Problematic alcohol and drug use does not get better on its own, nothing magical is suddenly going to happen to make things improve. The bottom line is for those who struggle with problematic alcohol and drug use, things will only get worse. Those is active use will try to convince themselves it won’t but as a team of people that have been there themselves, we know the reality, plus we have seen it every day in 10 or 20 years many of us at Help Me Stop have been treating clients.
As we have said before in other posts all those that struggle with drug and alcohol use, both current and recovered, can recall the decline in their quality of life and wellbeing as their “addiction” takes greater hold of them and their actions and behaviours. There reaches a point when the person knows they are in too deep and need to act, but it’s a different story entirely to actually do something about it because “its not the right time”.
As we have said before the concept of the ‘right time’ is dangerous and insidious. There is always denial that your problem is really that bad, and the false hope that it will magically get better on its own or through willpower. It becomes a trick your mind uses to avoid you making today the day you act. If you know you need drug and alcohol treatment, the right time to enquire about it isn’t tomorrow. It’s now.
It isn’t when you’ve used the last of your drugs or had your last drink, and it isn’t when tomorrow comes around in the hope you’ll be more motivated to pick up the phone, email an enquiry form or jump on Live Chat. It's now.
Perhaps reading Frankie’s story will encourage you to pick up the phone, e-mail or jump on Live Chat.
Frankie is in her 40s and was born in Eastern Europe but has been in the UK for over 25 years, having been at University here and then moving into the full-time employment. She has a partner and a fulfilling job but has always had a problematic relationship with alcohol. Due to work and where she was living coming into Help Me Stop’s centre in West London was not an option, hence her use of our online drug and alcohol treatment programme.
This is Frankie’s message to all of those that have yet to make that call, send that email or jump on that Live Chat.
This will sound like a cliché; however, it is true. This programme and my one-to-one therapist have saved my life.
Although I have had a long-standing problem with alcohol, this was the very first time I have attempted to stop. The reason for me wanting to stop was that drinking alcohol was no longer an option for me as I was set to lose everything, on top of what I have already lost.
My drinking became unmanageable and although I have functioned to a certain level, I lived to drink. I became a shell of a person I used to be, I have isolated myself and hid my addiction so that I can continue to destroy my life and the life of others around me. I became selfish and self-centred without me realising it. I wanted to stop; I just did not know how to. Nor did I believe that I was actually able to stop.
It turns out with the right support I have managed to succeed, and I will continue to succeed.
For anybody, feeling scared, petrified, like I was, my advice is for you to jump and have faith. This programme works if you accept the help that is offered. Felt daunting at first, however it was the very best thing that I have done for myself. I cannot thank the whole team for their support, devotion, kindness, and non-judgmental support. I am forever in your debt, HMS and my one-to-one therapist.
Stopping and staying stopped is a about a psychological shift and lifestyle change which best comes about through psychological therapies and peer support. Peer support like SMART or AA is great and is highly recommended, but they are not a replacement for psychotherapy or are psychotherapy. Neither are they run by trained addiction psychotherapists and neither will get to the fundamental bottom of your use from a psychological perspective. Getting to the psychological reasons why you binge drink and doing something about this is fundamental to long term behaviour change and staying stopped.
There is no magic pill or magic wand to stopping and staying stopped. There is no quick fix, as Frankie demonstrates it takes the right levels and types of support, time, motivation, and hard work.
Giving up drinking or drug use after prolonged use can be extremely difficult because the body is so used to functioning with the substance. Dealing with the come downs, hangovers and false promises to "stop this time" is one thing but learning to stop and stay stopped is another.
If you are concerned about your relationship with drugs or alcohol, or someone else’s, and want to know what the options are for stopping and staying stopped then call us now on 0208 191 8920 or jump onto Live Chat/email us directly at https://helpmestop.org.uk/contact-us
Help Me Stop’s intensive non-residential outpatient Dayhab drug and alcohol treatment programme is an effective psychological solution that also offers 3 months of free accessible aftercare and family support options. Treatment is delivered face to face either in the mornings or afternoons over 6 weeks.
For those adults who can't access our centre in West London we offer a 6-week evening and morning online outpatient drug alcohol treatment programme, run by the same therapists that provide the face-to-face programme. And as you can see from Frankies' story it works.
Chris Cordell is Help Me Stop's General Manager and is a senior associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine, Certified International Recovery Specialist, member of the International Society of Addiction Medicine and a member of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals.
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