Drug Addiction Treatment & Rehab
It can be difficult to understand drug addiction and where to find help when you need it. Fortunately, there are many supportive treatment options to assist in recovery. In the UK, both residential and outpatient addiction services are available.
The following guide explores the different therapies for drug addiction, what to expect when entering rehab, and how to best prepare for residential or outpatient addiction treatment programmes.
Understanding Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a compulsion or an impulse to use both illicit drugs and prescription drugs. Usage becomes increasingly difficult to control despite the risks and the consequences of using. Frequent drug use places individuals at risk of compromising important relationships, disrupting work-life balance, and negatively impacts physical and mental health.
Drug addiction can start recreationally or as part of a prescription to manage pain and chronic conditions. It can progress into a complex disease in which individuals simply cannot resist the urge to use or exercise self-control. This is because the use of an illicit or a prescription drug changes the way the brain functions. Most types of drugs create feelings of elation and increase the release of the feel-good hormone, dopamine. This creates a reinforcement of the use of a drug to experience the pleasurable effects. A drug addiction, drug dependence, or a drug use disorder can affect judgment, memory, stress management, mood, and general health.
Why Drug Addiction Treatment is Important
Drug dependence is difficult to overcome but with the right help and support provided by a drug rehab programme, it can be achieved. Stopping the use of drugs provides mental clarity, emotional stability, feeling energetic, and reduces the risk of damage to vital organs including brain health.
Drug addiction will not go away on its own, and simply stopping the use of drugs will not resolve the underlining causes. Addiction is a psychological disorder that requires therapy, ongoing recovery support services and most importantly, a strong family unit to maintain sobriety.
How Does Drug Rehab Work?
Once you or someone you love has acknowledged the presence of a substance use disorder, the next step is to seek treatment. Treatment may seem overwhelming but with the immense support provided by experienced staff and fellow members in recovery, you can overcome the struggles of addiction.
In the UK, there are two ways to get help for drug addiction, privately – as part of a residential treatment programme – or via the NHS or local support services (known as an outpatient addiction treatment service), the NHS does not offer residential rehab programmes.
Drug rehab starts with drug detox. Detox is a process in which drugs are cleared from your system. It is a necessary part of the recovery process. During a detox, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, individuals may require a medically-assisted drug detox to reduce the effects of withdrawal, this is true for certain drugs including opiates and benzodiazepines.
If you choose to opt for an outpatient programme, please note that you will not have 24/7 care as you would in a private rehab centre. A GP may be able to offer support but you will be expected to complete a detox at home, in many cases, and attend therapy sessions weekly. The NHS can offer detox programmes to individuals with severe drug dependency, but it is rare and only reserved for those with life-threatening dependence.
1. Medical Assessment
Prior to detox and entering a rehabilitation programme, individuals struggling with a drug addiction will receive a professional medical assessment. It is an important part of a healthy, safe, and successful treatment plan.
The purpose of a medical assessment is to determine whether underlying medical conditions or multi-use substance dependence (such as the use of drugs and alcohol) are present. The assessment includes an evaluation of any pre-existing mental health conditions. Based on these results, a fully tailored treatment programme is created for the client.
The process of an drug detox depends on the type of drugs used, the frequency, and the severity of use. Alcohol can be detected in the blood 12 hours after last consumption while cocaine is detected 2 days after last use with a blood test (Drugs.ie).
Detox is the process in which the amount of substance in your body is reduced or cleared. Individuals are assisted with supportive therapy to ease withdrawal symptoms. A withdrawal from a drug addiction only occurs after the drug or substance is no longer actively present in the body. Withdrawal symptoms can range from cravings and nausea to hallucinations. It is best managed in a supportive clinical environment with the assistance of a medical professional.
3. Rehabilitative Therapy
For those struggling with drug addiction, rehabilitative therapy is a crucial part of recovery. Rehabilitative therapy is managed by a professional addiction therapist. It is sought in the safety of a residential programme in which individuals struggling under the grip of addiction will meet with a therapist on a daily basis. Based on a medical assessment and the presentation of symptoms, a unique therapeutic plan is created.
Counselling and therapeutic modalities are an integral part of rehabilitation. It includes the introduction of therapies that address the underlying reasons for the addiction and the factors that are maintaining the behaviour.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a common practice for treating drug addiction. CBT targets the underlying thoughts, behaviours, and perceptions responsible for maintaining drug use.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy or DBT focuses on treating a dual diagnosis. Where clients are presenting with a comorbidity such as drug dependence and obsessive-compulsive disorder or the use of a secondary substance, DBT is introduced.
Other types of therapies include group therapy and experiential therapy are explored. Because drug addiction is such a complex disease, factors such as past traumas, genetic predispositions, and psychological conditions can increase the risk of drug dependency, but it also means that treatment needs to be tailored to the individual and their needs.
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Aftercare & Support
Rehabilitation is not only a process for the person struggling with drug dependence but also for their loved ones. An addiction can change who you are and for family members, witnessing the deterioration and risk exposure can cause immense emotional turmoil. Most rehabs offer private aftercare which includes support for family members free of charge. Aftercare is an essential part of relapse prevention offering individuals supportive programmes and therapy once an inpatient or residential rehab is completed.
Family support is an educational programme in which relatives or friends are offered advice, guidance, and awareness of the struggles of addiction and their role in helping overcome its cycle of dependence.
Which Drug Addictions are Treated in Rehab?
Both illicit and prescription drug addictions are treated in a rehabilitation facility. These include alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates, heroin, stimulants including cocaine, crack cocaine, meth and amphetamines.
Outpatient Drug Addiction Treatment
An outpatient programme is a less expensive option (if not free) compared with a residential programme. It requires the attendance of therapy and support programmes on a weekly basis; however, one does not remain full-time within a treatment facility. You will still be able to work and connect with family and friends while receiving outpatient care, but you will not have the 24/7 support provided at a private rehab centre.
The NHS also offers a listing of free addiction treatment services for those struggling with drug dependence, or you can speak to GP about services offered in your local area.
Another form of outpatient treatment is private counselling. Addiction counselling forms the backbone of many addiction recovery programmes, and a therapist will explore the reasons behind your addiction in your own time.
Choosing a Drug Rehab Treatment Centre
When you are struggling with drug addiction, the first bold step towards your recovery is through a rehabilitation programme. This means choosing a programme to suit your needs and your personality. There are many affordable drug treatment facilities available. One of the easiest ways to discern the quality of services, support, and professionalism of the facility is to check the CQC rating. The CQC regulates treatment centres to help you find a programme you can trust.
Along with the professionalism of the services, it is important to understand the different therapeutic models utilised by the centre. Some facilities use a 12 step programme similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 step plan encourages individuals to build and rely on their faith and spirituality to overcome an addiction. Non 12 step programmes focus on individual empowerment rather than looking to spirituality for recovery. Where individuals are affected by psychological conditions such as depression or anxiety combined with an addiction (also known as a dual diagnosis), a tailored therapeutic programme is created to address co-occurring disorders.
To help you on your journey to sobriety, you can speak to us to learn of professional treatment centres suited to your needs. We advise on CQC rated services and the steps you can take to find a suitable drug addiction treatment. Contact us by giving us a call and speaking to one of our friendly consultants.
Secondary treatment is a form of outpatient care that individuals can enter after their initial rehab programme. It is separate from the primary treatment. Secondary treatment includes regular attendance of therapy and support groups but with less structure. It plays an important role in relapse prevention. During secondary treatment, individuals recovering from addiction will continue to receive therapy by a registered and experienced counsellor. All coping strategies and tools learned during the primary programme are practiced and reinforced to help individuals remain on a safe and healthy path.
Paying for Drug Addiction Treatment
An addiction programme that is not covered by insurance will require a payment plan. Payment plans include a deposit with instalments made through to the final payment.
If you are covered by a private insurance provider, determine whether your treatment will be settled in full or will require a co-payment.
Before Attending Drug Rehab
Prior to entering a rehab treatment, ensure that it is what you want for the betterment of your health, life, and future. There are many ways to prepare for a recovery programme; however, making the decision towards sobriety is the first important step.
Make sure you are committed to treatment
Rehabilitation programmes are most successful when you are committed to treatment. Should you decide to leave the programme before the end of its course, you will not receive a refund or a reversal on the medical cover used.
By committing to treatment, you receive immense support and insight that you simply cannot put a price on!
What to bring to the treatment centre
A rehab centre may apply some restrictions on the use of mobile phones, PC’s, or tablets but these conditions will be explained prior to entering the programme. The purpose is to maintain your focus and commitment to developing new and healthy, patterns without distraction, and potential triggers.
Speak with the treatment centre if you have any questions about what to bring.
Remove drug-related products from the home
Be sure to ask loved ones to remove any type of drug paraphernalia from your home prior to your arrival. This includes tossing it, permanently. Items such as bongs, rizla, cocaine spoons, mixing trays, and pipes should all be removed to avoid exposure to temptation and relapse.
Talk to the treatment centre or a GP if your circumstances have changed
For friends or family members of those overcoming drug addiction, always be transparent with the drug rehab centre. If someone is taking multiple drugs and is not honest about their activities, inform the staff of this behaviour. Tailored programmes for detox and withdrawal management must be created for safety reasons.
Have a Plan
Once rehab is completed, you need to have an action plan. This includes attending day rehab, getting a job, or simply setting simple and achievable goals for yourself, so you can focus on your future.
Research Support Groups
Look into the different support groups available in your region. Support groups for drug addiction include Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and SMART recovery. Each programme offers specialised support and therapy to address the uniqueness of each type of addiction.