Stephen was struggling to cope. He was drinking up to 40 units a day to try and manage his mental health issues. He was hearing voices and the only thing that seemed to help was drinking.
Due to Stephen’s level of alcohol use, he found it difficult to engage with mental health services however his key worker at the Derby Recovery Service worked with him to explore what possibilities for support there were.
It was agreed that Stephen would breathalyse more often and try to cut down on the drink a little, as a result a low-level prescription of antipsychotic drugs was started; his mental health state would also be monitored.
With this support, Stephen managed to slowly get down to a maximum of four units a day but the voices in his head continued. Through reducing his alcohol, he was better able to engage more specific support from mental health services.
He was finally able to build a positive relationship with his teenage children and was ultimately discharged from the alcohol service. This was a real breakthrough for Stephen as it proved that he could move on.
A real test came while watching the Euros at home. A well-meaning friend came around with a load of drinks but Stephen just gave him the money for a taxi and sent him home.
Money well spent.