It is considered by medical professionals to be a disease, a brain disorder that drastically and negatively alters the ways in which you behave and think.
Once you are addicted to a substance the problem only gets worse. As time goes on and you take or drink more and more, your tolerance goes up and you need to consume more in order to satisfy the craving.
And the more you consume, the greater the risk of physical and psychological damage. The impacts of substance abuse can range from strokes to cancer, and it can wreak havoc on existing mental health issues such as depression or anxiety and in severe cases it can even bring these problems on.
And this is all without even mentioning the damage it can do to your personal life. It is not uncommon for addiction to interfere with work, potentially endangering your job and financial security, and all too often victims of substance dependency lose romantic partners, friends or even family members as a result of the changes to their behaviour.
It is not easy to overcome a drug or alcohol addiction. Depending on the nature of the substance taken, weaning yourself off use can even be dangerous- withdrawal symptoms can be painful and sometimes even life-threatening. But you do not need to go through the process alone.
What we do
At Addiction Advocates, we are dedicated to helping addicts overcome their dependency and achieve a long term recovery.
We work with a wide range of excellent drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres across the country, and it is our job to find the clinic and treatment programme that is best suited to help you in your battle.
You can get in touch with us at any time- all it takes is a phone call. We operate a 24 hour helpline so that we are always available.
Our specialised team of experts will always be there to provide help and advice regarding nearby rehab places for drug and alcohol addiction, and they can get you in touch with your chosen facility.
What to expect once you are at a clinic
The idea of going to rehab can be daunting and frightening, and we fully understand that. To help put your mind a little at ease and give you an idea of what to expect once we refer you to a clinic, here is a rough idea of what a stay at a residential addiction treatment centre might look like.
It is important to remember that every patient will have a different experience- not every treatment programme will work for everyone- but there are a few standard things to expect.
The first part of a stay at private drug and alcohol rehab will invariably be drug and alcohol detoxification. This is the bit that most people will probably think of when it comes to rehab, and it is arguably the most important part of your journey to recovery.
This is the time in which your body will metabolise and get rid of all the alcohol and drugs in your system. This process can be over surprisingly quickly, depending on the substance. Addictions to opioids like heroin are extremely dangerous, but it generally only takes a few hours for the body to flush these drugs out of the system.
The difficult part is actually dealing with the withdrawal that comes on once your body is empty of the toxic substances. Withdrawal symptoms, like the damage substance misuse, can do to the body, manifest both physically and psychologically and can in the extremes pose a serious threat to your wellbeing.
In the best-case scenario, you might experience discomfort in the form of headaches, stomach cramps and general feelings of unease. In the worst-case scenario, you might experience seizures and hallucinations.
This is why it is best to undergo detoxification in a specialised facility under the care of medical professionals. It will always be scary, and hard, there is no getting around that, unfortunately.
But at a clinic, you will be in the safest possible environment, and you will have constant access to support of the highest quality.
Once the toxins have been flushed from your body you will undergo a range of holistic treatments aimed at drug and alcohol relapse prevention.
Detox is only the first part of the process- once you are drug and alcohol-free, you will still feel the cravings and it is critical that you know how to deal with these urges in a safe and healthy manner in order to avoid falling into the trap of addiction once again.
These mental health treatments and support will generally occur in the form of therapy or counselling. There are a number of different options available, the most common being cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT for short.
CBT is a talking therapy, once that enables you to approach big problems rationally and calmly, reducing the risk of you turning back to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Other therapies, such as art therapy, can allow you to explore your negative thoughts and feelings without delving too deeply into them verbally.
This can be very helpful if the thought of speaking about your problems is frightening to you. Alternatively, you might take part in counselling (either one on one or as part of a group) to thoroughly explore the root causes of your addiction and address the pre-existing problems in your life as a method of relapse prevention.
There is no one singular path to recovery, every patient is different, so the exact route you take will very much depend on your own individual circumstances. But rest assured, there will be a clinic with the right resources to help you.
There is no point in suffering alone. We are here to help, at any time. Make use of our hotline, and we will get you in touch with a rehabilitation centre nearby and set you off on the way to a full, lasting recovery.