The term ‘drug addiction’ for many may conjure up images of people down dark alleyways injecting harmful substances such as heroin, but this is not always how this illness presents. In fact, many individuals struggle with drug addiction behind closed doors. Many of these are people struggling with addictions to substances such as prescription medication.
Even those who do develop addictions to illegal substances may not always show signs that would indicate there is a problem with anyone other than those closest to them. The truth is that drug addiction can affect absolutely anyone. It is not an illness that is restricted to a specific type of person and it is certainly not something that only affects users of illegal drugs.
Nevertheless, the reality is that the only thing all drug addicts have in common is a need for treatment to get better. But what is drug treatment like? Moreover, if you are a sufferer, is your perception of it preventing you from reaching out for help?
Do You Need Drug Treatment?
Many people never get the help they need for drug addiction. Frequently this is because they are in denial about their problem and are unwilling to admit that they need any sort of help. This often happens in those who have developed a physical dependence on medication prescribed by their doctor.
The very idea of being classed as a drug addict when they have never touched an illegal drug is one that most people struggle to come to terms with. Some prefer to do nothing and hope their situation will resolve itself.
Others will not reach out for treatment because they are worried about what it will be like. They have an idea that it is going to be too hard and that there is no point in getting treatment if they are just going to end up back in the cycle of addiction again at a later date.
With so many misconceptions surrounding drug addiction, it is hardly surprising that countless individuals are not getting the help they need. However, that being said, it is worth pointing out that without treatment, most people’s illness just gets worse.
Whether you use prescription medication or illegal drugs, it is important to consider that your use may now be out of your control and that you might need help to overcome and get better. You should know that addiction is not about the substance you are using and how often you use it; it is about how much control you have over your use of it.
If you have found that you are taking more of your medication than you were advised to by a doctor, or more recreational drugs than you used to take, it is likely that the reason for this is an increased tolerance. This happens when the body gets used to a substance and produces fewer feel-good chemicals in response. The result of this is that you do not feel as if you are getting the same effects as before. You may, therefore, be tempted to take more medication or drugs to achieve these desired feelings.
If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the effects of the drug wear off, this is typically a sign of a physical dependence. It is important therefore that you seek out help as soon as possible.
Getting Help for a Drug Addiction
The issue of what is drug treatment like is one that gets in the way for many people. Some have an idea of what it means to enter a rehabilitation clinic and assume it is a process that involves a lot of pain and suffering.
Drug treatment does not have to be a painful process. With the right help and support, you can overcome your illness without too much hardship. That being said, you should be aware that some elements of a treatment programme may be uncomfortable – both mentally and physically.
Drug addiction is a complex illness and so overcoming it takes time and patience. There are a number of stages in the process, and the first is a drug detox. This is usually the biggest stumbling block. It is the most physically challenging part of treatment for a drug addiction, and the one that most people fear the most.
A drug detox is initiated when you quit the substance to which you have been addicted. Once your body realises that no more chemicals are arriving, it will start the healing process. Detox happens naturally, but for your safety and comfort, it is recommended that it take place in a dedicated detox facility under the care and supervision of experienced and fully trained staff.
What is Detox Like
If you have ever wondered what drug treatment is like, you will also be interested to know more about detox. How your detox progresses will usually depend on the type of substance you are using, how often you use it and how severe your addiction is. Various drugs cause different symptoms, and your own health and age may also affect the type and severity of the symptoms that you experience.
For most people, a drug detox lasts for around one to two weeks. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and although most will have resolved after a week or two, there may be some that linger for many months. With some drugs, you may experience periodical cravings from time to time, but with a programme of rehabilitation, you will learn how to deal with these.
In a detox facility, the withdrawal symptoms can be effectively managed. Staff may be able to prescribe medication to help ease or prevent the symptoms, and they will know how to make you more comfortable throughout the process.
What about Rehab?
When detox is completed, the next stage of the treatment process can begin. Rehabilitation addresses the psychological issues associated with addiction. With the help of professional counsellors and therapists using a variety of techniques, you will learn what caused your illness in the first place.
When you know the reason for your addictive behaviour, you can then work on ways of avoiding a return to it in the future. During rehab, you will be taught relapse prevention techniques as well as work and life skills that can be utilised on your return to normal, everyday life.
You will have a choice of either inpatient or outpatient treatment to tackle your drug addiction. If you have a severe addiction, you may decide that residential treatment is the best choice as this will allow you to get away from the temptations associated with your normal life.
Inpatient programmes tend to take place in private residential clinics, and in such a facility you would spend a number of weeks in an environment that is calm, supportive, and free from distractions. Here you can fully focus on recovery without worrying about other issues.
Nevertheless, inpatient programmes are not right for everyone. There are some individuals who cannot be away from home for prolonged periods of time because or work or family commitments. Then there are others who simply do not want to be away from their family members when going through a detox or rehabilitation programme. The good news is that there are many outpatient programmes that involve regular counselling sessions but that do not require an overnight stay.
When choosing a rehab programme, it is important that your needs and circumstances, as well as your personal preferences, are taken into account. The best programme for you is the one that will most meet all your requirements.
If you are interested in finding out more about drug addiction and how to overcome it, please contact us here at Oasis Bradford. If the issue of what is drug treatment like is one that has been on your mind for some time, then we can provide helpful information about what to expect from one of our treatment programmes. Please call us today to speak to one of our helpful advisors.