George’s real name has been changed to protect his identity.

Substance Use Case Study – George’s story

George, a resident at one of our Ealing services, has a history of alcohol misuse and a diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. He joined the service in 2018, after a break-down and time in hospital, and was in need of support in many areas. One of the main areas was alcohol abuse.

George would spend all his benefits on the day it was paid, solely on alcohol and would abscond from the project to drink heavily.

Staff struggled to get him to engage but with consistency and adopting a different, person-centred approach, they were able to offer the support he needed to make life changing actions. They learnt at this stage, that he had depleted most of his savings. Several attempts were made to support him to engage with the specialist alcohol and drug support service RISE, but this wasn’t successful and he struggled to meet their requirements for ongoing support.

Consequently, a financial agreement was put in place with the condition that staff would monitor and advise George on what to spend his money on. Once it was put in place, George was able to cut back on his alcohol spend and started prioritising his rent, food and essentials.

At present, George has money in his savings account and drinks much less than he did before. He is grateful for the staff intervention which allowed him to make the necessary changes to arrive at a better, more financially secure place.

Staff have also built good rapport with his relatives who live abroad and due to COVID were not able to visit him. They are very happy and grateful for the support that was offered to him.

George is healthier and happier and has come to understand that he is not defined by the mistakes of the past. He now participates in activities at the project and is looking forward to one day moving back into the community.

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