A long history of alcohol use

Ben* is a 46 year-old male with a long history of mental ill health. He has used alcohol in an unhealthy way for over 30 years, and was rough sleeping when the NRN Team met him.

Ben was referred to RSDATT in November 2022. He was not in contact with his family and did not have a social network. He had also experienced the death of a partner which he found particularly traumatic, resulting in previous suicide attempts.  He also has a diagnosis of paranoid Schizophrenia.

RSDATT referred Ben to the Homeless Mental Health Team (HMHT) in Nottingham City, and supported him in attending appointments. There were challenges in housing Ben because he initially stated that felt safer sleeping on the streets.

However, after some intensive partnership working with services across Nottingham City, Ben eventually agreed to stay in a hotel during the cold winter months. During this time Ben was able to focus on some of the challenges he was facing.

He wanted to stop drinking and understood the damage this was doing to both his mental and physical health. Over a period of 30 years, he had only been sober for seven months when spending time in prison.

Ben felt that the only way he could detox was to have a inpatient placement at a detox unit. However, he understood that they would not accept him without safe accommodation to be discharged to. With support from various NRN Teams, Ben was gradually encouraged to accept a placement at a small hostel in Nottingham City. He built a good working relationship with the staff and created a plan around his mental health needs whilst in accommodation. He was also accepted onto a dedicated detox unit.

Ben worked hard to reduce his alcohol consumption, and whilst this was not easy, he did slowly reduce his usage. Upon leaving detox, Ben was placed in temporary accommodation specifically for people who are in, or have been in detox.

RSDATT supported Ben very closely after he left detox. He started to develop a more positive outlook and made some productive decisions, including spending the money he would have previously spent on alcohol on furniture, appliances and food. He also began attempting to engage relapse prevention groups.

Despite attempts to continue supporting him, Ben experienced a significant mental health crisis. This ultimately led to him losing his accommodation. However, RSDATT continue to support Ben. A Social Worker in the team made great efforts in liaising with Adult Social Care in the attempt to secure him more suitable accommodation. Partnership working also took place to ensure that Ben was aware of crisis support in the City and he was also put back in touch with Framework’s Street Outreach Team.

RSDATT continue to support Ben with relapse prevention and harm minimisation whilst liaising with agencies to find secure and safe accommodation.

Ben has shown such gratitude throughout his time supported by RSDATT.  The team appreciate his engagement and trust in the service, and they will continue to support him through the ups and downs of his journey.

^Name has been changed for confidentiality. 

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