Links

Drug and Alcohol Recovery – Find How to Beat Addiction

At every NHS hospital in the country, you’ll find groups of people working their way through drug and alcohol recovery. The same goes for private rehab clinics and alcohol and drug charities working as hard as ever to help those in need. The sad reality is that we have a big drug and alcohol problem here in the UK. Yet it is not an issue we can do nothing about. Drugs and alcohol, as difficult as they might be, present challenges we can overcome if we utilise the right tools.

On a more personal note, you can overcome your own drug or alcohol problem with the right kind of treatment and a strong support system. Millions have already done so; you can too. Your recovery starts by contacting us and speaking to one of our fully trained counsellors about your problems. Let us help you figure out where you currently are so that we can recommend appropriate treatment for you.

The Stages of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

We’ve seen statistics over the years suggesting that as many as 7% of Great Britain’s adults show signs of alcohol dependence. Other statistics indicate an alarming rate of drug use among teenagers and pre-teens. But how accurate are these numbers? No one really knows because so much of what happens is never reported. Making matters worse is the reality that the drug and alcohol abuse is a multi-stage process that develops over time. Quantifying the number of people struggling with drugs or alcohol is, therefore, impossible.

What about you? Perhaps you decided to visit our website because you have an unshakable feeling that your drug or alcohol use is out of control. Or maybe you know someone who seems to be teetering on the edge of addiction. In either case, it is important for you to know the various stages of drug and alcohol abuse before we go any further.

Clinicians may have differences of opinion over individual classifications, but the generally accepted stages of drug and alcohol abuse are as follows:

  • Substance Misuse – Misuse is any use of drugs or alcohol outside the boundaries of social norms or government guidelines. For example, drinking more than two units of alcohol per day exceeds government recommendations and would, therefore, be considered misuse. Another example of misuse would be using prescription medications more frequently than instructed by a doctor.
  • Substance Abuse – The next stage is the abuse stage. An alcohol or drug abuser routinely exceeds social norms and/or government recommendations for alcohol or drugs. Using alcohol as an example, a person who drinks several units of alcohol every day would be considered an abuser. Binge drinkers are also abusers – even if their binging is confined to weekends. The same standards can be applied to drug use.
  • Substance Addiction – The third and final stage is addiction. The thing about addiction is that it is not as arbitrary as the first two stages. In fact, addiction has a very strict clinical definition. A person is addicted to drugs or alcohol when the body and mind cannot function normally without them. Another name for this condition is dependence.

The multi-stage process of drug and alcohol abuse should make it clear that addiction is something that develops over time. A person does not start taking drugs today and wakes up tomorrow as an addict. Clearly, some drugs lead to addiction more quickly than others, but no one becomes an addict overnight.

How Drug and Alcohol Recovery Works

Just like substance abuse is a multi-stage process that starts with misuse and ends in addiction, recovering from drugs or alcohol involves numerous stages. We wish we could say that addiction can be conquered overnight, but we can’t. What we can say is that any drug or alcohol abuser can recover if there is a willingness to do so. It is a matter of finding the right treatment and support.

Recovering from a clinically diagnosed addiction is a five-step process as follows:

Step #1: Admitting a Problem Exists

Before recovery can begin, a person must first recognise and admit that a problem exists. This fundamental truth is easy for outsiders to understand, but often those in the throes of addiction seem unable to come to terms with reality. That’s why it’s often said that admitting an addiction is the hardest part of recovery. We agree.

If you are willing to at least contact us and talk about your problem, you are on your way toward taking this first step. If we do talk and determine that you are not addicted to drugs or alcohol, then we can set your mind at ease and point you in the direction of a treatment programme that will help you avoid addiction.

Step #2: Agreeing to Undergo Treatment

If admitting an addiction exists is the hardest step, close behind in second is agreeing to undergo treatment. Again, drugs and alcohol cloud the thinking so that the addict is not able to see things clearly. He or she may mistakenly believe that treatment is unnecessary; that stopping is a simple matter of willpower.

If you know you have a problem you must agree to undergo treatment before complete recovery can be achieved. You need help. That’s okay.

Step #3: Medically Supervised Detox

Though there are some exceptions to the rule, most drug and alcohol addicts need to undergo medically supervised detox in order to allow their bodies to begin the cleansing and healing process. Medically supervised detox can be completed in 7 to 10 days, and may include prescription medications that make withdrawal symptom management easier. We recommend not attempting to detox from drugs or alcohol without medical supervision.

Step #4: Psychotherapeutic Treatment

Detox breaks the addict’s physical dependence on drugs or alcohol by separating that person from his or her substances of choice. But what about the mental and emotional aspects of addiction? They are the domain of psychotherapeutic treatment.

The psychotherapeutic treatments offered by our rehab clinic partners are mainly counselling therapies that help those in recovery understand the mechanism behind addiction and ways to avoid it in the future. Treatment can take the form of one-on-one counselling, group counselling, support group work, and so on. From time to time, therapists may incorporate others elements like music, art, equine therapy, diet and nutrition, and exercise.

Step #5: Aftercare and Reintegration

The final step in drug and alcohol recovery is aftercare and reintegration. Aftercare is a collection of services designed to pick up where formal treatment leaves off. It also includes ongoing counselling and support group participation. If necessary, aftercare can include prescription medications that may help the person in recovery avoid relapse.

As for reintegration, it is usually a process that begins in the final weeks of formal treatment and extends to a few weeks after the recovering addict leaves the treatment centre. It usually involves family members who also need to learn their role in preventing relapse. Treatment providers may include family counselling, job training, and other services in their reintegration programmes.

Where to Get Treatment

It has been our experience that the best kind of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is private treatment offered in a residential setting. While the NHS does the best it can with drug and alcohol recovery, it does not have the time or resources to fully devote to those in need. Private clinics do.

A private clinic is the best place to receive drug or alcohol treatment in a controlled setting that is both medically supervised and very conducive to total recovery. In light of this, residential treatment tends to be more productive than its outpatient counterpart. Residential treatment separates the recovering addict from the daily routine while encouraging him/her to concentrate all of his/her energies on getting well.

Our role as a free and confidential referral service is to connect our clients with the treatment provider best suited to individual needs. We maintain an updated database of treatment providers throughout the UK, so it’s quite likely we can help you locate treatment in your local area.

If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, the time to do something about it is right now. Drug and alcohol recovery starts by contacting us and speaking with one of our trained counsellors. The sooner you make that contact, the sooner you can start on your own journey to recovery from drugs or alcohol.

Remember this: your life and future are what you make it. Do not let the rest of your life be controlled by drugs or alcohol. Rather, let us help you find the support and treatment you need to take your life back once and for all. There is a new and substance-free life waiting for you. You just have to step up and seize it.