Unsurprisingly alcohol is the most commonly used substance in the UK. It is used by millions of people with a wide variety of motivations. Not everyone who uses alcohol does so in a way that causes harm but for some it can become apparent that their alcohol use is causing them problems; physically, psychologically and/or socially. So what do the statistics looks like nationally?
(Images from Health Matters, Public Health England)
Brighton & Hove is famously recognised as a destination for pleasure seekers and hence has a large number of pubs and bars which are an attraction to visitors and locals alike. This is not without concern, Brighton & Hove residents responded to the Big Alcohol Debate (2012):
61% of people said that alcohol was part of their social life
65% said that they found alcohol easy to get hold of in the city
39% of people avoid parts of Brighton & Hove because of the way drunk people behave there
Pavilions are here for when you’re concerned about the impact alcohol is having on your life. Whether you are considering reducing your drinking or you’re looking to stop all together.
(Image from Health Matters, Public Health England)
A unit of alcohol is defined as consisting of 10 ml (8g) of pure alcohol.
But what does that look like in practice?
The recommended guidelines for alcohol changed in January 2016, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guidelines:
How are units decided?
This advice on regular drinking is based on the evidence that if people did drink at or above the low risk level advised, overall any protective effect from alcohol on deaths is overridden, and the risk of dying from an alcohol-related condition would be expected to be around, or a little under, 1% over a lifetime. This level of risk is comparable to risks from some other regular or routine activities, such as driving.
So what can you do if you’re concerned about your alcohol use?
(Image from Health Matters, Public Health England)
Pavilions help adults in Brighton and Hove to manage their issues around alcohol. We provide assessment of alcohol problems, specialist treatment (including ‘detox’) and support with long-term recovery. The first session will involve a full (comprehensive) assessment that will take up to one hour. Alternative arrangements can be made for those who are unable to attend the drop-in assessments by calling 01273 731900.
Pavilions provide specialist treatment for people with alcohol issues including:
You may be asked by a care co-ordinator to complete an Alcohol drink diary such as this. This will help you and your care co-ordinator track your current drinking and develop strategies to help you reduce or over time, stop completely.
For those people who are diagnosed with alcohol dependence and choose to stop drinking a ‘detox’ may be needed. This is discussed at a medical assessment where a decision is made to plan for detox in the community or as an inpatient.
Are you affected by someone else’s alcohol use? Click here to find out how the Families & Carer’s Team can support you.
Recovery has been described as “a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and/or roles. It’s a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life even with limitations caused by illness. Recovery involved the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness”. Bruce Alexander
Recovery involves more than stopping drinking. It is a person’s own journey during which they choose to sustain control over drinking. In the process of recovery a person can build a satisfying and meaningful life.
Recovery is not:
Look at our ‘Recovery’ pages for further information.
Pavilions offer and facilitate a range of groups which are open to anyone accessing our services, this includes; strength based recovery groups, mindfulness, ear acupuncture and peer support.
For a full overview of the groups available and what they involve please see here.
For many people the support of a peer group is an important part of recovery. From what we know this boosts the chances of achieving continued recovery after you’ve been successfully discharged. We are very fortunate in Brighton & Hove to have a variety of peer support groups with different ethos’ but all with the collective goal of being successful in recovery. Please visit the websites below for more information on the support available:
Alcoholics Anonymous www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
Cascade Creative Recovery https://www.facebook.com/CascadeCreativeRecovery/
SMART (currently only online support for Brighton & Hove) www.smartrecovery.org.uk
Click here to download our Alcohol Poster
Click here to download our Alcohol Postcard
For more sources of information please visit:
For national information about alcohol including information about units, effects on physical health, tips for cutting down & downloadable resources.
For information and advice on a variety of medical disorders including many helpful leaflets about alcohol:
For information about residential rehabilitation in Brighton and Hove:
Don’tbottleitup developed by HAGA
The Walk developed by Six to Start Ltd
StepJockey developed by StepJockey Ltd
For people in recovery:
Pavilions work in close liaison with primary and tertiary care. No referral is needed to access our service as we operate a drop-in first assessment. Screening and brief intervention should take place in primary care. We use internationally accepted screening tests to identify alcohol use disorders (the AUDIT screen) and the alcohol dependence (SADQ). Please see examples of a brief intervention tool and our referral form.
Those attending drop-in assessments will be supported to complete these questionnaires and before their comprehensive assessment. If you have any questions regarding a patient/client and require guidance, you can contact us at 01273 731900 during office hours.
For those people who have some physical dependence on alcohol, medications are used when stopping drinking. During ‘detox’ we use a number of medications including:
1) Chlordiazepoxide (also known as librium)
3) Acamprosate (‘campral’).
A number of other medications are sometimes used in relapse prevention including Disulfiram (Antabuse) and naltrexone.
Reasons for having an inpatient alcohol ‘detox’ rather than a community one include:
Pavilions Health Promotion Team provide training specifically relating to delivering Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions, to book please visit the Health Promotion training page (http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/health/public-health-brighton-hove/health-promotion-training).
If you would like more information about the service we provide please do not hesitate to contact us on 01273 731900.
Relevant NICE guidelines:
CG 115; Diagnosis, Assessment and Management of harmful drinking and alcohol dependence:
CG 100; Alcohol-use disorders: physical complications:
National guidance on the treatment of alcohol use disorders from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE):
NICE guidance about the treatment of physical health problems caused by drinking alcohol:
Useful information for frontline clinicians delivered by Public Health England:
Provides resources and a forum for professionals in the drug and alcohol field:
Local Alcohol Profile England, profile for B&H demonstrates why we support people with their drinking. An excellent tool for updating your knowledge regularly:
Patient Information Leaflet from the Department of Health's (2008) “How much is too much?” booklet:
Excellent Life Style behaviour Change tool:
An IBA e-learning course which identifies the key skills and tools necessary to deliver ‘simple brief advice’: