Every other 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 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 most 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 also it was important to her that I was vetted, CRB check along with my reputation and recommendation. Could that be said for anyone she spoke to at a 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, for usually a GP is to get them some help. From where? More often than not AA. As a leading light in the GP circles told me on twitter, there is simply no where that is Specialist to help. So 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 a vulnerable state does anyone really consider that lowering their self esteem even 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 these days? How can anyone seriously commit in the 21st Century 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, alcohol and drugs has little in common with a Mother of 3, aged 45 who only 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 sober, and my fee is more or less the same amount that they would have spent on booze in the first place. Win win, they spend on their wellness, and I am able to continue to help. No revolving doors here.
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. Totally inappropriate.
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 more often than not 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 a 90% 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 simple. 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.
April is Alcohol Awareness month, there needs to be a serious rethink, with tailored care being the utmost priority.