So today is the last day of school summer term here in the UK and the last day of my job. Like a fair few other sober bloggers who have been on this journey with me removing the booze has initiated some fairly spectacular re-evaluations of happiness, life and it’s future trajectory.
So I have the summer off with the kids and then come my 1st year soberversary a new life begins. I’m starting a Masters at the University of Cambridge, have reduced my NHS public health nursing hours and plan to spend more time here developing this part of my life on the blog side of things.
I’ve been thinking a great deal about how our health care system manages alcohol issues and to be frank it’s not great. Partly because the Govt fails to recognise it as an issue and what funding exists to support substance abuse is quietly being whittled away. Even within the realms of substance abuse services alcohol is the poor cousin when compared to drugs. This blatantly ignores the fact that 1 in 4 people in this country are believed to have a problem with alcohol. So you can get support from your GP or practice nurse through an Alcohol IBA and then until you end up with a physical dependency issue, and require specialist substance abuse services, there isn’t much out there. Comic Relief have recently released an Alcohol Hidden Harm Toolkit to support managers, commissioners and practitioners involved in designing, assessing or improving Alcohol Hidden Harm services for children and families which is encouraging. Outside of the NHS you have again two extremes of expensive private rehab, such as The Priory, or you have AA. Soberistas are doing a brilliant job of providing an alternative community to AA but from a healthcare perspective it is very thin pickings.
I’m working on that though and will be sharing soon some plans that I have to help you if you’re reading this and would like some support from a healthcare professional who, through personal experience, knows how difficult managing your drinking or giving up booze can be. Who knew that changing your drinking life could change your life completely?!
Watch this space!
60 days to go