Get Help for Addiction
Alcohol and drug addictions, also known as substance use disorders, are psychological and sometimes physical conditions that cause physiological responses in the body. Addiction causes obsessive thoughts about the substance and compulsive behaviour in relation to the substance.Substances are psychoactive which mean they directly influence how the brain and certain bodily systems function. When a person uses a substance regularly the body comes to rely on it to function “normally” and cutting the substance out can become a distressing, even dangerous, process.
Addiction isn’t a choice. It creates new neural pathways in the brain that causes ingrained behaviours. For some people, there’s a genetic predisposition to develop an addiction. It takes a huge amount of courage to take the step towards recovery. The most successful way to heal is through abstinence and accessing treatment support to achieve this.
Is addiction treatable?
Alcohol and drug use disorders are definitely treatable. It has to be pointed out, however, that with all the professional input in the world, a person with an addiction has to be fully committed to recovery.
It takes effort, dedication, courage, self-compassion, and pure grit to get through many difficult moments, hence why finding the most suitable treatment option for you is so important.
Keep in mind that as difficult as it feels at the start, recovery and getting through cravings becomes easier with the more time that passes. Many people enter rehab clinics, become sober, and develop a meaningful and healthy abstinent life.
Is my addiction at the level that needs treatment?
If you have a moderate to severe addiction then treatment is advisable. At these levels, it’s unlikely that you’ll recover without professional input.
Many people who use drugs and alcohol compare themselves to others and use this as a way of excusing their substance use. This isn’t useful. Actually, a beneficial way of thinking about your substance use is by understanding what addiction looks like and how your behaviour compares to that.
If you experience psychological or physical symptoms when withdrawing then your use is at a point that requires help. Also, if you’re being secretive around your use, experiencing financial worries, stealing, lying, or manipulating, if your loved ones are worried about your substance use, and if you think about addictive substances regularly then problematic use has developed.
Some people think, “Well, I still go to work. I run a household. I’m fine.” If you use drugs or alcohol daily, then it’s likely you’re what some people refer to as a “high-functioning addict”. Treatment is still necessary.
Attempts at recovery at home usually fail because people are in the same environment, around the same triggers, haven’t learnt new skills to manage cravings or coping mechanisms, and because withdrawal is especially hard to get through without support.
If you’re suddenly overwhelmed at the idea of addiction and what to do next, it’s helpful to identify someone you trust who is non-judgemental who you can share honestly to.
The first step toward recovery
The road to recovery can feel quite stressful when you think about change. Others feel ready and fed up and like they’ve had enough; they just want to stop.
Accepting you have an addiction is massive. It’s common for people to live in denial of this for years. Reaching the point where you’re ready to change is also a huge step. For the majority, however, there are many ambivalent feelings around being ready and wanting to stop.
Wherever you are within this space, it helps to talk to addiction and health professionals. They can support you to prepare for change and help you reach the point of being ready to.
Where to get help for addiction
You want a successful treatment experience. For people who don’t want to quit this might mean learning harm reduction techniques. If you’re at the point where you’re seeking help, however, it’s usually because you’re thinking about quitting.
At this point, you have a few options. Knowing a bit about different treatment avenues can help you make the right choice for your needs and personality.
NHS services, support groups, and private rehab clinics
1. NHS support
The NHS offers free addiction and recovery support through community-based treatment services. There are hubs in town centres available to anyone who is suffering with active addiction.
At these regular outpatient treatment clinics, you can access harm reduction advice and support as well as weekly group sessions and some one-to-one input from a case worker.
2. Support Groups
There are different types of groups you can access for support around addiction. It has to be pointed out that peer-led groups aren’t considered a treatment approach. They are, however, incredibly effective at offering useful tools, support and community connection with others who understand.
Peer-led groups include 12 Step groups such as Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous. There are also SMART recovery groups available in some areas.
Through private clinics you can sometimes access group therapy where the group is led by a professional in a therapeutic way. This would be considered a treatment because the member of staff would introduce techniques and lead from a counselling perspective.
3. Private rehab clinics
Finally, the most intensive approach to recovery is gained at a private inpatient treatment clinic. At these you get a fully comprehensive alcohol and drug addiction treatment programme.
There are many reasons private care is so beneficial. Firstly, you’re in a totally substance-free environment, usually away from your usual triggering places. Secondly, you have 24-hour care from specialists who provide helpful emotional support and practical guidance.
Thirdly, every day you follow a routine of activities and therapies that are all focused on giving you skills to remain sober. Finally, you’ll develop the skills to remain abstinent on leaving rehab when you’ll also have an aftercare package of support.
At a private clinic, you can be treated for alcohol, opioids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogenics, and prescription drug addiction.
What’s useful to know is that your nearest clinic might not necessarily be the most suited to your needs as different clinics specialise in different areas. A call to the Rehab Recovery team can guide you through this and make clear where would be most suitable.
What exactly is addiction treatment?
There are different forms of treatment that are available when you enter rehab clinics. At a private treatment provider, you benefit from a personalised approach.
On entering clinic, residents are assessed and given treatment plans that are designed especially to suit their needs. This is important where people also have other mental health needs or other addictions. Private clinics offer a full range of both holistic and psychological therapies as well as individual and group approaches.
1. Psychological therapies
In residential treatment settings, you benefit from accessing the most effective psychological therapies available that are shown to be effective at treating people who have addictions.
The type of treatment programme you get will be decided according to how you answer questions during your assessment. It’s important you answer honestly so the most suitable therapies are included on your programme.
Psychological therapies include:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy. This is where a therapists supports you to understand how thoughts and behaviours are connected and how to alter your thoughts in order to change your behaviours.
- Dialectical behavioural therapy. Here you learn how to effectively manage your emotions. This is really important in addiction recovery because substances are often used to “dull down” emotions.
- Transactional analysis. A therapist supports you to understand how your unconscious thoughts drive your behaviours, how past learning influences action in the present, and how to develop healthier behaviours.
- Motivational interviewing is where you learn your true motivation for change and the things that will make you stay focused on healing.
- Family therapy is on offer where relationships have started to fall apart and where roles have become “stuck”. The emphasis is on finding useful new ways to communicate with each other.
2. Holistic therapies
Holistic or complementary therapies usually offer spaces where people can connect to others as well as new parts of themselves. They offer new ways of processing thoughts and emotions. Therapies include:
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Equine therapy
- Ear acupuncture (known to reduce cravings)
For people with heroin, benzodiazepine, or alcohol addiction, it’s likely that a physical dependence has developed. In this case, medication-assisted treatment will be necessary. This lasts around a week and weans you off the substance safely in order to prevent physical withdrawal symptoms.
4. Group sessions
At rehab, there are both SMART meetings and 12 Step type groups every day. These offer a unifying place where you connect with others going through the same journey. Much can be gained through sharing, listening, learning from each other, and being positively challenged.
Getting used to these types of groups at rehab can make going to them outside of rehab easier if you return home but want to maintain contact with others who have addiction.
Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
If you’re addicted to alcohol, you’ll experience some or all of the following withdrawal symptoms:
- A tremor
- Sickness and diarrhoea
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Low mood and depressed feelings
Coming off alcohol at home can be dangerous which is why an alcohol detox under the care of a medical team is important. At rehab you start to detox as soon as you enter the clinic. It lasts around ten days. After this, you move on to therapies and other activities to address the psychological aspect of addiction.
Treatment for Cocaine
Cocaine addiction has been on the rise in the UK. This is likely to do with how much more available it is now. Sadly, it can lead to the breakdown of families, financial ruin and severe physical and mental deterioration.
Rehab support includes a treatment programme that tackles this compulsive addiction that, for many, becomes a daily habit and can lead on to crack-cocaine use. The emphasis of support is on changing thought processes, processing emotions and developing healthy lifestyle behaviours.
Cocaine Anonymous is also available for people who want to access online support from home.
Treatment for Addiction and Mental Health Issues
It’s incredibly common for people to have co-occurring mental health conditions alongside an addiction.
At rehab you can be treated for a dual diagnosis through psychological therapies. Staff understand how inextricably woven these two conditions are and know that recovering in one area often provides the foundation to heal in the other as well.
How Can I Help Someone who has an Addiction?
If you know someone who has a drug or alcohol abuse problem it can be extremely worrying. The most effective way of supporting your loved one is through looking after yourself, putting in place boundaries and sticking to them. It’s also really useful to learn about the substance/s they use and to be open and non-judgemental when talking to them about it.
You can also find out about addiction treatment services for your loved one and also about organisations that support family members of those who have addictions.
If your loved one isn’t ready to quit
Even though you might be keen for your loved one to enter a treatment facility, they might not want to. It can be really hard to accept this but their recovery journey has to be self-led.
That being said, there are things you can do that can help including the tips mentioned just above and also you might try following the CRAFT intervention.
This is an approach which supports the whole family. You learn about where your loved one is in their readiness to change and how to communicate with them in a positive way. CRAFT has been shown to effectively support people to become ready to enter treatment without being “pushy”.
Get Help Near Me for Addiction
Finding the most suitable alcohol and drug treatment service for your personal needs can provide a solid first step on your path to recovery.
By contacting Rehab Recovery, you get all the help you need to understand your treatment options. Our team can also support you to have a smooth transition into rehab.
What are some signs that my loved one is ready to get help for addiction?
Signs your loved one is ready to get help for addiction might include talking about quitting, change, or rehab. They might also talk about starting new activities and eating healthier.
What are the official criteria for addiction?
The criteria for addiction include having no control over substance use, participating in risky behaviours, having family and social problems, and developing dependency.
What type of therapy is the best for treating addiction?
There are different types of therapy that treat substance abuse. Individuals respond differently according to personality. However, cognitive behavioural therapy is usually effective. Other therapies include dialectical behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, and transactional analysis.
Does counselling work for drug addiction?
Counselling can be an effective treatment for drug addiction but it’s usually most effective when combined with other approaches in a rehab clinic. It’s also beneficial to seek a counsellor who specialises in addiction.
How can I help my friend who’s struggling with addiction?
You can support a friend who has an addiction by being open, compassionate, and non-judgemental. It’s important to be honest about your concerns, to maintain boundaries, and to support them around positive behaviour (i.e. taking part in healthy activities).