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A type of medication that is often prescribed for treating anxiety, sleep problems, agitation, seizures and muscle spasms, and also helps to relieve symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Examples include chlordiazepoxide, diazepam and lorazepam.

Carer's assessment

An assessment by social services of a carer's physical and mental health and their needs in their role as a carer. Most carers have a legal right to an assessment of their own needs. There should be a written carer's plan, which is given to the carer.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (called CBT for short)

A psychological treatment in which people work with a therapist to look at how their problems, thoughts, feelings and behaviour fit together. CBT can help people to challenge negative thoughts and change behaviours that cause problems.

Delirium tremens

Serious symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, which can include hallucinations (seeing and hearing things that are not there) and feeling shaky, sweaty, agitated and confused.

Planned withdrawal from alcohol

A treatment (sometimes called detoxification or detox) to help a person who is dependent on alcohol to stop drinking safely. It involves medication to help with withdrawal symptoms and to prevent complications such as fits and delirium tremens.

Psychological treatment

A treatment that involves meeting with a therapist to talk about feelings and thoughts and how these affect behaviour and wellbeing. Treatments that can help adults who have had a drinking problem to stay alcohol-free are called behavioural and/or cognitive behavioural therapies and social network and environment-based therapies. If the person has a regular partner who is willing to join the therapy, a treatment called behavioural couples therapy may be offered. Treatments that can help children and young people are cognitive behavioural therapy (see above), therapies involving the whole family (called functional, multidimensional or brief strategic family therapy), and multisystemic therapy, which involves the family and other people in the child's life. Psychological treatment should be specifically focused on the alcohol problem and how it affects a person's thoughts, behaviour and relationships.

Supported independent living

A scheme that allows people with severe mental health problems to live in their own home or in alternative housing in their local community. Care and support are provided to help the person to live an independent life.

Unit of alcohol

A way of describing the amount of alcohol in a drink. For example, a large glass of wine is around two units, and a pint of normal strength beer is about two and a half units.

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