cause for concern when we are getting young children coming to the attention of the Reporter due to alcohol and drugs issues. Children referred in these circumstances are recognised to be at risk, and require intervention for their own care and protection.” The Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration website. Alcohol Focus Scotland. Return to Abbeycare News. Go Back 1 : Go Forward 1

Binge Drinkers Double Their Risk of Heart Disease

A study conducted by the Toulouse University Hospital, and published in the British Medical Journal, into the link between drinking habits and health have concluded that although their French participants drank more regularly than the Irish, it was the Irish binge drinking habit that resulted in higher levels of poor heart health.

The study compared the men’s choice of drinks, amount of drinks and regularity of drinking as well as their standard of overall health over a ten year period. The findings were that even if the French and Irish men drank the same amounts, over time it was the regularity and type of alcohol that had the most effect on the results. The Irish men tended to drink over the recommended amounts in single ‘sessions’, what is classified as Binge Drinking, where their French counterparts tended to drink smaller amounts, more regularly. The research found that three quarters of the French men tended to drink every day compared to 12% of the Irish, but although drinking more often they drank considerably less each time. Only 0.5% of the French admitted to drinking 5 small wines, or 3 pints of beer/lager in one sitting.

In Ireland, that number shoots to 9%. With the numbers involved, that means that although 7,500 French men admitted drinking daily compared to the Irish 1,200, only 50 French men could be considered ‘binge drinkers’ compared to 900 Irish. The 10 year follow up found that the binge drinking men had double the risk of heart attacks or death form heart disease than the regular drinkers. A representative of the British Heart Foundation, senior cardiac nurse Amy Thompson, has stated: “This reinforces what we already know, that drinking high levels of alcohol can be harmful to your heart.” The British Medical Journal The British Heart Foundation.

Tesco Hit Hard With Pre Christmas Alcohol Ban

One of Scotland’s largest supermarkets has failed a Police sting operation that intended to catch retailers selling alcohol to under age consumers. The St Rollox branch of Tesco in Glasgow, the biggest retailer so far to be hit with measures, has been given a suspension of it’s alcohol license – but only for the self service counters – for four weeks commencing Wed 17 November.

This ends on ly 10 days before Christmas and is expected to hit the store hard during one of the busiest times of year for retail shopping, and definitely the busiest for alcohol sales. Glasgow City councillors were shown evidence that a 16 year old managed to purchase alcoholic beverages form the store using their self service counter, and was not challenged for his identification at any stage. The councillors have been criticised for the limitations of the ban, which some pressure groups believe should be a wholesale ban of alcohol products for the extent of the suspension. Glasgow council in the past has been reported as ‘heavy handed’ when dealing with small retailers failing their first Police spot check.

SNP vs MSPs in Minimum Pricing Debate

05 November 2010 The First Minister Alex Salmond has re-ignited the minimum pricing debate in Holyrood, as he challenged Members of the Scottish Parliament to back the now notorious element of the controversial Alcohol Bill. Appealing to the MSP’s sense of ‘leadership’ he asked them to put aside their personal opposition to the bill; saying: “.. the cost of alcohol is key in terms of consumption levels. Yet, to date, no credible alternative proposals for tackling the low cost of alcohol have been put forward.” “This Parliament now has the opportunity to show some leadership by supporting the minimum price proposals.” The legislation has already faced various set-backs, and has been roundly rejected on various occasions by the sitting government. Return to Abbeycare News. Go Back 1 : Go Forward 1 Return to All News

Former Chief Drugs Advisor: ‘Alcohol More Harmful Than Heroin’.

The former UK Chief Drugs Advisor, Professor David Nutt, has co-authored a paper for the medical journal ‘The Lancet’ that claims that alcohol is more dangerous than either heroin or crack cocaine.

The paper devised a ranking scale to rate the most prevalent illegal drugs against each other, judging them by their effect on the user and on society in general. Ranked among the worst were alcohol and methamphetamine, but among the least damaging were ‘danger drugs’ ecstasy and LSD. Tobacco and cocaine were deemed equally harmful. Professor Nutt was sacked from his role as the UK Drugs Advisor by the then Home Secretary Alan Johnson (Labour) after publicly stating his belief that alcohol was/is more dangerous than ecstasy or LSD.

The public and professional support for his stance was such that he was able, after his sacking, to establish the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs with Dr Les King, who had left his own government position over Professor Nutts treatment. The ranking system that they used looked at each of the chosen drugs and assigned them scores related to the harm they cause to either the individual using the drug, or to society in general.

Areas of interest include mental/physical health, crime and the cost of crime prevention, possibility of addiction, cost to communities etc. The results were delivered in two demographics, the danger to the user and the danger to society. Then the score earned on both can be tallied and the totals show the more/most harmful of drugs. This new scale is widely different to the current system of classification in place in the UK and the authors claim that it is much more accurate and relevant, as: “the present drug classification systems have little relation to the evidence of harm.” The paper also states, regarding their findings: “They also accord with the conclusions of previous expert reports, that aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy.” It was Professor Nutt who, in 2007 and while still holding his government advisor role, tried to introduce the same new ranking system to the UK. The sitting Labour governments Home Office had only recently given an ’emergency’ Classification B to the legal high mephedrone (meow meow).

The proposed system contradicted this move, claiming that alcohol was at least 5 times more harmful. Neither classification method ranks the effects of drugs when taken together, or when misusing two or more over a period of time. The story on the BBC. Professor Nutt is sacked for speaking out. The Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs. Return to Abbeycare News. Go Back 1 : Go Forward 1 Return to All News

Watershed Call on TV Alcohol Advertising

Campaigners have called for a 9pm watershed on alcohol advertising amid claims that millions of children watched the ads during live World Cup games. Alcohol Concern said children as young as 4 watched ads from brands such as Stella Artois, Fosters, Magners, Carling and WKD during the World Cup. Professor Sir Ian Gilmore of the Royal College of Physicians said: “The evidence is clear – children are affected by alcohol marketing. It influences the age at which they start drinking and how much they then drink… If drink producers won’t stop pushing it at our children then urgent and tough legislation is needed to protect them.

Warning Over Parent Alcohol Abuse ‘Child Effect’

Millions of children are at risk of neglect because of a parent’s drinking, yet the problem is being ignored, say charities. Alcohol Concern and The Children’s Society want social workers to have more compulsory training on how to deal with alcohol abuse within families. Their report estimates 2.6m children live with a parent whose drinking could lead to neglect. Recent research suggested that one third of social workers had received no training on alcohol or drugs, and of the remainder, half had received three hours or less.

Alcohol Age Rise Plan Rejected

Scottish Government plans to allow the minimum age for buying alcohol from off-sales to be raised from 18 to 21 have been rejected by MSPs. The SNP administration wanted to let local licensing boards ban off-license sales to under 21s but the move was blocked by Holyrood’s Health Committee. It is the latest blow to the Scottish Governments alcohol Bill. Last week, Labour, Lib Dem and Tory MSPs voted to remove a measure setting a minimum price for alcohol. Opposition MSPs have now said the move to raise the purchase age would discriminate against young people.

Caffeinated Alcohol Ban Considered

The Scottish Government will “carefully consider” Labour calls to ban caffeinated alcoholic drinks,

Nicola Sturgeon the Health Secretary has stated. The move would actually put a limit on the amount of caffeine allowed in a drink by law, effectively banning drinks like the notorious Buckfast Tonic wine, which relies heavily on its high caffeine content for its popularity. Miss Sturgeon has insisted that there is no evidence that this move alone would protect health or prevent crime in line with European Law. Experts told Holyrood’s Health Committee on Wednesday there was no evidence to suggest the tonic wine caused or increased violence. Ms Sturgeon told MSP’s during First Minister’s Questions: “I have consistently said that I remain open to the consideration of any proposals by Labour or others that I would contribute to reducing alcohol related harm.

Plans to Target Adults in Crackdown on Under-Age Drinking

Adults who buy alcoholic beverages for under age drinkers are to be targeted in a crackdown announced by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. He said the measure wa aimed at: “helping the police effectively tackle those outdoor drinking dens where groups of youngsters are supplied with alcohol by one of their number who is over 18.” “Such situations frequently end with anti-social behaviour and encourage risk taking which can adversely blight many of the participant’s lives.” Mr MacAskill, speaking at the Alcohol Focus Scotland licensing conference in Aviemore, said in response to a request from the police he would introduce an amendment to the Alcohol Bill, making it an offence to supply alcohol to under age drinkers in public places.

Health Boards ‘Should Have Licensing Powers Like Police’

Health Boards will be given powers to object to any drinks license under Government plans to enhance Scotland’s struggle against the damaging impact of alcohol related social problems.

Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, will make a keynote speech at the country’s leading conference on alcohol, and will spell out how the Government hopes to put emphasis behind Scotland’s licensing system’s aims to protect public health. Mr MacAskill is due to appear at the Alcohol Focus Conference to promote the governments amendments to the Alcohol Bill, aiming to put local Health Boards on equal footing with Police Authorities and have them notified of all new licence applications in their catchment area. Licensing authorities would be required to seek their views on their policy statemets and assessments on the number of licenses in circulation, a practice some areas already employ, while local licensing forums – new statutory bodies that advise boards on relevant issues – will be required to have a nominee from their local health board. Return to All News

Fall in Drink Related Crime in the Western Isles

Drink-related crime on the Western Isles has fallen over the last three years, according to the islands’ Alcohol and Drug Partnership. From 1,367 incidents in 2007, the number has dropped to 1,039 at the start of this year. The decrease has been welcomed by the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership, which includes the local council, police and health board. Chairman Angus Campbell said work would continue to reduce the crimes further.

Nicola Sturgeon Makes Final Bid to Save Pricing Plan

Nicola Sturgeon has made her final attempt to save her plans for alcohol minimum pricing by offering to introduce the measure for a trial period initially. During cross-party talks on Scotland’s binge drinking epidemic, the Health Minister said she was willing to include a sunset clause in legislation introducing a minimum price. The effectiveness of the controversial proposal in reducing drinking levels would be reviewed by MSPs after a few years, and they could then decide whether to persevere with it. But the opposition parties rejected the concession, meaning the plan is all but certain to be rejected when it is brought before the Scottish Parliament for a vote.

Scotland’s Shame: 100 Extra Pints Per Person

Scotland’s shame: 100 extra pints per person Scots drink the equivalent of 100 pints of beer a year more than those in other UK nations and the gap is widening, according to new research.

The findings were seized upon yesterday by the SNP Government as further justification for its plans for minimum pricing to tackle the sale of cheap alcohol. The reports, for NHS Health Scotland, showed Scots buy on average 24% more alcohol than those in the rest of Britain and have a preference for drinking at home, not least because drink sold in off-licences and supermarkets is three times cheaper per unit than that sold in pubs.

According to the studies, the average price for two-thirds of off-licences sales is just 43p per unit – three pence above the figure the Scottish Government has been using as an illustration for the minimum price policy it wants to introduce. Public Health Minister Shona Robison said the figures proved decisive action was needed and that too much alcohol was sold too cheaply. She was backed by health experts who said that raising the price of beers, wines and spirits, particularly in off-sales and supermarkets, would help address Scotland’s problem with alcohol abuse. Source – The Herald 21/07/2010

Drink Drivers Given Cell Lesson

Police in the north used the humiliation of being locked in a cell overnight in their battle against drink-drivers. A Northern Constabulary spokesman said there were plenty of reasons why people shouldn’t drink and drive, but being locked up in the cells overnight was one of the most humiliating experiences a member of the public or their families would go through. There were 14 people arrested for drink-driving during week two of Northern Constabulary’s Safer Summer campaign, and eight of them suffered the ignominy of being locked up until the next available court date.

Abbeycare 92% Successful Treatment Through Recovery

We have a 92% successful treatment through recovery rate here at Abbeycare, having monitored and analysed completion rates of our clients at Abbeycare alcohol treatment clinic .

Completion rates were highest for intensive inpatient alcohol treatment (92%). We have established that factors associated with treatment completion included a thorough screening and assessment at the point of admission, education, age, ethnicity, and existence of a secondary drug problem.

We have concluded that most importantly the fit between clients and treatment programs is the single most important factor in explaining why some clients complete treatment and others drop out.

That is why at Abbeycare we will work with the person to identify their needs and the best pathway for them on their own journey to recovery by offering the full variety of evidence based pathways.

Alcohol Poisoning Treatment

Alcohol poisoning is more than often a result of binge drinking and if it happens it may be worth seeking alcohol treatment. Alcohol Poisoning occurs when a person drinks too much alcohol in a short space of time. Alcohol treatment can help identify whether a person is regularly putting themselves at risk of alcohol poisoning.

Essentially the central nervous system is impacted when too much alcohol is consumed, which makes breathing and heart rate slow down, and perhaps most importantly while also compromising your gag reflex.

It is extremely important that alcohol poisoning is dealt with as soon as possible if they are not the consequences can be deadly. Beware! Telling the person in question to drink coffee, sleep it off or be sick will NOT help them.

What are the symptoms of alcohol poisoning?

  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular or slow breathing
  • Blue-tinged or pale skin
  • Low body temperature
  • Being conscious but unresponsive
  • Unconsciousness passing out
  • Seizures can also become apparent

Treatment for alcohol poisoning

Hydrating the patient and making sure oxygen intake is adequate is very important to recovery. As stated before, binge drinking is one of the main causes of alcohol poisoning.

Binge drinking can cause a number of injuries, overdoses and mental health problems. If you think you or someone close to you binge drinks, it may be time to seek alcohol treatment or rehab help. When a person binge drinks it indicates that they may have a serious alcohol problem.

Signs and Symptoms of Binge drinking

It is very easy to be and remain in denial about our own or loved one’s addiction. If you recognise these signs and symptoms of binge drinking or alcohol abuse it may be time to seek alcohol treatment.

  • Increase in alcohol tolerance
  • Drinking to relieve stress or emotional pain
  • Memory blackouts
  • Lost interest in usual activities
  • Money troubles
  • Physical deterioration
  • Avoiding family and friends
  • Many failed attempts to control or stop alcohol dependence
  • An urgency to have that “first drink”
  • Has dark moods and is irritable
  • Guilt and remorse about drinking dependence
  • Lack of concentration

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

You withdraw from alcohol only after you have become dependent on alcohol. In other words, once your body and mind have become used to the presence of alcohol in your system, you are liable to suffer physical and emotional distress when the alcohol is removed.

Typical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • exaggerated trembling
  • sweating
  • shivering
  • blurred vision
  • short-term confusion
  • hyperventilation and panic


However, the clearest indication of alcohol withdrawal is that the other symptoms are quickly eliminated when you take another drink. Putting alcohol back into your system makes you stop panicking, restores your composure, and soon the trembling and sweating passes.

Having experienced withdrawal a first time, you may become anxious just at the thought of being without alcohol. As a result, the need to obtain more alcohol is likely to be in your mind throughout the day. Likewise, your first thought after waking up (because you’ve had a few hours without alcohol) is likely to be about drink.

Alcohol withdrawal is NOT a bad hangover, although it shares symptoms in common with a hangover. A hangover is a sign that you have drunk too much, and the effects soon pass. Withdrawal is a sign that you need more alcohol in order just to function, and the symptoms will get worse and worse as the hour’s pass.

If you are alcohol dependent, then withdrawal may be a devastating – and potentially fatal – experience. Neither you nor anybody with you should underestimate the impact of withdrawal. When you suddenly remove alcohol from your system, then you run many risks, including the possibility of a seizure, as well as becoming unable to negotiate stairs, or use cars, kitchens or bathrooms safely. You are also liable to panic, and eventually will probably be driven to obtain more alcohol ‘at any cost’.

If you suffer alcohol withdrawal, the clear advice is that you should not suddenly stop drinking alcohol except under medical supervision. Instead, you must moderate your alcohol intake, then seek help and support immediately to enable you to quit safely and effectively.

Am I An Alcoholic?

If you have asked yourself this question, it is enough to suggest you have a problem with your drinking. Is this the first time you have asked yourself the question or has it been nagging you for some time? Try Our The Alcohol Demotivator Tool

If the question won’t go away, what does that tell you? 

In the simplest sense, being an alcoholic means you have a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol. You know you drink more than is good for you. You know that alcohol is liable to cause you trouble and waste your time.

You know you often drink when there’s no reason to. Your drinking makes you uncomfortable so sometimes you stop for a while, just to make sure you don’t have a problem. Still, it irritates you when family or friends comment on your drinking.

Most folks don’t bother to check whether they have a problem with alcohol, probably because they don’t. They drink alcohol when there’s a good reason, and keep away from the stuff otherwise.

They rarely drink alone.

They stop when they’ve had enough because feeling ill has taught them a lesson about the effects of alcohol. Or they drink more than usual and get drunk as a result. Next day, they put up with the hangover – they don’t pour themselves ‘a hair of the dog’.

Why not just give it up?

Alternatively, why not take a drink and stop worrying about it. If you can’t do either of these things, then you may well be an alcoholic.

That’s who alcoholics really are: people whose drinking causes them real worry, but they still believe that alcohol is their friend.

It’s not your fault: lots of people drink, but some of us pay a terrible price for doing so, if only we could admit it.

You don’t need to be falling down drunk every day, or living on the streets to be an alcoholic. Or will it have to get that bad before you admit you have a problem? Remember alcoholism knows no bounds, socially, financially or demographically.

Alcohol does not discriminate by class, race, or gender.

If you are an alcoholic – or you worry that you are – then there are two sobering (no pun intended) facts you have to know. Firstly, your drinking is bound to get worse and worse until you stop for good. If not halted, it will consume all. Secondly, you probably won’t be able to quit drinking for good without help no matter how determined you are. Or who you are.

You can get help now and no need to keep worrying? 

Contact us now for advice about your own situation. Remember, if you think you are an alcoholic, you probably are. Why else would you think it?

New App Aims To Help Cut Alcohol Abuse

A new campaign to encourage people to cut their alcohol intake by using a smartphone app has been launched in a bid to tackle acohol abuse in Scotland.

The Scottish Government, which has launched the app called “The Drinking Time Machine” as part of its alcohol behaviour campaign, is using it as another tool to shock people in to cutting down their alcohol intake.

Nicola sturgeon said: “With Scots drinking more than any other part of the UK, this campaign aims to encourage adults in Scotland, particularly women, to recognise how much they are actually drinking and to help them make small changes to the way they drink, which can improve their health and well-being.”

The app aims to show how alcohol speeds up the aging process by giving users an anticipated view of themselves in ten years time before and after alcohol consumption.

Visit the iTunes store to download The Drinking Time Machine app.

If the app is too late to help you, why not contact Abbeycare Foundation about your alcohol intake to see how we can help you stop drinking and stay stopped.

Alcoholic Who Missed Treatment In Plymouth Jailed For Four Months

An alcoholic who missed an alcohol treatment appointment ordered by a court in Plymouth has been jailed for not attending an appointment because he was in the pub.

The 54 year old man, who was initially spared a twelve-month jailed sentence on the condition he attended an Alcohol Treatment Programme for six months,  was ordered to appear before magistrates after missing or being late for four appointments at the treatment centre.

The court in Plymouth heard that on one occasion he did not turn up because: “he was on the way to the pub”.

The prosecutor added: “The view of the service is that he fails to take responsibility for his offence and there is no evidence he is reducing his drinking.”

As well as four months in custody, the man was also banned from driving for five years.

New Report In Call To Ban Alcohol Advertising In Ireland

Calls have been made for the Irish Government to fully back the findings of a new report into how to deal with the level of alcohol abuse in the country.

The ‘Report of the National Substance Misuse Strategy steering group’ has suggested a complete ban on all outdoor advertising of alcohol, including sponsorship for outdoor events such as concerts and sports.  This could be an end to some of the world’s most famous advertising icons, such as the memorable Guinness adverts. There is also a call for minimum pricing on alcohol, similar to what the Scottish Government are trying to achieve.

The 2010, the average consumption of alcohol for adults was equivalent to 482 pints of lager, 125 bottles of wine or 45 bottles of vodka – a shocking statistic and something that needs to be addressed.

However, there are some Irish Government Ministers that have raised concerns over the extent that the advertising and sponsorship restrictions would have on the industry, including taxation, so the implementation of the Report is nowhere near a done deal.

Denis Bradley of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs, who is on the Reports committee, told the Irish Times: “This report is not about stopping drinking. This is about reducing the amount of alcohol we consume which is outrageously high.”

Illegal Alcohol Death Toll Rises In India

More than 30 people have now died in the Indian region of Orissa after consuming illegal highly-poisonous alcohol.

There are also great fears that this death toll could rise as there are still 70 people critically in in hospital. The deaths have arised after locals drunk counterfeit booze contaminated with high levels of chemicals that are normally used in very small quantities in the making of some pharmaceuticals.

It is not the first incident of this type in the region and across wider India, and, sadly it probably won’t be the last, as the many of the country’s poorest often see cheap illegal alcohol as a bonus because of their very low income.

Eight people have been arrested in connection with the incident and an official investigation has been launched.

The fact that illegal alcohol production and purveying is punishable by death in the area does not deter criminals. As recently as 2009, 33 people died after ingesting a lethal mixture of illegal methyl and ethyl.

Orissa has witnessed many incidents of toxic alcohol deaths. In 2009, there were 33 deaths after illegal alcohol was bought and sold on the street.

Wales Urged To Accept That Alcohol Is Everyone’s Problem

A new report into the state of alcohol abuse in Wales has asked for people to realise that alcohol is everyone’s problem and not to distance themselves from this ever-increasing issue.

The report suggests that the stigma surrounding alcohol consumption means that too many people are still not honest about the problem and its role and impact on in society.

The report, called ‘Everyone’s Problem’, has been published by Alcohol Concern Cymru and specifically asks Welsh ministers to pour more cash into alcohol treatment services.

The Welsh Government said it has requested more powers from the UK government to tackle alcohol problems, including licensing as well as minimum pricing.

“We would like to see a minimum price per unit of alcohol introduced in Wales but the power to do this currently lies with the UK government,” said the spokesperson.

“We have also requested power to legislate on alcohol licensing but this was rejected by the UK government.

“At a time when the UK government is cutting many budgets, the Welsh Government has demonstrated its commitment to substance misuse services by protecting levels of investment.”

Andrew Misell, manager of Alcohol Concern Cymru, said: “We need to be honest with ourselves, and recognise that whilst alcohol is a familiar part of most of our social lives, it is also a toxic and addictive substance.”

“This is not to excuse individual drinkers from personal responsibility, but we have to recognise that a society that uses alcohol will face a certain level of alcohol-related problems, and these must be dealt with appropriately and sympathetically.”

UK Prime Minister Vows To Tackle Alcohol Abuse

So called ‘drunk tanks’ like this one in the US could be introduced in the UK

New measures that could be introduced to tackle the ‘scandal’ of alcohol abuse and binge drinking in the UK include sweeping minimum pricing and prison-like ‘drunk tanks’ according to by the Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Prime Minister also called for retailers to do more to encourage responsible consumption of alcohol during a visit to a hospital in north-east England.

The cost to the NHS of alcohol abuse has been revealed at an astonishing £2.7bn a year.

Whilst minimum alcohol pricing is still at the forefront of almost all talks of curbing the nation’s drinking problem, opponents of any minimum pricing have called it unfair as it penalises every alcohol consumer and not just binge drinkers who cause mayhem.

One of the tactics that could be deployed by the opponents of minimum pricing is trying to overrule the UK Government with European Competition Law, which stands for the lowering of prices for consumers and allowing firms to operate in a free market.

Commenting on any price increase on alcohol, the British Beer and Pub Association said there was “a danger it would be done through higher taxation, which would be hugely damaging to pub-goers, community pubs and brewers, costing thousands of vital jobs”.

Mr Cameron encouraged the drinks industry to ensure that “responsible drinking becomes a reality and not just a slogan”.

One idea Mr Cameron spoke of is that of “drunk tanks”. Already in use in America and Russia, drunk tanks are secure buildings where people under the influence and out of control are held until they sober up and are no longer a danger to themselves or others. The idea being that this will help free up resources in police cells and hospitals.

Drunks would be transported to the so-called ‘drunk tanks’ in specially-commissioned.

Leading Doctors Predict 200,000 Alcohol Deaths In England And Wales

Alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales could top 200,000 in 20 years if more isn’t done to prevent alcohol abuse some leading doctors have warned.

The doctors, from the Royal College of Physicians, National Institute for Health Research and the British Society of Gastroenterology, have warned that the UK is at a “potential tipping point” and is mounting pressure on the government ahead of its “alcohol strategy” for England and Wales.

The figures incorporate predictions of 70,000 deaths from liver disease and the rest from chronic illnesses such as strokes, heart disease and high blood pressure suggest as well as violence and accidents.

The estimated figure represents the doctors’ “worst-case scenario” of no change to alcohol policy.

“It remains entirely within the power of the UK government to prevent the worst-case scenario of preventable deaths,” the doctors wrote in The Lancet, a leading general medical journal, ahead of the forthcoming publication of the alcohol strategy for England by The Department for Health.

The Public Health Minister, Anne Milton, said: “As the prime minister said earlier this week, we are determined to tackle the scandal of alcohol abuse. People that misuse alcohol endanger their own lives and those of others.

“It costs the NHS £2.7bn per year and in our forthcoming alcohol strategy we will set out our plans on how to deal with the wide range of problems and harms it causes.”

Alcoholic Liver Disease And Over 45s

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that PEOPLE over the age of 45 are three times more likely to drink alcohol almost every day than those who are younger.

The statistics claim that some 13% of adults aged over 45 drink alcohol every day and in people under 45 account 3% drink daily.

The research claims that as people get older they to drink more alcohol with more than one-fifth (22%) of men aged 65 and over-drinking almost every day, compared with just 3% of men aged 16 to 24.

The fact that many people over forty five drink alcohol on a daily basis is staggering, and even more controversial is that those from professional or managerial households drink more alcohol than any other demographic group.

Eric Appleby of Alcohol Concern, commenting on the statistics said: “While drinking is decreasing among younger age groups, the middle-aged middle classes are taking unnoticed risks with their health, increasing their likelihood of suffering illnesses such as liver disease, stroke and cancer.”

We all know how easy it is to use alcohol as a relaxant after a long day, but it very clear that many people are unaware that they are putting themselves at risk by drinking more alcohol than is recommended and that they are aware of.
By regularly going over the recommended unit guidelines, people are putting their health and life in danger. Some of the symptoms of drinking too much include disturbed sleep and weight gain and, more worrying, cancer, heart and liver disease which show little or disguised warning signs.

Liver disease, in particular, is one of the main concerns amongst the medical and health community as around 50 percent of individuals with underlying liver disease have no symptoms. The most common symptoms are very non-specific and they include fatigue or excessive tiredness, lack of drive and occasional itching. Signs of liver disease that are more prominent include jaundice and/or yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark urine, very pale or light coloured stool or bowel movements, mental confusion and retention of fluids in the abdomen or belly.

Government recommendations are for men not to regularly exceed three or four units of alcohol a day and for women not to go over two to three units.

Denial And Addiction

The term denial is often used and associated with alcohol, substance and behavioural addictions.

The reason it is used when referring to individual’s addiction is that addicts use it consciously and unconsciously in order to protect themselves from the reality of their addiction and its consequences.

Sigmund Freud first touted the concept of denial in a recognised psychological way and explained it as an “a defence mechanism by which a person’s own mind would subconsciously hide the facts of reality from them as a way to perhaps protect their ego, or avoid necessary but painful realizations and/or life changes”.

Denial is a way of lying to one’s self in order to protect us from reality. Addicts often use it as a means to continue drinking or using to shield themselves from the outcomes of their substance abuse. All too often alcoholics and drug users blame everyone else for their addiction or deny the very existence of it, as it is extremely hard to come to terms with the fact they are addicts.

Sigmund Freud said that denial is actively used when “a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.”

In a way, it’s as if a person in denial is lying to themselves, but according to the concept, when we are in denial we’re pathologically rejecting reality.  That is to say, a person who is in denial isn’t consciously lying because they don’t even know the truth as their own mind has hidden it from them.

The ability to deny allows addicts to continue their behaviour and somehow justify it in their own brain that they are ‘okay’ and can control their addict, despite massive and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Breaking denial is one of the hardest mental obstacles to do, hence why addiction is such a difficult thing to overcome.

Often, denial in addicts can often be broken down during intervention where friends and family’s persuasive words and actions can cause full realisation in the addict and reduce or eliminate denial all together.

The twelve-step program used firstly by Alcoholics Anonymous  – and now adopted by other recovery groups associated with addictive and compulsive behaviour – uses a system where addicts need to address their denial and the program is designed in order to do this.

Indeed, the very first step in the programme which is: 

“We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable” focuses on the addict eliminating denial and accepting their addiction.

Acceptance and therefore the lifting of denial that the person has an addiction is necessary in order for treatment of the addictive behaviour and recovery.

Denial gets stronger the longer the addiction and the greater the likelihood that residential rehab is needed for the individual to come to terms with their addiction and then start the process of recovery.

Often, many people are still in denial EVEN WHEN THEY ENTER REHAB because they have done so in order to allay family or friends fears. Any good rehab will recognise this, treat accordingly and the client will accept their addiction during their time in rehab.

New Alcohol Treatment Drug To Erase Cravings

A drug used to treat heart and other circulatory conditions including high blood pressure and that also helps relieve anxiety as it is a beta-blocker, is to be introduced as the new wonder drug to beat alcohol addiction, according to scientists at Cambridge.

The drug, already available on prescription, apparently helps alcoholics forget about alcohol cravings and quit drinking booze for ever.

A bit far-fetched? Yes. Useful in the battle against booze? Perhaps.

Scientists at Cambridge University believe that the drug Propranolol may block cravings for alcohol in addicts, even sub-conscious impulses.

The scientists believe that the drug will help prevent a ‘cue-drug memory’ that occurs when recollections of times, places and scenarios that are linked to the addicts previous usage of the drug create an impulse in the addict to drink.

A clinical trial is due to begin later this year following studies on rats that showed Propanolol could wipe a stimulus from the rats’ brains when they craved a drink.

The drug targets the beta-adrenergic receptors in the brain which help to create a strong emotional memory. The Cambridge scientists believe that the drug could erase emotional memories linked to alcohol for addicts’ brains.

Dr Amy Milton, one of the leading scientists in the study, said: “Traditionally, memory was viewed as similar to a book, which can be shelved but never changed once printed. We now think that memory is more like a word processing document – you can save it and then recall it, at which point you can adapt or even delete its contents.”

The clinical trial is funded by the Medical Research Council as part of a £2.7m five-year research programme in to the drug. If successful, which seems to be too much to ask for, then it would obviously revolutionise the way alcohol treatment is undertaken. Suppose, we’ll have to wait and see.

Leading Addictions Expert Slams Russian Gay Rehab

A leading drug and alcohol rehabilitation expert has expressed his dismay and shock and questioned the professionalism of some of the world’s most famous rehabs in treating ‘addictions’ and changing people’s behaviour in light of the recent story about a dad putting his son in to rehab to stop him being gay.

Mr McLean’s comments come after the breaking story of a 16-year-old boy from Moscow who has been medicated against his will at a drug rehab clinic – for being gay.

Addictions expert John McLean, head of Abbeycare Foundation, a rehab based in Scotland, said: “I feel sorry for this boy and outraged that this rehab has even considered yet attempted to treat this boy for a so-called ‘addiction’. The gay community – as well as many other right-minded people – are outraged by this and I condemn the father’s behaviour too. Being gay is not an addiction and to try and treat it as if is in an addiction using drugs and therapy is nothing short of lunacy and barbaric.”

The incident happened when the boy told his friends and family that he was gay. The boy’s father reacted furiously and sent him to the clinic where he hoped it would change his son’s mind – or least force him into changing his mind.

The story has caused wide outrage in the Russia with human rights activists campaigning outside the clinic.

Mr McLean is a leading interventionalist, therapist and addictions expert and has been working in the field for over 25 years, treating people at his addictions clinic in Ayrshire as well as travelling the world training other rehabs in alcohol and drug treatment.

“Psycho-social interventions only work to changed either learned-behaviour or addictive illnesses as they are cognitive in terms of compulsive and obsessive behaviour. You sexual orientation is not a compulsion, addiction or something that can be treated. I’m disgusted by the clinic for even taking the boy in never mind giving him medications to treat this. It’s nothing short of an ill-attempt at brain-washing and the rehab should be investigated and disciplined for this. Too many rehabs out there are just fancy hotels and holiday retreats and are simply in it for money. Proper rehabs such as Abbeycare would never even consider this and in fact, would report such behaviour by parents as neglect and abuse should it occur in the UK.

Does Eastenders’ Lauren Branning Need Rehab?

Eastenders character Lauren Branning has been battling the booze for some time now and things are coming to a head. Her alcoholic behaviour has got her it to tons of bother and, like a lot of teenagers, things will only get worse unless something or someone intervenes.

Jacqueline Jossa 2016 (Lauren_Branning)
Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren Branning Character in Eastenders)

To beat the booze, a rehab has outlined Lauren’s life if she chooses to get help now and how her life can change for the better.

The actress who plays Lauren, Jacqueline Jossa, told the Sun recently:

“I am loving the drinking storyline. It is fun to play around with. You can take what your friends are like drunk and what you are like drunk and then just what you would imagine Lauren is like drunk and add it all together.”

However, the actress knows when to stop drinking in real life unlike her onscreen character.

“You do not drink just for the sake of drinking, whereas with Lauren she needs to have another… and then another and another.” Jacqueline told the Sun.

“I love Lauren, bless her. Sometimes I wish she would just have a lovely day or go for a holiday.

“Lauren is starting to realise she might have a problem, so hopefully when she does, things might change.”

Abbeycare Foundation rehab has simulated what life will be like for the character if she continues on the road she is on, and also what life could be like if she gets help now.

Addictions expert Liam Mehigan, service manager of Abbeycare rehab, said: “It’s a very strong storyline and the fact it is gripping the nation is that it is based in real life. Many parents struggle with teen drinking and many teenagers just don’t know the road they could be going down.

“Naturally, a lot of teenagers drink too much and then as they mature return to a healthy normal relationship with booze.  However, there are tens of thousands of teenagers who are just beginning a life of addiction and heartbreak for themselves and their parents. Ultimately, if nothing is done about it, their lives will become a complete mess, unmanageable and spiral out of control.”

The rehab has created a timeline of what will happen to Laura if she remains drinking and how she can get help to overcome her addiction and get well. Liam said: “The main way to help Laura is to make sure she understands that she is not alone, help is available, and that she can and will get better if she attends to her problem – a problem unattended will always remain a problem. With alcohol, it is a progressive downward spiral problem.”

Although all alcoholics can get better with help, many nosedive before any help is sought.

Here is how Laura’s alcoholism might pan out:

  • Feelings of guilt and remorse increase leading to shame
  • Secret drinking increases
  • Relationship with mother breaks down – blames the mother for all faults whether true or not
  • Relationship with friends breaks down due to impaired thinking, resentments and irrational jealousy
  • Low self-esteem, self confidence and self worth manifest
  • Drink binges length increases to 4 to 5 days
  • Aggressive behaviour leads to more trouble with friends and family and law
  • Tries a geographical escape to Scotland
  • Neglects eating properly
  • School and money worries increase
  • Loses interest in all other activities
  • Tremors, shaking and ‘DTs’ start becoming normal practice
  • Fully avoids family and friends
  • Decrease in tolerance of alcohol, i.e. gets drunk easier
  • All alibis and excuses for drinking are exhausted
  • Completely defeated


Liam said: “Once Laura gets to this point then there are two options really. One is to get help and begin treatment to turn her life around. The other is not hard to imagine: illness, insanity and death are the main outcomes.

“There is another way that’s proven to work. If she gets to rehab and gets the correct treatment, she can beat the demon drink. Change and understanding has to occur. Understand how she thinks, why she thinks it and then get the tools and techniques to not only quit drinking but to change the way she thinks and then feels and acts in order to live a positive, happy and meaningful life.”

And, here’s how Lauren’s life can turn around if she entered rehab:

  • Begins a medical detox to help with withdrawals
  • Therapy begins, starting with one-to-one counselling
  • Learns that alcoholism is an illness and can be treated
  • She learns that she can control her addiction and gets new hope
  • Feels better physically
  • Starts group therapy and meets likeminded people
  • Family and friends notice a change
  • Begins a journey of self-discovery
  • Doesn’t want to run away from The Square
  • Changes way of thinking about addiction and self-esteem returns
  • Continues therapy
  • Natural sleep returns
  • Employment and career opportunities open up
  • Head-in-sand feelings go away
  • Appreciates hope of new way of life
  • Develops new interest and a new circle of friends
  • Group therapy continues
  • Starts to face all life obstacles with courage
  • Steps to economic stability taken
  • Increase in emotional control
  • Ideals reborn and real values installed again
  • Contentment begins and starts to flourish
  • Branning family and friends notice an improved Lauren
  • Interesting, new way of life opens up
  • Higher levels of contentment than ever before
  • Back in Eastenders as one of the more positive characters


Let’s hope that Lauren can get the help she needs and stay in the soap a bit longer!

If you need any information on teenage alcohol problems or would like to speak to someone about your own levels of drinking or find out how we can help a family member detox from alcohol, please contact us at Abbeycare Foundation on 01294 835 900.

What Is A Home Alcohol Detox Treatment?

Withdrawing from alcohol is one of the most unpleasant and toughest things an individual can undertake. The physical and mental demands of suddenly stopping drinking alcohol are hellish – as anyone who has experience them will testify – but they are also extremely dangerous.

Stopping Drinking With A Detox at Home

To help stop drinking and manage the unpleasant side effects of removing oneself from alcohol, a medical detoxification (detox) should be undertaken to ensure that the process is safe. Alcohol is the ONLY drug that people can potentially die from when withdrawing (caused by a seizure or fit), so a supervised medical detox is necessary in order to manage the withdrawals and minimise risk.

There are many ways to undertake a detox and they include residential rehab but many people look to receiving alcohol treatment at home detox – where a safe alcohol detox can take place using the services of specialist addictions prescribing nurse in your own home or safe place.

What’s Involved In A Home Alcohol Detox?

An alcohol home detox involves the prescription of a short course of medication, usually over 3 – 10 days which helps to prevent withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking alcohol. People often get shaky, sweaty and tremulous when coming off of alcohol and often have anxiety and panic.

A sedative drug such as chloradiazepoxide (also known as Librium) or diazepam is used to relieve these symptoms.  Getting a detox from alcohol at home is often suitable for those who have commitments including work and children and can’t take the time out to attend rehab. To this end, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have the correct medical attention and having a nurse supervise your detox, is the ideal way of attempting a detox at home.

The process for a good home alcohol detox should be as follows:

  • A pre-visit telephone assessment to gather any particular special requirements.
  • Home visitation by a prescribing RMN Addictions specialising Senior Nursing Officer who will carry out a full medical examination which includes:
  • Blood pressure check
  • Pulse and respiratory examination
  • A full physical examination as necessary
  • Bloods procedure/analysis as necessary
  • Prescribing of all appropriate sedatives to prevent seizure and reduce withdrawal discomfort
  • Vitamin, anti-nausea, anti-diarrhoea and gastrointestinal medication prescription as required
  • Dietary advice and direction
  • Strictly monitored support throughout the duration
  • Prescribing of follow-up medication to reduce cravings (Campral) following detox – the duration and prescribing to be assessed on a personal case basis
  • Recommendation of/an explanation of therapeutic aftercare package to remain abstinent using CBT/person?centred counselling.

Aftercare Maintenance and Abstinence

The last point above is crucial – aftercare has to be put into place. To remain abstinent, therapy should be sought in order to prevent relapse by identifying patterns of thinking and behaving that put you at risk, and by developing new ways of coping with stress and cravings.

Abbeycare Can Book A Detox For You

If you wish to find out more about a detox at home or arrange an appointment to undertake a home detox, please contact us on 01294 835900  or email: info@abbeycarefoundation.com

Things Now Adding Up For Margaret After Stay At Abbeycare

Name: Margaret
Occupation: Maths Teacher
Age: 34 years old
Sobriety: 2 Years

Margaret had been drinking alcohol for over 10 years and when her life crumbled around her, she thought all avenues were exhausted but managed to come to Abbeycare for a month-long stay. Margaret lets us know of what happened and how she is now, after treatment with us.

Margaret said: “I committed to change at Abbeycare 2 years ago and, thankfully, the change has taken place.

“Before I reached Abbeycare, I had been to see my doctor on too many occasions to remember. I found him helpful and he had given me a few rounds of prescriptions to detox which never lasted long.  He also pointed me towards the addictions team, whom I found ineffective. Looking back now, they were completely lacking in knowledge – they really had no idea about how to get well from this illness.

“The addictions team seemed to be able to explain the symptoms of the problem, but no solutions, apart from cutting down and keep a diary. I thought, if it was that simple, my life wouldn’t have been falling apart. As a teacher, having an alcohol issue caused me all sorts of problems. The board were supportive for a while but as I never really responded to other treatments, I was getting into serious trouble. Eventually, I was recommended to Abbeycare by a friend whose father had been successfully treated there.

“My experience at Abbeycare was the turning point of my life. I learned so much about my feelings and emotions – particularly the fact I was often misunderstanding my feelings and acting out on the wrong ones.  I also learned numerous methods to control my anxieties, particularly emotional freedom technique (EFT) which is simply amazing.”

“I believe it was my anxieties that accelerated my use, then abuse, of alcohol. At first, alcohol changed my inner feelings of over-self-consciousness and shyness into me being extrovert and confident, but it never lasted. Before I knew it I was abusing alcohol every day, which lead to severe stress and unmanageability in every aspect of my personal and professional life.”

“That’s all in the past now and I now live a wonderful life, I really do. My life is now full of awareness and I now have the ability to live each day unchained from the bottle. My stay at Abbeycare hasn’t just sobered me up – it has transformed my life to one bursting with happiness, positivity and purpose. Going to Abbeycare has been the best decision I have or will ever make.”


Read More Success Stories: 

  1. John Reaping
  2. John M Perth 
  3. Peter’s Sober Christmas 
  4. Memories of Christmas Pasts


Client Testimonial – John M, Perth, Scotland

I think it appropriate to record my thanks for the superb care and attention I experienced during my recent 4 week stay at Abbey Care for Detox & Rehab.

Like so many, I was in denial over my drinking problem and did not consider that I could be an alcoholic, so didn’t need help. This persisted for years until Christmas/New Year 2011/12 when family and friends plucked up the courage to address to me what was a very apparent problem to them.

I then realised how low I had sunk due to my drinking and how little I was enjoying life – in fact, I would have been happy for life to end! I realised too the stress my drinking was causing my wife and family. It was my wife who found Abbeycare on the internet and suggested I at least talked to someone there.

With great trepidation and a feeling of real shame, I phoned and talked to Liam. In minutes, I felt relaxed about my problem as I was opening up to Liam in a way I’d never done with anyone else. Twenty minutes later I was booked in for the 4 week session and I felt a lifting of worry & stress as I realised that I was doing something positive at last.

I arrived at Abbeycare not knowing what to expect but with an open mind.

Within minutes I was relaxing by the log fire as Liam took my details and formally welcomed me. I was seen by your doctor very quickly and began my detox that night. I can’t pretend that the first two days were not difficult but they passed quickly and I was then able to fully take part in the programme.

Throughout my stay the numerous members of your staff were fantastic, many of them recovering addicts and fully understanding of my problem. The professional therapists were educational, probing and inspiring and day by day I felt my ‘old self’ returning.

The set up of just eleven patients at any one time was ideal and many an hour was passed in the evenings in front of the fire talking about our lives, problems and hopes for the future, all in confidence. This was, to me, a very valuable part of my stay with you.

I returned home 8 days ago, a bit on edge about returning from the protected world of Abbeycare to real life but the transition was easy. I returned, literally, a new man. I’d learned to become less stressed, less demanding of life – just to enjoy it. My wife and daughter are delighted too, as my daughter put it ‘to have my real dad back’! I now live by the two mantras banged into me at Abbey – “Take it one day at a time” and “If you don’t take the first dring you can’t get drunk”.

I know now that alcoholism is a disease for which there is no cure, but which can be controlled. I am now 36 days sober and looking forward to hitting the 50 mark – thanks to your organisation. I know that there will be (in fact are) bad days, but I just keep busy through them and they pass. I look forward to visiting you all at your planned summer BBQ and to meeting again the patients who shared my 4 weeks.

All the best for the future, and thanks again.

John M

Read other Success Stories: 

  1. Magaret (Math Teacher)
  2. John Reaping
  3. Peter’s Sober Christmas 
  4. Memories of Christmas Pasts



Is Alcoholism A Disease?

Lots of people think it is, some think it should be but many other people think it isn’t. We think it is a disease. Here’s a few points to add to the topic:

The American Medical Association (AMA) recognises addiction as a primary disease – one which is not caused by any other disorder. The American Psychiatric Association soon followed suit, recognizing the likelihood of relapse and the necessity of holistic treatment for addicts.

American College of Physicians, the US National Institutes for Health and the World Health Organisation classify alcoholism as a disease.

“Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking.”
American Society of Addiction Medicine

The American Medical Association declared that alcoholism was an illness in 1956. In 1991, it further endorsed the dual classification of alcoholism by the International Classification of Diseases under both psychiatric and medical sections.

“It is clear that alcohol dependence is as much a disorder of the brain as any other neurological or psychiatric illness.”
World Health Organisation

What do you think? Email us with your thoughts to: info@abbeycarefoundation.com

John McLean 
Abbeycare Foundation

Sobering thoughts for the season to be merry

Catherine (our deputy service manager) shares her story in the Herald. She describes how chaotic her life was during her struggle with alcohol dependence and how she claimed back her life.

Catherine Park knew it was time to quit drinking when she woke up on Christmas afternoon.To view the full article please click here.

Gascoigne faces a long road to recovery

The latest claims about Paul Gascoigne are that he was injecting cocaine and drinking 15 cans of beer and two litres of gin a day, before he flew to the US to get help with his addictions.

Image of Paul Gascoigne

The footballer, who won 57 caps for England scoring 10 international goals, is currently in intensive care in the US, before he then goes to a clinic in Arizona to help treat his alcohol addiction.

He was the most talented and loved football player of his generation.  But he is now battling once again with his addictions that threaten to destroy his life.

As John McLean, founder of Abbeycare says:

“Gazza needs careful medical supervision along with ongoing long term therapy.  There are only two drugs that require medical intervention – alcohol and heroin – and he needs professional help now before it is too late.”

There are serious dangers related to alcohol detox.  In heavy drinkers, the body compensates for the depressive effect of alcohol by ramping up production of a number of hormones and brain chemicals, like serotonin, epinephrine and dopamine.

When a person suddenly stops drinking alcohol, the body becomes flooded with abnormally high levels of those chemicals, causing various symptoms including heart palpitations, arithma, peripheral tremors, insomnia and nausea. That is why alcohol withdrawal is so dangerous and must be done correctly under the right type of supervision.

However, once the detox has been done, a patient is still a long way off recovery.  Good rehabs in the UK advocate following the 12 Step model.  Recovery is a process, not a model. At Abbeycare we promote the 12 Step model, encouraging residents to use an ongoing support fellowship and to better understand the philosophy and teachings that are the cornerstones of many millions of recovering people throughout the world.

The concern around many celebrities who book themselves into residential rehab is that they are simply doing it for vanity reasons, and are not committed to the time and effort that it takes to fully recover from alcohol addiction.

Hopefully, Paul Gascoigne and those around him are fully committed to helping him on his road to recovery.

Abbeycare performs intervention on ITV’s Jeremy Kyle Show

Abbeycare, a leading provider of specialist residential alcohol treatment and detoxification centres, has been working with ITV and the Jeremy Kyle Show to help save an alcoholic.

The episode, featuring 41 year old alcoholic Steven, was aired on ITV today and aimed to confront alcoholics who were causing a major disruption in the lives of close family and other people around them and offer them support. In this case, Steven who had been aggressively drinking for years, admitted to drinking 12-14 litres of cider a day.  His relationship with his family had deteriorated over time to a state where his son and partner were on the verge of despair.

John McLean, founder of Abbeycare, performed an intervention on Steve, live on the Jeremy Kyle show and Steve subsequently agreed to enter alcohol rehab and get the help on offer. John has spent many years developing his understanding of addictions and has performed many successful interventions. In his journey of recovery he studied addiction and recovery at Rutgers University in New York and also worked with native Americans in association with South Dakota University. He has since then been involved with recovery groups for the past 30 years in both the UK and the USA, working with people to help them transform their lives.

The intervention on TV had a positive impact and Steve subsequently spent four weeks at Abbeycare’s private residential alcohol treatment centre in Newmarket.  Abbeycare’s team of specialists worked with Steve, providing him with supervised detox, counseling and therapy, and taught him the skills and motivation needed for overcoming addiction.  He is now 3 months sober.

Following his stay at Abbeycare, Steve highly praised the care he received, saying: “When I came to you it was the very last place on earth I wanted to be but I’m glad I did. Being shown how to become abstinent from alcohol has opened a whole new way of thinking and I am loving it.  I want to thank Abbeycare for their unbelievable work and effort – they are professional and committed people and believed in me the whole time.”  John McLean added: “It is extremely humbling to be able to offer this kind of support to those who need it most.  Steve has started to turn his life around and as part of our ongoing aftercare programme we will continue to work with him to ensure he transforms his life to a place where he is sober and living a healthy and meaningful life.”

Alcohol Awareness Week 2013 – do you drink too much?

Do you drink too much?  Could you be at risk of a breakdown in your relationship, losing your job, or worse still early death?  As part of Alcohol Awareness Week 2013, take Abbeycare’s quick test to see if you may have a problem with alcohol.

This test is the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) and is used by many practitioners throughout the UK to identify people who would benefit from reducing or ceasing drinking.  The majority of excessive drinkers are undiagnosed.

1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?

(0) Never

(1) Monthly

(2) 2-3 times a month

(3) 3-4 times a week

(4) 4 or more times a week

2. How many units of alcohol do you drink on a typical day when you are drinking?

(0) 1 or 2

(1) 3 or 4

(2) 5 or 6

(3) 7, 8 or 9

(4) 10 or more

3. How often do you have six or more units of alcohol on one occasion?

(0) Never

(1) Less than monthly

(2) Monthly

(3) Weekly

(4) Daily or almost daily

4. How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?

(0) Never

(1) Less than monthly

(2) Monthly

(3) Weekly

(4) Daily or almost daily

5. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected of you because of drinking?

(0) Never

(1) Less than monthly

(2) Monthly

(3) Weekly

(4) Daily or almost daily

6. How often in the last year have you needed a drink first thing in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session?

(0) Never

(1) Less than monthly

(2) Monthly

(3) Weekly

(4) Daily or almost daily

7. How often during the last year have you had a feeling of remorse after drinking/

(0) Never

(1) Less than monthly

(2) Monthly

(3) Weekly

(4) Daily or almost daily

8. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?

(0) Never

(1) Less than monthly

(2) Monthly

(3) Weekly

(4) Daily or almost daily

9. Have you or someone else been injured because of your drinking?

(0) No

(2) Yes, but not in the last year

(3) Yes, during the last year

10. Has a relative or friend or doctor or another health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested that you cut down?

(0) No

(2) Yes, but not in the last year

(3) Yes, in the last year


If your total is greater than 8, you may have a problem with alcohol.

IV nutritional detox to help treat addictions to be offered in the UK at Abbeycare

Abbeycare welcomes the introduction of Neuronovo’s groundbreaking rapid IV nutritional detox therapy to help treat alcohol and drug addiction.

Nutritional IV therapy, favoured by some celebrities, infuses vitamins and minerals through the body and has been used to help treat fatigue, depression, ADHD, eating disorders and to improve general well being.

Dr Damien Downing, a pioneer of ecological medicine, who will be overseeing the treatment at Abbeycare, explains: “The Neuronovo IV nutritional detox offered at Abbeycare, is a neuro transmitter restoration formula of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and co-factor enzymes, and is delivered into the blood intravenously.

It is a rapid detox from alcohol and drugs done entirely using nutrition, restoring brain function and balance in a healthy and revitalising way.  Once the body’s neuro-receptor functions have been balanced, clients usually report increased mental clarity, acuity and an enhanced sense of calm, which allows them to fully focus and engage with the powerful educational, psychological and social aspects of the rehab treatment programme.”

This nutritional detox is different from the traditional medical detox used by the rest of the UK’s alcohol and drug rehab clinics, where a drug, chemically similar to the one being ‘detoxed’ (such as Librium or Valium), is given to manage the severity of withdrawal symptoms and calm the nervous system.  The IV nutritional detox, as well as being extremely natural and safe, minimises cravings and is a rapid detox.

The nutritional IV therapy is popular with treating addictions in the US and is a powerful and effective detox, especially when accompanied by rehab.  The success rate of rehab almost doubles when nutrition is introduced [1].  Neuronovo can also be taken orally as a daily supplement to help maintain sobriety after an initial detox treatment or simply as a way of aiding in relapse prevention.  The treatment is not a substitute for recovery but a very effective start to the healing process.  Once the brain and body are functioning better, the patient has clarity and focus to engage in the educational rehab recovery process.

John McLean, Abbeycare’s founder says:  “In the context of addiction, especially drug and alcohol addiction, an individual often has severe imbalances in their biochemistry, particularly in neurotransmitter levels.  By supplementing the body with essential nutrients and co-factors, we can often reestablish proper levels of circulating neurotransmitters, thus minimising the side effects of withdrawal.

This new groundbreaking therapy from Neuronovo is very effective but works best as an adjunct to rehab. At Abbeycare, our intensive treatment programme includes supervised detox, counselling and therapy, where clients work with our fully-qualified psychotherapists and addiction CBT therapists to realise long term recovery and all the benefits that their new level of consciousness and awareness brings to them, their friends and families.”

Abbeycare is the only residential provider of the award winning [2] Neuronovo IV nutritional detox.  The groundbreaking natural treatment, in combination with Abbeycare’s CBT based rehab treatment, will be available as of March 2014.

[1] 3rd International Conference on Chemical Contamination and Human Detoxification, Hunter College, NY, September 2005

[2] In 2008, Dr. William Hitt received a lifetime achievement award from CAADE, the California Association for Alcohol and Drug educators, for the efficacy and science behind the all natural NTR (™) system for detoxification.

You May Also Be Interested in Reading: 

Very Important Points To Consider When Selecting Rehab

Here is some very important points to consider when choosing the right alcohol rehab clinic:

  1. Is the rehab registered and regulated?
  2. What is the staff to client ratio?
  3. What is the maximum occupancy of the residential rehab?  This can influence the level of person centred attention you will receive.
  4. Does the rehab offer detox and treatment?
  5. Is the service registered as a housing support or care home service?  Housing support services are not able to provide the same level of care as a care home service in terms of detox and rehab services. Care home services such as ours provide medical assessments on admission and monitoring during treatment.  This is particularly important due to the level of risk associated with alcohol detox (seizures, liver disease).

NICE recommend drug to help cut drink dependance

The announcement today by NICE guidelines regarding the use of Nalmefene in mild to moderate alcohol dependence cements the place of opiate antagonists, of which naltrexone is another example, in the challenging treatment of addictions. Nalmefene and naltrexone act in very similar ways, blocking naturally occurring opioid receptors in the brain, attenuating the reward systems associated with consumption of alcohol and blocking the effects of opiates such as heroin, morphine and methadone. When taken as prescribed, opiate antagonists, licensed only in tablet form in the UK, are effective in a significant group of these patients.

As Dr Vince Gradillas, Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Director of The Naltrexone Clinic explains, “Addictions, however, are complex disorders, often accompanied by mental ill health, social, vocational or other problems caused by or predisposing to misuse of substances that also need addressing. Furthermore, opiate antagonists only block and do not actively provide addicts with any form of immediate reward or resolution to their distress. Voluntarily taking a tablet, therefore, which does not achieve a reward or reduce psychological pain is often a poor option even for motivated addicts, which partly explains the rather low compliance and relapse rates with this form of treatment, and hence use, of already licensed naltrexone, despite opiate antagonists being available to clinicians and patients for 40 years. Often, particularly for opiate addiction, the process of detoxing itself can prove too difficult a step for many.”

Abbeycare and The Naltrexone Clinic are collaborating to provide services that help overcome some of these difficulties. Abbeycare specialises in rapid opiate detoxes, a five day treatment that increases opiate detox completion rates, and provides motivational and 12-step therapies that continue to play a key role in the treatment of  problems associated with addictions.  The Naltrexone Clinic, located in London, Birmingham and Newmarket, helps to overcome opiate and alcohol addiction with medical treatments.

Abbeycare opens first female-only private alcohol and drug rehab in the UK

Abbeycare has now opened a new women’s only private residential rehab in Ayrshire, Scotland, called Resonate Recovery.

Resonate Recovery is the first of it’s kind in the UK and will offer a detox and rehab programme specifically for women. Similar to Abbeycare, Resonate Recovery integrates 12-step philosophy with innovative cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, as part of a comprehensive 28 day programme however that is specially designed for women.

Traditionally, women have drunk less than men, but in recent decades the gap has narrowed in relation to how much each sex typically drinks. With this closing in the gap of alcohol consumption between the sexes, there are a number of resulting health implications for women.

As Manager Catherine Aird explains:

“Providing female-only detoxification, therapeutic support, and continuing care, we help women achieve the strongest possible start to their recovery from addiction. There are many co-occurring issues women often face in addiction. The highly sensitive issues underlying addiction become easier to work through in the increased safety of a single-gender environment.”

She continues, “For some women who come from an abusive relationship or an environment where male attention is affecting their confidence, a female only environment like Resonate will help them feel safe, ready to recover and deal with their emotions.”

Further information can be found at www.resonaterecovery.com

In the Press: 

First for the UK as women-only rehabilitation centre is opened



Psilocybin .v. What’s Required

Maybe you’ve seen recent press on the psychedelic substance Psilocybin as the next line of addiction treatment.

Whilst these substances and new approaches will always have their place, perhaps what’s most troubling about these approaches, is not the substance itself but rather the mentality or beliefs they can cultivate.

Most modern rehab clinics, including us, are proud to say that we’re 12 step, fully abstinence based services. We stand for the long term emotional work on the self, and mutual aid supports approach, to long term recovery.

Behind these meetings, and therapeutic work, and mutual support, lies the genuine ongoing desire to reconcile ourselves with our personal history, with our previous wrongs during addiction, and to guard against these recurring in future. We recognise these as part of the base cause of our addictive patterns, and aim for sobriety on that basis.

Without sounding too controversial, dabbling with any chemical or substance approach that seems to offer a way out emotionally – a way to continue any level of denial whatsoever – a way to avoid or get round personal responsibility that we have trained ourselves to acknowledge and work through – surely can’t be strengthening our recovery beliefs or attitudes in the long term – no matter how beneficial at other levels.

Again, some will find that these approaches work well, and complement their own personal style in recovery – which we encourage.

Nevertheless, in our experience, long term sobriety involves more than this – is the ongoing mutual support, and self-work of traditional abstinence based programs hard work? Maybe.

But does it deliver a greater sense of knowing the self, the reasons why, and long term satisfaction of resolving the issues at the core? Definitely.

5 Reasons Rehab Cannot Help You

1) It’s Too Far Away

Compared to what? Your long term sobriety? Sorry to be so challenging.

But if it’s your recovery from addiction .v. convenience here, then we need to focus on the long term value you’re going to get from the rehab process, not just if it’s next door.

This means asking intelligent questions, regardless of location, like: 

  • What’s the total occupancy in the clinic?
  • Will, that provide enough personal attention?
  • How many will I be in therapy with?
  • Is the detox specific to my needs?
  • What’s the aftercare planning?


The answers to these questions can determine long term success. Finding the right clinic with the right combination of care for you personally is critical.   Please don’t sacrifice your sobriety, and future quality of life, for the sake of an extra 30 minutes drive.

2) Help Is Not Available

Help IS available. No matter how damaged you feel, how dysfunctional your situation, how much substance you need to function… the help to understand addiction, how it functions, and how to overcome it – IS available.

The support you need, whether family or therapists, friends, others in recovery, meetings, etc, is there for the taking.

You are not unhelpable, and you deserve just as much support as anyone else in life. A substantial rehab program will provide aftercare supports like these, personalised to your needs. Don’t accept less.

3) I’ve Tried It, It Doesn’t Work

Relapsing is not uncommon.

In fact, those who have relapsed for 1 of 1000 reasons are far more likely to succeed – they know the triggers, their rewards, their patterns, their reasons, much more deeply than others, and are often much more vocal about what problems to focus on therapeutically, next time around.

Long term rehabilitation takes practice. It’s a team sport. We’re changing into a complete recovery mindset.

And that takes time, and support.  The fact that a particular trigger, situation, or emotional association wasn’t fully resolved last time doesn’t mean the whole process is broken.

Resolving to understand deeper, even better this time around can be the pathway to long term recovery success.

4) It’s Too Expensive

Private treatment inevitably has costs attached. but the benefits to your health and long term recovery, are multiple.

How good will you feel in 3 months time, knowing you took the action you needed to….took the responsibility, got your life back on track?

In 6 months time? In 5 years?   And, there is no substitute for fast admission, fully supervised detox, and comprehensive therapeutic help from specialists in addiction.

In a private clinic, you have access to the specialist help you need. Personal therapeutic attention from support workers. Aftercare planning custom to you.

These options can’t be replicated externally, but do come with a price tag.   Have you asked about shared rooms? Reduced stay duration? Finance options?   Multiple options are available, and most clinics will work flexibly to arrive at a solution that works for you personally. If they won’t… we will.

5) I Don’t Deserve To Be Helped

Really? How do you know? What events led you to that conclusion? Are they the *only* truth about what happened?   …Or just one version of events?

What happened the last time you *were* deserving?   Could there be any upsides to holding on to this addiction? Be honest.

You deserve the help just as much as me or anyone else on the planet. Let’s get started.

7 Warning Signs Your Loved One Needs Help

1) There Physically, But Not Spiritually

They’ve lost their “presence”, their consciousness, ability to engage with you, or will to participate in even the most basic conversations.

When the addiction and chaos begin to spiral, they’ve lost a part of themselves to it, and are silently begging for help.

2) Eyes Hollow, Desperate
The look in their eyes may have changed. They may avoid your gaze due to shame or embarrassment.

They may be anxious to the point of compulsive or irrational behaviour – all secondary to withdrawal and cravings. They need help.

3) Charges/Drink-Driving/Trouble With Police
Sometimes it takes multiple, repeated legal issues or crises before they decide to take action, but they’ve needed help a long time before this.

4) Evicted From Accommodation
Maybe a flat-mate or landlord has had enough, and decided to impose the boundaries.

Possibly a one-off crisis, or even a slow progression from routine favours to petty theft to feed the addiction.

These are all symptomatic of someone who has run out of alternative ways to cope, who is now run by the addictive pattern.

5) Partner Exiting Relationship
Very common, this one. Has their partner suddenly broken things off, usually in exasperation or desperation?

How many otherwise strong relationships perish, due to the grip of addiction? How many families are split, and children affected?

It usually means facing the underlying emotional issues, and working through them with help, to resolve the pattern at the core.

Sometimes, all your loved one needs to understand, is that help IS possible.

6) Co-Dependence
The normal pattern is for family members to unconsciously enable the addiction initially, without fully realising it, in an attempt to ease whatever emotional pain is in the person’s life.

Later, when already overwhelmingly co-dependent for finances and resources to fuel the addiction, the extent of the problem becomes clear, but it’s too painful to set limits and say No.

Yet this is the best possible solution. Redraw the boundaries and insist they get help. It will ultimately determine their recovery.

And, sometimes, the addicted individual just doesn’t have the presence of mind to do it alone.

7) Extreme Behaviours
When the spiral of addiction quickens, your loved one’s behaviour, attitudes, and language will all change. Increased anxiety and aggression are usual, as they try to ensure access to their coping mechanism. It’s important here to make the distinction between the person themselves, and their behaviour.

Their behaviour, under the influence of psychological, chemical, and physical addiction, is not them. It’s not who they are. They have not changed as a person.

The person you know and love is still there, underneath the attempts to cope. But they do need help.

How Rehab Works

Rehabilitation from alcohol/drug misuse in a private clinic is typically a 3 stage process, with the long term aim of abstinence-based recovery.

Here’s how it works…

There are normally 3 stages within most full service rehabilitation clinics:

1. Detox

2. Therapy

3. Aftercare

1. Detox

Detoxification is the process of the body breaking down the remaining alcohol or drugs in the system, under a custom prescription medication, to relieve withdrawal and cravings.

Detox normally begins quickly, sometimes just hours after admission and the service doctor’s assessment.

Depending on specifics, the detox normally lasts 5-10 days.

As soon as comfortably possible, you’ll be encouraged to participate in the therapeutic program of recovery in the clinic.

Whilst this typically includes activities like the sports and leisure program, alternative therapies etc, the core therapeutic program normally consists of 12 steps and/or CBT work.

2. Therapy

The therapeutic pillars of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and 12 step recovery work, and one-to-one keywork sessions should form the basis of your psychological addiction recovery, and the motivator for change.   The goal here is to address:

(i) emotional and environmental triggers of the addictive patterns,

(ii) deeper drivers behind the addiction such as self-esteem beliefs,

(iii) the overall mindset shift into one of long-term, abstinence-based recovery.

We’re trying to help you integrate here, into an immersive environment, surrounded by others on the same journey, aiming for the same goal.

By taking part in a fully residential environment, we remove the triggers that normally initiate addictive patterns, and provide you with the “emotional breathing space” to make progress on the underlying issues, uninterrupted.

Working with addiction specialist therapists, and one-to-one supports sessions, helps you identify and resolve the reason the addiction is in your life – the purpose it serves.

Once we begin to understand the ‘why’ of the addictive pattern, we can identify triggers and their influence, and regain control of life.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, keywork sessions, and mutual aid meetings usually continue throughout your stay, until discharge from the clinic.

3. Aftercare

Aftercare planning should be individualised planning for all the support you’ll need when reintegrating into life after discharge.

For some, this will be connecting with a personal sponsor, aftercare meetings, and mutual aid supports. For others, there are usually additional options such as paid one-to-one CBT or counselling.

Importantly, the process should be led by your needs at that point – what have you gained from the program? What areas still need support? The more vocal and honest you are, the more the aftercare supports can be personalised to your needs.

During Admission

You can normally be admitted very quickly after enquiring, most reputable clinics can co-ordinate your admission within 24 hours.   Typically the service doctor will carry out an assessment upon arrival, and prescribe the relevant detox for your usage, circumstances, etc.

All this can happen in less than 24 hrs. Is it time for you to begin the journey? How satisfied will you be, in 6 months time, looking back, proud you took the action you needed to take…..having reclaimed your life…

Boos Over Booze

ASDA’s bid to scrap bargain booze prices has been blasted as ‘not tough enough’. Politicians and anti-alcohol campaigners have rubbished the supermarket chain’s vow to end cost cut drink deals. The low cost, ‘loss-leader’ deals meant that the supermarkets were selling alcoholic beverages at the cost of Duty, plus only the cost of the VAT. This approach was in some cases loosing the supermarkets money on these purchases, which they hoped to recover on sundries from people being encouraged to do their weekly shopping in-store. Of course, the low cost also encourages ‘binge culture’ as the introduction of the low prices mirrors the higher prices being introduced in the bars and restaurants. It means a one-litre bottle of Smirnoff vodka will now never cost less than £10.49 and a pack of 20 Carling lagers will not be priced below £7.17. But Nat MSP Michael Matheson – who is on Holyrood’s health committee – said: “Unfortunately this move simply does not go far enough. “Setting a floor price of duty plus VAT will have a limited if any effect on consumption of alcohol – as these prices show.” Alcohol Focus Scotland Director of Services Barbara O’Donnell also demanded a much tougher response to tackle binge-drinking. She said: “Cheap cider, for example, would still be sold at a ridiculously low price. “We believe minimum pricing is the most appropriate way to reduce excessive drinking.” Source – The Sun 23/07/2010

The Majority of Glasgow Violence Linked to Alcohol: Strathclyde Police

Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, Stephen House, has spoken on radio about the link between alcohol and the rising amount of violent crime in Glasgow. He also raised his concerns about the country as a whole, and it’s inability to self regulate it’s drinking. Cheap alcohol deals in supermarkets were the main source of the problem, he said: “(police officers are) managing unacceptable behaviour by the whole nation, but certainly in the West of Scotland police are dealing day-in day-out with people who have had far too much to drink.” “…the £3 billion we are spending on drink-related problems in health and in violence and social care is just money we can’t afford to spend any more.

A&E Patients to be Questioned About Drink

People that are admitted to hospital, or that admit themselves to A&E departments in the Lothian area are to be quizzed on their drinking habits in a new bid to tackle drink related long term illnesses. The scheme was piloted in GP’s surgeries to combat the rising number of hospital beds being filled by alcohol related accident patients and those with chronic alcoholic disorders. By addressing the situation early, and expanding the scheme wider, the health board hopes to improve the overall addiction problem in the area. The predicted amount of people referred to the scheme before the new year is 100,000. Of those, only about 20,000 will actually join on, either through dropping out themselves or not being suitable for the project its-self. Those that do dedicate themselves however, and ‘stay the course’ have a noticeably high success rate.

SNP Alcohol Bill Passed Without the Minimum Pricing Plan

The SNP Alcohol Bill, the plan put to Members of the Scottish Parliament in an attempt to tackle Scotland’s increasing relationship with alcohol, is to be passed by the government, but without the controversial Minimum Pricing plans. Proposals to introduce a 45 pence minimum price on alcohol per Unit have met opposition from all sides and have been scrapped from the final Bill, alongside plans to raise the purchase age for off-license sales. What the bill remains tough on is what it calls ‘irresponsible’ drink promotions at nightclubs and in supermarkets. It also looks to introduce a ‘social responsibility fee’ on all retailers that sell alcoholic beverages, in order to bolster public finances beaten wafer thin by alcohol related violence and health problems. The focus on supermarkets is to discourage what are referred to as ‘loss leaders’, promotions where-by a supermarket reduces the price of a popular product, in this case alcoholic beverages, to very nearly or sometimes less than the cost price. This is done in the hope that it will encourage people to visit the store for this one product and continue to complete their general grocery shopping in-store. Of course, the strategy, which is perfectly legal and within European competition laws, can be misused by problem drinkers that will only visit for the low cost alcohol and nothing else. The Alcohol Bill’s aim to raise the age at which alcoholic beverages can be sold was also attacked as possibly being ‘discriminatory’, and coupled with the minimum price hike it was feared would end in cross-border criminal behaviour. What the Bill does represent is a decisive move towards tackling Scotland’s alcohol abuse crisis. The Bill will come into effect in the New Year 2011, with a ‘sunset’ clause allowing it to be amended and altered after the initial trial period. Representatives of the Coalition government have voiced concern over some aspects of the Bill. The Lib Dem health spokesman, Ross Finnie, was quoted as saying the social responsibility fee was only a “punitive” measure. The Conservatives have already questioned making alterations to the bill in order to protect the interests of shop keepers that do act responsibly. Deputy Scottish Tory Leader, Murdo Fraser: “There is no ‘silver bullet’ for Scotland’s over consumption of alcohol and the most pressing need is a change of culture.” Return to Abbeycare News. Go Back 1 : Go Forward 1

Dundee Looking to Introduce Trial Minimum Price

Dundee licensing chief Rod Wallace is to ask city officials to investigate the possibility of introducing minimum pricing in the city’s pubs and clubs through a by-law. Responding to a report that claimed three Scottish local authorities are looking at bringing in their own price controls, Mr Wallace said that the idea was ‘interesting’ and merited further investigation. The SNP government’s plans to impose a minimum pricing policy has been foiled by opposition parties who blocked the move in committee.

Scotland could go it alone in cutting legal alcohol-limit

Scotland could go it alone in cutting legal alcohol-limit Source – The Herald Plans to lower the legal drink-drive limit could go ahead in Scotland despite the UK Government yesterday rejecting any change to the law. The Scottish Government said it would take action at an “early opportunity” once the Scotland Bill is passed and responsibility for the issue is devolved. However, a decision will only be made following the Holyrood election on May 5. The announcement came after the UK Government said it would not implement the recommendation of a Whitehall-commissioned report by Sir Peter North to reduce the legal limit for drivers from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg. A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “It is disappointing that Westminster has failed to reduce the existing limit. “The current limit simply leaves too much room for confusion and sends out the wrong message,” the spokesman said. “Throughout this parliament, we have been calling on the Westminster Government to take action to lower it UK-wide or to transfer the powers to Scotland to allow us to do it. “Now that they have begun that process of transferring powers through the Scotland Bill, we will take action to lower the limit at an early opportunity.” Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said improving enforcement rather than lowering the limit was likely to have more impact on drivers who “flagrantly ignore” current regulations. The decision not to cut the limit was criticised by motoring organisations, which described it as “disappointing” and a “missed opportunity”. However, the AA welcomed the fact that roadside testing could now be used in court evidence, reducing the possibility of alcohol levels dropping before offenders get to a police station. As part of a package of measures, key changes will be made to streamline the enforcement of drink and drug-driving laws, Mr Hammond said. The UK Government will also examine the case for a new specific drug-driving offence, in addition to an existing one. It would remove the need for the police to prove impairment on a case-by-case basis where a specified drug has been detected. Mr Hammond said: “Drink-driving and drug-driving are serious offences and we are determined to ensure they are detected and punished effectively. We need to take tough action against the small minority of drivers who flagrantly ignore the limit.

Business Chiefs Writing UK Alcohol Policy

The UK Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, has found himself at the centre of a row after a decision was made to include high ranking businessmen from the fast food, soft drink and alcohol industries in the UK health policy writing procedure. In exchange for the roles in these new “responsibility deals”, the industry leaders would privately finance the public health campaigns. The ‘responsible’ teams will be chaired by Ministers and contain other representatives of public interest and consumer groups, but the important roles have all gone to less than desirable leaders. For example: the Chair of the alcohol focus responsibility network – is also (in his spare time we assume) Head of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. On the board for the food focussed network is a representative of Compass, the group made famous by Jamie Oliver exposing their choice of Turkey Twizzlers for UK school dinners. It was not a thousand years ago that the Health Select Committee Alcohol Inquiry found that policies, put in place in the UK to tackle our growing relationship with alcohol, were for the most part ineffective – for the main reason that the alcohol industry held to much sway over government. It would appear that this state of affairs is to continue, the voice of reason being slowly drowned out.

Alcohol And Denial – A Killer Combination

Alan, 52, an accountant from Staffordshire: Denial and alcohol kill people.

Denial is one of the strongest mental barriers to getting well and the fact that people don’t even know they are in denial – deny that they are in denial! – makes it extremely difficult to break down. It is this denial that kills people with alcohol problems.

Thankfully, Alan managed to realise his denial through the programme at Abbeycare but below we can see how strong his denial was just before he arrived. In a conversation – that Alan has helped us recreate and publish to hopefully help other people see their own myopia – Alan tries to justify his drinking by making excuses and blaming anything but himself for his drinking:

Before starting the programme here, Alan said: “Well, my wife has told me to get help for my alcohol problem.

She said she can’t stand my behaviour anymore and it is making the whole family ill.

She is really playing it up. I know I like a good drink and a good night out with my mates, but my drinking has actually been made worse since she started nagging. I started house drinking a couple of years ago to keep her quiet but now she is counting up what I’m drinking, I actually drank less in the pub.

I work hard and deserve a drink at the end of a long day. “She forced me to see the doctor and he said I was drinking alcoholically and I should find a way to get well now. How can he tell that during a 10 minute appointment? How does he know what I have to deal with in my life?

He’d drink as much as me if he were in my shoes. I suppose doctors have to tell everyone they do everything too much. I’ve left the house and I am living in a B&B. I have just lost my job because my boss said I smelled of alcohol in the morning. He said I was intoxicated, and since driving a company vehicle was part of my job, he fired me. He didn’t breathalyse me, so I will see him at the industrial tribunal and besides, I was driving the vehicle on company property anyway, not the public highway.

I didn’t like him anyway, I’m much better out of there. “My wife is now telling me I can only see the children if I am completely 100% sober. My children are under 10 and it will be damaging to them if she keeps this up. I think it’s her sisters and mother who are pushing her to make me stop drinking.

Just because one of their husbands drank himself to death and her father was an alcoholic. They think I need help to stop drinking, but if they just got off my case I know I can do this on my own. I don’t know why she is acting crazy all of a sudden, she knew I drank heavily when she met me, she was the barmaid at my local pub!

It seems like everybody is ganging up on me and all I do is have a few drinks – what’s wrong with that? “I still love my wife and my children, none of us deserves this pain and they are all making it worse. But, I don’t need to go to any rehab, is there any books about cutting down that you can send me?

Anyway, you’ll find this hard to believe, I only drank beer in the pub – now I’m sitting in the B&B drinking vodka because I know when I see my wife she can’t smell it. Her sisters have said they will pay for the treatment but I’m not accepting that, I will never hear the end of it.

I’ve got my pride, I’m no charity case and I don’t really need the help.” Alan lost his wife, children, job and family network. He has the attitude that the whole world is wrong – except him.

  • He blames his wife’s concerns (nagging)
  • He is treating his doctor’s advice lightly
  • He blames his boss for wrongful dismissal
  • He has lost the roof over his head
  • He slates his in-laws for trying to help him
  • He is using the children to state how unfair and unreasonable his loved one is behaving
  • He doesn’t need help, he can do it himself
  • He minimizes the effect his drunken behaviour has on others
  • A book is going to be the answer to this problem

What is going to take get this man to face the reality of his situation?

He has got himself addicted to alcohol and he has to treat this life-threatening illness seriously.

It is sad to say, but when denial sets in there is one almost universal truth before things get better, they have to get worse . . . sometimes a lot worse. They call it hitting rock bottom, the place lots of alcoholics must reach before reaching out for help.

It doesn’t have to be rock bottom; a person can get off the booze bus at this stop. Millions of people have stopped drinking with the right help. Alcohol doesn’t kill people, it’s the denial that does. If you don’t believe you are an alcoholic then you will do nothing about it and keep on drinking. If a person accepts their problem and addresses it properly, their whole life changes for the better.


  1. Alcohol Home Detox
  2. Am I An Alcoholic?
  3. Peter’s Sober Happy Christmas
  4. Magaret (Success Story)
  5. John Reaping (Success Story)


John Reaping – The Benefits Of Sobriety After Alcohol Rehab

Name: John
Occupation: Farmer
Age: 59 years old
Sobriety: 3 years

John spent 28 days in Abbeycare and three years later is still sober.

Focused, healthy and happy, John talks about his life then and now. That was three years ago and John has been talking with us about how his attitude to alcohol – and life – is completely different compared to the dark days of his drinking.

Alcohol gave him a false sense of self and John used it as a tool to overcome his shyness and enjoy many a social gathering. But like many other problem drinkers, the very thing that helped give him confidence ultimately alienated him from friends and family and he was no longer welcome as friends and family activities.

John said:

“I had been drinking since I was 16 years old at local pubs and farmers’ dances. I always knew that my drinking was different compared to my brothers and friends. I thought I was always the life and soul of the party, what I didn’t know was that if I took the alcohol away, I was somewhat withdrawn and uncomfortable in company.” “Most social drinkers don’t need alcohol to be outgoing, “social” and interact at social occasions, I did.”

For 40 years, John drunk almost daily and can only remember certain details of the last 10 years before he stopped. And, most of those memories are generally not pleasant.

“For a long period, I was a problem drinker. By problem drinking, I mean that I was bringing problems into my life like losing my driving license (not useful to a farmer when you are 3 miles from the nearest bus stop, or you can’t take a tractor onto a public road between your fields). I’d also wake up in various places not knowing how I got there.”

John’s drinking naturally got worse after the loss of his wife Anne and sent him on a dreadful downward spiral and he neglected every walk of his life:

“My real drop into alcoholism came after the death of my wife and the only way I knew how to deal with things was to drink to forget. My farm was going downhill fast and farming is early to bed, early to rise to make it work.

“I had been hearing but not listening to my brothers and other loved ones for years as they observed my demise. I was always going to stop tomorrow, next week, after my nephew’s wedding or after the next holiday.”

Being involved in a serious farming accident – which John now admits to operating whilst intoxicated – never got in the way of getting a drink but made him take the decision to seek help.

John recalls:

“The time came to really address my problem when I was involved in an accident on the farm and I was taken to the hospital. I needed a drink so badly that I signed myself out and refused surgery on my arm.

John called Abbeycare and spoke to a staff member and a call back with Abbeycare founder, John McLean, was arranged. John said: “Eventually my brothers arranged an intervention with John McLean of the Abbeycare Foundation and he came to visit me at my farm. At first, I didn’t want to know anything and was rude, resistant and quite obnoxious to him, but slowly he broke down my stupid resistance and I went with him to Abbeycare.

“I had always thought I could fix my problems by myself, but I was down on my knees with this one. All the questions were torturing me, why me? Why is this happening to me?

The main thing that I remember John telling me was that anyone can be a victim, but not everyone can be a survivor.” After being admitted to Abbeycare to undertake a detox and join their highly successful programme of recovery, John sobered up and now lives a life free from alcohol and has the first-class recovery.

He remembers the day he went in:

“I chose to be a survivor and go to the Abbeycare Foundation. Just going in lifted a massive weight off of my shoulders – I had hope for the first time in decades. I listened and learned to make the fundamental changes to my thinking that has taken me to the freedom of sobriety. I always thought sobriety would be a boring, dull and uninteresting life.

I will tell you a boring dull and uninteresting life. That is a life sitting in your house alone with only your bottle for a company and a few dire TV channels and not being asked along family or social events because you can’t control your drinking or your behaviour caused by your drinking.” Life is about choices, but not irresponsible choices.

Take up the reins of your own life and choose a life worth living. It can be done, I’ve done it.”

Read other Success Stories: 

  1. Magaret (Math Teacher)
  2. John M Perth 
  3. Peter’s Sober Christmas 
  4. Memories of Christmas Pasts


Three Quarters of UK Alcohol Sales Are Part Of A Sales Promotion

Almost three quarters of the booze sold in the UK is bought as part of a sales or promotional deal according to new research. The new figures state that 71 percent of alcohol bought in the UK is at a discount price.

Although not necessarily a surprising statistic itself, as we see sales promotions all around us, the figures do become alarming when compared to our neighbours in France at 22% and Germany at only 19% of total alcohol sales at discount prices. The research also found that alcohol was on sale and at discount more than any other grocery category. One anti-alcohol lobbyist said:

“With many people purchasing alcohol that they didn’t want nor need when shopping it’s no wonder that our jails and accident and emergency wards are bursting at the seems because of alcohol.”

While many anti-alcohol campaigners have been outraged by these latest figures on UK alcohol availability, many others have cited that you can’t sell anything without a willing buyer and that the research is tainted because the low or non-existent tax on alcohol abroad means it is not a like-for-like comparison.

One blogger, Hamish, on the Telegraph website said: “This is an unfair comparison as the price of alcohol in most of Europe is much, much less than in the UK. It is because of the huge amount of tax on alcohol in the UK that it is so expensive and therefore discounted in order to generate sales.”

Alcohol Involved In Half Of Hospital Trauma Cases In Scotland

Alcohol was involved in nearly half of all accident and emergency trauma cases in Scotland last year. New figures released by the Scottish Trauma Audit Group reveal that 40% of all trauma injuries treated in Scottish hospitals were somehow related to alcohol. We’ve know for some time that A&Es around the country are inundated with alcohol-related admissions but the new figures show the scope is far higher than expected.

In the report which focused on 20 emergency depts at hospitals in the UK, Edinburgh Royal had the most trauma admissions followed by Glasgow’s Royal and then Ninewell’s hospital in Dundee. Out of 5,045 patients trerated for trauma in Scottish hospitals last year, four out of every ten cases involved alcohol.

And, even more disturbingly, the more serious the injury, the likelier that alcohol was involved. Only 17% of minor traumas and 22% of moderate cases invloved alcohol but in major or serious traumas alcohol played its part in 37% of them.

Furthermore, booze was involved in a staggering 57% of assault admissions and in more than a third (34%) of falls from a height greater than six feet. A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “The report shows the increasing involvement of alcohol in severe traumas, with alcohol associated with almost 40% of incidents.

This is far too high but the latest in a long line of statistics that show why we are so committed to tackling Scotland’s poor relationship with alcohol.”

BBC Programme Highlights UK’s Hidden Alcoholics

A BBC Panorama programme on ‘hidden alcoholics’ in the UK presented by former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell, has helped dispel the age-old stereotypical view of an alcoholic. Aired on BBC1 on 20 February 2012, the programme’s aim was to highlight the large number of hidden alcoholics in the UK, particularly among ‘functioning alcoholics in the middle classes’.

The show concentrated on how alcohol has become a daily ritual with many people who regularly exceeding the national guidelines for consumption. Although the programme hopefully may have helped to overcome the sweeping stereotype of who or what an alcoholic is, the show lacked any real insight in to the UK’s dreadful alcohol problem, even to the point where it failed to identify what alcoholism is.

Campbell, who was a self-proclaimed hidden alcoholic but is now a very publicly recovering one, touched on pricing issues and the downfall of public houses.

Ultimately and sadly – whether intentional or not – the programme gave across the message that we should now do something to curb the UK’s alcohol problem now that it is no longer just a working class problem. You can watch the programme Britain’s Hidden Alcoholics on the BBC iPlayer website.

Want To Stop Drinking Alcohol? Tell someone, Tell Us.

If you want to stop drinking alcohol but find you can’t – however hard you try – then you shouldn’t feel bad. It’s an addiction – does anyone want or desire to be addicted? So, how it happened is really not important. What you do next is all that matters. And, the first thing to do is ask for help. However determined you are to stop drinking, your determination will not be enough. If will-power alone could solve the problem, then nobody would stay trapped in drink.

The first – and often hardest – step in rehab is to admit you need help. Tell somebody that you have a problem. Tell your family or a good friend. Tell your GP. Call Alcoholics Anonymous. Call us or email us at Abbeycare.

You will feel like there’s been a weight lifted of off your shoulders. Don’t let pride stop you getting your life back. Don’t say you’ll get help with your drinking after you have sorted out your other problems. As soon as you admit you are losing control of your drinking, then you can start to regain your physical and emotional wellbeing. The good news is that there are many, many people who have successfully escaped their relationship with booze.

At Abbeycare, it’s our job, passion and mission. We know how to beat it and can help you do it.

There is no shame in contacting us. You never chose your addiction – alcohol dependence knows no boundaries.

But there is the hope of brighter days ahead. And, it’s not just hope – we can help you live again. Contact us for an informal chat or more information. It’s a first step to breaking free.

Private Alcohol Rehab • What To Beware!

What to beware about private alcohol treatment!

Beware If the service is a housing support service as opposed to an alcohol care home service. A housing support service is what it says, a service to support people who have housing needs and issues like homelessness.Homeless people require advice and support to facilitate their accommodation need.

Beware If you have no housing issues why would you consider a housing support service. Where the staff are not qualified to deliver the many various therapeutic training methods and programme to help those on their pathway to long term recovery from alcohol addiction problems.

Beware Please enquire as to the types of programmes offered and essentially please check out the qualifications of the staff involved.

Beware Make sure you receive a full medical examination on arrival from a medical doctor. If this is not part of the service you or your loved one runs the risk of an alcohol withdrawal grand mall seizure which can result in brain damage, physical complications and even death.

Scots drink four more bottles of spirits a year than in 1990s

Scots drink four more bottles of spirits a year than in 1990s Source – The Scotsman Scots are drinking an extra 1.2 litres of pure alcohol annually compared with 1994, a report reveals. The 11 per cent increase to 11.9 litres for everyone 16 and over is the equivalent of an extra four bottles of spirits a year.

The study, published by NHS Health Scotland, said the increase was driven by a 53 per cent jump in the amount of alcohol being bought in shops. It also highlighted significantly heavier drinking in Scotland compared to south of the Border, with 21 per cent higher sales and twice the death rate. Spirits such as vodka and whisky account for 29 per cent of the alcohol bought in Scotland in 2009 compared to 19 per cent in the south.

Most of the difference in alcohol sales between Scotland and the south is in shop sales, with vodka accounting for the largest share – 38 per cent – of that difference. Whisky accounted for only 17 per cent of the difference – suggesting tourist purchases account for only a small part of the greater sales in Scotland. The study, published as part of an evaluation of Scotland’s alcohol strategy, contained grim reading along with some positive signs.

Dr Laurence Gruer, director of public health science at NHS Health Scotland, said: “This report confirms that alcohol-related harm in Scotland has increased enormously since the early 1980s. Alcohol-related deaths are three times higher and hospital admissions are four times higher than in the early 1980s. In the most recent years, alcohol-related deaths and hospital admissions have declined. This is encouraging but it is important to look at long-term trends and it’s certainly too early to tell if the recent improvements will continue. Alcohol-related deaths are still at historically high levels and twice as high as in England and Wales.”

The Scottish Government-commissioned report also showed how alcohol was hitting the poorest hardest. In 2009, alcohol-related deaths were more than six times higher in the most deprived fifth of the population than in the most affluent.

Alcohol groups said the report showed the need for minimum pricing, which the SNP has pledged to again try to introduce if re-elected in May. Tom Roberts, project director for Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems, said: “With much of this alcohol available at well under 30p per unit, we must take action on price.

Minimum unit pricing is the most effective mechanism we know of to raise the price of cheap alcohol. Next week’s Budget is also an opportunity to begin to reverse the increased affordability which drives consumption.” Jennifer Curran, Alcohol Focus Scotland head of policy, said: “We must face up to the fact alcohol is now more affordable, more available and is more heavily marketed than at any time over the last 30 years. Research evidence shows establishing a minimum unit price for alcohol is one of the most effective ways to increase price and reduce consumption.”

Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “These figures provide yet more evidence alcohol abuse is a major problem in Scotland, although there are welcome signs that consumption is now falling.” The Lib Dems’ Robert Brown said: “The key change that is needed in Scotland is a change in the drinking culture.

Minimum Pricing Plans for Manchester

The leaders of the ten separate councils of Greater Manchester have drawn up the draft for a by-law to introduce a minimum price for alcohol sales. This would make it the first UK area to effectively outlaw cheap drink. The new price of 50 pence per alcohol Unit will raise the in-store prices of alcohol to at least £4.50 for a bottle of wine, and at least £5.50 for a two litre bottle of cider. The law also intends to focus on pub and bar ‘loyalty card’ schemes that encourage either binge drinking or multi-buy purchasing.

Compulsory Daily Breath Tests for Problem Drinkers

A pilot scheme being introduced in London could see people convicted of a drink related crime have to take mandatory daily breath tests to prove their sobriety. Failure of the test, which costs a pound a time, may lead to instant incarceration, court appearance and jail time. Deputy Mayor of London, Kit Malthouse ha said that: “The advantage of this is that it is not just punitive, but corrective.” The Deputy Mayor also the praised the cost aspect of the trials, as the regulation of peoples sobriety is much more cost effective than their imprisonment. Especially as they pay for the test themselves. Don Shenker, representing Alcohol Concern, the national alcohol awareness charity, has stated that ‘compulsory sobriety’ is not the best way to teach people about drinking moderately, and called for more government funding for research into alcohol education.

SUMIT Project Launched by Dundee University

Dundee University, sponsored by NHS Tayside alongside Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross Alcohol and Drug Partnerships, has launched the Substance Misuse Information Tayside project to more thoroughly monitor drink and drug misuse in the Tayside. The leader of the project, Dr Brian Kidd, Clinical Senior Lecturer on Addiction Psychiatry at Dundee University has said that the project aims to use information that they gather and use it to effectively integrate the currently available services. Dr Kidd: “.. what we will be doing with this project is finding the best way to join all of that up in a sensible way.” “This is a large problem not just in Tayside but across Scotland and there are ambitious and expansive national strategies now in place to try and tackle it.. For that to succeed we need to develop much better information management at a local level.

Thousands of Children at Risk Due to Alcohol

A children’s charity has warned that the NHS in Scotland is not doing enough to tackle drinking among parents, leaving thousands of children vulnerable. The warning comes as the Scottish Government launches Alcohol Awareness Week, with the public health minister admitting: “too many Scots are drinking too much too often.” Children 1st has said 80,000 children in Scotland are living with alcoholic parents, and that there could be serious consequences if the government does not take action. Alison Todd, a director of the charity, said parents should have access to help and support to prevent their drinking having an adverse impact on their children. She added: “Providing the right help for parnets before their child is born, or while their child is still young, could have a major influence on changing their drinking habits.” Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, said: “It’s appropriate the government takes all the steps it can to tackle alcohol misuse among parents because our tolerant societal attitude to alcohol means we consistently underestimate the impact on children of harmful drinking by adults.

SNP Says Few Back Labour Plans for Drink Price

The First Minister of Scotland has defended minimum pricing proposals for alcohol, as it was revealed that Labour’s alternative plans have won little support. Alex Sammond said the 45 pence per unit minimum price was “appropriate” when tackled on the issue during First Ministers Questions. The measures would raise the price of the cheapest alcohol on supermarket shelves if the legislation is passed by Parliament. Nationalist MSP Joe Fitzpatrick claimed the alternative options set out by Labour’s Alcohol Commission were poorly received. Mr Fitzpatrick said 45 of the 80 respondents to the commission were in favour of minimum pricing. Another 23 did not express a preference and 12 – mostly drinks manufacturers – backed Labour’s proposals that a price limit on the sale of alcohol should be brought in across the UK.

Perth and Kinross Crackdown on Underage Drinkers

Police in Perth and Kinross say they have confiscated more than 300 litres of alcohol from under age drinkers over the last few weeks. Officers have also caught several people who bought alcohol for the youngsters, Tayside Police said. The drink was taken during dedicated patrols in the evenings and weekends over the school summer holidays. Sgt Julie Robertson said the under age drinking often led onto other antisocial and criminal behaviour. “Officers will continue to tackle the problems of under age drinking as long as it remains,” she said.

Manchester Introduces Trial Minimum Price on Alcohol

Shops and pubs could be banned from selling cheap alcohol in a radical step to tackle Britain’s binge-drinking problem. While the Government has so far refused to back setting a minimum price for alcoholic drinks, councils are planning to take action through a by-law. They are investigating whether licensed retailers could be forced to charge a minimum of 50p per unit of alcohol, putting an end to cut-price deals blamed for drink-fuelled disorder and health problems. It would mean drinkers paying at least £4.50 for a bottle of wine, £6 for a six-pack of lager and £14 for a 700ml bottle of whisky. Doctors have long called for such action, which they say could save more than 3,000 lives a year. But ministers drawing up plans to tackle cheap alcohol sales are so far understood to have ruled out minimum pricing. Now, however, the ten councils which make up Greater Manchester are looking into introducing their own price restrictions in a move being watched closely by other authorities. Under the plans, a by-law would be passed requiring pubs, restaurants, supermarkets and off-licences to price alcoholic drinks based on the number of units they contain. Source – Daily Mail 3/08/2010.

More People Power to Decide Pub Opening Times

Pubs and clubs could been banned from late night opening because of the impact drunkenness and noise has on the wider community, under new powers for local residents. New venues may also be refused a licence altogether if local people believe there are too many premises and their neighbourhoods are being damaged, under plans to be unveiled. A Home Office consultation will also pave the way for applications to be rejected on “public health” grounds if health bodies can argue extra pubs could increase drunkenness and alcohol-related health issues such as extra pressure on hospital or ambulance services. The moves are part of a wide-ranging revamp of licensing laws to be announced by Theresa May, the Home Secretary which will spell the end of 24 hour drinking. Mrs May said: “The benefits promised by the 24 hour drinking ‘café culture’ have failed to materialise and in its place we have seen an increase in the number of alcohol related incidents and drink-fuelled crime and disorder. Source – Telegraph 28/07/2010.

Health Secretary to Reveal Minimum Alcohol Price

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has again said she will “name the price” of a minimum unit of alcohol next month. The SNP has used the figure of 40 pence per unit of alcohol as an illustration of how the minimum pricing mechanism could reduce consumption. Ms Sturgeon said ahead of a meeting on Wednesday with opposition parties to discuss Scotland’s drink problem: “Colleagues have asked that we publish the rate at which the minimum price will be set and I can confirm that I will announce that before Stage 2 of the Bill.” The ‘minimum price’ was part of the SNP’s Alcohol Bill, which was a blanket of schemes being proposed in order to combat Scotland’s apparent love affair with alcohol, and the social upheaval that it is encouraging. Initially the minimum price concept was rejected by the sitting government, but was still allowed to pass in oreder for the Bill to carry on. The government has already said that the Minimum price does not have the confidence of the House.

Scots record of shame at hospital A&E units

Scotland’s accident and emergency rooms dealt with 36,000 alcohol-related admissions in 2009, government figures have shown. There were 39,278 alcohol- related discharges from Scottish hospitals, with 92 per cent of these coming from A&E departments. Scots are also continuing to out-drink their English and Welsh neighbours, consuming an average of 11.9 litres of alcohol each in 2009. The Alcohol Statistics 2011 report found the alcohol market was worth £3.64 billion in 2009, with off-sales or drinking at home becoming increasingly popular. Scots consumed almost 51 million litres of pure alcohol, the equivalent of 11.9 litres per person over the age of 16. While the amount of alcohol consumed from licensed premises, such as bars and pub,s decreased from 2008, there was an increase in off-sales consumption, rising from just over 32.9 million litres to over 34.4 million litres, with Scottish households spending an average of £6.50 on alcohol to take home each week. The volume of spirits consumed by Scots was double that of their English and Welsh neighbours, with 3.5 litres of sprits per person each year compared to 1.8 litres. More than a third of men and women were exceeding the recommended daily limits for alcohol units on their highest drinking day during the week, while more than 50 per cent said they drank most of their alcohol at home.

5 Questions You MUST Ask Before Choosing A Rehab

Beyond the obvious concerns like cost and location, there are several much more subtle questions about rehab you MUST ask before you can be sure you’re paying for the right treatment:

1) How Many Are In The Clinic Right Now? (…And What’s The Maximum Occupancy?)

Short version: you want a lower occupancy clinic, not a big brand name.

Why? The larger the clinic size, the less personal attention you’re likely to receive. We need to maximise your therapeutic time for best long term results. We need a strong set of aftercare supports planned out for you, in detail. A smaller clinic environment affords you the higher levels of personal attention these require. Don’t compromise.


2) Do I Have A *Personal* Support Worker?

Not every clinic provides one-to-one help. Check this.

Ideally, you’ll have someone assigned to you personally, throughout the whole program from start to finish – helping you during detox, talking through therapy insights, working through the 12 steps, helping coordinate aftercare.

A support worker is someone who should stay with you throughout your stay, someone you can develop a recovery relationship with. Make sure you don’t get passed around from person to person. An accomplished support worker is there to help make the process easier, and more comfortable, from start to finish. Does your clinic provide this?


3) What’s Around The Clinic And Local Area?

Believe it or not, this is important. You don’t want a large rehab with huge occupancy, in the city centre, next door to the off-licence!

Just look for some basic reassurance here – rural, smaller clinics are typically more aligned with the emotional environment you’ll need to be able to focus fully on your recovery and get the best long term outcomes.

Is it in the countryside? How far to the nearest town or city?

It’s quick to ask but offers much reassurance for your stay.


4) Is Aftercare Planning Included?

What level of aftercare planning is included? What are the optional paid extras?

A good clinic will help you coordinate strong supports after graduation, like:
– connection with a personal sponsor
– local aftercare meetings in your area
– integration into a local mutual aid or 12 step meetings

Ask what’s included specifically. Does this come with all packages at the clinic, regardless of duration or cost? It’s good to know up front.

Quick tip – Don’t let anyone convince you to plump for paid aftercare services until *after* you’re through the initial rehab program – how could you know how you’ll feel then? Once you’re fully detoxed and have completed a comprehensive therapy program – things will look quite different.


5) How Long Do I Need To Stay? 

Since residential stays can vary anywhere between 7-28 days+, the key here is to ask about how long you personally need to stay. This will vary, depending on
– your current usage level
– for how long you’ve been using at this level
– pre-existing conditions and medication

…and other specifics. Best here to be as honest and forthright as possible when enquiring.

If finances don’t allow for a longer stay, make sure your chosen duration will allow for an alcohol detox that’s as comfortable as possible.

Every Addiction Is A Solution?…

…True or false?

While scientists tell us we can become addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, compulsive hoarding, food, emotions, sports, etc, etc….here is the key:

Any addiction – whether it’s cigarettes, anger, alcohol, violence, depression, indecision, compulsions, etc – is only ever filling in for something else.

Every addiction is a solution, in *some* way.

It’s a solution to deal with some other problem, whether that’s coping with self-esteem issues, grief, guilt, unresolved trauma, worthiness, acceptance, depression, etc.

Now, remember back to one of these situations, a time when you felt triggered, felt the need to indulge the addiction, and you did go ahead and drink, or use.

In this state, what positive feelings are there now, as a result of indulging the habit, that weren’t there before? e.g. “I’m important”, “I’m lovable”, “I’m acceptable”, “I’m good enough”, “I matter”, “What I say/do/feel matters”, or maybe something more personal to you.

So if this scenario helps you feel (e.g.) good enough again, then it’s pointing us to self-esteem issues about not feeling good enough generally, do you see?

So the substance is the way to achieve these feelings, you don’t otherwise have.

These would be a starting point for therapy sessions, for example.

Now, what situations have told you you’re not good enough?

Is that *really* true about the situation? Or is that just one interpretation out of many possible interpretations?

Seeking professional therapeutic help in a rehab environment for all these underlying beliefs and traumas that these questions point you to, is the way to deal with addiction at the core.

Be sure your clinic is aware of these subtle, yet crucial distinctions.

Are You Enabling Your Loved One Like This?

 – “But he can’t help it”
– “What’s the alternative?”
– “We just don’t know what to do with him(her)”
– “I don’t know how to help him(her)”
– “This can’t go on”

Sound familiar?

Finding yourself repeating any of these, whilst your own life descends into chaos, as you attempt to support a loved one fighting addiction, is all too easy a cycle to get into. The thing is, it’s not your fault.

Loved One + Addiction + Enabling = Quickening Downward Spiral

In the busy-ness of everyday life, without realising the true extent of the problem, it’s extremely easy to make excuses and exceptions when someone’s having a rough time, needs a drink to get through the rough stuff of life, or any number of other excuses.

But when it becomes a habit, too often, it’s become enabling – consciously trying to help, while unconsciously making the cycle of addiction worse.

Maybe the problem wasn’t big enough to notice consciously at first, but now…..now it’s become too big not to notice.

Your loved one is too deep in the addiction themselves to be able to redraw (or even see) the boundaries, so you need to push the reset button yourself.

It’s not that difficult when you know how.

Resetting Boundaries 

To send the message, that we will no longer be part of the problem of addiction, we need to mix it up:

– Do odd things at normal times & normal things at odd times, e.g. If you used to habitually support (him/her) in some way, with a regular routine, *stop doing it*. And offer to help find the real resources needed to cope with their addiction instead.

– In your acceptance, be irregular, and uncertain. Make the times you do help, increasingly rare. You are sending a message here over time – that you can no longer be relied upon to provide the coping mechanism that used to be there.

– In your refusals, be vague. A simple “I’m unable to do that” when said with authority, will not attract further questioning.

After all, don’t *you* need to get *your* life back too?

Resetting the boundaries and reclaiming your life is not a result of your inflated “me-time” or self-indulgence, but rather a determinant of:

– your ability to continue to help your loved one in future
– your own future emotional health and well being

Any immediate emotional pain of denying a loved one a short term fix will always be overcome by the long term comfort and satisfaction of knowing you helped them address the real issues, at the core.

This is the time they need to take responsibility, stick their hand high in the air, and say “I need help”. You can step in, in a practical sense, to co-ordinate rehab, counselling, detox, aftercare, 12-step sessions, mutual aid groups, etc.

But if you constantly have to be there at every stage, always pushing your loved one along, who is there at the end? Who is there when they leave rehab? When they’re back in the workplace? When they’re in another relationship?

Assisting him(her) temporarily, in practical ways, to help them take responsibility and get back on track, is fine. Helping them perpetuate a coping mechanism that’s steadily killing them, is not.

It’s time.


  1. Am I An Alcoholic?
  2. Alcohol And Denial – A Killer Combination
  3. 7 Warning Signs Your Loved One Needs Help


Peter’s Sober Happy Christmas

Peter's Sober Happy Christmas

Name: Peter
Age: 44
Occupation: Sales/Account Manager
Sobriety: 7 months

Peter, a 44 year old from Glasgow, stopped drinking alcohol seven months ago and had a happy Christmas with his family. Peter tells us how alcohol ruined his life and how he is now happier than ever.

“Deep down, I knew I had a problem for a long time. I always drank more than other people at home and at nights out and always, somehow, managed keep access to alcohol not too far away.

I often travel the country as part of my job and staying away overnight at hotels gave me the opportunity to consume as much as I wanted without anyone monitoring it.

I also had the ‘odd pint’ on my way back from work, telling my wife I had a quick one or two, when in reality I had drunk five or six pints. All family shopping trips involved stocking up on booze – which I suppose it is socially acceptable – but they don’t tell you at the supermarket that it’s the most powerful drug in the world and can easily destroy families and lives.”

“I never fully accepted my drink problem before the wonderful people at Abbeycare helped me get well. I put it down to stress, lifestyle, travelling, family etc. My drink at the end of the day was my way of dealing with ‘my stress’ it but it never did deal with it.

My stress only increased over the weeks, months and years. I now know that to unwind and relax that alcohol isn’t the solution – it’s actually in me – how I deal with stress, how I manage my life, how I choose to live. Yes, of course, booze works for that couple of hours but drinking as much as I did cannot possibly relax me. I was inebriated most evenings. That isn’t relaxing, it’s anaesthetising. Booze makes us no more relaxed than a boxer is relaxing when he’s knocked out on the canvas.

I might have thought I was relaxing as I forgot about my worries when I drank. But all I did was delay dealing with my problems and I now know booze was the only one. It was the source of my hellish life. I now have a truly amazing life and booze has no part whatsoever in it.”

Peter came to Abbeycare after his wife moved out because she couldn’t get through to him that his stubborn ways, barking and constant grumpiness were making her ill too. This then gave Peter freedom to drink himself into oblivion and gave him all the excuses he needed to continue drinking and blaming other people for his predicament.

“I just couldn’t see what alcohol was doing to me and everyone around me. At the time, I was working and travelling constantly and then when I came home to unwind and have a few drinks, I’d get moaned at. Other people telling me I drank too much and I was lazy. Inside me I was furious as I felt I only worked and then had all the family’s problems when I came back. If I didn’t feel under pressure then I felt apathy. It wasn’t a good way to live. The booze ruled me without knowing.

It made me lethargic, sick and irrational and I never slept very well. Worst of all, it made me treat my family very poorly. I was never there for my wife, children or friends. No wonder everyone had had enough and left me to it. I can see that now with the clarity I have. Booze isolated me into my dining room or hotel room but more dangerously into a dark self.”

Peter learned in Abbeycare that it’s okay to get help for an alcohol problem and there’s no shame in getting well and beating the booze. Shame – like all other feelings is inside of us – and, therefore, is only real to us. And, at Abbeycare that’s what they do best – changing people’s feelings about themselves.

He also had sleep therapy, stress management, personal awareness and holistic therapies as well as his own double bedroom and ensuite – all part of Abbeycare’s treatment to beat booze and live a happy life.

Peter said: “I could not have imagined how this would turn out, I just wish I had done it earlier.

I was terrified to the point of insanity at the thought of stopping drinking, but all of that fear has gone. I am now the most relaxed I have ever been. In fact, I’m no doubt more relaxed than most people who don’t drink. I don’t have problems now – only small things I need to iron out.

I have overcome alcohol, I can easily deal with anything else life can throw at me – I just had to learn how. Only the other day, my wife commented on how happy she is now compared to when I was drinking. That makes me feel so proud. Who needs booze when you’re this happy?”

For information on how to overcome alcohol, how to help a relative with alcohol problems or simply find out more about Abbeycare, please call us on 01603 513 091, complete the form opposite or email: info@abbeycarefoundation.co.uk

Read other Success Stories: 

  1. Magaret (Math Teacher)
  2. John Reaping
  3. Memories of Christmas Pasts
  4. John M Perth 


Naltrexone Treatment To Help Beat Alcohol Addiction

Following recent news from the Irish Times, Irish people suffering from alcoholism are travelling to the UK to be fitted with pellets which block the euphoric effects of alcohol.

Naltrexone pellets are fitted into the lower abdomen, lasting 12 weeks.

These block the “high” individuals experience from alcohol intake, thus discouraging continued use.Importantly, individuals must undergo a full alcohol detoxification, before such implants can be fitted.

Abbeycare are the only UK clinic to provide both the required detox, and the Naltrexone implant, in the same clinic.

First Step Of The Journey

Naturally, Naltrexone should be viewed as the first step toward long term addiction recovery, rather than a solution in and of itself. Abbeycare always advocate the importance of multiple aftercare supports for the best long term recovery outcomes.

Nevertheless, interventions like Naltrexone can provide the much needed emotional breathing space individuals need, as part of a full aftercare plan.

For more info on detoxification, Naltrexone, and aftercare, or to complete detox and Naltrexone in the same UK clinic, contact us at Abbeycare direct on 01603 513 091, or click here to email us.

Naltrexone For Recovery From Opiate Misuse

Naltrexone is a ‘blocker’ solution for heroin or opiate users who need the extra support during recovery, of an antagonist drug.

This acts as a deterrent, such that, if an individual using Naltrexone relapses into opiate use, they do not experience any of the ‘highs’ or feelings of euphoria normally associated with such drugs.

Instead, they experience no feelings at all, and hence will lose the positive association paired with opiate use over time, thus discouraging relapse, and helping maintain positive recovery.

Antagonist drugs such as Naltrexone operate by occupying and blocking opiate receptor sites in the brain, meaning that any new opiates in the system cannot populate these sites and trigger the associated chemical pathways and associated feelings.

Naturally, chemical solutions such as Naltrexone aren’t intended as a solution to the cause of the addiction, merely a deterrent to further use, and encouragement on the bigger journey of recovery.

Naltrexone is normally available in both oral tablet and implant form. The Naltrexone implant itself is normally fitted in the lower abdomen, under local anaesthetic, and lasts for a period of 12 weeks. Longer durations are sometimes obtainable dependent on current regulations and availability.

However, prior to Naltrexone use, the individual must undergo a full supervised detox from opiate use t avoid any abreactions and ensure safe and comfortable use of Naltrexone.

Currently, Abbeycare are the only UK clinic to offer both opiate detoxification and Naltrexone under one roof, in the same residential clinic.

To enquire about Naltrexone or opiate detox, or arrange admission, call Abbeycare direct on 01603 513 091.

(Lost) Memories Of Christmases Past

Pre-sobriety I always looked upon the ‘Festive Season’ as a period of acceptable drinking excess as everybody, well not everybody, over-indulged.

Many Christmases were ruined due to my drinking with some amusing and not so amusing antics.

I always started the day with the best intentions, as most of us alcoholics do, but inevitably by around lunchtime I was either merrily drunk or at best rather tipsy, but I always insisted that I was capable of serving up the Christmas dinner, often with disastrous results.

The most embarrassing incident was where I took the turkey out of the oven, which had been pre-carved and then re-heated in its gravy, and I proceeded to drop the lot onto the kitchen floor.

Undeterred I simply scooped the whole lot back up on to the serving dish and took it through to the dining room where the assembled family were waiting patiently and merely said that the ‘bird had flown the coop but now it had been recaptured!!’

I was always aware that I would be under extreme scrutiny by my family but no matter what I resolved the drink would, as ever, totally consume my thoughts and as we say, “all bets are off!!”

I would always try and laugh it off, but I became aware that the family were becoming more and more worried and annoyed at my behaviour, and friends would stop inviting us round for social events or gatherings.

The festive season was now a time of dread for my family and I suppose I eventually lost all interest in it as it had just become another day in my chaotic, alcoholic life, and I can’t really remember the last few Christmases when I was in full-blown alcoholism.

I left my rehabilitation treatment centre, Abbeycare Scotland based at Murdostoun Castle, on Christmas Eve 2015 and to say that I was fearful would be an understatement, but armed with the ‘recovery tools in my toolbox’, I decided very quickly that the only way forward was to tackle it head on and that is indeed what I did.

December 2015 was the first sober Christmas I had had in a long time, and it was probably one of the better ones.

The family were kind of walking on ‘egg-shells’ for the first few days, but at least they saw their dad sober for the first time in many years, and if nothing else they had a Christmas dinner that had not ‘visited the kitchen floor’ before being served at the table!!

man-person-snow-winter-girl-white-933333-pxhere.comThe experience of that Christmas was to stand me in good stead for the remainder of that festive season and the following year (2016) held no fears or trepidation whatsoever.

In hindsight I think that it was indeed a blessing that I was allowed home at the time I was, and the fact that I survived and coped, helped me to continue thereafter, and up to today I have remained sober and my resolve is probably even greater now to keep and enjoy my sobriety, as in the two years since I have found and totally enjoyed my new life.

When I heard people talking and sharing at recovery meetings about how good life was I just couldn’t imagine how on earth I was going to manage without my ‘best friend alcohol’, but in truth I know that it was NEVER EVER a friend, let alone a ‘best friend’, and I am continuing to absolutely enjoy my life.

Family and friends rallied around when I most needed them and I also gained a whole new army of friends in the various mutual aid groups I am involved with, and they are indeed FRIENDS, like-minded people, who understand the daily rigours of sobriety that give us all a totally new and fruitful way of living.

Now, Christmas time is not a fearful prospect but one which I embrace with great joy and anticipation and I even look forward to preparing and cooking all sorts of meals, knowing full well that they will manage to get from the cooker to the dining table without making a detour via the kitchen floor!!

The family also know that I won’t ‘make an idiot of myself’ at any function or party and indeed I am quite happy now to offer to drive anyone to any place at any time of day in the full knowledge that I have nothing to fear with regards to drink driving, and that alone is quite a change.

Sobriety has given me a fantastic new way of life and I will do everything in my power to maintain it, but I am only too aware that it is only ONE DAY AT A TIME.

If I continue to use the ‘recovery tools in my toolbox’ that the staff gave to me on the steps of Murdostoun Castle on the 24th December 2015, I know I am in with more than a chance of success.

Read other Success Stories: 

  1. Magaret (Math Teacher)
  2. John Reaping
  3. Peter’s Sober Christmas 
  4. John M Perth 


How To Help A Loved One In Addiction & Denial

Seeing a loved one’s life spiral wildly out of control can be more traumatising for family members than the addict themselves…(it’s true).

The secrecy, bizarre behaviours, aggression even – these are the signatures of addiction and massive denial.

But there ARE ways to help someone close to you out of that place of colossal denial and spiralling chaos.

The thing is when faced with the option of relieving emotional pain by:

(i) getting that next fix,


(ii) doing the work required…

…an addicted individual will always choose (i). It’s quick, easy, and it allows me to avoid doing any real work or even acknowledging my problems (= more pain).

They’ve repeated this way of coping so much, that it’s become the ONLY way they know how to cope. They truly don’t believe there is any other way.

To help someone in denial we need to:

(i) Convince them that other options exist, that there ARE other ways to cope,
(ii) Address the real underlying problem,

And of course, deal with the chemical/physical addiction too. No mean feat.


Denial is present because it protects the existence of the coping mechanism – if I admit I have a problem, you will take my substance away. And I can’t cope without it.

So we must provide other coping mechanisms and resources in place of the substance itself, or we’ll always hit this denial.

Since denial exists to protect the existence of the coping mechanism, we need to provide these additional resource *first*, *before* then taking that means to cope away.

We need to provide, or at least convince them of, the resources and support that will help replace the alcohol or drugs, as a means to cope.

They need to understand:

(i) they will have numerous other people helping them through the issues they thought they couldn’t cope with, and,

(ii) they will get help to understand the true emotional triggers and causes of their addiction, and thus help themselves.

The truth is that support IS available to help individuals with their life issues.

Whether your loved one is turning to addiction as a means to cope with self-esteem issues, guilt, trauma, or other emotional upsets, the support to work through it IS available, once responsibility is taken.

Taking Responsibility

As a family member, are you more or less likely to support someone in their need to deal with addiction, if they have taken full ownership, admitted responsibility, and accepted wrongdoing?

And so it is with counsellors, family members, medical professionals, employees, etc etc.

Stuck for support ideas for your loved one?

– Local voluntary counselling organisations or public healthcare counselling
– Mutual aid support meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc
– Drug Rehab & Alcohol Rehab clinic aftercare meetings, and telephone support
– Local 12 step meetings and events
– Working one-to-one with a personal sponsor
– Connecting with others locally in recovery
– Additional one-to-one CBT or other therapy following rehab

Can you see, that when this many supports are in place, the need for the coping mechanism begins to dissolve?

Now, let’s be realistic – there is much time, commitment, effort, and willingness, involved in all of this.

But when your loved one has completed a supervised drug & alcohol detox and these supports are in place, these are the strengths which pre-empt the need for the alcohol or drugs in the first place, because they deal with addiction at the cause. Make sense?


Alcohol Related Deaths Double In Scotland In Last 30 Years

Alcohol Drug Rehab Scotland Abbeycare Murdostoun Castle

Alcohol deaths in Scotland have doubled in thirty years, according to new figures released by the General Register Office for Scotland.

In 2010, the number of deaths due to alcohol-related illness was 1,318, compared with 641 in 1979.

The figures also show that there has been a massive increase in deaths among men in Scotland, whereas the number of booze linked deaths among women has decreased (445 to 409).

Naturally, the release of the statistics has lead to greater calls for treatment and intervention to help confront the problem. The Scottish Government, who were defeated in their attempt to introduce minimum pricing last year, reiterate their stance on pricing to help curb the disease.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “It is clear that too many people are still drinking too much and damaging their health in the process. We need to take action on this.

“We believe minimum pricing would be the most effective and efficient way to tackle alcohol misuse as it would effectively target problem drinkers and help them reduce their consumption.”

The information shows Greater Glasgow had the most deaths in 2010 with 215 fatalities. North Lanarkshire was close behind with 119 deaths, while Edinburgh had 103.

The stats also show that there was a major surge in alcohol-related deaths during the 1990s .

The General register of Scotland published: “The numbers of alcohol-related deaths for both sexes were relatively stable during the 1980s, but there were significant increases, particularly for men, during the 1990s and early 2000s. The largest numbers, and largest increases, were in those aged 45 to 59.”

Crackdown on Scotland’s Booze Culture

Some of Scotland’s most popular entertainment areas face a ban on any future pubs, clubs or off-sales under ground breaking new plans to be in force by the end of the year.

Authorities in Glasgow have identified seven areas across the city considered to be at saturation point for venues selling alcohol, and are now calling for steps to be taken to stop any more licenses being issued in future.

The areas include the busy Byres Road in the West End, Sauchiehall Street in the City Centre, and Shawlands on the South Side. Areas like the Saltmarket district, John Street, Paisley Road West and the Shettleston Road area are also affected.

This ruling could affect supermarkets due to the alcoholic beverages in their product ranges, as well as privately owned licensed grocers in the local authority areas.

We offer help for alcoholism at our Scottish clinic in Lanarkshire, get in touch to know more.