Wesley Hospital Ashfield|Kogarah

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Treatment for alcohol addiction

If you or your loved one has a problem with alcohol, the most important step you can take is to seek professional help.

At Wesley Hospital Ashfield and Wesley Hospital Kogarah we provide treatment and care for individuals with alcohol abuse and dependence problems on both an in-patient and day patient basis. Our effective and highly regarded treatment for alcohol abuse and dependence focuses on three areas:

  • medical treatment, including medication for the withdrawal process and for longer term assistance if necessary. Hospital detoxification from alcohol can take up to one week, with medical management of the withdrawal symptoms reducing the risk of harm. The physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can include:
    Item    shaking or tremors
    Item    sweating
    Item    nausea
    Item    hallucinations and seizures
  • psychological and therapeutic interventions to discuss the nature of alcohol abuse and dependence
  • development of support networks to help you or your loved one achieve long-term goals regarding drinking.

Treatment program for alcohol dependence

The alcohol and other drugs program includes psycho-education, family therapy, life skills therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and psychodynamic therapy. The service also draws on the multidisciplinary skills of psychologists, dieticians, art and exercise therapists, financial counsellors and gambling counsellors. Ongoing support is given to patients on completion of the program by offering easy access to day patient programs such as vocational rehabilitation and long-term residential rehabilitation, and fostering links with Alcoholics Anonymous.

Mark Stevens is the Therapy Coordinator at Wesley Hospital Ashfield. Wesley Hospital Kogarah’s alcohol and other drugs program is led by Professor John Saunders. Our teams work in collaboration with each individual to provide the best treatment.

Alcohol abuse and dependence affect both body and mind, so treatment is approached from both medical and mental health perspectives.

The treatment program includes:

  • a thorough assessment
  • a managed detoxification process
  • group therapy
  • individual therapy
  • external support groups.

Group work program for alcohol dependence

Group work plays an important role in our treatment programs. Working collaboratively with a therapist, you can learn new skills in a supportive and challenging environment.

Group work is undertaken both as an in-patient and a day patient. Attendance at day programs allows the skills learned during the treatment program to be developed for use in daily life.

Group and individual therapy focus on:

  • providing insights into the nature of alcohol abuse and dependence
  • raising awareness about the impact of alcohol on daily life
  • recognising and managing the triggers that lead to alcohol abuse
  • developing alternative skills and strategies
  • building communication skills
  • developing support networks, daily routines and a life structure to reduce the risk of relapse.

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