Paul’s story

In 2017, North Yorkshire Horizons supported one service user who was dependent on alcohol and suffered ill effects after attempting an unassisted home detox. He came into clinic with significant alcohol withdrawal symptoms and weight loss, where he told nursing staff that he drank up to 16 units per day. This service user realised that he needed support and was unhappy with the effect that his alcohol use was having on his family and loved ones.

Our support:

  • Nurses who assessed this service user found that he was experiencing serious withdrawal and was dehydrated, so a decision was made for him to be admitted to a local hospital. This is an urgent priority because sudden alcohol withdrawal can have devastating health effects without correct supervision and the patient may be unaware that they are at risk
  • The patient went through a successful clinical detox and asked for further support to be put in place at home, which would help him maintain recovery
  • Horizons staff also gave support to the patient’s family, who had come to see his alcohol use as routine and felt stigma around accessing treatment services
  • Community attitudes were also a problem for this patient and his wife had become isolated, struggling to cope with his alcohol use. Horizons adopted a compassionate approach to support the couple together and help them talk about their struggles


  • The service user has remained alcohol-free but continues to have occasional urges to drink alcohol. He has previously used it as a way to cope with stress but is now being encouraged to try alternatives
  • He describes feeling more energetic, motivated and getting more enjoyment from life now that he is not drinking. He is also eating well and sleeping better without alcohol.
  • He has regular follow-ups to check on his progress and is engaging well with his community GP
  • The patient’s family are also receiving more support as his recovery continues