How to stop drinking alcohol nhs

how to stop drinking alcohol nhs

Alcohol support

Have a glass of water before you have alcohol and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or other non-alcoholic drinks. Take a break Have several drink-free days each week. Ask a GP or alcohol service about what longer-term support is available in your area. Self-help or mutual aid groups (groups such as AA or SMART Recovery groups) are accessible in most areas. Useful contacts for alcohol problems. Drinkline is the national alcohol helpline.

Back to Alcohol misuse. The treatment options for alcohol misuse depend on the extent of your drinking and whether you're trying to drink less moderation or give up drinking completely abstinence. If you are worried about your drinking or have had an alcohol-related accident or injury, you may be offered a short counselling session known as a brief intervention.

A brief intervention lasts about 5 to 10 minutes, and covers risks associated with your pattern of drinking, advice about how to get toothpaste back in the tube the amount you drink, alcohol support networks available to you, and any emotional issues around your drinking. Keeping a "drinking diary" may be recommended so you can record how many units of alcohol you drink a week.

You may also be given tips about social drinkingsuch as alternating soft drinks with alcoholic drinks when you're out with friends. Cutting alcohol out completely will have a greater health benefit. However, moderation is often a more realistic goal, or at least a first step on the way to abstinence. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but there are circumstances where abstinence is strongly recommended, including if you:.

If you choose moderation, you'll probably be what you won t do for love chords to attend further counselling sessions so your progress can be assessed, and further treatment and advice can be provided if needed.

You may also have regular blood tests so the health of your liver can be carefully monitored. If you're dependent on alcohol to function, it's recommended you seek medical advice to manage your withdrawal.

Some people may be prescribed medication to help achieve abstinence. You may also choose to attend self-help groups, receive extended counselling, or use a talking therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy CBT.

How and where you attempt detoxification will be determined by your level of alcohol dependency. In mild cases, you should be able to detox at home without the use of medication as your withdrawal symptoms should also be mild.

If your consumption of alcohol is high more than 20 units a day or you've previously experienced withdrawal symptoms, you may also be able to detox at home with medication to help ease withdrawal symptoms. A tranquiliser called chlordiazepoxide is usually used for this purpose. If your dependency is severe, you may need to go to a hospital or clinic to detox. This is because the withdrawal symptoms will also be severe and are likely to need specialist treatment.

Your withdrawal symptoms will be at their worst for the first 48 hours. They should gradually start to improve as your body begins to adjust to being without alcohol.

This usually takes 3 to 7 days from the time of your last drink. You'll also find your sleep is disturbed. You may wake up several times during the night or have problems getting to sleep. This is to be expected, and your sleep patterns should return to normal within a month. During detox, make sure you drink plenty of fluids about 3 litres a day.

However, avoid drinking large amounts of caffeinated drinks, including tea and coffee, because they can make your sleep problems worse and cause feelings of anxiety.

Water, squash or fruit juice are better choices. Try to eat regular meals, even if you're not feeling hungry. Your appetite will return gradually. You must not drive if you're taking medication to help ease your withdrawal symptoms. You should also get advice about operating heavy machinery at work. Detox can be a stressful time.

Ways you can try to relieve stress include reading, listening to music, going for a walk, and taking a bath. Read more about stress management. If you're detoxing at home, you'll regularly see a nurse or another healthcare professional. You'll also be given the relevant contact details for other support services should you need additional support. Withdrawal from alcohol is an important first step to overcoming your alcohol-related problems. However, withdrawal isn't an effective treatment by itself.

You'll need further treatment and support to help you in the long term. These include:. Acamprosate brand name Campral is used to help prevent a relapse in people who have successfully achieved abstinence from alcohol.

It's usually used in combination with counselling to reduce alcohol craving. Acamprosate works by affecting levels of a chemical in the brain called gamma-amino-butyric acid GABA. GABA is thought to be partly responsible for inducing a craving for alcohol.

If you're prescribed acamprosate, the course usually starts as soon as you begin withdrawal from alcohol and can last for up to 6 months. Disulfiram brand name Antabuse can be used if you're trying to achieve abstinence but are concerned you may relapse, or if you've had previous relapses. Disulfiram works by deterring you from drinking by causing unpleasant physical reactions if you drink alcohol.

These can include:. In addition to alcoholic drinks, it's important to avoid all sources of alcohol as they could also induce an unpleasant reaction. Products that may contain alcohol include:. You should also try to avoid substances that give off alcoholic fumes, such as paint thinners and solvents. What is a reality shows continue to experience unpleasant reactions if you come into contact with alcohol for a week after you finish taking disulfiram, so it's important to maintain your abstinence during this time.

When taking disulfiram, you'll be seen by your healthcare team about once every 2 weeks for the first 2 months, and then every month for the following 4 months. It works by blocking opioid receptors in the body, stopping the effects of alcohol. It's usually used in combination with other medicine or counselling.

If naltrexone is recommended, you should be made aware it also stops painkillers that contain opioids working, including morphine and codeine. If you feel unwell while taking naltrexone, stop taking it immediately and seek advice from your GP or care team. Before being prescribed any of these medications, you'll have a full medical assessment, including blood tests. Nalmefene brand name Selincro may be used to prevent a relapse or limit the amount of alcohol someone drinks.

Nalmefene may be recommended as a possible treatment for alcohol dependence if you've had an initial assessment and:. Nalmefene should only be taken how to grade a book report you're receiving support to help you reduce your alcohol intake and continue treatment.

Many people who have alcohol dependency problems find it useful to attend self-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous AA. One of the main beliefs behind AA is that alcoholic dependence is a long-term, progressive illness and total abstinence is the only solution.

The treatment plan promoted by AA is based on a step programme designed to help you overcome your addiction. The steps include admitting you're powerless over alcohol and your life has become unmanageable, how to get a stock broker license you've acted wrongly and, where possible, making amends with people you've harmed.

Read more about the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and alcohol support. The difference is you work through the stages on a one-to-one basis with a counsellor, rather than in a group.

The therapy may be your preferred treatment option if you feel uneasy or unwilling to discuss your problems in a group setting. Cognitive behavioural therapy CBT is a talking therapy that uses a problem-solving approach to alcohol dependence. The approach involves identifying unhelpful, unrealistic thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing towards your alcohol dependence, such as:. Once these thoughts and beliefs are identified, you'll be encouraged to base your behaviour on more realistic and helpful thoughts, such as:.

Your CBT therapist will teach you how to avoid certain triggers and cope effectively with those that are unavoidable. Alcohol dependence doesn't just impact on an individual — it can also affect a whole family. Family therapy provides family members with the opportunity to:. Support is also available for family members in their own right.

Living with someone who misuses alcohol can be stressful, so receiving support can often be very helpful.

There are a number of specialist alcohol services that provide help and support for the relatives and friends of people with a dependence on alcohol. For example, Al-Anon is an organisation affiliated with AA that provides relatives and friends with help and support.

Its confidential helpline number is 10am to 10pm, days a year. Read more about the different types of talking therapies. This will give you a good idea of how much alcohol you're drinking, the situations in which you drink, and how you could start to cut down. Page last reviewed: 21 August Next review due: 21 August Brief intervention If you are worried about your drinking or have had an alcohol-related accident or injury, you may be offered a short counselling session known as a brief intervention.

Moderation vs abstinence Moderation or abstinence are treatment options if you're: regularly drinking more than 14 units a week experiencing health problems directly related to alcohol unable to function without alcohol alcohol dependency Cutting alcohol out completely will have a greater health benefit.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, but there are circumstances where abstinence is strongly recommended, including if you: have liver damage, such as liver disease or cirrhosis have other medical problems, such as heart diseasethat can be made worse by drinking are taking medication that can react badly with alcohol, such as antipsychotics are pregnant or planning to become pregnant Abstinence may also be recommended if you've previously been unsuccessful with moderation.

Detox and withdrawal symptoms If you're dependent on alcohol to function, it's recommended you seek medical advice to manage your withdrawal. Where detox is carried out How and where you attempt detoxification will be determined by your level of alcohol dependency. Withdrawal symptoms Your withdrawal symptoms will be at their worst for the first 48 hours. It's likely the medication will make you feel drowsy. Only take your medication as directed.

These include: acamprosate disulfiram naltrexone nalmefene Acamprosate Acamprosate brand name Campral is used to help prevent a relapse in people who have successfully achieved abstinence from alcohol. Disulfiram Disulfiram brand name Antabuse can be used if you're trying to achieve abstinence but are concerned you may relapse, or if you've had previous relapses.

These can include: nausea chest pain vomiting dizziness In addition to alcoholic drinks, it's important to avoid all sources of alcohol as they could also induce an how to clean mouldy books reaction. Products that may contain alcohol include: aftershave mouthwash some types of vinegar perfume You should also try to avoid substances that give off alcoholic fumes, such as paint thinners and solvents.

Naltrexone Naltrexone can be used to prevent a relapse or limit the amount of alcohol someone drinks. A course of naltrexone can last up to 6 months, although it may sometimes be longer. Nalmefene Nalmefene brand name Selincro may be used to prevent a relapse or limit the amount of alcohol someone drinks.

Staying healthy and in control

Naltrexone can be used to prevent a relapse or limit the amount of alcohol someone drinks. It works by blocking opioid receptors in the body, stopping the effects of alcohol. It's usually used in combination with other medicine or counselling. There are 2 main types of medicines to help people stop drinking. The first is to help stop withdrawal symptoms and is given in reducing doses over a short period of time. The most common of these medicines is chlordiazapoxide (Librium). The second is a . Reducing the amount you drink can also be an effective stepping stone to giving up alcohol completely in the future. Cutting down doesn’t have to be complicated. If you drink every night, start by designating a couple of days a week as alcohol-free days.

Back to Alcohol support. If you regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, try these simple tips to help you cut down. Fourteen units is equivalent to 6 pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine. If you let your friends and family know you're cutting down and it's important to you, you could get support from them.

You can still enjoy a drink, but go for smaller sizes. Try bottled beer instead of pints, or a small glass of wine instead of a large one. You'll find this information on the bottle. Have a glass of water before you have alcohol and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or other non-alcoholic drinks. There's a strong link between heavy drinking and depression , and hangovers often make you feel anxious and low. If you already feel anxious or sad, drinking can make this worse, so cutting down may put you in a better mood generally.

Drinking can affect your sleep. Although it can help some people fall asleep quickly, it can disrupt your sleep patterns and stop you sleeping deeply.

So cutting down on alcohol should help you feel more rested when you wake up. Drinking can affect your judgement and behaviour. You may behave irrationally or aggressively when you're drunk. Memory loss can be a problem during drinking and in the long term for regular heavy drinkers.

Long-term heavy drinking can lead to your heart becoming enlarged. This is a serious condition that can't be completely reversed, but stopping drinking can stop it getting worse. Heavy drinkers tend to catch more infectious diseases. Page last reviewed: 30 November Next review due: 30 November Tips on cutting down - Alcohol support Secondary navigation Alcohol facts Alcohol units Calories in alcohol The risks of drinking too much Binge drinking.

Tips on cutting down Hangover cures Caring for someone with an alcohol problem. Make a plan Before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you're going to drink. Set a budget Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol.

Let them know If you let your friends and family know you're cutting down and it's important to you, you could get support from them. Take it a day at a time Cut back a little each day. That way, every day you do is a success. Make it a smaller one You can still enjoy a drink, but go for smaller sizes.

Stay hydrated Have a glass of water before you have alcohol and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or other non-alcoholic drinks.

Take a break Have several drink-free days each week. Benefits of cutting down The immediate effects of cutting down include: feeling better in the mornings being less tired during the day better looking skin feeling more energetic better weight management Long-term benefits include: Mood There's a strong link between heavy drinking and depression , and hangovers often make you feel anxious and low.

Sleep Drinking can affect your sleep. Behaviour Drinking can affect your judgement and behaviour. Heart Long-term heavy drinking can lead to your heart becoming enlarged. Prevent alcohol poisoning Page last reviewed: 30 November Next review due: 30 November





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