Premium Europe: What are the main causes that trigger alcohol addiction?
Dr. Ian Drever: Alcohol use is often used as a form of ‘self medication’ to help numb or escape from life pressures, or to deal with underlying illness, such as depression. Unfortunately, alcohol use can then become a highly addictive process, so that individuals spiral into a vicious cycle of drinking to avoid the features of alcohol withdrawal, or drinking to try to escape from the very depression which the alcohol has caused.
PE: From your experience, what is the most effective alcohol abuse therapy?Dr. Drever:Research such as Project Match, a 25-year US study, show that the highest rates of abstinence are achieved through treating patients as part of a community, rather than having to do this ‘on their own’. This community may take the form of networks such as AA or rehabilitation centres with aftercare; even being part of a supportive church can be hugely beneficial. One of the most effective models was the AA 12-step programme, which provides the structure, community and therapeutic model necessary to maximise the chance of sustained abstinence.
PE: How long does alcohol detoxification take on an average basis?Dr. Drever: Typically around 7 days; sometimes it may be as short as four or five days, and sometimes as long as around ten days. Our residential treatment programme takes 28 days in total, to allow time both for the detox, and for the intensive psychological therapy to understand the causes of the drinking, and to find new ways of living without alcohol.
PE: How does alcohol treatment at Drever Associates differ from other alcohol detox programmes?Dr. Drever: Our alcohol detoxes take a fully integrative approach to our patients’ needs in three main areas. Firstly, we provide high quality medical care under supervised conditions, to allow the alcohol to leave the body safely and smoothly within about a week. Next, we work with patients to understand their situation, and what has led them to use alcohol in the first place. We explore with patients, in a safe and non-judgemental manner, what long-term solutions are right for them in the long term. And finally, once the detox and the rehab programme with us has taken place (typically over twenty eight days), we work to ensure that wellbeing is maintained, with weekly aftercare groups at our hospital and other elements of a ‘safety net’ which we will create in partnership with the patient.
PE: Where do patients stay during a residential alcohol detox treatment with Drever Associates?Dr. Drever: Most patients choose to stay with us at our hospital in the English countryside, less than an hour from London. Here, patients can be part of a supportive, understanding and caring environment, where they can focus all their energies on getting better. Some patients may choose to have detox at home or in another private environment, and we have a partnership with another specialist medical and nursing provider where we may be able to offer this service, depending on the medical state of the patient. We are also able to combine home detox with bespoke one-to-one counselling and aftercare.
PE: Is home detox more effective than group therapy?
Dr. Drever: A detox is just the first step to getting better. It generally takes around a week, and is a medical process of making sure the alcohol leaves the body without causing uncomfortable withdrawal features. A range of medications are prescribed throughout the detox, in diminishing quantities. Group or individual therapy will then take place, which focuses on understanding what has made someone drink in the first place, and on how to avoid getting into this cycle in the future.
Continue to Page 3 to learn about prices and the benefits of a medically supervised alcohol detox programme.
PE: How effective are residential treatments?Dr. Drever: Studies carried out by our partner hospital indicate that 82% of patients who undergo treatment for addictions are still abstinent or improved after six months, with 80% abstinent or improved after one year. This is in addition to 99% of patients in the programme rating their care as good or excellent. (Outcomes across the Priory Group, survey 2010/11)
PE: What is the average price of alcohol detox residential?
Dr. Drever: A twenty-eight day stay in hospital with us, including all medical and nursing care, detox and full psychological programme is £19,500. Private one-to-one home detox will be in the region of £2000 per day, including all medical and nursing input.
For more information about this recovery programme visit Drever Associates website