The Call

October 19, 2009

As I have mentioned previously, I am a fairly hardcore alcoholic to the point where it actively interferes with my ability to function.

I have, for a while now, been waiting on a call from Alcohol Problem Services for inpatient detox. This would consist of seven days of inpatient treatment whereby you are given a controlled and slowly reduced dosage of a benzodiazepine (chlordiazepoxide, which goes by the trade name librium) in order to manage withdrawal symptoms whilst being supported with thorough counselling.

Following this, you are then placed on a month long outpatient treatment of naltrexone whilst continuing the counselling. Naltrexone inculcates an allergic response to alcohol and if you try drinking then you will vomit heavily (at a minimum).

The idea is to help your body come off the alcohol whilst also helping to get your brain used to not drinking. Even after treatment you are still going to have a long way to go, but this is step one in getting better.

The problem though is that there are a limited number of places available for inpatient detox on the NHS so you can end up waiting for a while. Even as a priority case I’ve been waiting for about a month and a half – though given it’s free at the point of use versus the thousands upon thousands of pounds it can cost for private detox then you shouldn’t complain too bitterly.

Anyway, today I got the call to go in for treatment. I actually got called twice in the morning but both times it was from a number I didn’t recognise so I let it go to voicemail except no v/m was left. As a result I ignored to calls until I had a chanced to do a look-up on the phone number and saw that it was the generic NHS Scotland switchboard number – the only reason for me to be getting a call was to notify me of a date for my hospital treatment.

In the afternoon I got another call from the same number and this time I answered it.

I have to be at the hospital for 10am on Wednesday 28th October.

This is hopefully the beginning of my world turning around.