Using alcohol as a means of coping with the stress of everyday life has become commonplace in modern society; due to this, many people’s drinking habits can easily become problematic without them even noticing. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdowns presenting us with new and unfamiliar challenges the past year has seen more and more people turning to alcohol to help them manage during these unprecedented times. CAIS’ Therapeutic Intervention Service in Wrexham is designed to support those who have become dependent on drink and/or drugs and help them develop healthier ways of coping with life’s challenges. The service supports an average of 300 people a year with their dependencies; one of whom was George Woodward who sought help from CAIS when his dependency on alcohol became worse during lockdown.
“My drinking habits started out quite normal by just going to the pub on weekends,” George told us. “I then started to drink during the week. I struggled with depression from early school life and drinking became a way of dealing with it.” When the first lockdown came into effect in March 2020 George began drinking at home more and more, with his habit escalating from drinking beer to consuming one to two bottles of spirits a day. He decided it was time for him to do something about his drinking when he met his partner. She had witnessed George suffering breakdowns where he would self-harm on a number of occasions and it was putting a strain on their relationship. “It took a while to realise that drinking was only making my actions worse and that I needed to change for her and myself,” he said.
George was referred to CAIS’ Therapeutic Service through his GP. He received counselling which helped him to understand his reasons for drinking, identify the triggers that would cause him to turn to alcohol and develop healthy coping mechanisms for when they present themselves in future. “I have changed so much in a year and am finally comfortable with myself and get better every day,” he said. “I am so thankful for the help I received, and words cannot explain the importance of the help that is provided by CAIS; they are amazing.”
Over the past few months George has been fundraising for CAIS as a thank you and to help keep himself motivated to remain sober. George has a strong support network around him, but he is aware that not everyone is as lucky as he is and so wants to raise money to help the service continue to be there for those less fortunate than himself. “I know that there are people out there that don’t [have support],” he said. “[CAIS] are doing amazing things to help those that really need it.”
At the time of writing, George has managed to raise £390 of a £850 goal through JustGiving. If you would like to donate to George’s fundraiser, you can do so here.
CAIS’ Therapeutic Intervention Service in Wrexham is designed to help individual’s address the underlying issues which cause them to drink and/or take drugs excessively by offering constructive and motivational sessions to help them address the underlying reasons for their dependency and develop healthier ways of coping with life’s challenges. If you think you could benefit from our support, see here for more information.