A&E visits in Redbridge to warn of alcohol’s dangers

A HEALTH worker will visit hospital A&E departments to give advice to patients who have been admitted with alcohol-related issues.

The substance misuse �liaison worker will call into King George Hospital, �Barley Lane, Goodmayes, as well as Queen’s Hospital in Romford and Whipps Cross in Leytonstone, to offer treatment to drinkers.

The new drive has been revealed at the start of Alcohol Awareness Week, which has seen health workers across the borough join forces to highlight the treatment being offered to Redbridge drinkers.

At Loxford Polyclinic, Loxford Lane, Ilford, �alcohol workers met with staff and patients to raise awareness about safe drinking.

As well as giving out materials such as unit calculators and drinks diaries, they gave information on the routes to sobriety already being offered.

Redbridge Drug and Alcohol Service, run by the drug and alcohol action team, offers counselling and detox services as well as co-ordinating a shared care scheme, which encourages GPs to identify and offer help to high-risk drinkers in the early stages of their problem.

Chris Day, the National Treatment Agency service user representative for Redbridge, said a lot more money still needed to go into developing a strategy for alcohol issues in Redbridge.

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The 58-year-old recovering alcoholic, of Ilford, went into detox in 2001 after 10 years of heavy drinking.

He sought help after seeing an advert for Redbridge Drug and Alcohol Service in the Recorder.

He said: “I was quite seriously ill and was offered a two-week residential detox, where I was given medication that helped me to get off the drink.

“After that I underwent a day programme with One North East London, which makes you more aware of the dangers of drinking.”

Like other alcoholics, Chris had his share of relapses but is now back to full health and working to make other users aware of the help on offer, as well as give their feedback to the NHS.

He said: “Most people who have had an alcohol issue are aware that more needs to be done.

“It isn’t treated in the same way as drug treatment and it is only just getting the attention it should have had for some time.

“But Redbridge as a borough does recognise the value of �substance user involvement.”

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