Every other potentially life-threatening illness receives specialist care. As each patient will present with a unique set of diagnostic problems, the treatment will be altered for their best outcome.
For the most part, there is blanket coverage with alcohol misuse, dependence, habit or fully blown alcoholism. Every client I have seen has their own story about attempting to get to grips with their own problem. Most have already tried mainstream agencies, and some have gone to AA. The results have been not only poor, but incredibly demoralising for them. A professional client also pointed out that she not only felt at ease with The Sanctuary, but I had also been thoroughly vetted, CRB check along with my reputation, could that be said for anyone she spoke to at a meeting of strangers at an AA meeting in such a vulnerable state?
The first admission of needing help is a huge deal. It can take weeks, months even, to pluck up the courage to stop sailing down the river of denial and decide to do something about it. So, they brace themselves to confess. The next step, from a GP is to get them some help. From where? Often AA. As a leading light in the GP circles told me on twitter, there is simply nowhere that is Specialist to help. Then they have another soul searching, heart wrenching decision to make, exposure to a room full of strangers to admit they have a problem with alcohol and that they are powerless. When women are in an anxious state does anyone really consider that lowering their self-esteem more is helpful? They probably have never felt so shameful in their lives. AA may be a huge organization but how effective is it? So antiquated, founded for men, by men, have we not got a duty of care to the modern woman who can actually think for herself? How can anyone seriously commit currently to a life time of meetings to stay sober?
We really do need a new approach. As much as I have been asked to use my expertise in other age groups and demographics, I have refused simply because the best skill that I have above all others, is that I totally empathise with my clients, and vice versa. Which means that their outcomes are incredibly successful.
A man talking about his fall from grace with booze has different ramifications than those of women. A 22-year-old co-dependent, with other drugs along with the gateway one generally, alcohol, has little in common with a Mother of 3 who drinks wine.
The cost will be far too high I hear the cry! The costs involved in the treatment I offer are really very effective. I give my clients the opportunity to stay well, and my fee is less than the amount that they would have spent on booze in the first place. Win win, they spend on their wellness, and I can continue to help.
I have no idea why anyone would really need to spend 6-8 weeks incarcerated in a Rehab, using either private or public money, vast amounts of it. Being cut off from the real world is surely going to be a problem when they go back to it. I have a client who tried it three times, her words, ‘It was like being on an 18-30s holiday’. She was 57 at the time. Coupled with the fact that as soon as they are released, alcohol is everywhere, no one has to score it on a street corner.
Then there are the box tickers. Whilst a client is trying to bear their soul, with a very intimate subject, forms are filled in and if they don’t match then, tough. Generic, and often very patronizing, my women are often highly skilled and incredibly articulate. Nor do we throw people away just because they might have the odd blip. It happens.
So please can the powers that be, who seem to be so opposed to change start to join up some dots. I now have established an 86% recovery rate, which is both rewarding for the client first and foremost, and importantly very cost effective. The best part is that is it so very gentle and efficient. Or perhaps that is the problem, that there are no vast swathes of trustees, directors, committees and think tanks involved to see what is glaringly obvious to me and my clients.