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What is rehab really like?

Meet Niall, 42, from Manchester. His high flying career in finance came with its very own set of pressures. Not least an expectation to be ‘one of the boys’ and regularly entertain clients. This is Niall’s story about his slide towards alcoholism and how working with Port of Call helped him through drink and drug rehab, and ultimately on to recovery.

What is rehab like

Niall’s story

Working as an Investment Banker has its fair share of extreme ups and downs. After brokering a big new deal, we’d hit the bar and celebrate. If the markets slumped, we’d hit the bar and commiserate. Drinking was an accepted part of the culture and I was the ‘go to guy’ for all occasions. A status that I relished.

I was oblivious to the effects that this regime was having on my family and work life. Until, that is, a particularly awful hangover – courtesy of my third consecutive night of entertaining clients – led me to call in sick. That day I was due to deliver a presentation to the Board, as well as run in the ‘dad’s race’ at my daughter’s sports day. I missed them both.

It wasn’t until an intervention from my wife, Caitlin, and line manager the following day that the true extent of my actions really hit home. I was shocked to hear that my family and colleagues had been covering for me for months. I’d been oblivious, kidding myself that booze was my way of unwinding and that the occasional blackout was no big deal.

First Port of Call

I agreed to take action and contacted Port of Call. Even from those initial discussions, with their professional addiction counsellors, I knew that I was in safe hands. They patiently and discretely assessed my situation and were able to recommend an appropriate course of treatment at a local rehab clinic right on our doorstep.

Port of Call were able to secure an admission date in a matter of days. The doctor at our NHS clinic gave me a full and frank health check assessment and prescribed a short stint of detox. Thankfully, Port of Call’s advisers were there to talk me through each step of the process. It could have been a much more daunting experience, for me and my family, had it not been for their constant reassurance.

Following my detox, I underwent 12 weeks of rehabilitation at my clinic. Initially, this was with a counsellor and peers in a group therapy setting. For me, the reason I drank wasn’t a deep-seated childhood issue or self-esteem problem, more a case of managing stress more effectively. Treatment was crucial in this regard as it gave me time to focus on simply getting well as well as rewiring my behaviour patterns and building in some powerful coping strategies.

As part of Port of Call’s aftercare service I was given a dedicated contact, to meet with on a weekly basis, to discuss my recovery and help with relapse prevention strategies. I’ve now been sober for 18 months. Having taken positive action, thanks to the intervention of friends and family and the vital support of Port of Call and their network of counsellors and healthcare professionals, I’m well on my way to recovery from alcohol addiction. I’m now a happier and healthier dad, husband, and colleague as a result.

About the author: Alex Molyneux

Alex is our admissions team leader. Over the last 5 years he has spoken with more than 10,000 people via our helpline and has organised over 1,000 detox and rehabilitation placements.

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