Living outside of the UK and getting intensive treatment for drug and alcohol problems is no longer an issue with the increasing availability of online programmes. In 2019, according to UN data, 1.3 million people born in the UK lived in EU countries. Spain hosted the largest group, at 302,000 with France third with 177,000, Germany was fourth with 99,000 and Italy was fifth with 66,000.
Non-residential intensive drug and alcohol treatment in Europe can be a very mixed bag. One of the biggest issues is that provision of specialist services in the first place. Much of this is governed by each European countries drug and alcohol strategy and the funds they have allocated to outpatient treatment for this.
Once you have eventually found an outpatient service then the type of provision that is available can also be limited. Many European outpatient services are focused on a harm reduction agenda and targeting the injecting heroin community, so the focus is around needle exchange and reducing blood borne virus infections. This being the case those presenting with issues around cocaine, ketamine, prescribed drug misuse and cannabis can often feel out of place.
The other issue is that even if you can find a local treatment centre then more often than not treatment is provided in the local language. So, if you are getting into problems with your drink or drug use and English is your first and only real functional language then you are going to struggle with local services. But even for those whose second language is English many find that local services are just not geared up for the sort of help they need as their drug of choice is not represented in the treatment provision.
Fortunately, there are strong peer support services like CA, AA and NA that exist in most European countries but as we have said before in many cases peer support is not enough https://helpmestop.org.uk/blog/when-aa-is-not-enough
English speaking online treatment option can be an ideal solution and because European times zones are not too far outside of the UK’s intensive treatment is extremely accessible. This is certainly something we have experienced at Help Me Stop, where we have clients engaging in our online treatment programmes from the likes of Switzerland, Spain, Greece and even Nigeria (where there is still only an hours time difference).
Here at Help Me Stop, we believe that problematic alcohol and drug use and addiction treatment should be available to you wherever you are. As such, we have been running our online treatment programme for almost a year and replicating the great outcomes that academic studies from the likes of Yale & Zurich University have found when reviewing this model of treatment.
Online drug and alcohol treatment is nothing new, it’s been running successfully in places like the USA for over a decade. Our drug and alcohol addiction treatment offers online sessions in the evenings and mornings, making it easy to fit around work and other commitments even if you live in Europe.
The successful drug and alcohol addiction treatment methods are delivered by an expert team of addiction psychotherapists who specialise in a wide array of recovery techniques. Our sessions are delivered as online group therapy, interactive lectures, mindfulness sessions and 1 to 1 psychotherapy tailored to deal with the underlying reasons for your drug or alcohol use as well as your use itself.
As we all know we are all still in the grips of COVID-19. Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones often leading to drink and drugs to cope. And with COVID-19 keeping many of us still working from home, or under the banner of furlough online treatment is ideal.
Help Me Stop’s online programme not only addresses drink and drug use it also addresses the underlying causes such as depression, low self-esteem, stress, trauma and anxiety.
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, NA, CA and MA is great and is highly recommended, but they are not a replacement for psychotherapy or are psychotherapy. They are not 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 drink or use drugs 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, it takes the right levels and types of support, time, motivation, and hard work.
Giving up alcohol and drugs after prolonged use can be extremely difficult because the body and mind is so used to functioning with the substance. Dealing with the come down is one thing but learning to stop and stay stopped is another.
Take a look at our online programme here: https://helpmestop.org.uk/digital-dayhab
If you are concerned about your relationship with alcohol or drugs, or someone else’s, and want an effective option to stop and stay stopped then call us now on 0208 191 8920 or jump onto Live Chat/email us directly at https://helpmestop.org.uk/contact-us
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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