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Alcoholism Treatment - I want to stop drinking: what are my options?

Published 24/04/2008

When someone with a drinking problem takes the courageous decision to seek treatment for their alcoholism, they are taking a step into the unknown. Unless they've been admitted to an alcohol rehabilitation centre before, they may be very unclear about what lies in store for them.

They should, however, draw strength from the fact that their participation in alcohol treatment stands a good chance of getting them on the road to recovery. "There is a very high success rate of long-term recovery among motivated individuals who are willing to begin to make behavioural and emotional changes on an ongoing basis," says Grant Sharpe, a therapist at Linwood Group.

The first stage of alcohol treatment is to remove alcohol from the system and, for some, this may involve detoxification under medical supervision. This typically takes around seven days and tablets may be prescribed to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and to start to repair the damage caused by alcohol to the brain and nervous system.

But detox alone is not the treatment for alcohol dependence, it's only a start. Clients at Linwood Group are strongly advised to enter a period of therapy, typically of at least three further weeks, where the reasons and triggers for their drinking behaviour are addressed. "A week's detox is rarely enough to give you the life you can experience without the daily grind of having to drink," says Grant.

At Linwood Group, this is achieved using a range of therapies, including:


Conducted on an individual, one-to-one basis, the purpose of counselling sessions is to facilitate the client to begin a process of renewal, enabling them to move away from the past, and to move forward with a more positive attitude.

Group Therapy

Group therapy enables the individual to acquire different, successful ways of communicating and can learn to accept feedback. The use of peer group challenging can be extremely beneficial in the process of making effective behavioural change.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

CBT is an excellent treatment for most emotional and behavioural problems. By assisting in the process of moving away from thoughts and emotions that can confuse clear thinking and keep people from acting in the way they would like.

 Neuro-Linguistic Programming/Psychology (NLP)

The philosophy behind NLP is that people have all the resources they need to succeed, but may have lost the ability to access these resources. NLP enables people to develop positive and worthwhile strategies for a successful approach to life.

All of these therapies contribute to a growing self-awareness which clients are then encouraged to use as a platform for making the emotional and behaviour changes they need to achieve a balanced way of life. Those changes should then be maintained and supported by participation in an Alcoholics Anonymous group, after the recovering alcoholic has left residential treatment. If you're ready to take that step yourself, or to recommend it to someone you know, please enquire for confidential help and advice.



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