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Getting Help - Treatment

Defining 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. It's also easy to relapse back into drug addiction. Relapse is returning to a habit of drug use after a serious attempt to stop using.


The road to substance dependency starts with voluntarily using substances. However, as time passes, an individual's ability to decide not to use drugs weakens. The desire to search for and make use of drugs will now rely on a very huge urge. This is mainly because of the effects of long-term substance exposure on the functioning of the brain. The parts of the brain messed up by the drug dependency are the ones dealing with recompense and inspiration, knowledge and recollection, and responsible actions.

Addiction influences both behaviour and the brain.


Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?

It could, but through a complicated process. It is not possible for people to overcome drug addiction simply by abstaining from drug use for some days, because drug addiction is chronic. Many of those under treatment need it over a long time or for the rest of their lives.


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Dependency treatment must assist the individual to achieve the following:

  • quit utilising drugs
  • stay drug free
  • be a productive member at work, in society and in the family

Values Of Successful Rehabilitation

In light of logical research since the mid-1970s, the accompanying key standards ought to frame the premise of any compelling treatment program:

  • Dependence is a complex yet treatable sickness that influences brain capacity and 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.
  • Psychological and other behaviour remedies are used in treating the habit.
  • Medications are regularly an imperative component of treatment, particularly when consolidated with behavioural therapies.
  • A treatment plan must be evaluated frequently and adapted to suit the changing requirements of the patient.
  • Other possible mental disorders should be considered during treatment.
  • Medically assisted detoxification is just the very first step of the treatment.
  • For treatment to be successful, it does not need to be voluntary.
  • When in treatment, possible drug use must be constantly monitored.
  • People who use drugs easily contact communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and others and as such, they should be tested so that their treatment can be taken into account during rehabilitation.

How Drug Dependency Is Treated?

Rewarding treatment has a few stages:

  • Detoxification (the way a body is cleaned of toxins and drug residue)
  • behavioural counselling
  • medication for addictions to opioids, tobacco, or alcohol
  • assessment and treatment for any co-occurring mental health concerns like anxiety and depression
  • Relapse prevention through long-term check-ups

A scope of care with a custom-made treatment program and follow-up choices can be pivotal for achievement.


Both medical and mental health treatment should be utilized as needed. Often, community or family based recovery groups or support systems are used as part of follow up care.


How Are Meds Utilised As A Part Of Drug Compulsion Treatment?

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

  • Withdrawal During a detox, medication can assist in suppressing withdrawal symptoms. Cleansing the body is not the same as treatment, it only the beginning of the journey. Patients normally go back to the use of drugs if their treatment is not continued after detoxification. One research of treatment centres found that drugs were utilized as a part of just about 80 percent of detoxifications (SAMHSA, 2014).
  • Relapse Prevention 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. Researchers are creating different solutions to manage stimulant (cocaine, methamphetamine) and cannabis (marijuana) dependence Users of multi drugs to fully recover must be treated for each one.

How Are Behavioural Therapies Used To Treat Drug Addiction?

Psychotherapy assists addicts to:

  • change his/her behaviour and attitude related to the substance use
  • develop life skills that are healthy
  • carry on with other kinds of treatment, like medication

A patient can get treatment in several different environments using 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 helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs
  • 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, that makes the most of a person's willingness to alter their behaviour and start treatment
  • motivational incentives (contingency management), where abstinence from drugs is rewarded and motivated with positive reinforcements

Initially, a patient will receive many hours of treatment and will have to frequently attend clinical sessions if they opted for the outpatient therapies. 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. 24-hour planned and organised care system, coupled with proper medical care and safe housing are given in residential treatment facilities that are licensed. 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.


Cases of residential treatment settings include:

  • Therapeutic communities which are exceedingly organised programs in which patients stay at a home, normally for 6 to 12 months. The entire community, comprising treatment employees and patients in recovery, act as essential agents of change, affecting the patient's understanding, attitude, as well as conduct linked with substance use.
  • Shorter-term residential treatment, where detoxification is done and the patient prepared for community based treatment through preliminary intensive counselling.
  • There are also recovery housing services aimed at giving a patient a place to stay in the short term as they recuperate from treatment in other establishments. 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.

Coping With Joining The Community

Substance abuse alters the functioning of the brain, and several things can activate a craving for the substance within 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.