The first appointment
At your first appointment with an alcohol service, you will discuss your drinking and the effect it's having on your life. This is likely to include:
- Thinking about your pattern of drinking – when you drink, how much you drink and motivations for your drinking
- Effects on you and your loved ones – Effects on your health, your relationship with yourself including your mental health, your work, your finances, your family life, and the people around you
Talking about your drinking with a professional can help you to get a clear picture of how things are. It may be the first time you have had the time and space to think about things.
It can also help you to explore what steps you can take to prevent further damage. This can then be followed by the development of a plan. You may have a number of meetings before you are ready to develop a plan.
My doctor explained that it was difficult for people to see that heavy drinking was the cause of many problems and that I should go to the alcohol education programme over a number of weeks and get some information. That programme really helped me to see that my drinking was affecting so many aspects of my life. I am glad that I went over a few weeks as it all began to sink in.