What is substance misuse?
Substance misuse: The Department of Health uses the term substance misuse to describe the taking of alcohol/drugs in a manner that causes harm to the individual, others in their lives or the wider community.
Alcohol and drug dependency is a condition whereby an individual excessively consumes alcohol or drugs. Common signs are as follows:
- Turning to alcohol and drugs to help cope with stressful life situations
- Drinking heavily or taking drugs after disappointment or feeling under pressure
- Having a strong desire to drink alcohol/consume drugs when you first wake up
- Personal and work relationships are suffering as a result of alcohol/drug dependency
- Suffering from withdrawal symptoms when alcohol/drug consumption is stopped
What is the treatment for alcohol/drug dependence?
Initially a free assessment is offered to all individuals experiencing difficulties with alcohol or drugs. This will help to determine what would be helpful and allow the counsellor to get some understanding of the person. In some instances it is the family or friends of the individual who come to seek guidance on how to deal with the situation.
The patient will be put on an individual medically managed regime to allow safe withdrawal from dependent substances and may also include stabilisation and /or reduction of other problem substances. We are able to apply this treatment to alcohol, illicit substances, prescribed medication and over the counter medication. We can work most effectively if given permission by the patient to liaise with their GP or other community services. If a patient does not want this contact, we will respect their wishes if we agree that it is safe and effective to do so.
If the individual decides that they wish to be admitted to the hospital the process is as follows:
- The patient is assessed by the counselling team, the nursing team and hospital doctor on admission and a range of medical checks are carried out. These include blood tests, ECG, urinalysis, general observations to ensure that the detoxification planned is both safe and effective
- A regime of medication will be set up to help with any withdrawal symptoms the patient may experience. The nursing staff regularly check on patient progress
- We have a team of counsellors who work with the patient both in group and one to one therapy sessions
- A treatment plan will be agreed with the patient. The treatment programme looks at the consequences of addiction, relationships, behaviours, the addictive personality, relapse prevention and explores thoughts and feelings
- The patient will be reviewed by the Consultant Psychiatrist on a weekly basis
- We offer regular walks if the patient is fit enough and also a good menu of home cooked food with enough choice to encourage patients to begin eating a healthy diet of regular meals again. We can cater for specific dietary needs e.g. Halal, vegetarian etc.
- Recovery is an ongoing process and we provide a free aftercare programme. Support for the patient’s family and significant others is also offered. This includes family case conferences whilst the patient in an inpatient and ongoing family support meetings, facilitated by a member of the counselling team.