Returning to Work After Alcohol Treatment – What Should You Do?

Contrary to what the media thinks, not every alcoholic is an unemployed bum who sits in his or her house all day. The truth is most alcoholics have jobs just like everyone else. This presents a new challenge, though. If you have already gone to drug rehab, the chances are you are due to be back at work soon. How do you react? What will your co-workers say? How are you going to broach the difficult subject of why you were away?

What is the Common Reaction?

Our biggest fear is that we will leave rehab clinics only to return to a workplace filled with negativity and toxic thoughts. This is not the case. Even if you are not particularly fond of your co-workers, the fact is the majority of people are well aware of the damage alcoholism can cause. It is highly unlikely that you will encounter any hostility upon your return.

This is a common fear borne out of our own insecurities. For some people, it is so bad that they delay their return to work for days until they pluck up the courage to go back.

Do You Say Anything?

You do not have to make a big song and dance about why you were away. Nobody is going to expect you to get up in front of the group and admit that you are an alcoholic. In fact, many former alcoholics are shocked to find that when they return everyone is getting on with work as if you were never way.

What many people don’t realise is your average person on the street does not care about why you were away. All that matters to them is that you’re back now.

When you go back to work, walk in as normal, sit down, and do your job. You may have a brief discussion with your boss or manager, but this is unlikely to be invasive and you are not obliged to talk about anything you do not want to talk about. Your place of work is there to support you not bring you down.

What if Someone Asks?

So, let’s say that you have a work friend and they’re wondering why you’re away. Before you answer, think back to alcohol rehab clinics and what they preach. One of the first counselling sessions you participated in involved you admitting to yourself and the group that you are an alcoholic. Apply the same principles here.

There is no need to feel embarrassed about it. If someone asks where you were, tell them the truth. If people know you’re comfortable about where you’ve been, they will not ask again. Moreover, if you are working with people who understand what you are going through the chances are they will help you.

An Irrational Fear

Overall, the fear of returning to work because you had to take a leave of absence for rehab is an unfounded one. The majority of people are well aware of alcoholism. It no longer carries the stigma it once did. Be honest about your situation if someone asks, but do not feel like you have to defend yourself to anyone in the workplace.

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How to Deal with the Pressure to Drink

There is no denying we live in a world where alcohol is easier to access than ever before. For social drinkers, this is great news, but it’s hell for anyone trying to deal with an addiction to alcohol. Alcohol rehab can teach you how to avoid your triggers, but they cannot prepare you for when you come under pressure to drink from both direct and indirect forces.

We look at how you can best deal with the pressure to drink.

Direct and Indirect Pressure

To begin with, it is important to know the difference between direct pressure to drink and indirect pressure to drink. Here are the primary differences between the two that we have established:

1. Direct pressure. This is simply someone asking if you want to drink. It can range from a simple request to outright aggression.

2. Indirect pressure to drink is appearing at a social function where everyone is drinking apart from you. It is about being surrounded by alcohol and feeling tempted to drink.

Undue Amounts of Indirect Pressure

Indirect pressure is the first type of pressure you need to address. Whenever you leave drug rehab, you are going to find yourself in a situation where indirect pressure will become your biggest enemy. You are less likely to experience direct pressure because people are being extra careful not to tempt you.

During this time, anything from a drinks logo to the sight of the local bar will convince you that you have to drink. Since you are so vulnerable, the best option is to avoid these triggers until you feel you have better control over your urges.

What about Direct Pressure?

Avoidance strategies will not work with direct pressure in most cases. Whenever you come under direct pressure, you have to say no. It may sound difficult, but there are ways to make it easier. In the beginning, you can use avoidance strategies to stay away from people and events where alcohol may be thrust upon you.

The best way to say no is to say it straight away without hesitation. By hesitating,you are prompting the other person to ask again, and that second question could just tip you over the edge.

If you feel like you are about to crumble under the strain of direct pressure use an escape strategy. An escape strategy can be anything from simply staying close to the door or pretending as if you have to make a phone call. It is literally a way of getting you out of a scenario where you may be tempted to drink.

It Gets Easier

Pressure is just the reality of dealing with an alcohol addiction. Rehab clinics will tell you this early on in your stay. It does get easier, however. With every refusal, you gain confidence and you get stronger. Over time, you will gradually start to recover and your willpower will increase in strength. The first six months are always the hardest when it comes to pressure.

This does not mean you should put yourself in harm’s way to test yourself. Just have your escape strategies ready in advance, for when the time comes.

Running an Alcohol Recovery Blog – How to Do It

An alcohol recovery blog is a way for you to list your thoughts and empower yourself and others to beat your demons and move on with your life. Starting a blog is often the hardest part. You have to take those first bold steps if you are going to start the recovery process. It is not difficult to do, and you do not need any prior technical knowledge.

So with that in mind, let uslook at how you can begin sharing your own dose of alcohol rehab in a safe and secure online environment.

1. Start a Blog

Use a prominent platform like Blogger or WordPress to start your blog. They both have many free templates available for you to get started. You do not need a great degree of technical knowledge to get started with it. All you need is the ability to read a few guides and you are already good to go.

2. Post Consistently

Running a blog is about having a certain amount of discipline. Establish a posting schedule and stick to it. It does not have to be every other day. You define how often you want to post about your experiences. It can be as sparingly as once every two weeks. You know best how long it is going to take you to write a high-quality blog.

3. Honest Not Fancy

You are not writing a novel that you are about to send away to an agent. The beauty of writing about drug rehab is the focus is entirely on rehabilitation itself. It is not about coming up with lots of metaphors and similes. You are there to call upon a certain degree of honesty. Speak about whatever is on your mind, even if you feel like it is silly.

Your audience wants to get to know the real you.

4. The Goal

The goal here is not to market yourself and make money from your blog. It’s a cathartic experience designed to help you through the recovery process. Do not fret over things like traffic numbers. It can take months to build a following. Never let yourself get disheartened because other blogs are more popular than yours are.

Before you start writing your first blog, write down your primary goal. An alcohol recovery blog should be there to help you ultimately overcome your addiction. You do not have to worry about how well your advertisements are doing.

5. Engage

If you do decide to allow people to comment on your experience of rehab clinics, make sure you are strong enough to put up with potentially negative feedback. If you believe that you are not capable of dealing with this, turn the comments off. Most blogging platforms have an option where you can choose to disable comments from other people.

Do not limit your engagement to your blog. Visit chat rooms and alcohol and drug addiction boards. Speak about your blog there and promote yourself casually. You may just make some brand new friends simply from speaking to others about your experiences and your desire to use the online arena as your personal diary.

Is Cost Hindering Private Drug and Alcohol Rehab?

In 2012 the NHS estimated there were about 60 private rehab clinics in the UK assisting both alcoholics and drug users. The same estimate suggested that more than 30 clinics had closed across the country in the previous three years. That is a 30% decline in services – a decline that may be largely due to the cost factor.

So just who does the cost of private rehab affect? Both those who need help and the clinics themselves. When addicts do not have the money or insurance to cover the cost of drug or alcohol rehab, they are missing out on the valuable services offered by private clinics. When the clinics do not have enough patients to keep their beds filled, they find it financially difficult to remain open. It is a double-edged sword and a never-ending cycle, all rolled into one.

Government Responsibility

The government willingly took on the role of being responsible for the nation’s healthcare when it established the NHS in 1948. Is it reasonable to assume part of that responsibility includes providing alcohol and drug rehab to those in need? Yes, it is. That is why the NHS provides free services by way of detox, counselling, and prescription medications. Nevertheless, some would suggest those services do not go far enough.

The biggest problem with NHS services is that they are not goal-oriented. In other words, NHS treatment providers do not set out a specific plan of action for recovery, with measurable results and a definite endpoint. GPs write prescriptions, recommend patients take advantage of support groups, and then leave it at that.

Making matters worse is the government funding that was cut from private rehab programmes over the last 10 years. It used to be the NHS worked with private clinics to offer residential rehab. That is no more. The loss of funding has meant the end for far too many private clinics that were doing good work.

The Next Step

As we continue to do battle with drugs and alcohol across the UK, we need to take a step back and figure out how to take the next step forward. The responsible policymaker should welcome an effort to analyse the results of private drug and alcohol rehab as compared to the results of NHS services. If it turns out private rehab is doing the job better, perhaps funding should be diverted away from unproductive NHS programmes and toward private treatment.

Above all, finding a solution to the problem has to rise above political differences. If cost is hindering private rehab, and it appears that it is, we need to find a way to make it affordable. It needs to be affordable to the recovering addict and financially viable for the private clinic. Otherwise, we can expect more of the same.

Beating Addiction: Is It Recovery or Conquering?

When two Americans founded Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s, they began what would eventually become the most successful alcohol rehab programme in history. Bill Wilson and Bob Smith established their organisation after failing to find the help they needed to overcome alcohol dependence. They based their treatment model on the idea of group support and fellowship that would enable long-term recovery for every participant. Thus, the 12-step recovery programme was born.

Alcoholics Anonymous became so successful that it was adapted for drug rehab as well. The whole idea of recovery by way of mutual support and accountability laid the foundation for the modern rehab clinics we are all familiar with today. Yet despite the success of the 12-step programme established by Alcoholics Anonymous, there remains some debate over the question of whether or not beating addiction is really a process of recovery. Some believe it is a process of conquering.

Recovering from Addiction

The recovery philosophy is rooted in the belief that addiction is a permanent problem that, once established, must be dealt with for a lifetime. Thus, the 12-step approach calls for ongoing counselling and support for the remainder of one’s life. Some organisations include a spiritual component to recovery while others do not. In either case, recovery never ceases.

Of course, the idea of recovery has further led to the classification of addiction as a disease. Moreover, as a disease, curing it requires medical treatment. Yet the concept of disease requires addiction to be looked at from multiple angles. It must be considered not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Even when physical addiction is overcome, ongoing treatment is necessary to deal with the mental and emotional.

Conquering Addiction

An alternative philosophy of conquering addiction arose in the 1990s with the development of the SMART recovery programme. The SMART way of looking at addiction is to view it as a personal problem that can be permanently solved with the right solutions. This philosophy does not see overcoming addiction as a lifelong process of recovery.

The conquering philosophy is not one that has been adopted by drug and alcohol rehab clinics to the same degree as the traditional 12-step recovery approach. However, it is gaining traction. SMART programmes are now available through more than 1,000 support groups worldwide. These groups focus on analysing drug and alcohol problems, coming up with practical solutions, and then applying the solutions in order to conquer addiction.

At the end of the day, there really is no right or wrong here. It always comes down to finding the approach that works best for the individual. Some people will require the recovery philosophy to break the addiction cycle and avoid relapse. Others do much better approaching addiction from the conquering mindset.

The Difference between Outpatient and Home Detox

When an individual first arrives at a doctor’s office or clinic looking for help with rehab, a doctor or nurse must assess the severity of the individual’s problem. Where a full-blown addiction is diagnosed, detox is the first step in recovery. Detox can be administered under one of the following three treatment models:

1. inpatient detox
2. outpatient detox
3. home detox.

Inpatient detox is what you normally find with residential rehab centres operated by private entities. Outpatient and home detox can be provided by private clinics, charities and the NHS. We assume most people are familiar with inpatient detox; here is what you need to know about the differences between outpatient and home detox:

Outpatient Detox

Outpatient detox is the preferred choice among NHS doctors dealing with alcohol and heroin issues. It might be used for other sorts of addictions as well. An outpatient programme requires the individual to visit a facility on a daily basis throughout the term of treatment. Daily visits are necessary to monitor progress and administer prescription medications.

Some residential drug and alcohol rehab clinics also offer outpatient detox to those with less serious problems. The one downside to outpatient detox is that the individual continues to exist within his daily routine and normal life. The distractions and temptations of that life might be too much to overcome with outpatient detox.

Home Detox

The idea of home detox arose from the reality that there are some people in need of help who cannot get to an outpatient clinic or a residential rehab facility. Under this treatment option, detox is conducted in the individual’s home, under the supervision of a registered nurse, and with the help of family and friends.

Home detox begins with a medical assessment by the nurse. He or she will then prescribe certain medications where appropriate. Throughout the course of the next 7 to 10 days, the nurse will visit the home to check the progress of the individual undergoing detox. The nurse will also administer the prescribed medicines.

Home detox is a very good option when getting to a local alcohol or drug rehab clinic is not possible. However, success requires a strong support system from committed family members and friends. An individual’s family setting must usually be evaluated before he is approved for home detox.

Medical Supervision

We cannot stress enough the need for medical supervision where detox is concerned. Detox is considered a medical emergency due to the potentially harmful effects of withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, you should never attempt detox on your own. If you need help for an alcohol or drug addiction problem, make an appointment to see your GP or contact one of the many addiction referral services operating in the UK.

Three Reasons Recovering Addicts Should Not Neglect Aftercare

When a recovering substance abuser attends residential rehab at one of the many drug or alcohol rehab clinics around the UK, the conclusion of the treatment programme is usually followed up with several months of aftercare services. Aftercare is a series of therapies and support services intended to help prevent recovering addicts from returning to their former lifestyles.

The interesting thing about aftercare is that it can last anywhere from three to 12 months, or even longer. It all depends on the needs of the individual. At any rate, recovering addicts should not neglect aftercare services under any circumstances. Here are three reasons why:

1. Relapse Potential

The most important mission of aftercare is to help prevent relapse. Moreover, statistics show it works. According to a 2011 study, recovering addicts who do not participate in aftercare are 10 times more likely to relapse within the first year after completing a residential treatment programme.

Aftercare picks up where residential treatment leaves off. It provides support and ongoing therapy by way of counselling, support group participation, and 12-step work. Whether it is three months or 12, aftercare goes a long way toward preventing relapse.

2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Residential alcohol and drug rehab relies on the principle of confronting addiction issues daily for treatment to be successful. During a 12-week programme for example, residents spend three months doing little else but dealing with substance abuse and addiction issues. It is that concentrated focus that allows for faster recovery times. However, upon completion of the programme the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ principle kicks in.

Aftercare encourages recovery to remain at the forefront of the recovering addict’s mind. In so doing, it helps to maintain a better focus in a way that keeps him working hard toward full recovery.

3. Group Dynamics

Group dynamics play an important role in many of the treatments today’s rehab clinics offer. In a group setting, there is mutual support and accountability that helps each participant do better in his fight against substance abuse and addiction. That dynamic does not change once residential rehab is complete.

Aftercare services also depend on the group dynamic for things like support group participation and 12-step work. When recovering addicts do not participate in aftercare, they are choosing not to take advantage of the power of the group dynamic. That is truly a shame.

It should be noted that some recovering addicts continue to participate in group functions long after their aftercare services come to a close. They do so out of a desire to help others along their journey to recovery. The recovering addict just beginning aftercare services can reap a lot of benefits from the experiences of those who have gone before.