Alcohol addiction rehabilitation clinic and treatment centre

For many people, enjoying an alcoholic drink is a harmless pleasure. However, when alcohol use becomes more frequent, it can lead to dependency. Without treatment and rehabilitation, dependency on alcohol can cause serious long-term problems, and can even be fatal.

We understand that embarking upon recovery from alcohol addiction can be an emotionally turbulent time for you. With this in mind, Priory offers a free alcohol addiction assessment with an experienced specialist at all of our addiction treatment hospitals and clinics, to help you to discuss your alcohol addiction in confidence. 

This will help to put your mind at ease and assist you in developing an understanding of the journey that you will be taking towards a more positive way of life. 

What is an alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, is a condition that is characterised by drinking alcohol in excess, which eventually causes your body to become dependent on alcohol in order to function in daily life. 

Alcohol addiction can cause a range of physical and psychological problems, and can have a detrimental impact on your relationships, work and social life. Alcohol rehabilitation and counselling can help you to address your alcohol addiction in a supportive and compassionate environment, and take proactive steps towards recovery from alcohol dependency.

Recommended alcohol intake

Experts advise that the recommended weekly intake of alcohol is 14 units. This equates to:

  • 6 pints of beer

  • 6 glasses of wine

  • 14 25ml measures of spirits (also known as shots)

Individuals who are suffering from alcohol addiction regularly consume much more than this each week. If you find that you are regularly exceeding this amount, it may be that you have developed an addiction to alcohol and require specialist treatment.

Effects of alcohol dependence

There are several common misconceptions about alcohol dependence, which can lead to a delay in seeking help. You might believe that a lack of withdrawal symptoms or social problems means that your alcohol dependence is not a problem.

Many heavy drinkers, particularly women, can develop cirrhosis and liver failure caused by a tolerance to alcohol, which acts to minimise withdrawal symptoms.

If you think that you may be misusing alcohol in your daily life, take a closer look at our symptoms of alcoholism section for further information on the signs of alcohol addiction and recommended treatment. You can also explore our recent interactive campaign on the hidden signs of alcohol addiction.

What causes alcoholism?

Alcoholism develops when you regularly drink to the extent that your brain undergoes fundamental chemical changes. These changes increase the feelings of pleasure associated with drinking alcohol and consequently, make you want to drink more.

At first, consuming alcohol can result in feelings of confidence and relaxation. However, as the alcohol dependency worsens, these pleasurable feelings are reduced and a person is required to drink simply to avoid unpleasant and sometimes dangerous alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol addiction treatment

If you are already thinking about seeking help for an addiction to alcohol, then it is likely that you have acknowledged that you have a problem, which is a significant first step.

Priory’s nationwide network of  consultants and therapists has treated thousands of people at our specialist alcohol rehabilitation centres, enabling them to successfully overcome their dependence on alcohol.

There are several types of treatment that we offer at our alcohol treatment clinics, which are delivered according to your individual needs and the severity of your addiction. These are alcohol rehabilitation, abstinence and detoxification.

Alcohol rehabilitation

Alcohol rehabilitation can take many forms depending on your individual requirements. For people who require help with alcohol addiction, treatment can vary from self-help groups to intensive treatment in a rehabilitation facility. Therapy is aimed at helping you to understand why you drink, before developing healthier alternatives to drinking and eventually leading to a fulfilled life without alcohol.

At our alcohol rehabilitation centres, our specialists will encourage you to acknowledge  a variety of difficult issues, which may cause intense emotions and mood swings, but will eventually lead to acceptance and recovery.

Abstinence from alcohol

Alcohol abstinence refers to an individual avoiding alcohol consumption. Where abstinence is needed, treatment is structured and often involves several stages similar to those used in self-help or counselling organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The main aim is to help you to give up alcohol completely, rather than simply cut down on your drinking. 

Alcohol detoxification

If you are physically dependent on alcohol (characterised by suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking), the first step in treatment is medically assisted withdrawal or alcohol detoxification. This involves replacing alcohol with other drugs, then reducing the dose over five to seven days in hospital.

The detoxification process may be slower if this is carried out at home or as an outpatient. The aim of detoxification is to reduce the unpleasant symptoms that are associated with ceasing drinking, thus assisting alcohol recovery. These symptoms are generally worse during the first day of treatment, but quickly improve over the following days.

Alcohol counselling

Alcohol counselling is therapy received from a counsellor on a 1:1 basis or in a group setting, and can include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or a 12-Step abstinence model. It can be used in conjunction with detoxification and other methods to help you on your journey to sobriety.

Alcohol addiction therapy outpatient package

Priory also provides a tailored 1:1 outpatient therapy package for alcoholism. Our packages offer certainty of price for a set amount of 1:1 therapy sessions, including discounted rates. The amount of sessions that we recommend within each package is based on national guidelines.

This is Fiona, an alcohol addict patient. Watch as she talks about her experience of alcohol addiction and her time at The Priory Hospital Woking:

Our personalised programmes at our alcohol rehab facilities include a free initial assessment as well as 12 months of aftercare and family support. Abstinence can be a long and difficult journey, but by using the 12-Step model of alcohol recovery and a comprehensive support network, we have demonstrated that treatment can work.

How to test if you’re dependent on alcohol

In alcohol rehabilitation and treatment for alcohol dependency, a commonly used method to ascertain whether you could be addicted to alcohol, is known as the CAGE test.

What is the CAGE test and what will it show?

In alcoholism rehabilitation and alcohol dependency treatment, a commonly used test to work out if you could be alcohol dependent is the CAGE test.

The CAGE questions:

  • Have you ever felt that you should Cut down on your drinking?
  • Have people ever Annoyed you by criticising your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about your drinking?
  • Have you ever had an Eye opener; a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

Help for alcoholism and further information

For further details on how Priory can provide you with further assistance regarding Alcohol addiction rehabilitation clinic and treatment centre, please call 0800 840 3219. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here