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Explaining Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a disease that causes long term changes in the brain that's characterized by an uncontrollable urge to seek out and use drugs despite knowledge of all the harmful consequences. Some people whose brain functions have been altered by drugs display some anti-social mannerisms. Substance dependency is also a relapsing illness. Relapse is the reoccurrence to drug use after an endeavour to stop.


The road to substance dependency starts with voluntarily using substances. However, the mental strength to decide whether to use drugs or not is eroded with time. Looking for and taking the drugs gets to be distinctly compulsive. The major cause of this it how long term drug exposure alters brain activity. Dependence influences parts of the mind required in reward and inspiration, learning and memory plus control over conduct.

The workings of the human brain, coupled with human behaviour are altered by addiction.


Is There Treatment For Drug Dependency?

There is, but it is a long journey. Drug dependency is a long-time illness from which it is not possible to quit at will and remain clean. Most users require repeated or long-term care to quit using it altogether and get their lives back.


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Dependency treatment must assist the individual to achieve the following

  • stop using the substances
  • abstain from drugs
  • achieve more productivity in the society in general and in the family and workplace in particular

Essentials Of Successful Treatment

According to scientific research conducted since the mid-1970s, the essential principles listed below should be the foundation of all successful treatment programmes

  • Dependence is a complex yet treatable sickness that influences brain capacity and behaviour.
  • There is no particular treatment that is fitting for all.
  • Treatment should be made available to people whenever they need it.
  • Treatment deals with more than just drug use, addressing all of the patient's needs.
  • It's important to remain in treatment long enough.
  • The prevalently applied types of treatment include counselling and some other therapies that centre on behaviours.
  • When medications are administered in conjunction with behavioural therapies, they form a valuable part of the treatment.
  • In order to accommodate the needs of the patient, treatment methods must be appraised with changes in the patient's needs.
  • Other possible mental disorders should be considered during treatment.
  • The first stage, medically assisted detoxification, is only the beginning of treatment.
  • Involuntary treatment for addiction can also be effective.
  • Drug usage amid treatment must be observed constantly.
  • Treatment projects ought to test patients for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and different chronic infections in addition show them about strides they can go for broke of these illnesses.

How Is Drug Addiction Treated?

Effective treatment consists of several steps

  • Detoxification (the way a body is cleaned of toxins and drug residue)
  • behavioural counselling
  • medication (for tobacco, opioid, or alcohol addiction)
  • Making sure that coexisting mental health issues like depression or anxiety are evaluated and treated
  • long haul follow-up to forestall backslide

Great results can be realised with the customised medical care plan and support services.


During the rehabilitation, both physical and psychological issues are treated. Often, community or family based recovery groups or support systems are used as part of follow up care.


How Drug Addiction Treatment Incorporates Medications?

Managing withdrawal symptoms, preventing relapse, and treating coexisting conditions are accomplished through medication use.

  • Withdrawal Medicines help in decreasing withdrawal side effects amidst detoxification. Detoxification is not in itself "treatment," rather just the initial phase all the while. Patients who only go through detoxification and don't have any additional treatment typically relapse back into drug use. As revealed by a study of treatment facilities, 80% of the cases of detoxification involved medications (SAMHSA, 2014).
  • Preventing Relapse Medicines used in the detoxing programme help the brain to restore to its normal functions easier and stop the desire for the drug. Medications are accessible for management of opioid (heroin, prescription pain relievers), tobacco (nicotine), and alcohol dependence. Drugs that can counter the effects of enhancing (uppers) like (cocaine, crystal meth) and cannabis (marijuana) are being developed by scientists. It's really common for addicts to use more than one drug and they will need treatment for each substance.

How Are Behavioural Therapies Used To Treat Drug Addiction?

Patients are helped by behavioural therapy with

  • Change their behaviour toward and the way the think about their drug use
  • increase wholesome life skills
  • Endure with different types of treatment, for example, medication

Patients can get treatment in a wide range of settings with different approaches.

Outpatient treatment is an option where a wide range of programs are available for patients who continue to visit behavioural health professionals regularly. There are therapy sessions that a patient is alone with the counsellor and others that utilise group therapy, sometimes a patient may attend both types.


Different types of behavioural therapy are dished out by these programs, and they include

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy, which teaches patients how to recognize, avoid, and deal with any situation that will make them more likely to use drugs
  • Multidimensional family therapy, which is for teenage addicts and their families to understand all of the factors influencing the patterns of drug abuse and works on improving the family's ability to function
  • Motivational interviewing, which takes full advantage of the patient's readiness to change and willingness to enter treatment
  • contingency management (motivational incentives), which makes use of positive reinforcement to motivate refraining from substances

At first, treatment can be as intensive as multiple outpatient sessions every week. After the intensive treatment is complete, patients move on to regular outpatient treatment to help maintain their recovery by continuing to meet weekly but for fewer hours.


Inpatient or private treatment can likewise be extremely compelling, particularly for those with more serious issues (including co-happening conditions). The around the clock care available at residential rehabilitation centres includes safe boarding facilities and close monitoring of patients. An inpatient treatment facility can make use of different therapeutic approaches and they are usually aimed at assisting patients to lead a substance-free, crime-free life after completing the treatment.


Residential treatment setting samples

  • A therapeutic community that is a very structured programme in which a patient stays at a residence, usually for 6 months to a year. The behaviours, understanding and attitude of the addict towards drugs is affected by the whole community, which involves the staff that offer the treatment and those recovering from addiction, as they take up the role of change agents.
  • Residential treatment that is shorter term usually focuses on detoxification and beginning focused therapy in preparation for follow up in a community based setting.
  • Recovery housing that offers supervised, short-term accommodation for a patient, frequently after other kinds of inpatient/residential treatment. The recovery housing programme provides a bridge for the patients between the long term inpatient facility and re-joining the society; patients are helped to prepare for life on the outside by enabling them to look for jobs and learn how to take care and budget their money.

Challenges Of Re-Entry

Drug misuse changes the capacity of the mind and numerous things can "trigger" drug longings inside the brain. It's basic for those in treatment, particularly those treated at an inpatient centre or jail, to figure out how to identify, ignore and adapt to triggers they are probably going to be presented to after treatment.