Lauren self-referred to Recovery Near You by contacting us on the Adult SPOC number. She stated she had been drinking alcohol to dependent levels (at least 14 units daily) although had not been drinking for the last three weeks. Her GP had prescribed her Acamprosate, Vitamin B and Thiamine.
Lauren reported that she had maintained her abstinence for 2-3 months previously but a holiday had triggered her drinking again. Her alcohol use was causing problems in her relationship and this had resulted in a breakdown of her marriage and divorce proceedings being initiated. She had a number of health issues related to her drinking, including having problems with her liver. She had lost a considerable amount of weight due to not eating whilst she was drinking – alcohol had affected her skin, her stomach was hardened, her legs were swollen and she was finding it difficult to walk. She also reported feeling very weak and was no longer able to ride her bike. She was employed in a full-time management position; she had collapsed at work and was therefore off sick.
She attended her assessment and five one-to-one appointments following this for brief intervention. Our brief intervention sessions involved:
- Session 1 – looking at Lauren’s health and the affect alcohol had on it. She was working well with her GP, attending all her medical appointments and going for regular blood tests. We provided details for other services that may also be helpful for Lauren. We discussed the Intuitive Recovery course and I made a referral, and we discussed other group support that is available. We also discussed her pros and cons of drinking and keeping a drink diary.
- Session 2 – looking at the drug and alcohol star, discussing anxiety and anxious thinking and exploring activities she can do to occupy her time.
- Session 3 – exploring stigmas and how to cope when she is feeling down because she was a little low in mood and feeling stressed recently and she was concerned about going back to work. Lauren reported that her blood test results had already started showing signs of improvement.
- Session 4 – Lauren was feeling much more positive and had been able to sort out her housing and arrange her return to work. She had also attended all four sessions of the Intuitive Recovery course and she found this very useful. Lauren recounted recent times of being able to do day-to-day activities without having a drink prior. Her anxiety had eased and there was noticeable improvement in her skin, the swelling had reduced in her legs and her overall physical health had greatly improved. She is now able to ride her bike and spend time working on improving her health and fitness.
- Session 5 – Lauren came to the conclusion that ending her relationship was in her best interests as her partner also drank alcohol daily. She continues to mostly abstain from alcohol but has been looking at reintroducing alcohol in very small amounts which is reserved only for rare social occasions.
Lauren was in treatment for just under three months. She had already abstained from alcohol for three weeks and was keen to stay on track; she had already noticed the benefits of abstaining. Lauren was happy with her progress and was happy to exit the service at this time, knowing how to contact the service in the future if she needs it.