2017Christmas is coming, it is the time of the year when we take stock of our lives and review what worked and what needs improving in the new year for our families and us and if you have been experiencing issues with alcohol abuse then quitting could be the best Christmas present for you.

Long-term and ongoing alcohol consumption, lack of control, cravings and a need for increased amounts of alcohol, withdrawal symptoms following cessation during a 12-month period have been associated with substance dependence and alcoholism (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). If you think that you meet the before mentioned criteria, you could be dependent on alcohol that has been likely causing to your family and you psychological, behavioural, occupational, financial and personal issues that have been driving you to consider to change.

Why quitting your dependence on alcohol could be the best present this Christmas? A research indicates that alcohol dependence is linked to brain damage that is age, brain vulnerability and nutrition dependent. In almost all alcoholics alcoholism leads to cognitive impairments but following abstinence and early intervention most peoples’ brain recovers. The alcohol can disrupt the neurotransmitter system (Berman and Marinkovic). Sullivan described that 33%-50% of people dependent on alcohol will show cognitive or motor issues and the executive brain issues with processes such as memory and problem solving. Women tend to be more prone than men to a development of cirrhosis and alcohol-related brain damage. 80%-90% of alcohol-dependent people who develop Wernicke’s encephalopathy also develop Korsakoff’s psychosis. Children of alcoholics can develop foetal alcohol syndrome and a complex rehabilitation and motor training care can correct the alcohol syndrome (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

Everyone falls into the trap of the alcohol dependence for different reasons. Some people use alcohol to escape from depression, anxieties, low confidence, loneliness, feelings of failure or worthlessness or pressures of our lives and whatever the causes the experts on substance abuse treatment suggest that the treatment should be like with any other mental health issues personalised. Schoen described that successful treatment alcohol addiction involves the ego giving up control and finds similarities between a 12-step programme and Jungian addiction treatment. Alan Marlatt propagates individual therapy and meditation and described a study in which meditation worked as well with college binge drinkers as muscle relaxants. The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes addictions as a complex but treatable disease, it propagates behavioural therapies are most commonly used, emphasises that there is one best treatment for everyone, most people need minimum three months of treatment but the longer-term is the best, it recommends motivational enhancement and family behavioural approach. Joanne Towle that promotes the family systemic intervention programme for the treatment of alcohol abuse recommended in an interview that alcoholics should be confronted sooner and before they hit the rock bottom and she sees the substance abuse therapy as needing to incorporate most family members. As for the pharmacological support, Cooper suggests that Baclofen that is FDA approved for the treatment of alcohol reduces anxiety and cravings for alcohol and it is a widely requested treatment in France.

In view of the review on alcohol treatment described by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and if you want a good Christmas present for your family and you following is what you could be offered at Westminster Psychotherapy Ltd. The Westminster Psychotherapy Ltd support provided for alcohol abuse treatment will include substance misuse counselling in a confidential setting with high degree of privacy, one-to-one in-depth psychotherapy, motivational interviewing, stress management techniques including mindfulness and referral to psychiatrist substance misuse specialist where appropriate and to enquire about possible appointment please call Leona Sears directly on 07 505 124 933.