It is classified as a brain disorder, one that is characterised by powerful and uncontrollable urges to consume harmful substances and which invariably leads to self-destructive behaviour and negative changes to the addict’s personality.

There should be no shame in admitting that you have an addiction problem- if you have developed a dependency on alcohol or drugs, you are a victim of an insidious disease.

That being said, if you intend to recover and return to a healthy, happier life, then you do need to take some responsibility and make some positive steps in the right direction.

Taking responsibility does not mean trying to fight your drug or alcohol addiction all by yourself. In many ways this is one of the worst things that you could do. Addictions to alcohol and drugs are incredibly difficult to overcome without support.

The physical and psychological effects of withdrawal often stop many attempting to give up their vice in their tracks, and the stresses of failure can often make things worse.

If you want to avoid the tragic health complications associated with consistent substance abuse- liver disease, cancer, strokes and collapsed veins to name just a few- and to prevent irreparable damage to your personal relationships as a result of the changes to your behaviour, then the most sensible and productive thing you can do is reach out and secure a place at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

Addiction Advocates can help you with this. We work alongside a number of facilities offering high quality rehab for drug and alcohol abuse across the UK, and if you contact us using our helpline we can find a clinic near you that offers exactly what you need to succeed and overcome your addiction.

If you think that you are ready for residential addiction treatment, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our helpline is active every hour of every day, so you will always be able to reach us.


Reaching a long term recovery from an alcohol or drug addiction

Recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is a gradual process. It can take a long time, and there can be many difficulties along the way. The first step is getting the drugs or alcohol out of your system.

This part of the process is commonly referred to as detox, which is short for detoxification. Drug and alcohol detoxification can be painful as a result of the withdrawal symptoms that most addicts experience once their body begins to demand the substance that it has become dependent on.

A private drug and alcohol rehab clinic is the most sensible place in which to go through detoxification. The regulated nature of rehab facilities means that help will be on hand in case your withdrawal symptoms are particularly bad, and you will not have to worry about potentially falling off the wagon because your access to drugs and alcohol will be strictly controlled.

Cut off from the outside world, but with constant care of the highest quality, specialised clinics make detox as easy and pain-free as it is possible to.

Of course, once you have successfully come out of detox there is still the danger that you might start drinking or taking drugs again. Withdrawal is a biological problem, but there will always be a mental urge to start consuming again

This is why drug and alcohol relapse prevention is integral to full, lasting recovery. There is no point in coming to rehab and flushing the toxins out if you are just going to carry on drinking or using once you have returned to the everyday world.

To help equip you with the right self-understanding so that this does not happen, rehabilitation centres tend to offer a combination of mental health treatments and support as well as ongoing drug and alcohol aftercare programmes.

At rehab you will have the ability to undergo a wide range of holistic services such as talking therapies, psychotherapies, one on one counselling, group counselling, and practical educational workshops.

By exploring and addressing your mental state through means such as these, you will be able to develop a greater understanding as to why and how you first fell victim to addiction, and, critically, you will be able to create your own coping strategies so that you can resist the urge to start using again in a healthy, sensible way.

If you falter along the way or just need that extra little bit of support and guidance, aftercare programmes ensure that you can always maintain contact with the rehab facility. Even once you are out rehab offers above all else a strong network of support, one that will always be there to help you along your way.


Taking the first steps

At the end of the day, only you can make the decision to get better. There is no magical medicinal cure for the disease of addiction, and recovery requires hard work and determination.

We can help you find a rehabilitation centre, and that rehabilitation centre can guide you along the way and provide you with the tools you need to confront and overcome your dependency, but ultimately you need to be willing to engage with the help offered and utilise those tools.

Addiction is scary and dangerous, and the recovery process is in and of itself difficult and painful, but the proper assistance recovery is achievable. As with anything, the first step is the most important one you will take.

Don’t hesitate and let the problem get worse. Use our helpline, get in touch, and together we can start making changes for the better.

If you have come to this page seeking help not for yourself but for someone close to you, we can still be of assistance. Again, while we can offer help to addicts it is ultimately up to them to start addressing the problems in their life, and we cannot force anyone to become a patient at a rehab centre.

What we can do is offer you advice on how to broach the topic of getting help. As we have said, one of the most helpful things to a recovering addict is that they have a strong support network to lean on.

We can advise you regarding the best ways in which to act as a member of this support group for them.