Alcohol Addiction

Peer Support

Recovery communities are powerful – a supportive group of people, who all want the same goal. Life-long connections are often born in rehab.


What is it?

Alcohol is consumed regularly in the UK, however many people develop unhealthy and dangerous drinking habits.

Alcohol, like many other drugs, can be addictive, both physically and psychologically.

Dependence develops when an individual is unable to function without regularly consuming alcohol.

They may have a strong need, or craving, to drink. They may also feel like it is difficult to live their life without the use of alcohol.


A person can be psychologically dependent on alcohol without being physically dependent.

The person may feel that drinking alcohol helps them cope with stressful life events or problems with their mental health.

They may simply feel more confident or relaxed when drinking alcohol.

Over time, regular alcohol use can result in the body being physically dependent on the substance.

A person may suffer withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop.

Physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Hand tremors (or ‘the shakes’)
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not actually there)
  • Seizures or fits
  • Psychological alcohol withdrawal symptoms may include:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Urges to drink alcohol

Possible signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • Drinking excessively or regularly
  • Binge drinking for periods of time
  • Getting drunk after making a decision to stay sober
  • Drinking alcohol even though it is having a negative effect on other important parts of your life (e.g. relationships, employment)
  • Feeling guilty after drinking.
  • Making excuses for your drinking or doing things to hide your drinking.
  • Blackouts – Not remembering what you did while you were drinking.
  • Attempting to stop drinking and not being able to.

What causes it?

The causes of addiction vary from person to person.

There are different views on this amongst medical professionals.

In the past, addiction was seen as some sort of moral failing or weakness of will.

Due to advances in scientific research, much more is now known about the potential causes.

Some of these are outlined below.

Biological causes

Some evidence shows a genetic link in addiction. It may be that some people are more likely to develop this than others, based on their genetic make-up.

Additionally, some studies show that changes take place in the brain when consuming alcohol continuously, and the brain adapts to this and expects it. This could be the cause of the “cravings” often experienced in alcoholism.

Environmental causes

There are links between addiction and influences between a person’s environment, such as stress, and distressing life events. A person may also learn to use alcohol to cope with common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.

This is something which our clients report frequently. Mental health can be treated alongside your addiction, by finding other
ways to cope with these feelings, and improve your mental wellbeing.


If you are struggling with alcoholism, it is important to get support in order to be able to start managing this.

Our specialist advisors can help you to decide on the best course of treatment for you.

We will listen to your situation and match you to a private residential treatment clinic that we believe is best suited to you or your loved one.

Alcohol addiction rehab clinics

Alcohol addiction rehabilitation involves working therapeutic and medical professionals who guide you through the stages of treatment.

Rehab programmes generally contain three elements: Detox, therapy and aftercare.

The goal of this is to help the individual to achieve physical sobriety, while helping them to develop the tools they need to manage their addiction in their day-to-day life when they are discharged.

How long does alcohol addiction rehab take?

The length of your stay will depend on the type of programme you choose. This will depend on a few different factors, including:

  • The amount of alcohol being consumed
  • The length of time the person has been consuming it at this level
  • Physical and mental health
  • Any other substance use

Cost of rehab

The cost of alcohol rehab treatment is extremely varied. This will depend on the centre and length of stay.

There are finance options available in some of the clinics that we work with. This may be more suitable for you if you are unable to afford upfront payment for residential treatment.

Other Options

There are also treatment options available for outwith residential programmes. The NHS provides a number of community-based rehabilitation services. In order to access these, you should speak to your GP and ask to be referred to an addiction specialist.

There are also supports in the community in the form of Alcoholic Anonymous meetings.

You can search for these online. There are multiple meetings across Swindon which you may find useful as you begin your recovery.