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Alcohol Addiction Services in Hertfordshire

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is a chronic disease characterised by an uncontrolled consumption of alcohol, a preoccupation with it, and continued usage despite harmful consequences. It is a serious, life-threatening condition that affects thousands of people in Hertforshire and can lead to physical, mental, and social problems.

Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol dependence is a key component of alcohol addiction. A person is considered alcohol dependent when they have developed a physical or psychological dependence on alcohol. This means that they have a high tolerance for alcohol, experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking, and feel a compulsive need to drink.

Alcohol dependence can manifest in various ways, including drinking more or for longer than intended, unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop drinking, spending a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from alcohol, and giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use.


Alcoholism is the most severe form of alcohol addiction. It is a disease that affects both the brain and behaviour, leading to an inability to control drinking due to physical dependence and emotional attachment to alcohol.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time without treatment. It can also be fatal, due to the numerous health complications associated with excessive alcohol consumption, such as liver disease, heart disease, and increased risk of accidents and injuries.

People with alcoholism often recognise that their drinking is out of control, yet they are unable to quit on their own. This is because alcohol changes the brain’s structure and function, leading to changes in mood, behaviour, and cognition. These changes can make it extremely difficult for people with alcoholism to quit drinking, even when they want to.

In conclusion, alcohol addiction is a serious and complex disease that requires professional treatment. The good news is that with the right support and treatment, recovery is possible. The following sections will provide more information on understanding alcohol addiction, withdrawal, and the various treatment options available in Hertfordshire.

Understanding Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, is a chronic disease characterised by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol. Understanding the causes, signs and symptoms, and long-term health consequences of alcohol addiction is important in identifying the problem and seeking appropriate treatment.

Causes and Risk Factors

The causes of alcohol addiction are complex and multifaceted, often involving a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

  • Genetic Factors: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to alcohol addiction. Studies have shown that having a relative, particularly a parent or sibling, with an alcohol problem increases the risk.
  • Environmental Factors: These include cultural attitudes towards drinking, peer pressure, easy availability of alcohol, and exposure to alcohol advertising.
  • Psychological Factors: Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder can increase the risk of alcohol addiction. Additionally, people with low self-esteem, those who experience high levels of stress, or those who have a history of trauma or abuse may also be more susceptible to developing an alcohol use disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction is the first step towards seeking help. These may include:

  • Physical Symptoms: Frequent hangovers, blackouts, unexplained injuries, and a noticeable tolerance to alcohol (needing to drink more to achieve the same effect).
  • Behavioural Symptoms: Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home, giving up previously enjoyed activities in favour of drinking, and continuing to drink despite negative consequences.
  • Psychological Symptoms: Preoccupation with drinking, unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop drinking, and experiencing cravings for alcohol.

Long-term Health Consequences

Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to a range of serious health problems, including:

  • Liver Disease: This includes fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis, which can be life-threatening.
  • Cardiovascular Problems: These include high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Neurological Damage: Long-term alcohol use can lead to permanent brain damage, causing problems with memory, attention, and coordination.
  • Psychiatric Problems: These include depression, anxiety, and increased risk of suicide.
  • Cancer: Chronic alcohol use increases the risk of several types of cancer, including mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast cancer.

Understanding the causes, signs, symptoms, and long-term health consequences of alcohol addiction can help people and their loved ones recognise the problem and seek appropriate treatment. Early intervention can significantly improve the chances of recovery and reduce the risk of serious health complications.

Alcohol Withdrawals

Alcohol withdrawal is a term that refers to the symptoms that may occur when a person who has been drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis suddenly stops drinking. This sudden cessation can cause the body, which has become dependent on alcohol, to experience a variety of physical and psychological symptoms as it adjusts to the absence of alcohol.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawals

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to severe, and may include:

  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Jumpiness or shakiness
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Not thinking clearly
  • Sweating, clammy skin
  • Enlarged (dilated) pupils
  • Headache
  • Insomnia (sleeping difficulty)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pallor
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Tremor of the hands or other body parts

More severe symptoms can include hallucinations, fever, seizures, and severe confusion. These symptoms can be dangerous and require immediate medical attention.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

The timeline of alcohol withdrawal can vary from person to person, but generally follows a common pattern:

  • 6-12 hours after the last drink: Mild symptoms such as anxiety, shaking, and nausea begin.
  • 12-24 hours after the last drink: Symptoms may progress to hallucinations.
  • 24-48 hours after the last drink: Withdrawal seizures may occur.
  • 48 hours and beyond: Symptoms may escalate to delirium tremens (DTs), characterised by confusion, rapid heartbeat, and fever. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Withdrawal Problems

Alcohol withdrawal can be a challenging and potentially dangerous process. It can lead to severe health problems, including seizures, hallucinations, and even death in some cases. Some people may experience a condition known as delirium tremens (DTs), which can be life-threatening.

Furthermore, withdrawal can be psychologically difficult, with many people experiencing severe anxiety, depression, and mood swings. This can make it difficult for people to remain abstinent from alcohol without medical support.

In summary, understanding alcohol withdrawal is important for anyone attempting to stop drinking, as the process can be complicated and potentially dangerous. Medical supervision is often necessary to ensure a safe and successful detoxification process.

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a chronic disease that requires comprehensive treatment. There are several treatment options available, each designed to address different aspects of alcohol addiction. One of the foremost treatment options is medical alcohol detoxification using an alcohol detox prescription medication.

Medical Alcohol Detoxification

Medical alcohol detoxification is the process of safely managing the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drinking. This is an essential first step in treating alcoholism and is often followed by additional treatments to address the psychological, social, and behavioural aspects of the addiction.

What is a detox?

Detox, short for detoxification, is the process of removing toxins, in this case, alcohol, from the body. In the context of alcohol addiction treatment, detox is the period during which the body adjusts to the absence of alcohol, and withdrawal symptoms are managed.

Why a Detox Matters in Alcoholism Treatment

Detox is important in alcoholism treatment as it helps the person to overcome physical dependence on alcohol. It is the first step towards recovery and prepares the body and mind for further treatment. Without detox, withdrawal symptoms can be severe and potentially life-threatening.

Types of Alcohol Detox Program

There are different types of detox programs available, each tailored to the person’s needs and the severity of their addiction. These include:

  • Inpatient Detox: This is a residential treatment program where people stay at a treatment facility throughout the detox process. Medical supervision is provided 24/7, ensuring safety and comfort during withdrawal.
  • Outpatient Alcohol Detox: In this program, people visit a treatment facility for regular medical check-ups and treatment but do not stay overnight. This option is usually suitable for those with a mild addiction.
  • Home Alcohol Detox: In certain cases, detox can be carried out at home under the supervision of a healthcare professional. This option allows people to remain in their own environment while receiving treatment.

Inpatient Detox Hertfordshire

In Hertfordshire, there are several facilities offering inpatient detox programs. These programs provide a safe, supportive, and controlled environment for people to detox from alcohol, with medical supervision available around the clock.

Outpatient Detox Hertfordshire

Outpatient detox programs in Hertfordshire allow people to continue with their daily responsibilities while undergoing treatment. Regular check-ups are scheduled to monitor progress and manage withdrawal symptoms.

Home Detox Hertfordshire

Home detox programs in Hertfordshire provide people with the flexibility to detox from alcohol in the comfort of their own homes. A healthcare professional regularly visits to monitor the person’s health and progress, and to provide necessary medical treatment.

In conclusion, there are several treatment options available for alcoholism, with detox being the first important step. Hertfordshire offers a range of programs to suit different needs and circumstances. It is important to seek professional help when considering detox and recovery from alcohol addiction.

Medical Alcohol Detox

Medical alcohol detox is a important first step in the journey towards recovery from alcohol addiction. Its significance lies in its ability to safely manage the severe physical symptoms that can occur during alcohol withdrawal.

Importance of Medical Detox

Medical detox is essential for people who have been heavily dependent on alcohol. The process involves a complete stop of alcohol intake, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be severe and potentially life-threatening. Medical detox ensures that this process is done safely under the supervision of medical professionals, who can provide appropriate care and treatment.

Benefits of Medical Detox

Attempting to detox from alcohol without professional help, also known as self-detox, can be extremely dangerous. It can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal if not properly managed. Medical detox, on the other hand, offers a safer and more comfortable environment for the detox process. Medical professionals are on hand to monitor vital signs, administer medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and provide emotional support. This reduces the risk of severe complications and increases the chances of successful long-term recovery.

The Medical Alcohol Detox Process

The process of medical detox involves three essential stages: evaluation, stabilisation, and transition to treatment. Evaluation involves a comprehensive assessment of the person’s physical and mental health, as well as their level of alcohol dependence. Stabilization involves the actual process of detoxification, with medical intervention as needed using a detox drug such as librium to manage withdrawal symptoms. Finally, the transition to treatment involves preparing the person for further addiction treatment, such as inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation.

The Medical and Addiction Professionals

Medical and addiction professionals play a vital role in the detox process. Doctors, nurses, and addiction specialists work together to provide a safe and supportive environment for detox. They monitor the patient’s health, administer medications, provide psychological support, and prepare the person for the next steps in their recovery journey. Their expertise and care are important in helping people overcome alcohol addiction and move towards a healthier, alcohol-free life.

Alcohol Rehabilitation Programs

Alcohol addiction is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive treatment approach. In Hertfordshire, there are several alcohol rehabilitation programs available to help people overcome their addiction and regain control over their lives. These programs can be broadly categorised into three types – inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, and online rehab.

Residential Rehab Hertfordshire

Inpatient alcohol rehabilitation in Hertfordshire, also known as residential treatment, involves the person staying at a specialised facility for a period of time, typically ranging from 30 to 90 days. These programs provide a structured environment away from the triggers and stressors of daily life, which can significantly aid in recovery.

Inpatient rehab in Hertfordshire offers round-the-clock medical and emotional support, and includes a variety of therapies such as person counselling, group therapy, and family therapy. These programs also often incorporate holistic treatments like yoga, meditation, and fitness activities.

Outpatient Rehabilitation Hertfordshire

Outpatient rehabilitation programs allow people to continue living at home while receiving treatment. This can be beneficial for those who have work or family responsibilities that they cannot neglect.

Outpatient rehab in Hertfordshire typically involves attending treatment sessions multiple times a week at a treatment center. These sessions can include person therapy, group therapy, and educational workshops on addiction and recovery. The intensity and frequency of the sessions can be adjusted based on the person’s progress and needs.

Online Rehab Hertfordshire

Online rehab has become increasingly popular, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs offer a high degree of flexibility, making them a good option for those who may not be able to commit to in-person treatment due to geographical constraints or other commitments.

Online rehab programs provide treatment services through digital platforms. This can include video conferencing for person therapy sessions, online group meetings, educational materials accessible through an online portal, and digital tools for tracking progress and managing cravings.

Each type of alcohol rehabilitation program has its own set of advantages and is suited to different people based on their specific needs and circumstances. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or addiction specialist to determine the most appropriate course of treatment.

Alcohol Support Groups

Alcohol support groups serve as a vital component in the journey towards recovery from alcohol addiction. These groups offer a platform for people to share their experiences, struggles, and successes, providing emotional support and practical strategies for dealing with alcohol addiction. In Hertfordshire, there are several support groups available for those grappling with alcoholism in the major locations, including:

  1. St Albans: Known for its rich history, St Albans offers a charming blend of ancient and modern attractions. It is home to the beautiful St Albans Cathedral, Verulamium Park, and a vibrant city center with shops, restaurants, and cultural venues.
  2. Hemel Hempstead: With its mix of residential areas, green spaces, and commercial centers, Hemel Hempstead is a thriving town. It boasts attractions such as the Snow Centre, Gadebridge Park, and the Marlowes Shopping Centre.
  3. Stevenage: Stevenage is a bustling town with a rich industrial heritage. It offers a range of amenities including the Stevenage Museum, Fairlands Valley Park, and the Westgate Shopping Centre.
  4. Watford: Known for its football club and shopping scene, Watford is a vibrant town. It features attractions such as the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, Cassiobury Park, and the Intu Watford Shopping Centre.
  5. Welwyn Garden City: This town is renowned for its beautiful garden city design and green spaces. Welwyn Garden City boasts attractions like the Campus West leisure complex, Stanborough Park, and the Howard Centre shopping mall.
  6. Cheshunt: Located on the eastern edge of Hertfordshire, Cheshunt offers a mix of residential areas and open spaces. It is home to attractions like the Lee Valley White Water Centre, Cheshunt Park, and the Brookfield Shopping Centre.
  7. Bishop’s Stortford: Situated near the border with Essex, Bishop’s Stortford is a historic market town. It features attractions like Bishop’s Stortford Museum, Rhodes Arts Complex, and the Jackson Square shopping center.
  8. Hatfield: Hatfield is a town known for its modern university campus and aerospace industry connections. Attractions include Hatfield House, Mill Green Museum and Mill, and The Galleria shopping center.
  9. Harpenden: Located between St Albans and Luton, Harpenden is a leafy commuter town. It offers attractions like Rothamsted Park, Harpenden Common Golf Club, and a range of independent shops and cafes.
  10. Ware: Situated on the River Lea, Ware is a historic town with a picturesque riverside setting. It boasts attractions such as Ware Museum, Scott’s Grotto, and the town’s traditional high street.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international fellowship of people who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. AA adopts a 12-step program that emphasises a spiritual approach towards recovery, though it welcomes people of all or no faith. Regular meetings are held where members share their experiences and support each other in their recovery journey.

SMART Recovery

SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) Recovery is another support group option. Unlike AA, SMART Recovery takes a more scientific approach to recovery. It is based on cognitive behavioural therapy and emphasises self-empowerment and self-reliance. It provides tools and techniques to help people manage their thoughts, behaviours, and feelings related to alcohol addiction.

Other Local Groups in Hertfordshire

In addition to these international programs, Hertfordshire also hosts a number of local alcohol support groups. These groups cater to the specific needs of the community and can offer more personalised support. They provide a safe and supportive environment for people to discuss their issues, learn from others, and find strength in shared experiences. Local groups may also have more knowledge about resources and services available in the Hertfordshire area.

In conclusion, alcohol support groups play a important role in recovery from alcohol addiction. Whether it’s the global reach of Alcoholics Anonymous, the science-based approach of SMART Recovery, or the community-focused local groups in Hertfordshire, there is a support group out there to meet the diverse needs of people battling alcoholism.

Psychological & Behavioural Alcohol Therapies

Behavioural therapies are essential components of alcohol treatment programs in Hertfordshire. These therapies are designed to change drinking behaviours through counselling. They are often led by mental health professionals and facilitated in group or person sessions. The following are some of the behavioural therapies used in alcohol treatment:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, often referred to as CBT, is a form of psychotherapy that helps people understand and change thought patterns that lead to harmful actions such as excessive drinking. CBT assists people in identifying situations, thoughts, and feelings that trigger their alcohol use and work towards developing healthier coping mechanisms.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is a counselling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings to find the internal motivation they need to change their behaviour. It is a practical, empathetic, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes.

Contingency Management

Contingency Management (CM) is a type of therapy used in alcohol addiction treatment that provides tangible rewards to encourage positive behaviours such as abstinence. This approach reinforces the idea that sobriety brings rewards, while continued alcohol use brings undesirable consequences.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, or DBT, is a cognitive-behavioural approach that emphasises the psychosocial aspects of treatment. DBT focuses on the concept of mindfulness, or being aware of and attentive to the current situation. It teaches skills to control intense emotions, reduce self-destructive behaviours, and improve relationships, which can all be triggers for alcohol use.

In conclusion, behavioural therapies are a important part of alcohol treatment in Hertfordshire. They provide the tools and strategies needed to maintain sobriety, manage cravings, and live a healthier, more balanced life.

Relapse Prevention

Relapse is a common part of the recovery journey from alcohol addiction. Understanding how and why it happens can help people and their loved ones take steps to prevent it and stay on the path to recovery.

Why Does Relapse Happen?

Relapse is not a singular event but a process that occurs over time. It often starts with emotional relapse, where people may not be thinking about drinking, but their emotions and behaviours set them up for possible relapse in the future. They may feel isolated, not attend support group meetings, or not take care of their physical and emotional health.

The next stage is mental relapse, where the person starts to think about drinking. There is a war going on in their mind, with part of them wanting to drink and part of them not. As mental relapse progresses, the thought of drinking becomes more intrusive, and the idea of sobriety becomes less appealing.

The last stage is physical relapse, where the person starts drinking again. Once a person reaches this stage, it’s challenging to pull back, underscoring the importance of recognizing the early warning signs of emotional and mental relapse.

How to Prevent Relapse

Preventing relapse involves a combination of strategies, including ongoing treatment, support, self-care, and lifestyle changes.

  1. Ongoing Treatment: Sticking with treatment, even after symptoms improve, can help prevent relapse. This may involve continuing with counselling, medication, support groups, and other forms of treatment.
  2. Support: Having a strong support network is important in relapse prevention. This can include family, friends, therapists, and support groups.
  3. Self-Care: Taking care of physical health through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can help manage cravings and reduce the risk of relapse. Similarly, managing stress through relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and other strategies can also be beneficial.
  4. Lifestyle Changes: Making changes to one’s lifestyle can also help prevent relapse. This can include avoiding situations or people that trigger cravings, finding new hobbies or activities to replace drinking, and setting meaningful and realistic goals for the future.
  5. Coping Skills: Learning and practicing healthy coping skills can help manage cravings and deal with stress and other triggers without turning to alcohol.

Remember, relapse is not a sign of failure but a signal that treatment needs to be adjusted or intensified. With the right support and strategies, people can learn to manage their addiction and prevent relapse.

Detox Today Services

Detox Today provides a comprehensive range of services to assist people struggling with alcohol addiction. These services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each person and are designed to provide the support and tools necessary for long-term recovery.

Home Alcohol Detox Hertfordshire

For those who prefer to detox in the comfort of their own homes, Detox Today offers a home alcohol detox program. This program provides a safe and effective way to detox from alcohol without the need for hospitalization. It includes medical supervision, medication to manage withdrawal symptoms, and support from experienced addiction professionals.

Inpatient Detox Services Hertfordshire

Detox Today also offers inpatient detox services in Hertfordshire. This option is ideal for people who have a severe addiction and require round-the-clock care and supervision. Inpatient detox involves staying at a residential treatment facility where medical professionals monitor the detox process and manage any withdrawal symptoms that may arise.

Residential Rehab Services Hertfordshire

Following detox, many people choose to continue their recovery journey in an inpatient rehab program. Detox Today’s inpatient rehab services in Hertfordshire provide a structured environment where people can focus on their recovery without the distractions and triggers of everyday life. These programs offer a combination of person and group therapy, educational sessions, and holistic therapies.


Alcohol Counselling Online

For those who cannot attend in-person therapy sessions, Detox Today offers online alcohol counselling services in Hertfordshire. These services allow people to receive the help they need from the comfort of their own homes. Online counselling provides the same level of care and support as traditional in-person therapy, but with the added convenience of being able to access services from anywhere.

Abstinence Medications including Disulfiram and Acamprosate

Detox Today also offers medication-assisted treatment options, including the use of abstinence medications like disulfiram and acamprosate. These medications are designed to help people maintain their sobriety by reducing cravings for alcohol and managing withdrawal symptoms. They are typically used in conjunction with other treatment methods, such as counselling and behavioural therapy.

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Worry-Free Detox Services

We understand addiction takes its toll on the individual as well as those around them. Simply get in touch and we can take care of everything. From initial advice and guidance, to treatment planning, doctor consultation booking, doctor appointment, prescription delivery, detox supervision and aftercare. We arrange it all to save you the worry and stress. All of our help is professional, independent and tailored towards helping people overcome their problems.

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Benefits Of Home Detox


There’s nothing more precious than being able to heal with the support of your loved ones, in the familiar environment of your own home. Savour the convenience of being able to maintain your daily routine, work, or simply spend quality time with your loved ones throughout the detox programme.


Our team comprises individuals who have either personally battled addiction or have witnessed a loved one struggle with it. We ensure we understand your needs at the deepest level to keep you safe and make your recovery efficient.

Safe and Comfortable

A medical detoxification helps to alleviate alcohol withdrawal symptoms, whether physical or mental. For long-term heavy alcoholics and heavy drinkers, sudden withdrawal can be dangerous, and the psychological cravings can be overwhelming.

Cost effective

Home alcohol detox is much cheaper than attending a detox clinic or rehab. It is the best value form of private detox treatment, simply because there are no residential costs associated with inpatient. It really is worth the cost to live a life free form alcohol.



We can deliver medication to your door or collect from one of our pharmacies. Call 0800 009 6675 for more.