About Oasis. What s on offer at Oasis?

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2 About Oasis Oasis partnership is a local charity offering a range of support services to anyone whose life is affected by their own or someone else s substance use. This information booklet is for anyone experiencing difficulties with alcohol consumption. It has been designed to help increase your awareness of alcohol related problems and inform you of the support available. It also tells you the number of units in popular drinks so you can be more aware of how much you are drinking. The booklet also tells you of the services on offer at Oasis and on the back you will find some useful telephone numbers if you want further support. Oasis aims to maximise the funding available for our services however owing to demand there will be times where you may have to wait for certain services. OUR MISSION STATEMENT TOGETHER MAKING A DIFFERENCE; TO BE THE BEST, NOT THE BIGGEST; TO LEAD CHANGE AND NOT JUST FOLLOW What s on offer at Oasis? Oasis offers a wide range of support services that can accessed in High Wycombe and Aylesbury. Anyone can refer to Oasis by calling our contact numbers or by popping in to see us. Following a referral you will be invited to our drop in where you can chat about the support available. Services include: current circumstances and ask you about your own goals. This will help us decide together the best support package for you. Alcohol Support Group If you are feeling isolated because of your alcohol use our support groups offer the opportunity to hear from other people in a similar situation. Assessment This involves meeting with a member of the team on a one to one basis to discuss your support needs in more detail and plan your treatment pathway. We will look at your patterns of drinking, your 2

3 One to one support There are a range of one to one services available which are regular sessions tailored specifically to your own experiences and goals. Types of one to one support include: Extended Brief Interventions Aimed at those who are not drinking at a dependent level. These are short sessions and will help you focus on reducing your drinking to a moderate level or abstinence. Keywork sessions These are longer sessions which are aimed at people with more complex alcohol needs. The sessions will be based around your own care plan and, working with partners in the area, will focus on all aspects of your circumstances. People who enter into this treatment service can also discuss potential detox options. Counselling Following some keywork sessions counselling may also be beneficial to some. This service will offer a safe environment for you to explore some issues that may be holding you back. Aftercare Support Oasis works with many partners in the area to offer invaluable aftercare and social inclusion support including relapse prevention. Art Therapy A chance to try a new way of expressing yourself with our resident artist. This group meets on a weekly basis and develops confidence and self-esteem. Acupuncture An ancient method of holistic healing which promotes self-healing. This practice is proven to help the management of symptoms of alcohol and drug misuse. Benefits of the support from Oasis include: Improved health and social functioning Shared experiences Increased motivation Knowledge and ideas Awareness of triggers Strength and self confidence Wider support network Although we will endeavour to see you as soon as possible in the drop in it is worth remembering that there may be a waiting period. However there are tea and coffee facilities and a welcoming team to make you feel at ease. YOU MAY BE FINDING IT TOO DIFFICULT TO COPE ON YOUR OWN. RECOVERY IS MORE LIKELY IF YOU GET HELP AND THERE IS A LOT OF SUPPORT AVAILABLE. 3

4 Drinking and You It is not unusual to have a drink or two. There are lots of positive things about having a drink. It helps you relax, increases sociability and it is enjoyable to do with friends. The problem is that one drink easily leads to another and before you know it you have drunk more than you intended. The government recommends a maximum limit of no more than 2-3 units per day for women and no more than 3-4 units per day for men with drink free days between drinking days. DID YOU KNOW? ALCOHOL AFFECTS MEN AND WOMEN DIFFERENTLY. WOMEN HAVE FEWER OF THE ENZYMES NEEDED TO PROCESS THE ALCOHOL AND ALSO HAVE LESS WATER IN THEIR BODIES MAKING THEM LESS ABLE TO DILUTE THE ALCOHOL. Keeping Safe when you are out and about Stay in control make it a night to remember, not a night to forget Avoid doing shots these contain a higher concentration of alcohol than other drinks Never leave your drink unattended Alternate alcoholic drinks with nonalcoholic drinks Wherever possible eat before you go out Be prepared take the numbers of licensed taxi firms with you Plan your journey home before you go out If you feel really drunk after a couple of drinks or you feel unwell ask a trusted friend to help you. ALWAYS THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE LEAVING A PUB OR CLUB WITH SOMEONE YOU HAVE JUST MET 4

5 How alcohol affects your health Most people in the UK have a drink and one in four men and one in five women drink more than the recommended levels. Drinking like this regularly is risky to your health and a habit can soon develop. Regular drinking can have the following risks: Short terms risks: Low energy Poor co-ordination Loss of consciousness Less able to think clearly Risk of injury Suffocation through choking on your own vomit Impotence Alcohol poisoning. Long term risks: Liver disease Heart disease Brain damage Certain types of cancers Stomach ulcers Physical dependence. As you get older alcohol affects you more because your body is less able to process the alcohol and your tolerance is less than it used to be. If you fall you are also more likely to injure yourself. DID YOU KNOW? ALCOHOL ALSO AFFECTS YOUR LOOKS. IT CAN MAKE YOU PUT ON WEIGHT AND IT IS LINKED TO PREMATURE AGEING. The Facts It takes the liver on average one hour to process one unit of alcohol. So, if you drink six pints of lager it will take over 13 hours to break down the alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and can affect your mood and behaviour if drunk regularly. It is recommended that pregnant women should not drink alcohol at all. Calories from alcohol are empty calories they have no nutritional value. A bottle of white wine can have 555 calories. The UK has one of the highest rates of binge drinking in Europe. Remember, alcohol affects others too. Please see page 8 of this booklet for more information. 5

6 What is a detox? An alcohol detox helps remove the alcohol from your body, manages unpleasant and sometimes risky withdrawal symptoms and creates a solid foundation for your recovery. A planned detox with Oasis is part of a support package to give you the best chance of recovery from your alcohol dependence. It can form part of your treatment and along with one to one support it can be highly effective. Some of the benefits include: Improved appetite Increased energy Feeling fresher in the mornings Clearer thinking Improved physical and psychological wellbeing. Do I need a detox? If you have been drinking excessively on a daily basis for some time you may be physically alcohol-dependent. That means that if you try to stop you may experience withdrawal symptoms. These include: Shakes Sweats Anxiety Severe tremors Insomnia Hallucinations Seizures. A DETOX CAN BE A SAFE PLANNED REDUCTION OF ALCOHOL OR IT CAN BE A MEDICAL DETOX WITH PRESCRIBED MEDICATION. YOUR KEYWORKER CAN ADVISE THE BEST METHOD FOR YOU. You may have tried to stop before but found the withdrawals too unpleasant or the impulse to drink again too strong to resist. Your keyworker will help you assess whether you are physically and mentally ready for a detox, and will talk you through the merits of cutting down or stopping completely, with or without prescribed medication. What to expect A combined package of one to one support and detox treatment Ask an alcohol worker about the safest method for you Prepare yourself mentally by making a detox plan with your worker Prepare your environment is it the safest place for you? Think about your social contacts are they the most supportive? Learn relaxation techniques to assist you through the process. This service is provided by Oasis in partnership with Scas (Specialist Community Addiction Service). 6

7 Ten tips for cutting down Some ideas to think about 1. List your reasons for cutting down. Stick your list on your fridge or somewhere where you will see it everyday. 2. Tell others what you are doing. Friends and family are likely to be happy you are helping yourself. You could ask your regular bartender not to serve you alcohol or only low alcohol drinks. Once they know it will be a deterrent to you drinking. 3. Keep a drink diary. Record times of drinking, how much you drank, where and with whom. See if there is a pattern to your drinking and plan to protect yourself at vulnerable times. 4. Stick to the limit you have set. Work out a reasonable drinking limit and if you feel you may go over, avoid the places and people that could trigger you. 5. Delay drinking until later. When you feel like a drink, have a snack or drink a soft drink. Try and distract yourself for at least 15 minutes and the craving will pass. 6. Practise saying no. Don t let anyone pressurise you into having another drink. Have excuses planned such as no thanks, I ve had enough or I ve got a lot on tomorrow or simply I m not drinking. REMEMBER TO REWARD YOUR EFFORTS. REWARDS SHOULD BE SHORT TERM SO YOU CAN SEE YOUR RESULTS 7. Avoid rounds. Round buying often means you drink more that you intended to. Skip some rounds by drinking more slowly. You could say you d rather buy your own or when it is your round buy yourself a soft drink. 8. Pace your drinks. Drink more slowly by putting your glass down between sips. Buy halves not pints and avoid strong brands. Ask for a glass of tap water as well to re-hydrate you and slow you down. 9. Occupy yourself. Find something else to do while you drink. Being active while you drink will take your mind off it and slow you down. 10. Have alcohol free days. Alcohol can make you dehydrated which is why people get hangovers. After drinking heavily avoid alcohol for 48 hours to give your body time to recover. Having days off proves you can control your drinking. (This tip may be unsuitable for those who are physically dependent upon alcohol). To get more tailored advice about reducing your drinking please chat to a member of the drop in team. 7

8 Coping with cravings If you have managed to reduce your drinking or achieved abstinence, you may still get a craving to drink alcohol. This is a natural part of recovery. Sometimes it is difficult to know when you are at risk of drinking as you may not be aware of your feelings from one moment to the next. A good indicator of which situations are not good for you is a craving. Many people find cravings difficult to cope with. They can vary in strength and frequency. A craving is a sign that you may be in a risk situation. They are like danger signs warning you to either avoid the situation or prepare for it. It is important to find out what triggers your cravings so you can plan for them. The best way to work out what triggers these attacks is to keep a craving diary. It may seem tedious at first but the more information you record the better chance you have of finding a pattern to your cravings. 3 points to remember: Think about your triggers Think about your coping mechanisms Make a plan and share it. A CRAVING IS A VALUABLE MESSAGE FOR YOU, JUST LIKE PAIN IS OUR SIGNAL THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG. 8

9 How alcohol effects others Family life We have all heard jokes about how alcohol can affect sexual performance and generally this is true. However it can also put a lot of emotional strain on relationships marriages where alcohol is an issue are more likely to end in divorce. Alcohol is also a major factor in domestic abuse. Children are also negatively affected by alcohol and they learn behaviour from their parents. How much you drink may have an effect on the amount they drink now or in the future. So try and set a good example now. It is illegal to give alcohol to children under five, even at home. Work life Because alcohol can affect your mood and behaviour it can also affect your work. Taking time off puts pressure on your colleagues and it is not the best way to make a good impression at work. It is also harder to find employment if you are drinking too much. Drink driving Legally the alcohol limit for drinking and driving is 80mg in 100ml of blood but this cannot be translated easily. It depends on factors such your metabolism and weight. The best thing to do is to avoid drinking if you are driving. If you have had a heavy night with alcohol you may still be over the limit the next morning. If you drive and you still have alcohol in your system you may be prosecuted. IF YOU ARE DRIVING AND HAVE THE LEGAL LIMIT OF ALCOHOL IN YOUR BODY YOU ARE MORE THAN TWICE AS LIKELY TO HAVE AN ACCIDENT THAN IF YOU HAD NOT BEEN DRINKING AT ALL THE RISK IS UP TO FIVE TIMES GREATER IF YOU ARE AN INEXPERIENCED DRIVER Social life Drinking too much can cause embarrassment to the drinker and their family. This can lead to isolation and a drop in friendships. Alcohol can cause financial difficulties and this can have serious implications on social situations such as losing your home and increasing debt. 9

10 Advice for family and friends If you are affected by someone else s alcohol use the following information may be helpful: Alcohol misuse can change personality. Underneath the person knows they have changed but can find it hard to admit. Friends and family may feel ignored, used, hurt, scared and at a loss as to what to do. Worrying continually and trying to stop someone from drinking can leave you feeling drained of energy, depressed and with a sense of helplessness. Do Talk to the person when they are not drinking and when both of you are calm. Ask them the effects of their use and tell them the effects you experience. Help them be realistic with their goals Ask what you can do to support them Encourage them to seek professional help Be clear about what behaviour you will accept and stick to it Take time out for yourself get away from the situation if you can and find activities that are only for you and give yourself space to be yourself. Don t Believe you are to blame for the person s drinking Rescue the person from responsibilities or consequences Hide the effects of the alcohol from the person Make it easy for them e.g. by going to the pub with them Tolerate threats, violence or abuse Take away someone s freedom of choice by hiding their money, locking them up or booking them into treatment without their consent Judge the person for their addiction. IT IS IMPORTANT TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND NOT FEEL RESPONSIBLE DrugFAM is a local organisation offering support to family and friends who are effected by someone else s substance misuse

11 Alcohol units Beer, Lager and Ale 330ml bottle 440ml can Pint Ordinary strength 3.5% - 4.0% 1.3 units 1.8 units 2.3 units Premium strength 5% 1.6 units 2.2 units 2.8 units Strong 6%+ 2 units units units+ Cider Ordinary strength 6% 330ml bottle 440ml can Pint Litre 2 units 2.6 units 3.4 units 6 units Strong 9%+ 3 units + 4 unit+ 5 units + 9 units + Alcopops 5% 275ml bottle = 1.4 units Shots e.g. tequila 25ml 35ml 1 unit 1.3 units Spirits Gin whiskey rum vodka 25ml 35ml 50ml double Bottle 1 litre 1 unit 1.4 units 2 units 37 units+ Wine Red or White Standard glass 175ml Large glass 250ml Bottle 750ml 11% 1.9 units 2.8 units 8.3 units 12% 2.1 units 3 units 9 units 13% 2.3 units 3.3 units 9.8 units 14% 2.5 units 3.5 units 10.5 units 11

12 Useful Numbers and websites Drinkline Drug Fam Alcohol Concern Alcoholics Anonymous Samaritans How to find us High Wycombe Oasis House George Street High Wycombe HP11 2RZ Tel: Fax: Desborough Ave A40 George St Baker St Short St Desborough Rd Westbourne St W. Wycombe Rd Brook St Bridge St Oxford Rd Archway Desborough Rd Eden Centre Abbey Way Oxford Rd Directions: Turn onto Baker Street at Victoria Pharmacy and turn left. New St Lilys Walk Aylesbury Unity House 98 Walton Street Aylesbury HP21 7QP A418 A41 Friarage Rd Exchange St A413 A418 High St A41 Walton Rd Walton Street Tel: Fax: Magistrates Court Stoke Road Stoke Rd A413 Wendover Way B4443 Wendover Road Directions: Take the slip road towards the Magistrates Court and turn right. You can us on: For more information please visit us at:

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