Do I have an alcohol problem?
It's likely that if you've come this far, you already have concerns about your alcohol use or a friend / family member's alcohol use.
The following alcohol use test may help you recognise the early signs of hazardous and harmful drinking and whether you should seek help from the Alcohol and Drugs Service. You can also use the NHS Choices drinking self-assessment to assess the effects of your drinking and see if you are drinking too much.
Alcohol use test on Patient UK website
Drinking self-assessment on NHS Choices website
What should I do if I think I have an alcohol problem?
If you've decided you need help you should contact the Alcohol and Drugs Service. You can also speak to your GP who can then contact us on your behalf.
If you're worried about a friend or family member, we can offer you advice and information - but the person you are worried about must contact us directly to get help.
Once you have contacted us we will offer you an appointment to discuss your concerns and situation, as well as what kind of help we may be able to give you. Your appointment is confidential and it will last about an hour.
Helping someone else with an alcohol or drug problem
Types of alcohol treatment available
If you want to cut down rather than stop your drinking, we can give you advice about:
- controlling your drinking
- reducing the harm it is causing
- setting and sticking to clear goals
We will also offer you therapeutic help and support to help you achieve your goals.
Support with giving up alcohol and avoiding relapse
If you have made a decision to stop drinking, we can offer you:
- one to one support
- motivational work
- relapse prevention
- help with lifestyle changes that assist you in finding new ways to cope without alcohol
We run a 6-week relapse prevention group which is highly recommended for people who have made the decision to stop drinking and are in the early stages of this process of change.
After prolonged and heavy daily use of alcohol you may get withdrawal symptoms when you stop. These may include:
- an inability to sleep
If you experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop drinking then we may offer you supervised alcohol detoxification at home or in hospital, depending on your needs.
Both options involve daily medication over a period of 5 to 10 days, with close supervision and support available.
There are a number of medications that you can take to help you when you decide to stop drinking. You can discuss these in more detail with someone when you are seen.
Health checks at your GP
Heavy alcohol use can often affect your liver and kidney function, nervous systems, blood pressure, digestive system and diet, pancreas and also your memory function.
If you are seeking help because of your alcohol use it may be a good idea to get a health check at your GP.
If drinking has had a definite impact on your health your GP may give you a prescription for a course of strong vitamin B compound and thiamine.
Depression and anxiety
Many people who drink heavily also experience depression and anxiety or may have other mental health problems. We will be able to offer you support and guidance about how to manage these problems and, if necessary, refer you to see someone from another agency.
Referral to rehab
If you want to stay alcohol free but feel you need more intensive and structured support in a residential setting, Silkworth Lodge offers a 12 step recovery programme. We can make a referral for you.
Silkworth Lodge website