Discussion: What Is Drug Addiction Treatment and Why Is It Needed?
There are countless individuals around the world affected by drug addiction. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact number of people struggling with drug addiction in the UK because many of those with this type of illness have not reached out for treatment. Statistics can record the number of individuals receiving treatment, but it is impossible to tell the exact number who have no control over their drug use unless they have sought help. So, what is drug addiction treatment? And, why are more drug addicts not accessing it?
Recognising a Drug Addiction
It is relatively easy for those who abuse illegal drugs to recognise when they are in trouble. When these affected individuals find that they are constantly craving the drug they have been abusing, or find that they need to take more of it than before to achieve the high they desire, they will have their suspicions about being on the path to addiction.
However, when it comes to other substances such as prescription medication, it is not so straightforward. Those who have been prescribed drugs by their doctor to treat a legitimate health problem may find it hard to accept that this medication could be anything but beneficial to them. Despite warnings that prescription medication can be addictive, and even dangerous, when abused, many fail to heed these warnings. This is often because they are oblivious to what prescription drug abuse actually means.
They do not realise, for example, that taking medication that was prescribed for another person is classed as abuse, as is taking more of the medication than advised by a doctor.
To recognise the possibility of drug addiction, there are a number of signs to look out for. The first will be an increased tolerance. When a person’s tolerance to a chemical substance increases, he or she will find that they are no longer getting the same relief as before. In the case of prescription medication, the individual may believe that the drugs have ‘stopped working’. This is because their body has adapted to the drugs and is producing fewer dopamine chemicals in response to them being taken.
The same principle applies to illegal drugs such as crack cocaine or heroin. The affected person may find that the high achieved from taking the drug is not as intense as it was the first time it was taken. The individual will spend his or her life chasing that elusive high but never achieving it. This can lead him/her to continuously increase their levels of drug use and hence risk developing a crippling addiction.
Another sign of a drug addiction is intense cravings for the drug whenever the effects begin to wear off. With a physical addiction, the individual may notice various symptoms manifesting such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, and sweating whenever in need of a fix. Those with a psychological addiction may become irritable and anxious or believe that they are unable to function without the drug.
Who is Affected by Drug Addiction?
A drug addiction is an illness that does not discriminate based on a person’s age, gender, race, religion, or background; it does not matter how much money he or she has or where he/she lives. What does matter is that the affected person has allowed their use of a mood-altering substance to spiral out of control and is now in a position of being unable to quit or cut back on their use, even if he or she wanted to.
The truth is that anyone can be affected by addiction if he or she takes illegal drugs or prescription medication. The problem is that many individuals taking these substances are convinced that they can quit at any time. They believe that they have full control over their use and it is only when trying to quit that a realisation hits of being unable to do so.
While anyone can be affected by addiction, not everyone who uses these substances will be. So how does this happen? Scientists do not know why some people will develop an addiction and others will not. What they do know is that there are certain factors that make it more likely for one person to be affected while others are not. These factors can include a family history of addiction, mental health problems, traumatic experiences, early exposure to drugs, and the environment in which the person grew up.
But what must be mentioned here is the fact that even someone with every single risk fact is not guaranteed to be affected by addiction. Some individuals will still be affected even if they do not have any risk factors. The only way to avoid a drug addiction is complete abstinence.
Can a Drug Addiction be Treated?
There are many individuals who have managed to overcome their drug addictions with the help of professional counsellors and therapists. It is possible to overcome addiction without help but it is very rare and those who do will usually have a very shaky sobriety that will be susceptible to a relapse at any time.
For most people, treatment for a drug addiction begins with a drug detox, where they will be separated from the substance to which they have been addicted. During a drug detox, various withdrawal symptoms are possible and these symptoms can be mild to severe in intensity. There is no way to predict the symptoms a person will experience or how severe these will be, so it is best to detox in a supervised facility.
Supervised detox programmes typically last for between one and two weeks, depending on the type of substance the individual was using, how severe their addiction is, and how the detox progresses. Most people will experience mild to moderate symptoms that start a number of hours after the last drug was taken.
Symptoms typically start off quite mild but will progress over several days before reaching a peak and then tapering off. In a supervised facility, staff can monitor the progress of the detox and can administer medication or even nutritional supplements if appropriate. This can help to ease any pain and suffering associated with symptoms and can even prevent the most severe symptoms from arising.
Rehabilitation for Drug Addiction
For those who want to fully recover from a drug addiction, a programme of rehabilitation is necessary once the detox has been completed. There may be a temptation to stop any more treatment after the detox is complete, but this has been proven time and again to be a major mistake. Those who detox without rehabilitation will be much more likely to suffer a relapse when the issues that caused the addiction in the first place surface once more.
A detox is designed to tackle the physical side of the addiction but does nothing to address the emotional or psychological issues. This must take place with a programme of rehabilitation where various psychotherapeutic treatments will help the affected person to unlearn maladaptive behaviours and replace them with positive alternatives.
Inpatient programmes are ideal for those who want to overcome a drug addiction. This type of treatment involves the patient moving from their homes to the clinic for a period of around six to eight weeks. Here, they will undergo an intensive programme that will set them on the path to recovery.
Inpatient programmes are typically provided by private clinics and are usually decorated to a high standard. The comfortable surroundings and quiet environment lend themselves to the recovery process as patients do not have to worry about anything but getting well again.
These clinics are staffed by some of the best people in the business who are dedicated to ensuring that all patients recover from their illnesses. As well as counsellors, therapists and support staff, there may be psychologists, psychiatrists, and doctors on hand to deal with any issues the patient may have. Patients have around the clock access to care and support to help them recover.
Many experts believe that inpatient programmes offer the best chance of a successful recovery because of the concentrated approach to treatment. They are ideal for those with severe addictions or chaotic home lives where staying away from drugs would prove very difficult. With no access to temptations or triggers, patients have little choice but to get on with the task at hand while in a private facility.
Although inpatient programmes are often the preferred option for many, they are not always the most appropriate choice. Those who are unable to be away from home or work for an extended period would require an outpatient programme instead. This type of programme tends to be provided by many organisations including private clinics, charities, local support groups, and the NHS.
Outpatient programmes work on a day care basis whereby patients attend regular counselling sessions but then return home afterwards. As you might imagine, these types of programme are generally not suited to those close to a relapse or those with a chaotic home life where drugs are readily accessible. Nevertheless, for people with plenty of support at home and those with a less severe illness, these are often the ideal option.
Some experts believe that the fact that outpatient programmes force addicts to recover while also dealing with their everyday life issues is an added bonus.
Choosing a Treatment Programme
You may have a preference for a particular type of treatment programme but it would be wise to seek professional advice before making any decision regarding your care. Here at UKAT, we have several clinics offering first-class detox and rehabilitation programmes throughout the UK. We can discuss your situation with you and give you a clearer picture of the type of treatment programme that you might need.
If you would like information on the question of what is drug addiction treatment or the treatment programmes available, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.
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08 Jul 2020
My treatment at Liberty House has given me the opportunity to make drastic changes in my life and make a new start. For that I will be eternally grateful.
08 Jul 2020
Friendly and knowledgeable staff who will help you through the early stages of recovery. A very nice atmosphere around the place which is helped by both staff and the house itself and garden. All in all it is a brilliant place in which to gain a good foundation on which to build a recovery from addiction.
07 Jul 2020
Very good and friendly service. All needs met, dispite covid its been ok.
06 Jul 2020
I’m hugely fortunate and very grateful to have landed in Liberty House Rehab Clinic. The staff, bar none have been incredibly supportive and honest with me throughout. Tough love at times, but always delivered in a productive way. I’ve learned so much about addiction and myself thanks to them. This is a deeply empathetic and spiritual unit, to which i owe my life. Thank you Rosie and team xx
06 Jul 2020
This service from Liberty house was a very good idea, I would tell other people who suffer from the any issues with alcohol/Drugs to come to liberty house for the best treatment as they make it possible and are always there for you.
06 Jul 2020
I came to get well, and I leave 28 days sober, with a new mind set of my life with my illness.. thank to all at SL, food, hose keepers, support team and therapist all had a part on my recovery.
05 Jul 2020
I felt low when I arrived but started to feel positive within a short space of time. I’m ready to get to runcorn and get going.
04 Jul 2020
This detox has gone better than any of my others, I have enjoyed my time here and I would definitely recommend this to someone else. The isolation has been difficult not being able to exercise but I just got on with it. Staff have been good and supportive .
04 Jul 2020
This was my first detox, I found it to be comfortable, I did not struggle. I got a wake up call yesterday when I saw somebody who was really I’ll, I now understand the effects that alcohol can do to you.
04 Jul 2020
When I came to Recovery Lighthouse I was in a bad way (to put it politely). I am actually sad to be leaving here tomorrow as it has been such a positive experience for me. The house is very homely and comfortable, the food is amazing but more importantly I have learned so much during my time here. I feel that I have sufficient enough knowledge and tools to help maintain my sobriety when I go onto secondary treatment, knowing that also it is only me who can make it work for myself, and for my family! the staff here are very supportive & friendly…. Love to you all and a massive thank you! Except for Daisy who kicked my sorry butt at Cluedo one night! I’ll forgive but I shall not forget 😀 … Jokes aside ALL of the staff are wonderful! I hope to see each of you in the future with some added sobriety time under my belt… They have just informed me that Chris always gets mentioned on these so here is to you guys lol…. Mehdi, DAISY!!!!, Paula, Marcia, Mark, Debbie, Cameron, Dave, Lewes, Brooke, Linzi, Lee and Nicky – All of you are amazing! Thank you so much for everything during my stay here and best wishes for the future! …
03 Jul 2020
I’d like other alcoholics and users to be aware of the benefits and high level of counsellor and staff’s all round care.
03 Jul 2020
The care and support I have received has been excellent. I have started a journey of recovery from my addiction which I can continue when I return home.
03 Jul 2020
Thank you to the recovery lighthouse for the past 28 days. All the staff are really lovely but they will really push you to open up and get the most out of you and tackle your addiction. It is obvious they genuinely care about your well being and making sure you understand the importance of sobriety as a recovering addict. It can be tough at times but if you put the work in it is worth it and you will leave feeling you have the tools to implement them in real life! Food is really good too, thanks Chris! Highly recommend.
02 Jul 2020
Beautiful and helpful staff, anything you need is given if possible. Good food and a genuinely warm welcome.
02 Jul 2020
I am very pleased at myself for having the heart to come to terms with my addiction and take the step to change my life by going into rehab it was the best move i did in starting new life, the program help not just with detoxing but it help by getting to route of the problem the staff are extremely sportive and highly experienced and professional. not forgetting the food also amazing i will always be grateful to the team of liberty house thank you for letting express myself and being there to listen
02 Jul 2020
I couldn’t of ended up in a better place the staff are awesome, they are more than attentive and will bend over backwards to make sure the care you receive is provided to the best of there ability. The food was great, which is always a plus especially when kicking a habit. It has been the best decision of my life coming here i cant thank them enough for all the help and support. Id highly recommend Liberty House to anyone trying to tern there lives around . Many thanks
02 Jul 2020
i entered here a very broken and scared individual. the staff bend over backwards for you here nothing is to much trouble. the chef also caters to your personal needs. i leave here with a great understanding of what i suffer with and direction of the right paths to take. im still fearful but lernt there is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of fear. cos rosie sharron dave pablo tony hsve given me a gift i will never be able to show my true gratitude for. thanks to qall at liberty house
01 Jul 2020
I have been very happy with my treatment, I didnt want to go home. However I feel ready to go home. I have learned to manage my stress levels. Fantastic team.
01 Jul 2020
I really enjoyed my time at Banbury Lodge the staff here work so hard and never fail to make sure we are looked after. I have gained my life back thanks to the support from all the staff. Big thank you to Lianne for ,aking the days here brighter.
01 Jul 2020
I am overall extremely pleased with the treatment I’ve had here at Recovery Lighthouse. The staff have been absolutely wonderful, so kind and easy to approach. All the workshops I found engaging and enjoyed thoroughly. I am thankful for all the help I’ve been given and I feel confident I can succeed in my recovery journey.
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