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Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Portugal

Learn about drug and alcohol rehab and detox in Portugal. The rehab clinic offers a robust admissions process and supervised detox and evidence-based treatments.

    Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Portugal

    With many suffering in silence across the globe, addiction continues to affect those most vulnerable- and Portugal is no exception.

    Despite harm reduction schemes and holistic intervention, rates of alcohol addiction have remained high.

    In 2016, studies showed that 6.8% of the population were suffering from alcohol use disorders, while 3% were drinking hazardously.

    The figures given for drug use in Portugal pointed to a similar need for widespread treatment and care among communities.

    In 2015, there were 33,290 high-risk opioid users, which equates to 5.2 per 1,000 of the adult population.

    However, these figures are remarkably low when compared with rates of substance dependency in other European countries.

    Faced with a nationwide addiction problem, the Portuguese government boldly announced the decriminalisation of drugs back in 2001.

    Instead of facing a prison sentence, those found possessing drugs are enrolled in proactive therapy or community service.

    As such, recent studies found that since the Portugal Drug Policy was introduced, drug misuse decreased by 18%.

    This has resulted in decreased stigmatisation of substance use– leading many to reach out for the aid of a drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    The rehab admissions process

    If you or a loved one are battling the effects of Substance Use Disorder (SUD), Rehab Recovery offers expert guidance in the often daunting rehab admissions process.

    If your addiction requires inpatient care, our specialist team will provide a bespoke referral to a drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal most suited to your needs.

    We take the unique details of each case into careful consideration, meaning we can accelerate the admissions process if the need for treatment is urgent.

    Once you’ve reached out via email or phone, we’ll organise a free virtual assessment that allows us to assess your needs.

    One of our consultant psychiatrists will first perform a health assessment to gauge your mental and physical wellbeing.

    They’ll also ask about the nature of your addiction and history of substance use so that we can recommend specialised clinics and treatments.

    In the second part of the consultation, you’ll have the chance to describe your preferences for the optimal rehab centre.

    Whether you have a specific budget, treatment, or location in mind, we’ll do our best to accommodate each priority.

    Many of our staff have been in recovery themselves and have first-hand experience of the rehab admissions process to help put you at ease.

    Following the consultation, the Rehab Recovery team will build your personalised referral and list of recommended clinics in Portugal.

    Pre-admission, you’ll have the chance to visit your short-listed clinics, either virtually or in person, and can take all the time you need to make an informed decision.

    Once you’ve chosen a drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal, we’ll organise your accommodation and admissions paperwork to make the process as stress-free as possible.

    We’ll liaise with your care provider to draw up a personalised treatment program- tailoring each stage of your rehab residency based on your unique needs.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Physical vs psychological addictions

    black and white photo of a woman holding her head

    As a biopsychosocial disorder affecting our bodies and minds, addiction can manifest in various ways.

    Although someone can harbour multiple types of substance dependency, the primary distinction offered by experts is physical vs psychological.

    For someone with a physical dependency, drugs or alcohol are required to avoid withdrawal. A physiological process happens in our bodies with consistent use, whereby the cells can’t function normally without said substance.

    For those with physical addiction, quitting “cold-turkey” induces a range of symptoms as the body attempts to regain normal function.

    These include but aren’t limited to nausea, abdominal cramps, muscle aches, trembling, seizures, and even loss of consciousness.

    Alongside withdrawal, another sign of physical addiction is increased tolerance. Due to regular use, the body becomes acclimatised to the effects of a substance- meaning more is needed to achieve the same euphoria or high.

    This can happen quickly for those consuming heroin or potent opioids, as a physical addiction can take mere days to form.

    Similar to physical addictions, psychological dependencies are driven by increased dopamine production in the brain- resulting in highly addictive euphoric feelings.

    Those with a psychological addiction exhibit behavioural changes relating entirely to the mind and emotions.

    Over time, they’ll experience the intense compulsion to use a substance, and continuous urges despite negative consequences.

    These mental cravings override all else- causing individuals to neglect responsibilities, relationships, and hobbies.

    If treatment is sought, psychological withdrawal is likely to occur in the form of anxiety, depression, and volatile mood swings.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    The alcohol detox process

    doctor and patient

    Alcohol Use Disorder has been recognised as a chronic, long-term illness- and as such, requires specialised treatment.

    We recommend a fully supervised detox carried out safely in an inpatient clinic to optimise your recovery journey.

    After completing a medical exam, the detox begins once you’ve checked in to your chosen drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal.

    In this assessment, addiction specialists will determine the best course of action and create a personalised detox plan.

    Detoxification can take anywhere between 7-10 days, depending on individual needs. Under close supervision from a team of medical staff, toxins are gradually reduced in the body.

    This slow process, and keen avoidance of the “cold-turkey” approach, aims to ease withdrawal symptoms and prevent the body from entering Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome.

    However, for those who experience withdrawal symptoms, a range of medications are available to ease discomfort and can be tailored to each individual.

    Oftentimes, reduced levels of alcohol in the body will trigger anxiety, heart palpitations, and tremors. In these cases, beta-blockers are administered to alleviate psychological stress and calm the body.

    Additionally, you’ll receive behavioural counselling, holistic therapy such as nutritional support, and round-the-clock medical supervision.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Detox for other drugs


    While drug use often starts recreationally, over time, its consumption causes hormonal imbalance and altered brain chemistry.

    The resulting physical and psychological dependency can rarely be treated in the home environment- requiring a supervised medical detox.

    At a drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal, those battling addictions are closely monitored and surrounded by state-of-the-art medical facilities.

    Often resulting in debilitating, even life-threatening withdrawal, it’s common for patients to spend around 30 days detoxing from illicit drugs. This time frame ensures both their safety and comfort.

    Upon arrival, patients are evaluated by an addiction specialist who will craft a detox plan unique to their individual needs.

    This evaluation includes blood tests and reviews of a patient’s psychiatric, medical, and substance use history.

    For those suffering from Opioid Use Disorder, withdrawal symptoms are likely to peak within the first 2-5 days of abstinence.

    The medical intervention comes in the form of substitute opioids such as Subutex, methadone, or buprenorphine.

    Detoxing with these weaker opiates helps to dilute cravings while maximising your chance of avoiding withdrawal symptoms.

    Detoxing from stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine can result in severe psychological withdrawal.

    As such, a holistic approach to the detox process is vital.

    At a drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal, you’ll receive behavioural counselling, around-the-clock emotional support, and medication to alleviate anxiety or depression.

    Akin to alcohol detox, beta-blockers are often utilised to ease restlessness, agitation, and feelings of panic. Throughout this key phase of treatment, you’ll be surrounded by entertainment facilities, books, and all other modern amenities.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Rehab for alcoholism

    Therapy Session

    Completed on-site rehab for alcohol use disorder encompasses detox, psychotherapy, alternative therapies, and relapse prevention workshops.

    While it can seem tempting to seek recovery at home following detox, this can re-introduce triggers and temptations before you’ve acquired the tools to manage them.

    At a leading drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal, you’ll get to the root cause of your addiction with the help of addiction specialists.

    Depending on personal circumstances, people often choose to spend between 30-90 days receiving on-site therapy before transitioning to outpatient care.

    Following a medicated detox, patients will begin their personalised care program- consisting of both individual and group therapy.

    These techniques are largely based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which aims to rewire thought patterns. By recognising the thought processes leading to alcohol use, patients can learn how to change them.

    In one-to-one therapy, you’ll work alongside an addiction psychiatrist to identify and heal the root cause of your alcohol addiction.

    Another important aspect of rehab for alcoholism is the implementation of group therapy. Set within a comfortable communal environment on rehab grounds, a trained therapist leads a discussion in groups of between 5-10.

    By interacting with others going through similar struggles, patients can explore new avenues for managing their alcohol addiction: through camaraderie and community.

    Alongside psychotherapy in various formats, you’ll encounter holistic workshops designed to optimise health and fitness.

    These activities allow you to curate the tools for a healthy life post-rehab and can distract you from negative thoughts in the early days of recovery. Typically, workshops include yoga classes, meditation and mindfulness, art therapy, and nutrition.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Rehab for cocaine

    Woman looking in the mirror

    Known for causing both physical and psychological addictions, those suffering from cocaine use disorder require long-term rehabilitation.

    At a drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal, you’ll receive the appropriate support and treatment needed to embark on your road to recovery.

    Depending on your unique needs, the total time spent at rehab can be between a few weeks or a few months. After completing a gradual detox, you’ll begin working through your personalised treatment program.

    This is designed to tackle the psychological aftershock often experienced by those addicted to cocaine and aims to uncover the root cause of this dependency.

    In rehab for cocaine, a combination of CBT and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) often produces fantastic results.

    Performed by an addiction psychiatrist, both are styles of talking therapy that helps you understand your relationship with cocaine.

    You’ll learn to connect your thoughts, feelings, and actions: allowing you to form relapse prevention strategies for successful sobriety post-rehab.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Rehab for heroin

    two women talking on a sofa together

    While detoxification removes heroin from the system, the more entrenched psychological dependency requires long-term therapy on an inpatient basis.

    At a drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal, you’ll undergo the essential therapy needed to beat your addiction, alongside appropriate medication.

    With on-site care, patients are removed from potentially triggering environments and can have full access to medical and psychiatric facilities.

    To reap these rewards, patients often elect to spend 60-120 days in rehab for heroin. Once you’ve moved through a medicated detox, you’ll begin a rigorous routine of psychotherapy.

    Before you begin sessions, you’ll liaise with your case worker and medical staff to choose the style of therapy most suited to your needs.

    Led by an experienced professional, therapy workshops take place in either one-to-one or group settings to maximise recovery from all angles.

    In individual talking therapy, you’ll likely encounter a branch of CBT to help you understand how and why your heroin addiction formed.

    This may lead to holistic counselling for healing past trauma and/or working with your therapist to change destructive thought patterns.

    Alongside psychotherapy, patients are given plenty of lifestyle support in the form of nutrition workshops, exercise classes, and mindfulness practice.Alcoholics Anonymous

    Throughout your rehabilitation, you’ll be given the option to receive additional medication proven to ward off relapse. Frequently, opioid antagonists such as Naltrexone are prescribed.

    By suppressing the euphoric effects of heroin, this type of medication fights cravings and therefore increases treatment retention.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Co-occurring disorders and addiction

    two women sitting either side of a door

    Also known as a Dual Diagnosis, someone with a concurrent disorder suffers from both addiction and an underlying mental health illness.

    While they may not intertwine, one disorder will often inform the other- with dangerous results. For example, an individual might self-medicate with alcohol or drugs to cope with the effects of a mental health disorder.

    However, this perpetuates the vicious cycle of mental health and addiction– as a substance will aggravate pre-existing anxiety or depression.

    On the other hand, said mental health disorder may be substance-induced as a result of chemical changes in the brain. This can be the case with alcohol, as this substance affects brain chemistry and is itself a depressant.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Therapy styles

    Two people sitting on a couch talking

    At your chosen drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal, you’ll receive a range of comprehensive therapy to optimise long-term healing.

    From rewiring behavioural patterns to healing trauma and increasing motivation, each style has its part to play in achieving lifelong recovery.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Contingency Management (CM)

    Woman looking relaxed and happy

    Also referred to as “prize incentives therapy”, CM provides those in recovery with a reward for maintaining sobriety.

    Strategies often include Voucher-based-reinforcement (VBR), in which patients receive monetary tickets for reaching a milestone in their recovery or passing a clean urine test.

    Vouchers can be exchanged for goods on rehab grounds that align with living a clean, healthy lifestyle– and often increase in value each time a milestone is achieved.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

    CBT Therapy Session

    CBT gives patients the tools to analyse their ways of thinking and identify how thought patterns lead to addiction.

    In this way, CBT gets to the core of a substance use disorder by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones and breaking the cycle of addiction.

    Sessions are carried out by an expert behavioural therapist, who will tailor their approach to suit your unique needs.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

    Man in blue shirt looking anxious

    DBT aims to eradicate self-harm behaviours in those suffering from a concurrent mental health disorder.

    Taking the lead from CBT in this regard, sessions are then adapted for those who feel emotions intensely or are suffering from past trauma.

    Often held in one-to-one workshops, DBT helps individuals curate a positive response to overwhelming emotions.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Aftercare & fellowship groups

    Group therapy session.

    Completing rehabilitation is a profound achievement, but it’s important to recognise that recovery is a long-term journey.

    While exciting, re-assimilating back into society can bring its challenges, as you’ll be exposed to the triggers that weren’t present in rehab.

    That’s why here at Rehab Recovery, we provide our clients with a 12-month aftercare program– at no additional cost.

    Once you’ve been discharged from a drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal, you’ll be enrolled in local fellowship groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

    Providing a sense of community, these sessions allow those in recovery to continue therapy in a group setting and reduce feelings of isolation.

    Moreover, these therapeutic communities use their form of 12-step recovery: a powerful philosophy for instigating lifelong sobriety.

    Additionally, you’ll continue recovery as an outpatient at your local drug & alcohol rehab in Portugal. This includes regular wellbeing check-ins from your caseworker and access to alternative therapies or further medication.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

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