HAGA, the alcohol action charity, is now offering online support to Haringey residents, including in the evenings and at the weekends, to support those who think they may be drinking a little too much. Mark Holmes, Telehealth Coordinator at HAGA, said:
“Think of it like WeightWatchers or Slimming World but for cutting down your booze. This is about reducing your alcohol intake down and not stopping drinking all together, unless, of course, that’s what your goal is”
Unlike some alcohol support options out there, the sessions are not groups but are instead one-to-one and offered online with a skilled experienced worker. So if you are a Haringey resident and think that alcohol may be affecting your life or your use is affecting others, you can first take a simple confidential multiple choice test about your drinking on HAGA’s DontBottleItUp website (www.dontbottleitup.org.uk).
Since August 2013, over 15,000 people have already taken this test and found out whether or not they are drinking at risky levels. If you are regularly drinking double the recommended alcohol consumption limits, then DontBottleItUp will offer you the option of booking an online appointment over the Internet via Skype. The sessions are free and you can have up to four appointments at times that suit you, including in the evenings and at weekends.
“We want to get away from someone going to a healthcare setting or a ‘treatment’ facility. As long as you have a webcam and the internet, we can meet you virtually at your own computer.”
What you can expect from online alcohol support
Feedback from people who’ve already used the service has been very positive. The HAGA Online Support Service has attracted those who are at work or have other commitments in the day or simply don’t want to attend an alcohol treatment service. One service-user told us that:
“The main appeal was that it was easy. I didn’t have to go anywhere. For me, it was the only option, when other options weren’t available, time and distance.”
If we examine why people do not want to access support for their drinking, stigma, worries about work finding out and lack of transportation are often major factors. The other barrier for people is not wanting to stop drinking and assuming that alcohol treatment services are always focused on total abstinence. HAGA is not, however, an abstinence focused service and whether through their Online Support Service or in our treatment services themselves, will work with you to reduce down your consumption.
So if you want to have a chat about making changes to your drinking please do contact us online. Whether it is in the day, evening or at the weekends, we are ready to talk with you.