Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol addiction, or substance addiction in general, is in fact recognised as a brain disease by neurologists.

Scientific evidence suggests that there are significant chemical changes in the brain when someone is suffering from an addiction, and they will have profound physical and psychological ramifications on the addicted person.

Because it is a chronic brain disease, it isn’t technically curable. However, substance and alcohol use disorders can be treated and managed with effective therapeutic approaches.

More severe forms of addiction in particular require thorough planning and support at a medically supported facility that offers addiction treatment in order to foster their recovery.

Alcohol Addiction in the United Kingdom

Woman supporting another with hand on shoulder

Unfortunately, alcohol is mainstream in the United Kingdom. Not only is it easily accessible, it’s also relatively inexpensive.

Consuming alcohol, which is a highly addictive substance and poses a range of mental and physical health complications, is conventional among individuals in the community.

Because frequent and high levels of alcohol consumption is conventional among communities in the United Kingdom, addiction may not be taken seriously by individuals.

Additionally, many people downplay the quantities which they consume.

Since many other people are frequently consuming alcohol, people are less likely to take their consumption levels seriously.

A UK Government survey discovered that around 275,896 adults came in contact with a drug and alcohol rehab centre from 2020 to 2021 in England (not the UK), with 130,490 of this figure entering rehab.

Of this figure, it was estimated that alcohol addiction made up for around 28% of the amount of people undergoing treatment.

In 2020, it was discovered that there were around 20,470 alcohol-related deaths in England. Another study discovered in 2020, there were 8,974 deaths which were due to alcohol-specific conditions in the United Kingdom.

This accounts for around 14 per 100,000 people. This was an 18.6% increase from the number of alcohol specific deaths in 2019.

Furthermore, alcohol addiction places a monumental burden on public services such as social care, health care, emergency services, and more.

For example, it is estimated that alcohol-related and specific injuries and illnesses were attributed to around 976,425 hospital admissions from 2019 to 2020.

Per year, alcohol addiction burdens the UK economy with costs of around £21 billion.

Of this figure, £11 billion is attributed due to alcohol related crime, £7 billion due to lost productivity through unemployment and sickness, and a £3.5 billion to the National Health Service.

Here at Rehab 4 Alcoholism, we offer free advice from a team of non-judgemental professionals, many of whom are in recovery and understand how hard can be to change your relationship with alcohol.

Simply reach out to our 24/7, confidential hotline on 0800 111 4108.

Short Term Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

Man with his head in his hand, eyes closed, in a gesture of pain

Alcohol is a highly addictive substance. It is both physically and psychologically addictive, meaning that subjects who are suffering from alcoholism will experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms.

Physical withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol addiction include but aren’t limited to headaches, migraines, nausea, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhoea, vomiting, trembling, and even seizures.

Physically addictive substances often pose a higher level of danger when compared to psychologically addictive substances and will require a medicated detox.

Psychological withdrawal symptoms, on the other hand, include but aren’t limited to symptoms such as anxiety,depression, hallucinations, psychosis, and much more.

Alcohol addiction will significantly influence the behavioural aspects of a person, too.

Subjects who are addicted to alcohol may become irritable and aggressive, or overly anxious and may even worry about when their next consumption will take place.

When questioned about their consumption levels, they may become defensive, guilty, or even angry.

If someone develops an addiction, they may also experience social isolation and disinterest in things which they were once interested in.

Personal relationships may break down, and job performances, personal hygiene, and other aspects of the subjects life will begin to deteriorate once they prioritise their addictive substance over anything else.

Long Term Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

A woman clutching her side on her bed, in pain

Not only will patients who frequently consume high levels of alcohol experience the short term effects of alcohol such as withdrawal symptoms and behavioural changes, they may experience a range of long term symptoms.

Some of these symptoms may even be irreversible, having a profound impact on their lives.

Alcohol abuse can lead to a range of long term symptoms such as:

Many of these symptoms can pose irreversible effects which can ruin or even end lives.

Dementia is not curable, and heart attacks (due to cardiovascular disease or else) and strokes can cause permanent loss of brain function, loss of coordination, and so on.

If recovering from substance addiction is not a big enough reason to abstain from alcohol, these health ramifications may convince subjects to change their dangerous habits.

Identifying Addiction

Man sitting down while a woman fills out a form

Understanding whether or not you have an addiction can be tricky.

While you may be able to identify some of the signs that are associated with alcohol addiction, it may not be enough evidence in order to know that you are indeed addicted to alcohol.

Therefore, it is important that subjects seek the diagnosis of a health practitioner in order to understand how to approach alcohol addiction treatment.

DSM-5 Criteria

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is an addiction screening tool which measures the severity of substance use addiction.

It is used by professional health practitioners and clinicians in order to understand how they can treat patients suffering from addiction.

The DSM-5 Criteria associated 11 forms of symptoms associated with alcohol addiction, and these symptoms are:

  • Hazardous Use: Consuming the substance in a dangerous way (e.g. in dangerous quantities or environments)
  • Social Problems: Problems within relationships and struggling to maintain positive relationships with others.
  • Neglected Responsibilities: Not fulfilling responsibilities because of the effects and preoccupation of their addictive substance.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: The discomforting symptoms which are experienced when a subject is abstaining from their addictive substance.
  • Tolerance: Needing to consume higher quantities than previously in order to reach the same level of ‘high’.
  • Increase in Consumption: Consuming higher levels of the addictive substance than previously.
  • Failed Attempts of Abstaining: Trying to quit, but relapsing
  • Time Spent Consuming: How much is spent consuming this substance
  • Physical or Psychological Problems: Health complications as a result of this substance dependence
  • Lack of Personal Interest: The addiction has led to disinterest in formerly interesting activities
  • Cravings: Craving and feeling compelled to consume the addictive substance

Based on the results and how severe these symptoms are for the patient, clinicians and addiction psychiatrists will determine the course of action and what level of care they require.

Following a diagnosis and counselling, patients will then proceed to enter an alcohol rehab either as an inpatient or an outpatient.

Here at Rehab 4 Alcoholism, we offer free advice from a team of non-judgemental professionals, many of whom are in recovery and understand how hard can be to change your relationship with alcohol.

Simply reach out to our 24/7, confidential hotline on 0800 111 4108.

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test

Woman with laptop, typing

In order to understand whether you are suffering from an addiction, you must seek the diagnosis of a licensed professional.

That way, you can be certain that you not only have an addiction, but you have a professional who can determine the necessary treatment plans in order to combat your unique addiction.

However, it is possible to gain more insight into your addiction without needing to book an appointment with a health practitioner.

This can be done by accessing an alcohol addiction screening tool, such as the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).

However, this should only be used to provide insight, and not be used as a diagnosis. We highly advise that subjects seek diagnosis from a licensed professional.

AUDIT is a simple yet very effective tool in determining the severity of someone’s hazardous consumption of alcohol.

Published in 1989, the AUDIT has become the most popular form of alcohol screening method since its publication.

Not only is it accessible for members of the public, it is used by clinicians and health practitioners.

The test consists of questions which focus on three main domains, which are; alcohol intake, potential dependence on alcohol, and experience of alcohol-related harm.

When subjects have answered the questions with complete sincerity, they will receive a score which will then reflect the severity of their addiction.

The score criterias are:

  • Lower than 8 points: susceptible to developing addiction, or mildly addicted
  • 8 points or higher: moderately addicted to alcohol
  • 13 points or higher: severely addicted to alcohol

Subjects will be able to respond accordingly based on the scores that they receive.

Those who received lower than 8 points should at least modify their behaviour and consumption, whereas those who received 8 points or higher should seek the support of a drug and alcohol rehab.

Entering Rehab: The Admissions Process

Person sitting down with a coffee and notepad

It is important to remember that no matter what the severity of your addiction, you are welcome at a drug and alcohol rehab if you have intentions of overcoming your dependence.

Subjects do not need to be suffering profoundly in order to enter rehab.

Even if a subject is mildly addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are still encouraged to seek help before their condition worsens.

At Rehab 4 Alcoholism, we can help you enter a drug and alcohol rehab. The process appears to be overwhelming at first, however, with our support and guidance we can help you transition into an environment of recovery.

When you call us by dialling the number 0800 111 4108 from the United Kingdom or +44 345 222 3509 internationally, you will be greeted by a member of staff at Rehab 4 Alcoholism. This member of staff will be a trained admissions officer.

They will have had experience in conducting health assessments and pre admission assessments in order to refer and admit subjects into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

The trained admissions officer will be at your disposal to answer any questions about your addiction, the process of entering rehab, facilities available at rehab, and so on.

When you are ready and with your consent, the trained admissions officer will conduct a health assessment, also known as a pre admission assessment, necessary to enter rehab.

These assessments sound incredibly formal, however, they are merely a set of questions which are related to mental wellbeing, history of alcohol abuse, medical history, and so on.

Answering these questions will help the admissions officer identify a suitable rehab facility and a personalised addiction treatment programme which will facilitate the subject’s recovery.

This assessment will also be free of charge, and also completed over the phone, meaning that the subject will not need to go to great lengths in order to be admitted into rehab.

During the phone call, they will have the chance to express any requirements or preferences that they have when it comes to locating a rehab facility.

How Much Does Alcohol Addiction Treatment Cost?

Close up of a calculator on a mobile phone. Behind on a table are some documents

Unless patients are entering a public rehab facility as an outpatient (like that of the NHS or local support groups), they will be expected to pay for their treatment.

Residential rehab facilities, also known as private rehabs, tend to offer much higher quality treatment methods at a higher quality facility.

Additionally, they are able to personalise treatment programmes and offer more to individual patients.

Patients will not have to undergo a waiting list to be admitted into rehab unlike with many public services.

Patients will typically spend around 28 days at their drug and alcohol rehab.

Costs can range from around £1,000 to £4,000 per week at rehab, leading to a total cost of around £4,000 to £40,000.

There are many factors which can influence the cost of a stay at a drug and alcohol rehab.

These factors include the quality of facilities, amenities offered (e.g. whether it is luxurious), reputation, experience, quality of staff, location, and so on.

It is important that subjects consider their priorities when entering a rehab facility. Are they looking for luxury, or are they entirely focused towards sole recovery?

Do they want to stay in a private room, or a multi-occupancy room throughout recovery? There are many choices and factors which subjects need to consider which will influence their cost of treatment.

Here at Rehab 4 Alcoholism, we offer free advice from a team of non-judgemental professionals, many of whom are in recovery and understand how hard can be to change your relationship with alcohol.

Simply reach out to our 24/7, confidential hotline on 0800 111 4108.

What is an Intervention?

Group of people sitting in armchairs at an intervention

If you are not suffering from an alcohol addiction but a close friend or family member is, you may be reaching out in order to find out how you can help them seek alcohol addiction treatment.

In order to help someone else seek alcohol addiction treatment, hosting an intervention may be necessary.

This is because some subjects may be in denial about their alcohol addiction, or they may simply be reluctant to seek support through a rehab.

While we cannot admit someone else into an alcohol addiction rehabilitation facility, an intervention can help someone realise that they do in fact have a serious problem, and that they need to seek the support from health practitioners in order to recover.

Rehab 4 Alcoholism can help friends and family members host an intervention in order to guide their loved one to seek support through rehab.

We can assign an interventionist, who will then organise an intervention in the area in order to facilitate an intervention.

In an intervention, the family and friends will meet and communicate with the addicted person in an environment which is mediated by a licensed interventionist.

Here, a non-confrontational discussion will take place, as the friends and family members of the addicted person will communicate how they are affected by their loved one’s alcohol addiction.

The purpose is to guide the addicted person to seek recovery through valid arguments and communicating how their addiction affects others.

An intervention should be non-judgemental and it should not be done in a way which is forceful or overwhelming for the addicted person.

Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT Intervention) is a popular form of intervention because it places heavy emphasis on the wellbeing of friends and family members close to the addicted person.

It offers family counselling as well as sessions which can help them improve their knowledge and abilities towards supporting a loved one throughout their addiction and their recovery process.

Moderation vs Abstinence

Hand up in gesture to say 'no'

At a rehabilitation facility designed for substance addiction, patients will be taught about how they can practise and sustain abstinence as opposed to moderation management or harm reduction.

There are many reasons as to why abstinence is more effective than moderation management or any other methods of recovery.

Moderation Management (MM) is a programme which allows patients to continue consuming alcohol, however, they have a limit on how much they can consume.

They are expected to adhere to these limits in order to reduce their consumption habits.

However, the problem with moderation management is that addiction is a chronic brain disease.

Subjects may not be able to take full control of the amount of alcohol they consume, and one drink may lead to many more, leading to a restart in the terrible cycle of addiction.

Even one single drink is considered to be a relapse and can restart the entire cycle. In order to combat addiction, abstinence should be practised.

This is because abstinence does not justify the act of consuming alcoholic beverages in any circumstances, whereas moderation management provides patients with an excuse to restart their consumption.

Many patients end up relapsing, however, that isn’t the end of their recovery journey.

Relapsing is expected for many patients before they are finally able to establish and sustain a life of sobriety and abstinence.

At rehab, patients will be taught how they can sustain their abstinence through a range of techniques.

These include a range of therapy sessions and counselling, relapse identification and prevention plans, and more.

Addiction is a disease, and the only way to overcome it is by completely removing addictive substances such as alcohol from your lifestyle.

Here at Rehab 4 Alcoholism, we offer free advice from a team of non-judgemental professionals, many of whom are in recovery and understand how hard can be to change your relationship with alcohol.

Simply reach out to our 24/7, confidential hotline on 0800 111 4108.

Types of Therapy for Alcohol Addiction at Rehab

Group Therapy

Alcohol addiction is a serious disease, and its symptoms manifest physically and psychologically.

Not only will patients experience a range of symptoms which affect their physical and mental health, they will also experience behavioural changes which will further reinforce their negative and detrimental habits.

Since its symptoms appear and affect subjects in many different ways, a plethora of treatment options in addition to the detox process are required in order to combat addiction.

Not only will patients undergo therapy, they will undergo a personalised addiction treatment programme which contains an extensive range of therapeutic approaches.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

One to one therapy, the patient's hands together

Many different forms of therapy will be utilised at rehab, and one of the most common forms is individual therapy, which is structured in a one to one style between the licensed therapist and the patient.

A prominent example of individual therapy is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is implemented in order to help patients not only overcome addiction, but to overcome symptoms of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and much more.

The benefits of this form of therapy are not limited to their time spent at rehab or to addiction, but instead they are incredibly beneficial towards sustaining a positive lifestyle with healthy habits.

The purpose of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is to allow patients to overcome their negative cognitive and behavioural patterns which not only affect their addiction but other areas of their life.

Once they have identified these negative tendencies, they can proceed to develop newer and healthier habits in order to live a healthier and more positive life.

What makes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy so beneficial towards those suffering from alcoholism is that they will be able to develop newer coping habits when they face alcohol cravings.

Additionally, there is a strong correlation between alcohol abuse and mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and so on, and this form of therapy can help patients overcome other mental disorders that they may have.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Woman with head on clasped hands, eyes closed

Similarly, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy aims to tackle cognitive, behavioural, and especially emotional issues that patients may have.

This form of therapy is similar to CBT, however, it is more catered towards patients who display intense feelings and emotions.

These strong feelings and emotions often result in patientsrelapsing due to them trying to find relief in stressful situations.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy will help patients learn about techniques related to stress management and mindfulness in order to become more rational and constructive as they navigate their addiction recovery process.

Rather than turning towards alcohol, they will be able to redirect their energy more positively.

They will learn to accept their negative thoughts and feelings, and develop habits which make them able to cope with addiction as well as other issues in life.

Acceptance and change are huge components of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy.

Motivational Interviewing & Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Women talking one to one at a formal table

Motivational Interviewing and Motivational Enhancement Therapy are unique forms of therapy because they don’t necessarily address a symptom of addiction.

These approaches addresses something which many patients experience – lack of motivation towards recovery.

Addiction can be debilitating, and patients will experience a range of things from withdrawal symptoms to physical and psychological cravings.

This can make recovery even more difficult, and when the recovery process feels difficult, motivation levels can waver.

Motivational Interviewing is employed in order to reinforce and sustain levels of motivation towards recovery methods.

By utilising the language of change, a licensed counsellor will discuss with the patient about what made them seek recovery.

Discussing the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations towards recovering, patients will have their motivation and commitment levels towards recovering reinforced thoroughly.

This can greatly increase chances of successful recovery.

Contingency Management

Two women smiling at each other in the kitchen with an ipad

When combined with Motivational Interviewing, Contingency Management also can be an effective tool in sustaining motivation levels towards recovery.

This is done by introducing the notion of incentives and tangible rewards for their efforts throughout the recovery process.

While recovery is a huge reward in of itself, it can seem to be a monumental and daunting task.

By breaking down the recovery process into smaller tasks and offering rewards for reaching these goals, patients will remain motivated.

These ‘rewards’ will be subject to the patient’s unique personality and the treatment provider.

Holistic Therapy

Woman walking down a nature path, hands on head

Holistic Therapy or Psychotherapy is a form of therapy which takes into consideration all three aspects of the patient – the mind, body, and spirit.

Hence the term holistic – this is an all encompassing form of therapy, rather than one that targets and addresses specific problems caused by addiction.

Much like the term ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ suggests, these three facets, mind, body, and spirit, are tightly interwoven.

One can affect the other significantly, therefore, holistic therapy offers what other forms of therapy do not, and improves physical wellbeing as well as spiritual wellbeing.

When suffering from addiction, patients tend to experience stress, anxiety, social isolation, and many other factors which can decrease the quality of their life.

Holistic Therapy implements a range of activities which facilitate positive experiences for patients, which will then promote general wellbeing.

Holistic Therapy activities include adventure therapy, equine therapy, acupuncture, massages, yoga, tai chi, mindfulness, art therapy, music therapy, and much more.

These activities will yield a range of benefits, and while each activity will hold benefits unique to its own, patients who undergo holistic therapy engage in positive experiences.

This time spent doing something soothing reduces anxiety andsocial isolation, and overall, increases social skills and general well being.

Family Therapy

An aerial shot of three people writing and having an informal meeting, reading notes at a table

Problems concerning addiction often extend far beyond the addicted person. Often, the family is significantly involved in one way or another.

Whether this means that the family is of great assistance throughout the recovery process, or that there were problems within the family which may have led to addiction.

Because of the involvement of family, family therapy is an important addition in a patient’s personalised recovery programme.

Family therapy can help family members understand how their loved one’s addiction works, and how they can help them.

Additionally, there may be some dysfunctional or toxic behavioural patterns which they can work on in order to create a healthier environment for their loved one.

Another aspect of family therapy is helping the family cope with their loved one’s addiction.

Witnessing a loved one suffer due to alcohol addiction can have an enormous effect on a person’s life, therefore, they must also be considered when approaching the subject of addiction.

Some examples of family therapy include:

  • Family Behaviour Therapy: Improves mental health, relationship building, sobriety, and more.
  • Functional Therapy: Improves communication, supportiveness, and reduces conflict at home.
  • Multisystemic Therapy: Catered for younger patients, this therapy helps families develop the skills to support their loved one.
  • Multidimensional Family Therapy: Addresses problems whether they are emotional, behavioural, biological, environmental, or else.
  • Brief Strategic Family Therapy: Aims to change the patterns of problematic family interactions and behaviours.

Because there are many different aspects within the family dynamic, family therapy can be employed in a range of ways, whether the patient shares a positive or negative relationship with their family.

Group Therapy

Support groups

Group therapy introduces a range of factors which can facilitate recovery for patients who are recovering from alcohol addiction.

From introducing patients into a new support network and a sense of community to reducing feelings of social isolation, there are many benefits to be had by attending group therapy.

A typical group therapy session will be structured in a way where a licensed counsellor will lead a session between a number of patients who will be given a platform to share their addiction experience.

This is similar to support sessions hosted in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. However, there are many more ways in which it can be conducted.

Patients will be able to share their experiences with others who have gone through similar experiences, allowing them to be heard.

Additionally, they will have the opportunity to listen to others who have similar or different experiences, gaining insight into how other people navigate addiction.

One of the most notable benefits is how it creates a sense of community for patients and allows them to interact with like minded people.

Since sessions are hosted in a non judgemental environment and each participant has the same objective of sustaining sobriety, patients will have a safe space to share their thoughts and feelings.

This will also sustain positive habits and a lifestyle of abstinence. By consistently attending sessions with others striving towards the same goal, patients are far more likely to achieve long term recovery.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Group with notes

For a patient to recover, they must accept that they are suffering from a disease and that there are many aspects of their lifestyle which need to be changed.

This is why Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is important when it comes to addiction recovery.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy will help patients develop psychological flexibility, which allows them to cope and adjust to difficult situations.

Developing psychological flexibility, by learning how to accept flaws and setbacks, will prevent patients from developing negative psychological outcomes due to these negative experiences.

Stress and uncertainty is inevitable in life, not just in addiction and addiction recovery.

Because of this, patients need to be able to adjust to negative experiences in order to prevent a relapse through turning towards substance abuse during times of hardship.

12-Step Facilitation Therapy

The 12-Step Facilitation Therapy is a form of therapy which is not only practised at rehab but during post-rehab life at groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

It is a behavioural therapy and active engagement strategy which is implemented in order to help patients abide to a new lifestyle of abstinence by following guideline steps.

Those who attend 12-Step Facilitation Therapy during and after their treatment at rehab are estimated to be six times more likely to successfully recover than those who do not undergo the 12-Step Therapy.

This is because patients are taught about principles such as acceptance, surrender, and more.

These steps will help patients understand that addiction is a progressive disease and that abstinence and accepting the support structure provided is the way to recover.

Here at Rehab 4 Alcoholism, we offer free advice from a team of non-judgemental professionals, many of whom are in recovery and understand how hard can be to change your relationship with alcohol.

Simply reach out to our 24/7, confidential hotline on 0800 111 4108.

Man smiling looking left


[1] Adult Substance Misuse Treatment Statistics 2020 to 2021

[2] Local Alcohol Profiles for England

[3] Alcohol-Specific Deaths in the UK: Registered in 2020

[4] Local Alcohol Profiles for England

[5] Health Matters: Harmful Drinking and Alcohol Dependence

[6] Drinking Too Much Alcohol Can Harm Your Health

[7] DSM-5 Criteria for Substance Use Disorders

[8] Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test

[9] Community Reinforcement and Family Training

[10] Abuse Recovery: Moderation vs Abstinence

[11] Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

[12] Understanding Motivational Interviewing

[13] Holistic Psychotherapy

[14] Equine Therapy for Addiction

[15] Family Therapy for Addiction

[16] What is Family Behaviour Therapy?

[17] Brief Strategic Family Therapy

[18] 12-Step Facilitation Therapy