If you are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction you are certainly not alone. Government statistics show that there were more than a quarter of a million adults in contact with drug and alcohol services last year, with 175,896 in contact with treatment services.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Many, many more people are undiagnosed, in denial or have not sought the help they need to overcome their addictions.
This is an important step because it is incredibly difficult to break free of the cycle of addiction without expert help. A support network of family and friends can be extremely valuable but they will not have the expertise of professionals who work in this area on a daily basis. And many people who are struggling with alcohol or drugs do not have a reliable support network to begin with.
Choosing inpatient or outpatient treatment options
Once you take that important step of realising or admitting that you do need help to overcome your addiction issues, you need to decide the sort of treatment program that is right for you. The NHS drug and alcohol service as mentioned above can be very useful but they are not the most effective route for everybody. They tend to be community-based and are often best for people with relatively low-level addiction problems.
Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres have been shown to be the most effective method f treating serious alcohol and drug addictions and there are a number of key reasons for this. Firstly, a stay in rehab takes you away from the pressures of everyday life, including the social circles, people, places, stresses and habits that might be triggers for your drinking or drug use.
You will be in a safe, supervised and completely non-judgemental environment, surrounded by people who are invested in your recovery. You will also have 24-hour support, including medical supervision when needed. The tailored drug and alcohol treatment programmes will be evidence-based and offer the best tried and tested routes to a new drug and alcohol-free life.
It will still not be easy and you need to put the effort in. It’s a cliché but it’s also true to say that you must want to change but if you’re sick and tired of having drugs or alcohol in charge of your life and want to make your own decisions, using a rehab in Bilston can give you the best possible chance to take back control.
How long does rehab take?
If you check into rehab you will, of course, have to take time out from your regular life. This can be an issue for some people but you can see any stay in drug and alcohol treatment centres as in investment of both time and money.
Left unchecked, addiction can spiral out of control. It can ruin the user’s health and destroy relationships, have an impact at work and have negative consequences in most aspects of the addict’s life. A defining aspect of addiction itself is the compulsion to carry on taking the substance despite potential negative consequences, so getting the right help is vital.
We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Every person’s problems are different and so are their journeys towards recovery. Tailored treatment programmes aim to provide the most suitable treatments for each individual and the length of actual time spent in rehab can vary on a case by case basis.
In general, the shortest stays only cover a detox clinic. This allows the addict to ‘flush out’ the physical toxins in their body in terms of drugs and alcohol. This can actually be a very quick process.
Heroin and other opioids, for example, are extremely addictive but process very quickly. The drug has usually left the user’s system several hours after taking it but another vital part of detox is dealing with the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that follow. These can be both physical and psychological and can be very severe.
Detox can be a major stumbling block for addicts attempting to deal with their problems on their own and going ‘cold turkey’ without professional supervision is less likely to be successful and can even be dangerous.
For these reasons, detox tends to be a minimum of four days but could take a week or longer. A mid-term stay could involve a period of two weeks or one month while some longer-term programmes could take 90 days or even longer.
During this time you will concentrate on your long term recovery. Getting the drugs or alcohol out of your system is extremely important but it is not the only aspect of a thorough, holistic treatment programme. You will also need to learn how to cope with cravings and deal with stress and triggers without reverting to drugs or alcohol.
Gaining an insight into the root causes of your addiction is often key here and treatments such as counselling, cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) and group therapy can really help you to get to grips with these issues.
After you leave rehab
Detoxing and completing a rehab programme is a major achievement but beating addiction is an ongoing process, not a single step. For many recovering addicts it is a lifelong battle, although most would say that it does get easier over time.
The therapies, programmes and workshops you complete during your addiction treatment will have equipped you with a set of skills and knowledge-base to help you stay clean and sober but there will still be difficult times ahead.
Relapse is always a danger and most recovering addicts will need support as they readjust to their new drink and drug-free lives. Many alcohol and drug rehab UK centres offer aftercare programmes or services and you will certainly be given information and contacts for relevant support groups, charities and other groups and organisations that can help you to reclaim your life and move forward into a more positive future.