TV company needs help with a programme about shoplifting and is ready to fund treatment.

illustrationWe have been approached by a Television Production Company which is interested in finding someone aged between 18 and 32 to help with a programme about shoplifting.

This is not about shoplifting for gain but where the individual either is unaware of their actions or is aware but is at a loss to explain why they have shoplifted.

Should the idea go into production, the company is willing to fund the client’s three months programme of recovery with Addictions UK.

The project would be ethical at all times and nothing would be done to harm the client’s interest. The client would be involved closely with decision making throughout the making of the programme.

If you are interested or know someone for whom this could be of benefit please contact Addictions UK on line or telephone 0845 4567 030.

Addictions UK has no editorial or management responsibility for this TV Programme.

Getting the right Alcohol Treatment diagnosis

Ok, you decided that drink is a problem so you look for help. Here is the rub; every one you talk to has a different idea. Some will tell you to use your “will power”, after all they don’t drink every day so why should you need to? Some will offer to teach you “how to drink sensibly and manage your difficulty”.

When you search a little deeper you may be told that you must have had a recent or not so recent traumatic event in your life and that’s why you drink. “Route out the trauma and you will be fine and you will be able to drink just the way others do”…. Finally someone will suggest “abstinence” and maybe even “a twelve step programme”.

What they all have in common is that they all the methodology can be evidence-based and certainly come with a mass of testimonials as to how well it works.  Unfortunately there are probably an equal number of testimonials saying how one approach or another did not work for the person concerned.

If this leaves you confused, then you’re not alone. The point is that phrases like drink problem, alcoholic, alcohol abuser, heavy drinker and binge drinker mean different things to different people and to make matters worse are often interchanged, even by professionals. There can be vigorous debates within the medical profession as to which is the right approach. Each one favouring their own style of treatment, even disputing what language should be used. Political correctness and not offending the drinking client, who is seen to have made a life style choice, can be construed as paramount or alternatively calling a “spade a spade” as an expression of tough love is said by some to be more appropriate.

The reality is of course that this is where that old saying “horses for courses” really means something. There are at least three highly visible and separate problems that can highlighted in respect of alcohol. The right diagnosis is essential.

Life style:  I work hard and I play hard, I am entitled to have some fun, so what if I drink more than the recommended limits? it’s OK – I can handle it. Well I could till recently, it seems to have got a little out of hand but it’s OK once I have had the first drink. I think I might have a problem but I am not sure.

The Traumatic event:   It’s OK that I am drinking a lot at the moment! I just need to get over the break up with my partner/bereavement/terrible accident/other traumatic experience. When I am over it I will be able to stop. It’s just now I need it as a medicine to help with the anxiety in the morning.

The Total Enigma:  I have got everything I want: great relationship, beautiful kids, nice house, dream job and a BMW on the drive! So why I am I risking it all by getting drunk at precisely the wrong time, by turning up at work smelling of drink because I needed a morning pick me up? Frankly, I am at a total loss to explain why I do this. In the past I could stop but then I would have one drink then it would just take off again. Now in the morning I need a drink just to stop the shakes.

Whilst any of the above can result in a physical addiction to alcohol, for which a professional should be consulted before attempting stopping, each one has a separate physiological approach in helping/treating the individual.

Talking therapies are basic to the treatment of all of the above but each neds a different pathway. After a medicine-based detox, which may be required in many cases to avoid potential fitting, then the correct treatment needs to be selected with the help of a qualified therapist. For some this might mean to learn to drink within safe limits, for others abstinence will be the answer. It really depends on whether you have a pathological dependency which is an illness within the brain or more simply have made some bad choices in life as regards drinking. An inability to handle some traumatic event that causes us anxiety can be at the base of heavy drinking as we try to hide from reality. This too can be helped with a talking therapy with great results.

Here at Addictions UK you can always rely on an unbiased opinion as to which course of actions is best for you. Some may comprise paid-for treatment, from home detox and recovery plans that allow you to work as well as get well to specialist Rehab Centres for when a complete break from things is required.  We can often signpost you “to free at the point of use” agencies, local to you. Whatever your needs, there is always a solution; don’t let confusion prevent you from getting well.

Addictions UK works with people who need addictions treatment services and, uniquely, offers a drug and alcohol addictions treatment service at home. We also have access to a wide range of residential rehabilitation centres.  For further information please telephone 0845 4567 030 or contact us on line.

Does Cannabis use affect driving? – Is it Dangerous?

Simon writes:

illustrationLet me begin by saying I have no interest in the legalisation/criminalisation debate. Whatever the legal basis, people will still use cannabis; there will always be pros and cons.

The question I have proposed for this article concerns safety on the roads and whether there is a pontential risk to life and limb, be it our own or other people’s.

A study carried out by Dalhousie University in Canada, which was published in the British Medical Journal, reviewed nine studies of around 50,000 of people worldwide who had been in a fatal or serious accident and shows that those who use cannabis and drive within three hours are twice as likely to be involved in a very serious collision involving death or injury as those who have not.

Another study revolving around heavy cannabis use, done by University of Auckland in New Zealand, claims to have found evidence to show that heavy users are 10 times more likely to be injured or injure others. The team compared a control group of 588 randomly selected drivers and 571 drivers involved in hospital admissions or death. They looked at those who used cannabis in the long term and had used in the last three hours. The cannabis using group were found to be 9.5 times more likely to be involved in a serious accident.

Anecdotal evidence from many clients that I have worked with suggests that some cannabis users feel they are better drivers when they have used. Often they claim they have deliberately driven more carefully.

My personal experience was that in the beginning I did not use and drive but soon found myself ridding my motor bike and thinking “this is fun”. It wasn’t too many years before I drove a car straight into a van that I just did not see.

I now think that cannabis use and driving is a danger to other road users and the person concerned.

Addictions UK works with people who need addictions treatment services and, uniquely, offers a drug and alcohol addictions treatment service at home.  For further information please telephone 0845 4567 030 or contact us on line.

Professional classes are now the most frequent drinkers in the country – the BBC and Lancet focus on alcohol and addiction problems.

BBC Panorama is broadcasting a report hosted and researched by Alistair Campbell, Journalist and former right hand man of Tony Blair during his Prime Ministership.

41% of professional men drink more than the recommended daily limit of three to four units at least once a week. Women are also drinking much more than they used to, with alcoholic liver disease now split evenly between the sexes.

Many professionals drink even higher amount of alcohol.

Recent figures show that nearly 9,000 people die each year in the UK from alcohol-related diseases. Liver disease in general is the only major cause of death in Britain that is on the rise, year after year – claiming 100 lives every week – whereas mortality for all the smoking diseases is falling dramatically.

Many physicians have called for more resources to be invested in the treatment of alcohol abuse and addiction.

For details of the Panorama programme here is the link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_9696000/9696398.stm

In an article in the Lancet it has been reported that failure to reform alcohol laws could lead to 210,000 preventable deaths in England and Wales in the next 20 years, doctors have warned. The projected mortality figures come from Prof. Ian Gilmore, a former President of the Royal College of Physicians, Dr. Nick Sheron, from the National Institute for Health Research and members of the British Society of Gastroenterology.

For a link to the BBC news article please see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17073816

Addictions UK offers alcohol treatment at home to those people who reject help from addiction rehabilitation/residential treatment facilities including Home Community Detox Services. For further information or help please contact Addictions UK – the leading addictions treatment specialists in the UK or telephone us on 0845 4567 030