Drug addiction is a major problem for people across the world and, unfortunately, it is not limited to adults. It is a common problem among teenagers and young adults, and many end up having to undergo a programme of drug detox to overcome their addictive behaviour.
Here in the UK, there are many reasons teenagers begin taking drugs. These can include wanting to experiment, curiosity, peer pressure, or to help them cope with painful or difficult memories. Many of these individuals are unaware of the dangers of the drugs they take and often assume that they will just try the substance once and that will be it. Sadly, a significant number end up hooked on drugs, then requiring professional help to recover.
Over in India, things are slightly different for young children, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently discovered during their tour of the country (April 2016). The Royal Couple visited a drop-in centre for the Salaam Baalak charity at which they met a number of youngsters being taken care of for a variety of reasons, including drug addiction.
They were told of how some children have their hands cut off or eyes gouged out as this means they can earn more money than they would have or could of – as beggars. The charity takes care of around 7,000 children every year, kids who have left home for various reasons. The Duke and Duchess heard the story of Amir, who is sixteen and had been sleeping rough at a train station. He became addicted to sniffing glue but was helped into a drug detox programme by counsellors at Salaam Baalak. Thankfully, he is now clean. Sadly, not all of India’s children will get the help they need.
Those affected by drug addiction in the UK are typically advised to attend a programme of detox where all remnants of the drugs can be removed from the body. This is a necessary part of the recovery process, but it is just the first step. It is important to know, however, that it can be dangerous to just stop taking drugs if you have been addicted for a long time. It is always advisable to get medical advice before attempting any form of drug detox.
Detox is not the same thing as drug treatment; it is just a part of the process. Getting rid of drugs from the body is the first step, but it is this first step that often prevents those affected from overcoming their illness.
The actual process of drug detox is rarely as bad as people expect, but fear of detox often becomes a barrier to recovery. Many are afraid that detox will be excruciatingly painful, which stops them from reaching out. The truth is that drug detox in a supervised facility does not have to be a traumatic experience. Carefully supervised detox programmes can help to prevent the worst symptoms, which will mean the patient is safer and more comfortable.
Detoxing from any chemical substance means the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms to varying degrees. How severe the symptoms are will typically depend on the type of drug being abused as well as the length of time the person has been struggling with addiction. Physical and mental health also plays a role, as does the age of the individual.
Symptoms often include shaking, sweating, mood swings and anxiety. Nevertheless, those who do experience more severe symptoms may experience hallucinations, delusions and seizures.
It is generally accepted that drug detox takes place under the supervision of fully qualified medical professionals in a specialised facility. The reason for this is that the patient will have constant access to support and care during the detox and the medical staff will be in a position to prescribe medication if necessary to ensure the comfort and safety of the patient at all times.
Although a supervised facility is a preferred option for most, some people opt to detox at home. Those who want to detox from drugs in the comfort of their home should always have someone with them throughout the process. It is dangerous to detox alone, so another person or two should always be present to deal with any situations or potential emergencies.
Although detox does not have to be a painful experience, it is likely to be unpleasant, and those going through the process will probably feel worse before they begin to feel better. The uncomfortable feelings will pass within a few days and then the affected individual will be ready to start the process of rehabilitation, setting him or her on the path to a clean and healthy sober life going forward. All that is required is commitment and determination.
If you successfully complete our 90-day inpatient treatment program, we guarantee you'll stay clean and sober, or you can return for a complimentary 30 days of treatment.