Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust: delivering excellence in drug services across Luton as part of the ResoLUTiONs Pathway

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1 Respite House Alcohol Detox Client Information Sheet Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust: delivering excellence in drug services across Luton as part of the ResoLUTiONs Pathway

2 Respite House client information Treatment options - Alcohol detoxification What is alcohol detoxification? Alcohol detoxification (alcohol detox) is a treatment given to safely allow someone who is physically dependant on alcohol to stop drinking alcohol straight away. It is a planned controlled withdrawal from alcohol. Normally we would advise someone to cut alcohol use gradually as stopping suddenly could be dangerous and make them very ill. Alcohol detox is a safe way of doing this with medication to make sure it is safe and as comfortable as possible. Why might I need an alcohol detox? If your body is so used to daily alcohol use that you are unwell if you don t have it you may need an alcohol detox. If you stop drinking alcohol by yourself with no help or medication you could experience side effects such as shakes, sweats, anxiety, nausea or vomiting, sleeping difficulties or headaches or even more severe side effects such as seizures, convulsions, visual hallucinations or muscle tremors. Therefore medication is needed with supervision to manage these side effects to help you remain as comfortable and pain free as possible. A detox is not needed for everyone who is drinking so we advise you get help from JKP or LDASS as soon as possible to help you decide what is best for you. What does an alcohol detox at Respite House involve? A 14-day stay in Respite House, taking a variety of medications regularly and seeing the doctor and nurse to monitor your health and progress while joining in group activities. The main drug we use is a Benzodiazepine which is given in a set reduction plan. You will usually continue to take other medication your G.P or drug service prescribes.

3 What are the benefits/risks? The benefits: not to having to have alcohol to make you feel ok, no longer feeling sick or have shakes, saving money. You will no longer physically feel like you have to drink. You should have more energy, be able to eat normally and feel more awake. The risks: are that you could feel very unwell in the first few days of your detox be sick, have diarrhoea, shakes and not sleep very well. You will also have feelings return to normal this can be a good and bad thing. In more rare situations fits, blackouts, hallucinations and memory issues are possible. We will give you medication to hopefully prevent all of these but in the unlikely event you do have a severe reaction we may have to transfer you to hospital. The risk of relapsing after you leave is very large so you need to have worked out before you come in what will be different once you leave. Is Respite House the best place for me? Your keyworker will discuss this with you and if needed we can help. As Respite House is a closed and supervised place this maybe better or worse for you depending on your situation. If you are drinking large amounts of alcohol, have serious physical or mental health problems you may be more comfortable on Coral Ward or in the hospital. Will I be in any pain? Alcohol detox is not an easy thing and can be difficult for your body and mind. We try to make you as comfortable as possible but you may still feel shaky, sick, have bad dreams and crave alcohol. This is why it is important that you prepare well and have a good plan in place with your keyworker before you come in. This plan should cover what will happen when you leave and what happens if things go wrong.

4 Do I have to have an alcohol detox? Are there other options? Not everyone who is drinking will need a detox and sometimes this can be done at home under the supervision of LDASS. You may be able to reduce the strength and amount you are drinking over time and safely stop this way. Some people manage this well but others need more help. It is advised that a detox should only be done with medical support due to the side effects when stopping alcohol suddenly. Talking to an alcohol worker will help you to decide what is best for you. You can of course change your mind and leave the house at any point but there is a risk you will feel unwell and that you will relapse. Will I need to do anything before I come in? Taking steps to cut down your alcohol use before you come in will help make the process easier. You should also speak to your doctor about putting you on Vitamin B and Thiamine and sending you for blood tests. How long will I need to take medication for? The usual course of medication within Respite House is for ten days. The other four days are spent without medication to monitor your health and strength before you leave the house. What will happen after I leave Respite House? You will have appointments with your keyworker and any other agencies that support you. There is medication that can help you stay off alcohol but this will need to be discussed and arranged before you come in. Rehab following a alcohol detox is an option but needs to be agreed and planned before you come to Respite House so you can go straight there. Where do I get more information? There are other information sheets available on planned alcohol withdrawal from NICE that Respite House or your keyworker can provide. There are other Respite House leaflets on stabilisation and reduction and a general Respite House information pack.

5 Further questions? If you have any questions please ask your keyworker.

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8 For further information about this service contact: Respite House 32 Studley Road Luton Beds LU3 1BB Tel: If you require this information in a different format such as in large print or on audio tape, or in a different language please contact the service on the details above. If you have any concerns about this service or suggestions for improvements, contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on Freephone or For free, confidential health advice and information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year please contact NHS 111. Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust Website: Code No: Date of Production: Date of Review: Sept 2015 (V1.2) April 2015 April 2018

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