Alcohol-Related Brain Injury (ARBI): Support for Families
If you are concerned that someone in your life is affected by an Alcohol-Related Brain Injury, we may be able to help and guide you through the process of securing the right services to meet their needs.
What is ARBI?
Alcohol-Related Brain Injury (ARBI) is a term used to describe a number of brain conditions that result from long-term heavy alcohol use. Through repeated heavy use, alcohol can cause damage to important parts of the brain.
ARBI can remain hidden for many years before it is noticed by family or professionals. It can cause changes in a person’s memory, the way they solve problems or make decisions and can cause difficulties with everyday activities. It can make it challenging for the person to look after themselves and other commitments in their life, including making changes around their alcohol use.
ARBI in Ireland
It is estimated from autopsy studies that 1 in 8 people who are dependent on alcohol will develop some form of this condition, ranging from mild to severe.
There is no lead service for people affected by Alcohol-Related Brain Injury in Ireland – they have limited or no access to standard disability or mental health services.
In 2011, the Alcohol Forum published the first research report of its kind in Ireland which examined the incidences and prevalence of ARBI in the Northwest Region.
The absence of care pathways for people with ARBI results in many people not getting the help they need. Sometimes they are ‘blocked’ in hospital beds because of lack of support in the community or they may have to return home before they are ready or able.
How it works
Some people who have long-standing problems with alcohol can develop an Alcohol-Related Brain Injury, long lasting changes to the brain that can make it difficult for them to manage their life without support. Our Alcohol-Related Brain Injuries programme is a support and case coordination service for people affected by this condition. The service also offers advice and support to families with a member who has the condition.
Who can take part
The programme is free and open to anyone over 18 years or over who is impacted by a family member’s addiction. People can self-refer or be referred by a health professional.
It is available to people and families living in Donegal.