alcohol treatment in newcastle
alcohol treatment in newcastle

If you are looking for Dual Diagnosis and Alcohol Treatment  in Newcastle, Durham or Middlesbrough or for whatever problem you have, please read through the information below to understand the methodical and thorough manner in which we operate. Any questions or queries you have can be discussed on the phone with your initial enquiry.

Dual Diagnosis and Dependency Issues

When there is a concurrent mental health issue and a reliance on a substance (alcohol/drugs) to try and attenuate its symptoms, this is considered to be a complex inter relationship, often refered to as a dual diagnosis. A diagnosis of an underlying mental health condition, which may be anxiety, depression, trauma, affective disorder, personality disorder etc and a diagnosis of a substance dependency.

Often the source of symptoms become blurred due to the similar effects mental health conditions and substance/alcohol have on the central nervous system during use and withdrawal. This can present specific problems for trying to treat a mental health condition by making exacting qualifying observations vague, or also by the fact that alcohol and/or drugs will effect any pharmaceutical medication.

Establishing the potentiality of a dual diagnosis presentation is essential to creating an effective approach for treatment. Treatment will by necessity require a multi faceted approach which attempts to treat or manage each condition accordingly.

A common modern presentation of dual diagnosis is often seen in the form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and alcohol use. Unresolved trauma can often lead to desperate behaviour due to ongoing psychological distress. Alcohol will not solve this, but it can offer very short term relief, however, it will create destructive social issues and more if left unaddressed.

Dependency and Recovery


A persons level and type of dependency will vary and therefore a tailored approach is necessary to deal with that. It is not necessary for someone to be drinking every day for there to be a health risk or concern. We assess each case individually and use statistical measuring tools to assess health risks, dependency and behavioral dangers. As the process unfolds further assessments can provide an objective and quantitative analysis of progress as well as a subjective sense of how one has improved.

Recovery is best assessed as an ongoing process, but with the use of modern tools this can be measured accurately. This can provide a clear way for someone to see the impact of their behavior as well as during the process see the results of making changes. This can have a beneficial effect on an individual level and a family one and take some amount of opaqueness out of the process of recovery and change, especially when trust has been eroded.

Treating dependency in a modern way, is made possible by focusing on the resolution of the contributory factors and combining this with a robust and focused view of working toward meaningful living and life improvement. Dependency is then best understood as a symptom of inner unrest and suffering which require to be soothed before change can occur.

The success of recovery is dependent on changing the factors which created the dependency in the first place and when these are resolved and stress reduced, a quality of life without the need for a crutch can be achieved. However the desire to change will have to be present to make this sustainable.

Is Abstinence the Only Option?


The question often considered by people as they review their condition or circumstances is to wonder if they will then have to become 100% abstinent for life.

According to the classic old AA/NA model – which considers addiction a biological disease – the answer is yes. However, looking at addiction from the point of view of a temporary coping strategy and by analysing statistics, the answer is not necessarily.

In the short term, the need to ‘get real’ and deal with the facts of risk and change – abstinence will most likely need to be reached.

Abstinence is necessary to allow the body and the person to begin to experience their functioning in normal circumstances – the presence of feelings, thoughts and senses without the use of an external psycho stimulant.

Maintaining abstinence then opens the doors for proper self exploration and psychological and emotional processing essential to well being.

Appropriate and effective therapy can then work toward resolving the initial problems that contributed to use as well as work actively at supporting the process of on going personal growth and development and achieving the goals of recovery.

When resolution of the primary factors is achieved and healthy social functioning gained, the need to use the original drug can be considerably reduced and therefore not have the same control over the person as it used to.

This is referred to as ‘secondary recovery’ and is the natural goal to work toward as part of a comprehensive psychological approach to resolution and follows on after abstinence (primary recovery) and delivers a truly psychological, emotional and social integrative manner of dealing with addiction.

Substances/Activities of Abuse

Cocaine and Stimulants



Cocaine and stimulant (amphetamine) use are similar in the extent that they both act directly on the dopaminergic neurological brain pathways and are linked to the ‘reward/learning’ pathways of the brain, albeit in slightly different manners.

Cocaine inhibits dopamine re uptake while amphetamines stimulate excess dopamine release. The euphoria associated with both is directly related to the stimulation of the ‘reward’ centres of the brain – whilst short lived in cocaine, the stimulatory effect is so high as to induce strong urges to repeat.

Often associated to social use and combined with alcohol, further risk and risk of heart attack is exacerbated by the creation of cocaethylene – a substance created in the liver in combination to cocaine, which contributes to a longer high associated with the drug.

As cocaine stimulates the cognitive and verbal centres of the brain, inducing social activity, coupled with alcohol while a relaxant – the dual use and attraction is clear. However, the risk is much increased, the worst of which can be sudden death.


Cannabis use has become so widespread and normalised in the last 10 years that the side effects and cost of long term use and dependency often get minimised and misunderstood.

Psychological dependency is the predominant mode of addiction, however, as hybridization has produced strains with predominantly only tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) as its active component, physical dependency can also emerge, leading to physical as well as psychological withdrawal and added complexity to made attempts on reduction/cessation of use.

Cannabis like most drugs has a very seductive attraction to use – due to its easy ability to harmonise with everyday life, it belies the cost long term use can have on personal development and advancement in life.

Added concerns with cannabis use associated with high THC strains is the added propensity to catalyse psychosis. Understood as a temporary (drug induced) or ongoing break from reality. Susceptibility to psychoses can be attributed to a number of factors including genetic, social, environmental and psychological.

Binge Drinking or Episodic Usage


Binge drinking or episodic drinking to extreme can often be one of the harder conditions to treat conventionally. However, through many years of practice we have been able to ascertain specific underlying patterns and issues which contribute to binge drinking and as a result of this shed light on someones behavior in a way that was not understood previously.

Binge drinking presents specific risks to individuals which can be very harmful health wise or can lead to tragic events to occur through diminished responsibility.

Often this specific type of drinking is overlooked as high risk, but it is possibly the most common form of malignant drinking behavior by otherwise functional adults and deserves therefore to be taken seriously and once understood an approach to self control and recovery put in place.

To understand binge drinking, basic and essential elements of emotional functioning need to be explained and understood, this then becomes the basis of establishing a program of recovery and life improvement. Binge drinking is often symbolic of lack of balance in someones life and points the direction for the management of extremes to establish better self control.

Sex & Internet



Sexual issues in relation to online pornography have increased in direct relation to increased availability due to internet access to pornography. This creates a specific area of compulsive behavior related to internet use. However it is not the only type of sexually related compulsion.

Addictive behavior of any sort which creates distress, is damaging to relationships or self is deemed concerning.

The specific nature of any behavior needs to be addressed in accordance to how it manifests for that person alone.

Sexual behavior can be utilised as a way of managing deeper personal unhappiness. In doing so, it offers a temporary change in mood state and a fleeting sense of being in control. Yet what it disguises is exactly the opposite and is or can be, a type of acting out in relation to current life problems or historical ones that are unresolved.

Consultation and therapy can offer a safe and confidential place within which to manage, hold and discuss relevant issues and begin the process of working through and working toward a more stable and self supportive manner of living. A comprehensive approach that includes a focusing on what one wants from life as well as helping support and resolve previous vulnerabilities can have a transformative effect and allow someone to lead a healthier and more controlled lifestyle.


Problems related to compulsive gambling often do not get the same recognition as being destructive as is commonly associated with other addictive or compulsive behavior. The problem with this being that issues can go unrecognised for long periods of time and opportunities and sources of support are much less available.

In general addictive and compulsive behavior is generally misunderstood and one of the inherent dangers within that is to assume that such behaviors are willfully engaged in and are entirely voluntary.

Gambling can be a dark secret that a person is hiding. It can bring despair and deep shame and a sense of being completely out of control. Vast debts can quickly build and the need to dig oneself out of a hole can descend into further and further desperation.

Trends of behavior may differ between men and woman – the increase in online facilities that target woman or men specifically increase temptation and ease of access greatly, thus increasing vulnerability.

To understand the condition of gambling and how it has taken hold, one needs to look at a persons history of associating to gambling and explore how it became established. Gambling behavior will often mask other life issues that need to be dealt with and are being avoided and in establishing as such a process of understanding and treatment can emerge.