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What Is Drug Addiction?

Substance dependency is a chronic illness that is identified by uncontrollable substance seeking and use, regardless of the harmful effects and alterations in the brain that can be permanent. Some people whose brain functions have been altered by drugs display some anti-social mannerisms. Substance dependency is also a relapsing illness. Relapsing is when a person starts to use drugs again after he/she attempted to quit.


The road to substance dependency starts with voluntarily using substances. However, over time, it becomes increasingly difficult for the person not to do so. 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. Dependency affects regions of the brain that are involved in learning and memory; motivation and reward; and command over behaviour.

Drug dependency is an illness that alters both brain functions and actions.


Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?

Yes, yet it's not simple. 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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An addict in treatment must work toward the following

  • Stop taking drugs
  • Remaining drug-free
  • achieve more productivity in the society in general and in the family and workplace in particular

Standards Of Effective Treatment

These principles must be involved, if any efficient treatment program must be arrived at, as opined by several scientific researches since mid-1970s

  • Though addiction is very complicated, it could heal completely, and it affects the workings of the human brain and human behaviour.
  • No single treatment is appropriate for everybody.
  • Individuals need fast access to treatment.
  • Viable treatment addresses the greater part of the patient's needs, not only his or her drug intake.
  • It's important to remain in treatment long enough.
  • The most common forms of treatment are behaviour therapies like counselling.
  • Medications are regularly an imperative component of treatment, particularly when consolidated with behavioural therapies.
  • To make sure the user's most current requirements are met, there is a need for continuous evaluations and adjustments to the treatment regime.
  • Other possible mental disorders should be considered during treatment.
  • The cleansing administered by medical personnel is the beginning step of the journey.
  • For treatment to be successful, it does not need to be voluntary.
  • Medical personnel must supervise any medications taken during the rehab period.
  • 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 comprises many steps

  • medical detoxification, when the body physically rids itself of the drug
  • behavioural counselling
  • treatment (for opioid, tobacco, or alcohol addiction)
  • evaluation and treatment for mental health issues like anxiety and depression that co-occur with addiction
  • long-term after treatment care to avoid relapse

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


Depending on the level of need, mental health services should be added to the medical aspect of any treatment. Follow-up care may comprise group or family-based recuperation supportive networks.


How Are Medications Used In Drug Addiction Treatment?

Administered under professional supervision, prescription medicines are used to help the patient ease into a life without the effects of the drug, stop cravings and manage associated ailments.

  • Withdrawal During the detoxification process, medication helps suppress the physical reactions. Cleansing the body is not the same as treatment, it only the beginning of the journey. A patient who does not get any additional treatment after completing a detox generally continue their substance use. One research of treatment centres found that drugs were utilized as a part of just about 80 percent of detoxifications (SAMHSA, 2014).
  • Preventing Relapse The cravings for drugs can be lowered and normal brain functions restored in the patients with the help of medications. Various medicines are used for narcotics (pain killers), tobacco (nicotine) and alcohol dependency. Medications that could be used in treating cannabis (marijuana) and stimulant (cocaine, methamphetamine) addiction are being developed by scientists at present. It's really common for addicts to use more than one drug and they will need treatment for each substance.

Behavioural Therapies - How Are They Employed To Treat Drug Dependency?

Patients are helped by behavioural therapy with

  • change their character and disposition towards the use of drugs
  • Adopt healthier psychosocial competency
  • Continue with varying forms of treatment like medication

There are a lot of settings and approaches for patients who are seeking treatment.

Outpatient behavioural treatment incorporates a wide assortment of projects for patients who visit a behavioural health counsellor on a fixed schedule. 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.


These programmes usually provide types of behavioural therapy like

  • cognitive-behavioural therapy, that assists a patient to identify, steer clear of, and deal with the circumstances in which he/she is most probable to resort to substances
  • multidimensional family therapy - designed for teenagers suffering drug addiction and their relatives - which considers several factors that contribute to their drug addiction, with the intention of affecting the functioning of the family in a positive manner
  • Motivational interviewing has been used to prepare a patient to accept their problem and wants to change their actions by seeking help
  • Motivational incentives that work by positively reinforcing like rewards to help the patient's urge for drugs reduce

Initially, a patient will receive many hours of treatment and will have to frequently attend clinical sessions if they opted for the outpatient therapies. With the detox behind them, the patient is then able to start standard treatment regime coming in for therapy a few hours weekly to make sure they do not relapse.


For people with problems of high severity (plus co-occurring disorders), residential or inpatient programs will have better effects. The around the clock care available at residential rehabilitation centres includes safe boarding facilities and close monitoring of patients. At the inpatient rehab centres, various treatment procedures are employed all for the benefit of the patient to help them attain a drug-free life void of crime.


Benefits of taking an inpatient treatment programme

  • A therapeutic community that is a very structured programme in which a patient stays at a residence, usually for 6 months to a year. Everybody at the facility, whether caregivers or administrators and fellow patients play a role in the recovery of the patient helping them cope with the changes and challenges of withdrawal.
  • Shorter-term residential treatment, which ordinarily concentrates on detoxification and also giving early extensive counselling and readiness for treatment in a community based setting.
  • Short term, supervised housing for patients called recovery housing is sometimes utilized after residential treatment. People can move onto independent life through recovery housing - it assists them for example to learn financial management or job hunting, while linking them to community based support groups.

Coping With Joining The Community

Habitual intake of drugs alters the normal functions of the brain, and various things can cause one to have a burning desire to take the drugs. 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.