AT Home with Lorraine Kelly - June 2011 - (Page 162)

Get the better of your addiction If your drink habit has spiralled to a point where you can no longer control your actions and behaviour, it’s time to seek professional psychiatric help r Leon van Huyssteen is a consultant psychiatrist and member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He is widely experienced and provides care and treatment for people with a broad range of mental health complaints. He also has a special interest in addiction and here he talks about diagnosing and treating alcohol misuse. ‘Alcohol misuse is both a medical and psychiatric problem,’ says Leon. ‘It’s an urgent issue in Britain. Binge drinking among women and young people is particularly worrying.’ | at| PROMOTION| home promotion | D Getting help ‘People with alcohol dependency are often reluctant to seek help. This is usually the result of an unwillingness to accept that there is a problem. The stigma surrounding dependency, and the lack of awareness of how to seek help, can also prevent people from getting it. A good rst port of call is a GP who can refer patients to addiction specialists. Alcohol charities such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Drinkaware can also provide valuable help and there’s a lot of good information on the net.’ How much is too much? ‘Government guidance recommends that men should not regularly exceed more than three to four units of alcohol per day, and that women should have no more than two to three units per day,’ says Leon. ‘Essentially one unit is 8g of pure alcohol, which is the equivalent of a small (125ml) glass of wine, ½ pint of lager or a standard (25ml) pub measure of spirit. ‘Consumption guidelines are only a threshold where adverse e ects become more likely, and alcohol a ects individuals di erently due to sex, body size and other factors. Women tolerate alcohol di erently to men because of the di erences in body fat to water ratios.’ Initial assessment ‘Before any treatment plan can begin, a patient’s alcohol problems need to be thoroughly assessed,’ explains Leon. ‘Once the patient is referred to a psychiatrist, their previous psychiatric history, family background, personal history and social history including previous addictions will all be determined. ‘Treatment depends on whether a patient is actually alcohol dependent or is drinking harmfully. It may be possible to recommend moderating a patient’s drinking, but if someone cannot control their drinking habits, abstinence will be advised.’ Treating dependency ‘Patients with alcohol dependency will usually be o ered medically modi ed detoxi cation. The detox can take place at home or in hospital and usually lasts between ve and 11 days. The main reason behind a controlled detox is to stop patients who are physically addicted to alcohol su ering withdrawal seizures,’ explains Leon. ‘After this initial detox, most private sector hospitals run a 28-day inpatient addiction programme which involves individual and group therapy and sessions with counsellors. After leaving hospital they will be advised to carry on outpatient treatment and they’ll also be encouraged to attend aftercare meetings.’ Understanding the dangers ‘Liver cirrhosis gets the most media coverage, but alcohol can cause depression and anxiety. The physical e ects of alcohol misuse include hepatitis, gastritis, risk of stroke and heart attack, and an increased risk of cancer,’ says Leon. What is alcohol dependence? ‘This condition involves an inability to stop drinking despite the adverse e ects on social, mental and physical wellbeing. The dependent person may su er from withdrawal symptoms when they stop or reduce their drinking.’ FOR MORE INFORMATION Dr Leon van Huyssteen MBChB, MRCPsych consults at London, Hertfordshire and Harrow, Middlesex. To make an appointment, contact his practice manager, Caroline Pryce, on 020 7099 0000 or 07540 000415. Email caroline@ or visit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Lorraine Kelly - June 2011

Editor’s letter
Hello from Lorraine
Notebook news
Update your calendar
Mum’s the word
In the shade
Beach baggage
Pick a straw
Foot fever
Be bold
Beach chic
Vintage veterans
Celebrity style
Up close and personal
Steal Lorraine's style
Lorraine and friends
Happy hiker
Birth order
Going the distance
Intimacy in numbers
Tales of triumph
Breaking up
Splits in the spotlight
Skill savvy
Bucket list
Serious saving
Big days
Notorious nuptials
In the know
Treat your feet
Drink up
Time of the month
Conception made clear
Manage your menopause
The big C
Battling the blues
Skinny stars
Health hotlist
The new atkins
Sumptuous Summer
Stop fussing
Gym bunny
Hot to trot
Crystal clear
Stop the clock
Dimple doom
Forever young
Make-up made easy
Polish perfect
Luscious locks
Fix it
Dental dos
Banish that blemish
Shopping for baby
Size 20 at seven
Indian spice
Exotic Indonesia
Lone traveller
Offshore weddings
Summer makeover
Room revamp
Keep cosy
Feeling board?
Coming soon
Craft savvy
Guilty pleasure
Rock that frock
Book corner
Final countdown
TRAVEL - Celeb campers
TRAVEL - Camp it up
TRAVEL - We love it
TRAVEL - Little britain
TRAVEL - Holiday lodges
TRAVEL - Quirky places to stay
TRAVEL - Transport yourself
TRAVEL - Best days out
TRAVEL - A brit special
PETS - Star pooches
PETS - Pet products
PETS - Make the right choice
PETS - Caring for your animal
PETS - Feeding time
PETS - When pets get poorly
PETS - time to shift some weight
PETS - Me and my beloved pet
PETS - Animal rescue
PETS - What a picture!
CAREERS - Lorraine's career path
CAREERS - Beauty and brains
CAREERS - C'est chic
CAREERS - Girls at work
CAREERS - Just the job!
CAREERS - Go out and get it
CAREERS - Pick and choose

AT Home with Lorraine Kelly - June 2011