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Getting Help - Treatment

What Is Drug Addiction?

Drug dependence is a chronic disease sickness portrayed by neurotic or irrepressible drug craving plus use in spite of destructive results and alterations in the brain, which can be long term. Some people whose brain functions have been altered by drugs display some anti-social mannerisms. Drug compulsion is likewise a backsliding 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. With time, the user is unable to stop voluntarily the need to use the drug. Looking for and taking the drugs gets to be distinctly compulsive. The increased length of time that the person's brain relies on drugs to function is the cause of this. Dependence influences parts of the mind required in reward and inspiration, learning and memory plus control over conduct.

The workings of the human brain, coupled with human behaviour are altered by addiction.


Is Drug Addiction Treatable?

It could, but through a complicated process. Since addiction is a chronic illness, curing it is not as easy as simply stopping the drugs for a few days. Many of those under treatment need it over a long time or for the rest of their lives.


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Rehabilitation from drug use should result in the patient:

  • Stop taking drugs
  • Remaining drug-free
  • Be a productive member of society, in the family, and at work

Principles Of Effective Treatment

These values have been observed since some scientific research was done in the mid-70s as the foundation for a successful recovery plan:

  • Though addiction is very complicated, it could heal completely, and it affects the workings of the human brain and human behaviour.
  • There is no one treatment that will work for everyone.
  • Easy access to rehab is of utmost importance.
  • Treatment deals with more than just drug use, addressing all of the patient's needs.
  • It's important to remain in treatment long enough.
  • The most common forms of treatment are behaviour therapies like counselling.
  • Behavioural therapies are often combined with medications, which are another important aspect of therapy.
  • In order to accommodate the needs of the patient, treatment methods must be appraised with changes in the patient's needs.
  • Treatment ought to address other conceivable mental problems.
  • The cleansing administered by medical personnel is the beginning step of the journey.
  • Treatment doesn't require being voluntary to be successful.
  • When in treatment, possible drug use must be constantly monitored.
  • Patients in treatment should be tested for a variety of infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and tuberculosis and also receive education about how to reduce the risk of getting thee illnesses.

How Drug Dependency Is Treated?

Effective treatment consists of several steps:

  • detoxification (the procedure by which the body frees itself of a medication)
  • behavioural counselling
  • medication (for tobacco, opioid, or alcohol addiction)
  • assessment and treatment for co-happening psychological well-being issues, for example, depression and anxiety
  • Relapse prevention through long-term check-ups

Using a wide range of treatments tailored to the needs of the patient is a key to success.


Treatment ought to incorporate both therapeutic and emotional well-being services as required. The follow-up can compromise family- or community-based recovery support systems.


How Is Drug Addiction Treated With Medication?

The treatment of co-occurring health issues, avoidance of relapse and amelioration of the withdrawal symptoms are some of the cases where medications are needed.

  • Withdrawal During the detoxification process, medication helps suppress the physical reactions. Detoxification is just the very first step in the process and not "treatment" in itself. Patients normally go back to the use of drugs if their treatment is not continued after detoxification. The SAMHSA, 2014 study has shown that about 80% of detox programmes use prescription drugs.
  • 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. Medication is available for the treatment of tobacco (nicotine), alcohol and opioid (prescription pain relievers and heroin) dependency. Scientists are busy to develop other medications to treat cannabis (marijuana) and stimulant (methamphetamine and cocaine) dependency. Users of multi drugs to fully recover must be treated for each one.

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

Behavioural treatments aid patients:

  • change his/her behaviour and attitude related to the substance use
  • develop life skills that are healthy
  • continue receiving medication and other types of treatment

The settings upon which patents can access their treatments and the approaches used varies.

Outpatient treatment is an option where a wide range of programs are available for patients who continue to visit behavioural health professionals regularly. The greater parts of the projects include individual or group drug advising, or both.


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

  • cognitive-behavioural therapy, which helps patients perceive, dodge and adapt to the circumstances in which they are destined to utilise drugs
  • Multidimensional family therapy in which not just the patient but also his/her family is involved able to sort out a lot of things and help the whole family cope with the changes and heal together
  • Motivational interviewing, which takes full advantage of the patient's readiness to change and willingness to enter treatment
  • Motivational incentives that work by positively reinforcing like rewards to help the patient's urge for drugs reduce

Treatment is once in awhile escalated at to begin with, where patients go to numerous outpatient sessions every week. 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. 24-hour planned and organised care system, coupled with proper medical care and safe housing are given in residential treatment facilities that are licensed. An inpatient treatment facility can make use of different therapeutic approaches and they are usually aimed at assisting patients to lead a substance-free, crime-free life after completing the treatment.


Residential treatment setting samples:

  • Therapeutic communities which are exceedingly organised programs in which patients stay at a home, normally for 6 to 12 months. The behaviours, understanding and attitude of the addict towards drugs is affected by the whole community, which involves the staff that offer the treatment and those recovering from addiction, as they take up the role of change agents.
  • Shorter-term residential treatment, where detoxification is done and the patient prepared for community based treatment through preliminary intensive counselling.
  • Recuperation lodging gives regulated, brief-span housing for patients, regularly taking after different sorts of inpatient or residential management. 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.

Challenges Of Re-Entry

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.