A problem drinker is an individual who is having difficulties in their life as a result of their alcohol intake. The term problem drinking is used to refer to people who have not yet developed a full blown alcohol addiction, but it most usually refers to all types of alcohol abuse. 

Possible Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse or misuse can be difficult to define and people’s opinions, values and beliefs vary significantly on the topic. If you feel, however, that your life has become unmanageable due to any of the following factors, please get in touch.

  • Failure to meet social, work, and academic obligations
  • Physical injury or illness
  • Alcohol related legal problems, such as arrest for driving while intoxicated
  • Relationship problems with intimate partners, friends, and family
  • Impulsivity, such as spending money excessively
  • Diminished interest in other activities
  • Memory loss or blackouts.

There are a range of programes suited to individuals who have concerns about their drinking:

The Information Programme offers an opportunity for an individual to inform themselves about the physical, psychological and emotional effects of alcohol. It focuses on the development of alcohol as a significant problem and its effects. It concludes with information about the process of recovery and the potential benefits for all concerned, both the drinker and their family members.

The Primary Treatment Education Programme is a twelve week group that provides education on problem drinking and alcohol dependency, its impact on the family, understanding the recovery process and relapse prevention. The goal of the group is to assist participants to increase their understanding of their relationship with alcohol. It also offers the opportunity of leading them into a greater understanding of how to address this relationship in an effective manner when it has become problematic.

The Day Programme is available to problem drinkers and runs for twelve weeks. It combines elements of education which focuses on the negative effects of alcohol, both physically and mentally. It encourages self- awareness through the sharing of experiences in a group setting. Also, it offers group therapy to benefit the individual in developing coping skills to deal with abstinence. An integral part of the programme is the individual's presentation of their own relationship with alcohol and their plan for recovery.

The Night Programme runs over twenty-four weeks on a Monday night between 6pm and 7.30 pm. The programme includes educational components in the form of lectures or videos on issues such as: Symptoms of alcoholism, alcohol related problems and Symptoms of Recovery.

These are combined with group discussions and written exercises to help the problem drinker evaluate the effects alcohol and other substances has had on their life. It emphasises how alcohol can be a destructive factor in peoples' lives and focuses the individual's attention on its negative effects for both themselves and their family members. The group also functions as a support for individuals' who have stopped drinking in the past number of weeks by encouraging a sharing of the difficulties experienced in changing life-style patterns to help them leave a drinking environment.

The Continuing Care Programme incorporates the educational component of a six week Relapse Prevention Group and a twenty-four week Support Group meeting for two hours each week. These encourage positive life changes and healthy living in relation to nutrition and health, while offering support in the re-establishing of functioning family relationships.

All these programmes include information on AA, Gamblers Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous as appropriate. Individuals are encouraged to attend these self-help groups but to utilise individual counselling, family therapy or couples counselling as appropriate.

Additionally, the centre offers Family Therapy and Couples Therapy to any individuals who are interested in discussing alcohol related issues in these broader areas. These sessions are negotiated on an individual family- or couples basis and may be facilitated while the individuals are attending the continuing care programme or after this programme is completed.