About Mark Jay

Clinical Background

I spent from 1994 to 2014 a Specialist Nurse in addiction, and from 2007 offering private alcohol home detox services. In 2014 I fancied a change and took up a full time post again in the NHS, this time treating people with neurodevelopmental disorders (autistic spectrum conditions and ADHD).

I'm keeping my single-handed private practice Mark Jay Alcohol Detox going as a sideline, where I'm pleased to be able to offer my clients a self-help programme plus online and written information. I no longer offer services to clients who are physically dependent on alcohol, nor do I prescribe medication privately.

I also offer consultancy services to clinicians setting up in private practice.

Treatment philosophy and programme

I don't use the 12-step treatment programme that AA and most rehabs use.

Rather, this is how I work:

  • Getting to know you, and understanding how you got to where you are today
  • Understanding how alcohol - and other important factors in your life - affect you medically, psychologically and socially
  • Devising a plan which will help you to stop drinking, and stay stopped
  • Helping you to think differently, which in turn changes how you feel, and then how you respond to cravings and other uncomfortable or difficult feelings or situations.
  • Suggesting strategies that'll work for you, that you can plan and rehearse, that'll help you to live your life without alcohol
  • Working with couples and families to help them communicate better, to understand what is happening, and to start approaching problems constructively

Professional Registration

You can check my professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council here.


I only work with clients when both parties are satisfied that it's the best option at the time. I will always point people to another service if I think it would be better for them. I never use a selling technique, and I always give people as much verbal and written information about treatment as I can before they make a choice.

I do not accept or offer referral fees or commission.


I am not affiliated with any institutions, academic or otherwise. I receive no funding except for fees from clients for clinical and professional services. Any future funding (unlikely though this is) will be declared.


All of the treatments I use are based on the most up to date evidence. I keep up to date on all reputable sources of research. The main sources I base my practice on are the NHS 'Review of the effectiveness of treatment for alcohol problems', and the NICE 'Guidelines on the diagnosis, assessment and management of harmful drinking and alcohol dependence.

As a very rough guide, the success rate of any individual in treatment depends on:

  • Having the help of an experienced and skilful professional who they like and trust.
  • This professional using treatment techniques and interventions that have been demonstrated to work.
  • The treatment approach should be appropriate, professional and structured, and provided by people who are respectful, and can engage with the client and their family warmly.
  • The client being ready and motivated to enter treatment.
  • The client fully engaging in treatment, and having the drive and courage to do some difficult work.
  • The involvement, where appropriate, of close family and friends.
  • Continuing to engage in follow-up treatment, sometimes called aftercare.

I do my best to make sure all these pieces are in place for your treatment to have the best chance of success.

You can read much more about how to make sure you choose the right treatment, and to make sure you're ready to make the most of treatment, in this section: 'How to stop drinking alcohol'.

Before commencing any treatment with any client, I always make sure I can answer yes to two questions: 'Is it safe?' and 'Is it likely to work?'


BSc (Hons) Psychology (Lancaster University, 1985)
Registered Nurse (1992)
Community Psychiatric Nursing (ENB 992, 1997)
Diploma in Addiction Studies (Leeds University, 1998)
Non-medical Prescribing (Plymouth University, 2007)


1983-1988 Volunteer counselling, including substance abuse
1989-1992 In training, Lakeland School of Nursing
1992-1994 NHS Staff Nurse
1994-2000 NHS Community Psychiatric Nurse (Drugs & Alcohol)
2000-2003 NHS Clinical Manager (Substance Misuse)
2003-2009 NHS Clinical Nurse Specialist (Addiction)
2007-2014 NHS Non-medical prescriber (Part time)
2007-present Private Alcohol Practice (previously working as 'Devon Home Detox')
2014 -present NHS Neurodiversity Specialist