Drinking alcohol plays a huge role in Australian culture. Almost every social interaction we have as Aussies involves a drink or five. Having a barbeque with some mates? Bring a six pack. Catching up with friends over Sunday brunch? Bring out the champagne. Organising an extended family dinner? Wine of all varieties will be on offer. It is hard if not impossible to avoid alcohol in Australia, especially when it comes to socialising. For some Australians, alcohol isn’t just a part of being social, it’s an everyday necessity.
Where is the line between being a social drinker and having a troubled relationship with alcohol? When alcohol becomes a tool for coping with uncomfortable emotions, or something you cannot get through the day without, it might be time to take action and engage some help. If you or someone you love has a difficult relationship with alcohol and has not been able to shake it alone, alcohol counselling could be their key to recovery. Alcohol counselling services offer an individual the necessary support to navigate the road to regaining control of their lives, and managing addiction. If you have issues with alcohol, it is important to remember you aren’t alone. Alcohol counselling services provide you with a support network in order to give you the best chance at recovery, and will also give your family and loved ones the tools to best help you.
Approximately 40 000 Victorians access alcohol and other drug treatment services each year. Services are available to people across the state, regardless of location. Treatments can be modified to suit the specific needs of a patient, and include not only counselling, but also support though the withdrawal and rehabilitation process. Residential support is available, meaning treatment can occur within the patient’s home, providing a higher level of comfort and accessibility to those who prefer not to, or are not able to be admitted into a facility. Alternatively, hospital services are available that include constant patient supervision, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for necessary cases. Group counselling services are offered, as often it is helpful for individuals to have a network of others in a similar situation. Drug and alcohol treatment services can be altered to fit each individual case, depending on what the individual requires.
Studies show that the link between young people’s alcohol consumption and problems with alcohol in adult life is apparent. While binge drinking as a teen has been shown to impact a person’s relationship with alcohol in the future, the study showed that drinking frequency is a stronger indicator. Teenagers and young adults who drank frequently, even if they did not get drunk, had a higher likelihood of developing a troubled relationship with alcohol later in life. Access to alcohol and other drug treatment services that are tailored to young people is essential in order to address alcohol troubles as early as possible. Young people will often require different support than adults will, therefore it is important to engage with the appropriate program to suit each patient’s individual requirements.
For someone ready to make a change and begin treatment for alcohol or drug troubles, there is no need for the issue of money to be a barrier. In Victoria, a multitude of alcohol and drug treatment services are available, and the government offers some treatment options that are fully funded, and free to the patient. Additionally, some non-government organisations receive state funding to also offer free access to the public. If you are worried about paying for alcohol and drug treatment services, look for a provider that offers fully funded treatment options, and pay nothing out of pocket. Private services are also available, however often require payment upfront before treatment can begin. Before engaging with a private service, be sure to check with the provider to understand all costs including fees payable.
Engaging with alcohol and drug treatment services can provide a patient with a fresh start and all the support required to regain control of their life. Alcohol and drug addiction can negatively impact not only an individual and their quality of life, but also their relationships, whether this be with family, colleagues, or friends. It can hinder an individual’s ability to hold a job, care for a family, or maintain positive relationships. It can be lonely and isolating to deal with substance addictions, and counselling services can be a welcome and necessary relief to this loneliness. All encompassing services will aid a patient through the withdrawal and rehabilitation process, and provide support in dealing with the mental, physical, and emotional aspects of recovery.