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'Over the moon' with kind gesture

13 May 2020 12:03:05
Alcohol Nurse Specialists: from left, Deborah Hoole, Claire Sturman and Kristy Richardson

Members of the Alcohol Liaison Team have helped bring a smile to patients who are on lockdown.

There are lots of people who are currently struggling with addiction during lockdown without the full spectrum of support that would usually be available to them. 

Claire Sturman and Kristy Richardson, support workers for the ALT service, last week delivered gifts to patients who are in recovery to help boost their moods. Kristy said they thought patients could do with a bit of extra support and encouragement. 

“We each picked one nomination who we thought could do with a little gift, who may need an extra lift at this difficult time. Claire and I then went out and delivered a little gift to our patients. The gift was either flowers, chocolates, buns or a plant.”

Amanda Marklew, Alcohol Liaison Service Lead Leader, said patients who have chosen to give up alcohol completely due to dependency or other problems begin a new life in recovery. “This is often the toughest time for people who have often been hurt by their drinking; learning to rediscover their likes and dislikes and finding solace in alternatives to alcohol. Recovery can be extremely testing and is why the Alcohol Liaison Team offer all patients aftercare.”

During the lockdown the ALT has had an increase in phone support and advice and has extended the length of support while everyone gets through this period. Normally after detox, patients would be attending recovery groups and finding new directions in life, but due to the current lockdown patients have been confined to home and are often lonely.

“Claire and Kristy ventured out last week to find and take gifts to patients as a reminder we are here and that we will get through; and also to remind them how strong they are and how far they have come,” said Amanda.

“All patients were ‘over the moon’ and, although social distancing was adhered to, Claire and Kristy could see the comfort this gesture brought.”


Looking after yourself during lockdown

Since the lockdown and the closure of pubs, restaurants and leisure facilities, many more people have taken to drinking at home. 

Studies have shown an increase in alcohol sales by those who might not normally drink in their homes but have done so during the lockdown. 

These are extremely challenging times and although many people can enjoy alcohol sensibly it is worth noting that excessive and regular drinking can have a significant negative impact on your physical and mental health.

Men and women are advised to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, which should not be consumed all at once, and people should have at least 2-3 drink-free days a week. Pregnant women are advised not to consume any alcohol during pregnancy.

As well as the negative health effects, alcohol can become addictive and therefore it is wise to adhere to the guidelines to avoid prolonged and damaging effects. Read here for more.

If you feel your drinking is increasing or you are worried there is support available. 

Call Change Grow Live on 01709 917649.