Has anybody here successfully gone through rehab after falling off the wagon? I told my consultant at the time that allowing me to cut down wouldn't work - it's like dangling a carrot in front of a starving donkey - but he asked me to try anyway.

Well, I've been trying for a year, and getting nowhere. Effectively, he told my badly-wired brain that I can have alcohol, which I knew would end badly, and it has done. He also took me off Spironolactone, and now I have ascites again (only very mild, but enough to concern me: I've spoken to his secretary today on the phone, explaining that I really need this medication, and she is calling me back tomorrow).

I genuinely think that rehab is my only safe option now; if I don't do something I'll just drink myself back to where I was four years ago, and I don't ever want to be that close to death again.

If you've gone through rehab on the NHS, could you please tell me what it was like? I would like to ask my GP for a referral before I lose my nerve concerning being away from my husband for any length of time. Thanks.

15 Replies

  • I have a friend who did it. He was in the hospital, in a nice ward. Staff were friendly and there was a much better attitude there than say the GI ward I have seen more recently where there is a definite feeling of being judged. It worked in the sense that he came home without having had a drink for a fortnight, and with supervised medication. It didn't work in that he stopped taking the medication and restarted the drinking. You know how the rest of the story goes. He continued to drink and some time later he died.

    I think partly how it works is a break with routine, but of course that doesn't make it any easier when you do return home.

    Visiting hours were very good, so that may be something worth checking.

  • Thank you. I didn't personally feel judged on the GI ward, because they knew that I genuinely hadn't realised what I'd been doing to myself and wanted to get better (and I meant it when I told them I never wanted to drink again - unfortunately I didn't bank on becoming suicidal due to government cuts; something that's all too familiar across the country now), but I know that some staff can be mean that way.

    I'm hoping that my GP can send me somewhere that isn't the mental health unit in Basildon (grim!) and to a unit where I can get all the support and medical assistance I need. Once I stop I have no desire to start again - it's the stopping that is proving difficult and I feel this could be the only option to keep me from going back on the GI ward.

  • I've only seen one GI ward and I didn't like the attitude I saw, but I'm glad they are not all like that.

    What I have read about home detox since then has frightened me a lot... after a thiamin IV he was sent home either to give up drinking or die. Although the GP helped get Attendance Allowance under the special circumstances, so I guess it's all swings and roundabouts.

  • I'm sorry but the being judged thing I find hard to believe and my understanding is if you want rehab you go through dependency unit with a councillor and do a detox it's how much you want it if your going to succeed when people use the phrase I've fell of the wagon to me that's the easy excuse you have to dig deep and really want it , good luck with everything

  • I have honestly tried everything I can think of to get back off the booze. I've had my husband try to monitor my intake; I've tried alternating with non-alcoholic drinks; there were other things I tried that I can't recall off the top of my head now, and I'm getting desperate. During the period that I was suicidal I wasn't in the right frame of mind to consider that I may not be able to just stop again once I was in a better place - I genuinely believed it would be that easy.

    I no longer have stress in my life (thanks to my husband finding a well-paid job at just the right time, meaning I was able to tell the DWP where to shove the paltry payments I was still getting after having everything else ripped away from me) and I am absolutely determined to get back to that place where I will never want to drink again. I don't see rehab as a failing; to me it's always shown that someone is trying to get well because they want to, and I hope it can work for me. I know that every day after that will be a struggle against giving in, but if I did it before I know I can do it again.

  • Hi, so we are talking about long term Rehab?? Or detox then Rehab? I would recommend a 6 month Rehab; you will learn alot about yourself and they probably have the highest success rate (as you know i am sure detox is only a week or two) Maybe you will need to be detoxed first though. Go to the Dr and find out the waiting times as they can be lengthy for Rehab. I really think it would be good for you. I havn't been but someone i know, has.

  • Thank you for that. I was therefore talking about detox, and having read your post I agree with that.

  • Yes, I was thinking detox first, as that's the safest way I can think of to get alcohol out of my system without the risk of seizures, and then rehab at home. I seem to have exhausted all other options that I can think of, and I don't want my liver decompensating again! I have a relatively stress-free life now, and can't imagine being suicidal enough again to reach for the bottle. I want an end to this, and I want to do it safely and sensibly.

  • To be honest detox is a definite but you saying rehab at home ?? Never come across that one you need to go in rehab to recover the right way and give yourself the best possible chance

  • It can be done with outpatient counselling apparently, and medication. I'm autistic, with acute anxiety; I can't possibly stay in a unit away from my husband and everything familiar for months on end; I'd probably end up being sectioned!

  • I totally understand how difficult it would be for you so have a good chat with your g p and explain all this to him n fingers crossed something could be arranged for you , I send you all the luck in the world ))

  • Thank you. I get so far with drinking very little, and then the cravings become too much and I go on a three day bender. I never want to do it, so I don't know why, and I think counselling would help me learn to control it if we can't nail the emotional cause. I didn't have cravings the last time I was quitting, because I was already so sick that I'd never have noticed them anyway, and I am just at my wits' end with this. I just want to be well and healthy, without the constraints of booze in my life.

  • I see; yes Rehab away is very scary, though i would suggest, worth it. However, i would certainly recommend you use your local services, therapy etc etc; good luck x

  • I get where your coming from hope you find what your looking for I really do ))

  • hi ,I've done a plenty of detox,s(14,7 in a detox unit and 7 at home,also done 3 residential rehabs for over a year in total,rehabs are fine but you Are wrapped in cotton wool and then let out into the world with very limited support,I would recommend a 12 step rehab at least when you come out you have an abundance of support from A/A and a strong fellowship behind you,it's the only thing that has worked for me over 2years sober a day at a time,have tried numerous other ways of staying sober,you have to want it ,willingness is the start,acceptance of been an alcoholic took me a long time and denial nearly killed me,also pride,you will need to speak to your doctor and get referred to your local alcohol and drug service,detox is only a beginning,the work is in the after care,have faith,keep strong,there is no quick fix in recovery so be patient also,best of luck on your journey,x

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