Substance misuse is a serious problem throughout the UK and West Yorkshire is certainly no exception. Problem drinking and drug use can give rise to dependence and that can turn into a cycle that is almost impossible to break free from without the right help.

The damage that drug or alcohol addiction can do

Addiction to alcohol or drugs can do huge amounts of damage to your health, life and relationships. Every year, thousands of people die from alcohol poisoning or drug overdose and even more suffer from life-shortening and debilitating conditions connected to their drinking or drug use.

The physical impact of addiction can vary depending on the individual and the substance involved but could include things like:

  • Liver disease
  • Some types of cancer
  • Dental problems
  • Increased vulnerability to infection
  • Heart disease
  • HIV and hepatitis C from shared needles
  • Brain damage

In addition, drug and alcohol misuse is linked to a wide range of psychological and mental health problems. The relationship between addiction and mental health is a complex one. They can both feed off each other but there’s certainly no doubting that people with addiction issues also have a higher rate of problems such as depression, anxiety and paranoia.

As well as the physical and psychological toll that addiction has on the individual, it can also be damaging for people around them, including family and other loved ones. Addiction often goes hand in hand with deceptive and self-destructive behaviour and can put a huge strain on relationships at home and at work.

Finally, addiction can have a serious impact on the wider society around you. It can lead to violence, crime and antisocial behaviour and costs the NHS huge amounts of money each year. West Yorkshire Police highlight the particular link between illegal drugs and serious organised crime. Even if you believe that taking drugs is ‘victimless’ and affects only you, you could also be indirectly funding and enabling activities such as child criminal exploitation, child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and modern slavery.


Why addiction is so difficult to break free from

Heavy and prolonged use of drugs including alcohol – which is, after all, simply a legal drug – can change the way that your brain works. Specifically, it can alter parts of the brain that deal with pleasure and reward. The high or pleasurable feelings that you get from using the substance are short-lived and this becomes even more marked as your tolerance to the drug grows. Eventually, you may find yourself needing to use more and more of the substance to get the same effect, or eventually just to feel normal. At the same time the pleasure you take from other things – food, sex, relationships and activities – can start to fade as your craving for the drug takes over.

Addiction is characterised by this constant craving and a compulsion to continue using the substance. An addict will continue to do so even when they know there may be negative consequences.

All this can lead to addiction taking an iron grip that is almost impossible to break free of without expert help.


How rehab in West Yorkshire can help

Thankfully, even the most serious or longstanding addictions can be treated and dedicated drug and alcohol treatment centres give you the best chance of getting clean and staying that way. Drug rehab UK centres use an evidence-based approach and will typically offer a range of treatment options that have been proven to be effective.

This will usually feature a supervised detox clinic that will help you to flush the drugs or alcohol out of your system. Some people do come to rehab without having recently drank or taken drugs but the process also involves working through the withdrawal symptoms that inevitably come along with it. These can be severe and the recovering addict may require medical supervision and other support. Detox is a critical part of any journey towards recovery and it is much more likely to be successful if undertaken in a safe and secure environment with professional help and support.

The detoxification process is very important but it is only one part of the journey. It’s also crucial that you are able to stay clean and sober once you leave the treatment programmes provided in drug rehab clinics and return to everyday life. This means providing you with the tools, knowledge and information you need to avoid relapsing – or to deal with a relapse and get past it if it does occur.

This knowledge and these tools can come from a range of treatment options and therapies. These will usually involve traditional talking therapies such as group therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and one to one counselling. A holistic treatment service may also involve alternative or complementary treatments such as art therapy, music therapy, mindfulness and meditation.

How long you stay in rehab can depend on a range of factors. The shortest programmes might only incorporate the detox while a 28-day rehab package will include the different therapies and could be considered to be fairly standard. Some programmes are considerably longer however and there may be aftercare services available on an outpatient basis. Rehab centres will also be able to put you in touch with support groups, charities and other relevant resources that can help you to make a long term recovery.

Make a positive move today

Addictions only tend to get worse over time, as your dependency grows and your tolerance to alcohol or drugs increases. The longer you leave a problem unchecked, the more chance there is of you causing serious damage – to your mental and physical health, relationships, finances, work and other areas of your life.

If you think you could benefit from everything that a high-quality rehab has to offer, get in touch today to find out how we can help.