Does Club Soda work for everyone?
We do know that Club Soda works for many people. We have already seen many people who have decided to quit, joined the club, and are now alcohol-free. Many others wanted to cut down, and are now successfully moderating their drinking. You can read some of their stories in these articles and on our Facebook group. But we also know that we are all different, and no one size will ever fit all: some will need more help with drinking. And we are the first to admit that sometimes what we offer is not enough, or is not the right thing at all.
If you need more help with drinking, this post will point out some of the extra support you can get through Club Soda, and list some other organisations that you may want to consider. Ultimately, only you can decide what is right for you, but you can always ask questions to guide you along. We’re here to help you, and there is also an incredible amount of knowledge and wisdom in our members.
People we recommend
Which brings us to the first point of call: the people and organisations we recommend. You’ll find links to many of their programmes in our online shop.
For example, you may need ideas for distractions: things to do to take your mind off alcohol. Yoga is a popular one, and will be also good for your general health. Or maybe take up a new hobby, like playing the piano! We have also seen how a bit of mindfulness can work wonders: making you notice the moment when you come home from work and see a bottle of wine. And then decide if you really want a glass, or if it’s just a habit you’ve grown into?
And perhaps further down the line your thoughts will turn to other aspects of your life. You may want to take a good look at your finances, or have a good talk about the relationships in your life. We want to signpost you to someone you can trust, to talk about any of these things.
Talking to your doctor
We know it isn’t easy to talk to your doctor, or other health care professionals, about your alcohol use. Often it is the right thing to do, however, especially if you have any medical conditions, as alcohol may make their symptoms worse, or reduce the effectiveness of any medications you are taking. So your doctor should know the truth to be able to give you the best possible care. Our expert, Dr Eric Britton wrote us two guest articles from his point of view. In the first one, he explains why honesty is the best policy here, and in the second one he talks a bit more about medical records, health insurance, and the health impacts of alcohol.
Other alcohol support services
And as we said earlier, sometimes Club Soda just isn’t enough. We know from our personal experience, and also from our research, that people need more help with drinking. They will often try several approaches, and use several services, on their alcohol journeys. Below is a listing of other providers you may want to consider if you need more help with your drinking habits. Club Soda doesn’t recommend any of them to you: not because we don’t think they are worth recommending, as they all work for the same purpose in different ways. The decision to contact them is always yours: only you know what is best for your particular situation. But our experts and other members can probably give you some guidance and suggestions: feel free to ask! This guest blog from one of our partners explains what some of the treatment options are.
The NHS/your GP (or other healthcare professionals both in and outside of the UK): we understand that you may not want to talk to your doctor about your drinking. That choice is entirely yours, but in cases of physical dependence on alcohol, it may even be dangerous to quit without medical attention. There is also a wealth of information on the NHS website about alcohol and your health.
Blenheim is a London-based drug and alcohol charity.
London Friend is a support service aimed specifically for the LGBT community in London.
Lifeline is an alcohol recovery charity that offers services across Yorkshire, the North East, the North West, London and the Midlands
Port of Call is a free, confidential UK based phone support service.
Turning Point is a social enterprise that works across England and Wales, supporting people with mental health, learning disability, alcohol and employment problems.
Swanswell is a charity based in the Midlands, who also offer telephone support for alcohol problems across the country.
In2Recovery is an online community and blogging website supporting people in alcohol recovery, through sharing their experiences.
A Hangover Free Life is a blog by one of Club Soda members, with tons of information about alcohol, moderating or stopping drinking and much more.
Help with other issues
Often drinking isn’t the biggest issue we face. Some people drink to try to deal with other problems in their lives; stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, bereavement, or many other things. If that is the case for you, we would suggest that you try to deal with those other problems too – if you don’t, reducing your drinking may be much harder to achieve.
We can’t cover all possible problems in life, but here are some places that may be able to help you:
Samaritans are always there, ready to listen. You can talk to them about any problems at all.
Mind is a great place for information and support about all mental health problems.
Citizen’s Advice can help with many practical problems.
These are all for people in the UK, but you can find similar organisations wherever you are.