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Getting Help - Treatment

Defining 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. Drug dependency is a degenerative illness. Relapse is returning to a habit of drug use after a serious attempt to stop using.


The way to drug dependence starts with the wilful act of using drugs. However, over time, it becomes increasingly difficult for the person not to do so. The need to obtain and consume the drug becomes a driving force. This unrelenting craving results from the effects of the drug on the brain over time. Dependency affects regions of the brain that are involved in learning and memory; motivation and reward; and command over behaviour.

Addiction is a sickness that influences both the mind and conduct.


Is Drug Addiction Treatable?

It can, however it is hard. Since addiction is a chronic ailment, individuals can't just quit utilizing drugs for a couple days and be treated. Most patients need long haul or rehashed care to quit utilizing totally and recoup their lives.


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Enslavement treatment must help the individual to the accompanying:

  • Stopping to require using the drug
  • Remaining drug-free
  • be profitable in the family, at work and in the public arena

Principles Behind Effective Treatment

Ongoing scientific research since the 1970s has shown that the following basic principles should be the basis of any effective course of treatment:

  • Dependence is a complex yet treatable sickness that influences brain capacity and behaviour.
  • No cure-all treatment plan fits everybody.
  • Individuals must be able to access treatment quickly.
  • Viable treatment addresses the greater part of the patient's needs, not only his or her drug intake.
  • It is extremely important to remain under treatment for a very long period of time.
  • The prevalently applied types of treatment include counselling and some other therapies that centre on behaviours.
  • Behavioural therapies are often combined with medications, which are another important aspect of therapy.
  • A treatment plan must be evaluated frequently and adapted to suit the changing requirements of the patient.
  • Treatment ought to address other conceivable mental problems.
  • The first step during treatment involves detoxification that is overseen by medical personnel.
  • The treatment does not rely on the volition of the patient to yield positive fruits.
  • Medical personnel must supervise any medications taken during the rehab period.
  • The treatment programs must ensure that patients are tested for tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, and other infectious ailments, while they should also be informed about the best way to avoid contacting those.

What Steps Are Involved In Treating Addiction?

Effective treatment comprises many steps:

  • detoxification (the process through which drug is expelled from the body)
  • Behavioural advising
  • medication (for tobacco, opioid, or alcohol addiction)
  • Diagnosis and management mental illness associated with drug addiction such as hopelessness and nervousness
  • long haul follow-up to forestall backslide

A variety of care with a customised treatment programme and follow-up options can be key to being successful.


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 Are Medications Used In Drug Addiction Treatment?

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

  • Withdrawal During rehab, taking some prescription drugs assists in reducing withdrawal reactions. Detoxification is only an initial stage in the process; it is not a "treatment" on its own. Patients normally go back to the use of drugs if their treatment is not continued after detoxification. As revealed by a study of treatment facilities, 80% of the cases of detoxification involved medications (SAMHSA, 2014).
  • Preventing Relapse Medications can help manage cravings and help patients re-establish normal brain activity. Various medicines are used for narcotics (pain killers), tobacco (nicotine) and alcohol dependency. Scientists are also currently developing additional medications to treat addiction to marijuana and stimulants, like cocaine and methamphetamines. Users of multi drugs to fully recover must be treated for each one.

What About Behavioural Therapies And Drug Addiction

Patients are assisted by behavioural therapies to:

  • Change their behaviour toward and the way the think about their drug use
  • develop life skills that are healthy
  • Keep going with other forms of treatment, like medication and support groups

Treatment is available to patients in many different types of locations which use various methods.

Outpatient behavioural treatment comprises a big range of programmes for patients who go to a behavioural health counsellor regularly. Individual and group therapy, or a combination of both are involved in most treatment programs.


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

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy used to help the patient identify trigger circumstances where they are most vulnerable to taking the drugs and how to avoid them and move on to overcome the addiction
  • 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 gets most of the addicts disposed to work on their behaviour and commence treatment
  • motivational incentives (contingency management), where abstinence from drugs is rewarded and motivated with positive reinforcements

Treatment is at times strenuous initially, where a patient attends many outpatient sessions weekly. 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.


For a patient with severe problems, including coexisting conditions, inpatient or residential treatment is very effective. A licensed inpatient treatment centre provides round-the-clock, structured and comprehensive care, that includes safe accommodation as well as medical attention. Several approaches to therapies that are mainly designed to assist the patients to achieve a life that is free of drugs and crime after treatment are applied by residential treatment facilities.


Some examples of inpatient treatment environments are:

  • Therapeutic communities which are exceedingly organised programs in which patients stay at a home, normally for 6 to 12 months. The whole group, including treatment staff and those in recuperation, approach as key specialists of progress, affecting the patient's states of mind, comprehension and practices related with drug utilisation.
  • Shorter-term residential treatment, where detoxification is done and the patient prepared for community based treatment through preliminary intensive counselling.
  • Recovery housing, which is normally an aftermath of inpatient or residential treatment, and where patients are given limited term housing under an expert watch. Recovery housing can assist a person to complete the changeover to an independent life-for example, assisting him/her learn how to tackle finances or look for a job, as well as linking them to the community's support services.

Challenges Of Re-Entry

Substance abuse alters the functioning of the brain, and several things can activate a craving for the substance within the brain. It is key for patients in treatment, particularly those treated at prison or inpatient facilities, to learn how to identify, steer clear of, and deal with triggers that they are most likely to experience after treatment.