Accepting a diagnosis of an addict is very tough and most affected individuals will practice some form of denial for a while at least. There are many reasons individuals end up with a drug addiction but what is completely false is the notion that addiction is a lifestyle choice.
Think about it logically for a moment; drug addiction destroys lives and can rip families apart. Why would anyone choose this type of life? The truth is they wouldn’t. And it is also true that not everyone who uses drugs will develop an addiction. Yes, the decision to use illegal drugs in the first place is a choice but becoming addicted is not.
It is also worth mentioning here that many drug addicts have developed their illness after being prescribed medication by their doctor for the treatment of a health problem. These people certainly did not choose to become addicted, but they need help in the same way that those addicted to illegal drugs will need help. How to get drug treatment is an issue for anyone with an addiction to a mood-altering chemical, be that substance illegal or a prescription drug.
How Does Drug Addiction Develop?
People make choices in their life each and every day. Unfortunately, some of these choices can result in devastating consequences. For example, the person who chooses to try an illegal drug out of curiosity will probably believe that one time won’t hurt and that seeing what all the fuss is about is not going to cause any harm.
The person who is taking prescription medication may not see any harm in increasing his or her dose of medication when it becomes less effective. After all, it has been prescribed by a doctor so must be safe, right?
When drug use becomes drug abuse, the risk of addiction increases significantly. What most people do not understand is that those who abuse drugs often do not realise that they have crossed a line. It is easy to get caught in a cycle of drug abuse without noticing what is happening.
Whatever substance you have been using, it is likely that you will build up a tolerance to it over time. You may have already noticed that you need more of it to achieve the feelings you desire. If you have increased your consumption of the drug, then you will probably find that this amount too becomes less effective after a while. Increasing your dose can result in a physical or psychological dependence occurring – or both.
A dependence on drugs usually means the presence of withdrawal symptoms whenever the effects of the drug wear off. While trying to avoid these symptoms, many people get caught in a cycle of abuse as they try to alleviate the symptoms, which all too often leads to a crippling addiction.
Getting Treatment for Addiction
The issue of how to get drug treatment is one that is faced by those who have come to terms with the fact that their drug use has spiralled out of control. It is also something that family members and friends may be concerned with if their loved one is refusing to accept a diagnosis.
The good news is that here in the UK, there is plenty of choices when it comes to drug treatment. Most people will speak to their doctor in the first instance. If you are ready to get help for addiction, your doctor can refer you to your local drug treatment service. If you would prefer not to go to your doctor, you can self-refer instead.
There are other options available too; charity organisations operate across the UK and tend to provide outpatient programmes to those in need of help. You can also access a private inpatient programme if you are keen to get started on your recovery journey straight away. Most private clinics can admit patients for treatment within a day or two, unlike charities and NHS-run programmes where there are usually long waiting times.
What Is Drug Treatment Like?
Before you consider how to get drug treatment, it might be prudent for you to learn a little bit more about what treatment actually involves. Most individuals know that drug addicts need to go to rehab for help, but unless they have experience of the recovery process, they will not know much more than that.
Drug treatment is a two-part process that incorporates both detox and rehabilitation. Detoxification is the first step on the road to recovery and is used to help you quit drugs, hopefully for good. Although a natural process, detox from drugs can be complicated due to the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms. It is therefore recommended that most addicts complete the process in a special detox facility under the supervision of a team of doctors, nurses and counsellors who can ensure safety and comfort throughout.
Most detox programmes last for between one and two weeks, and during this time patients may experience a range of withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms could be mild, moderate, or severe in intensity, but there is no way to predict which symptoms you will experience or how severe these will be before the detox begins. The risk of severe symptoms is present for everyone but is greater for those who have been abusing drugs heavily for a long time or for those who have underlying mental or physical health problems.
While it is possible to detox at home, you will be much safer in a detox clinic because staff have the experience and knowledge to make the process more comfortable. Medical staff may be able to administer medication that can prevent the worst symptoms from appearing or relieve those that do.
What about Rehab?
Rehabilitation begins when detox has finished. It is important that you detox first because your mind and body will need to be clear of chemicals before you tackle the emotional process of rehab. During rehab, you will work with counsellors on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting with other recovering addicts. You can expect both individual and group therapy sessions, regardless of the type of programme you choose and who provides it.
Drug rehabilitation will help you to learn more about addiction and why you were affected. You will learn all about what caused your illness and how you can avoid a return to it in the future. With the use of various therapies, you will learn how to live a substance-free, healthier life when your programme comes to an end.
Bespoke treatments are the norm when it comes to drug rehabilitation. With so many different therapies available, your care team will choose those that they believe are most suited to you personally and to the type of addiction that you have. Your treatment plan is likely to be completely different to that of another patient in the same clinic – even if that patient has the same type of addiction as you.
The reason for tailored treatment plans is that everyone is different and the same type of treatment for each person would not be effective. While certain therapies work well for some people, for others they are less effective. Bespoke treatment planning is about finding a plan that works for the individual with the aim of getting the best results. The treatment plan is likely to include some of the following:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Dialectical behaviour therapy
- Motivational enhancement therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
- 12-step therapy
- Contingency management
- Family therapy
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
While the above psychotherapies are typically included in a treatment plan, your plan may also include a number of holistic treatments that are effective when used in conjunction with traditional therapies. Holistic therapies work by healing the mind, body, and spirit at the same time. They can be used effectively as part of a drug treatment programme to reduce cravings and prevent relapse. Examples of holistic therapies that might be included in your plan are:
- exercise and nutrition
- mindful fitness
- art therapy
- music therapy
- equine therapy.
A combined approach to recovery is said to give the best results and should set you up for a lifetime of recovery. But staying sober permanently should not be something that you take for granted.
What Happens After Rehab?
Once you know how to get drug treatment, you can start the recovery process. You can complete a programme of detox and rehabilitation and you will be provided with all the tools required to get sober and stay sober.
However, once treatment is finished, your work is not done. You will need to work on sobriety for the rest of your life as the threat of relapse will always be hanging over your head. Even when you have been sober for many years, you cannot become complacent as to do so could threaten the stability of your recovery.
In the early days of recovery, aftercare support is vital. Your treatment provider will almost certainly provide some type of support once your treatment programme finishes. But you should also access support in your community. Getting involved with a local support group is encouraged and could help you to find like-minded people who you can turn to when you need to. It is widely accepted that not including aftercare in your programme of recovery is a big mistake.
For more information on any part of the recovery process or to talk more about how to get drug treatment, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Oasis Recovery Communities. We are ready to take your call and we are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions that you may have. Please call right now to talk about your next steps on the road to recovery.