It is an insidious problem, one that gets progressively worse as time goes on.
In many cases it can be hard to even realise that an issue is developing- sometimes a dependency forms unexpectedly quickly, and sometimes it develops so gradually that the victim does not notice the growing severity of their situation.
Addictions to drugs or alcohol almost always begin as a response to stress. Both alcohol and drugs are often used as coping mechanisms for trauma or extreme pressure, and in the earliest stages such use may seem harmless.
However, substance misuse is a very slippery slope and it does not take much time for casual use to give way to heavy, sustained consumption.
Once an addiction is established, the quantities involved tend to increase exponentially as the sufferer’s tolerance goes up, meaning that it takes more and more to satisfy the cravings. As usage increases, so too do the risks.
Numerous serious health conditions, both chronic and acute, have been associated with substance addictions. It is, unfortunately, far from uncommon for victims of substance dependencies to suffer from problems such as heart attacks, strokes, liver disease, and even multiple forms of cancer.
It is never easy to recover from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, and in many ways the problem is growing worse. 2020 saw the steepest rise in deaths related to alcohol addiction since records began in 2001, with 5,460 registered deaths directly linked to alcohol abuse.
If you are struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, or are worried that you have a budding problem, it is important that you remember that you are not alone. It might feel like it sometimes, especially as there is still a social stigma around the issue, but help will always be available.
It has been shown time and time again that the most effective way to combat and recover from substance dependency is to undergo rehabilitation at a specialised treatment clinic.
At Addiction Advocates we know that the prospect of drug and alcohol rehab can seem frightening, and reaching out for help can be extremely stressful. We are here to make that process easier, helping you to take that vital first step.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab Treatments
No two treatment programmes for substance dependency are exactly the same. There are a wide range of factors that can influence the medical and pastoral decisions regarding your care, including the severity of your dependency and the length of time you have been addicted, the nature of the substance you are addicted to, pre-existing physical or mental health conditions and so on and so forth.
Every patient has their own individual needs, and it is critical that your personal needs are met to ensure a meaningful, lasting recovery. At Addiction Advocates we work closely with a large number of excellent residential rehab centres across the UK. If you contact us, our teams of specialist advisors will assess your circumstances and find a treatment programme at a private drug and alcohol rehab facility that is perfect for your needs.
Even if you are ready to make positive strides and feel prepared for the trials ahead, the idea of staying at drug and alcohol rehab may seem daunting. Feelings of anxiety are perfectly normal, but it can help if you have some idea of what to expect.
Most rehabilitation programmes begin with detoxification. Detoxification, which is what most people think about when it comes to alcohol and drug rehab, is in many ways the scariest part of the process- but it does not need to be.
Detox is the word we use to refer to the period and process in which the toxic substances- whatever drug it is that you are addicted to- are metabolised and ‘flushed out’ of your body. The amount of time this ‘flushing out’ takes varies greatly depending on the nature of the toxins.
Opioids such as heroin, for example, are actually metabolised very quickly- generally it only takes a few hours for the body to remove it. However, the withdrawal symptoms that come on once your body is clean can be uncomfortable and painful, potentially even dangerous in extreme cases.
The duration and severity of the withdrawal period also varies greatly depending on the substance, and while heroin is metabolised quickly it also brings on some of the worst withdrawal symptoms.
Most people who try to get clean on their own do so by going ‘cold turkey’, suddenly and completely cutting drugs and alcohol out of their life. Without the proper support, this approach can be extremely dangerous- with potentially fatal consequences.
The main benefit of receiving residential care is that much of this danger is removed. With constant professional guidance and ready access to high quality, focussed medical care, you will be in the safest environment possible while you get the toxins out of your system.
Not only is the process far less dangerous, the regulated nature of rehab facilities also means that it is much easier to stay on the wagon once your body is clean.
Relapse Prevention and Aftercare
While detoxification is a vital part of the journey towards sobriety, it is still just one of many important steps you must take. Getting clean is all well and good, but it is pointless if you relapse and return to use once you leave rehab.
This is why rehabs also offer a range of therapies and mental health treatments aimed at equipping you with the self-understanding and discipline necessary to avoid falling back into the traps of addiction.
Therapies such as CBT aim to help you approach overwhelming problems in a calm and rational way, reducing the risk of your returning to substance abuse as a coping mechanism. Other treatments, such as more traditional counselling, enable you to explore the triggers and root causes of your addiction, allowing you to address the wider issues in your life and develop healthier methods of stress management.
This holistic support does not suddenly stop once you leave the facility. Recovery is a long and gradual road, and those first few months after your stay are crucial. Most rehabs offer an extensive aftercare package, meaning that you will have continued access to professional support and guidance even once you are back to your normal life.
A return to a healthy, sober lifestyle is very much possible. All it takes to achieve it is willpower and support. If you are ready, reach out to us as soon as possible.
-  rise in deaths related to alcohol addiction since records began in 2001, with 5,460 registered deaths directly linked to alcohol abuse. - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55900624