The Option of Going into an Addictions Rehab Clinic


Why are people resistant to alcohol and drug rehab?

Why is that if we have tooth ache we will go and see our dentist at the earliest available appointment and the same if we have a problem with our health that we go and see our GP (and complain if we cannot get an appointment quickly)? However, anything to do with the pain of our addictive behaviour or thinking and we will delay and put off getting any help for as long as is possible – even if we are being pressurised by others to do so?

Is there a stigma attached to addiction?

There are various reasons, such as the stigma of an addiction diagnosis or the feeling that we should be able to address the issue ourselves without going into residential addiction treatment or having an alcohol or drug detox.  Actually, years ago there might have been a stigma attached to having an addiction but this is less so nowadays.  There is a far greater understanding and knowledge amongst the general public in terms of awareness of alcohol and substance addictions. The stigma now is more around people being aware there is a problem and choosing to still do nothing about it.  Watching your life get worse in every area, its like unpeeling an onion, your family and friends think you have reached the worse level that it can get to then suddenly you go down another layer that’s even worse. 

Do young people need an addictions rehab treatment centre?

One thing that has changed with those with an alcohol addiction is that those seeking help are getting much younger.  It was really not many years ago that the average age for those seeking residential alcohol treatment would be someone in their 50s to 60s. Now at The Haynes Clinic we see more people in their 20s to 30s.  This has been bought about by various reasons including the cost that pubs are charging for alcohol which has led to more people drinking at home and the reason so many pubs are closing. 

Young people will drink at their home or at a friend’s before going out and this is one way that their  drinking has changed as the measures that are being poured are at least doubles or trebles and never a single.  Therefore, anyone with a predisposition for a dependency to alcohol will have their timeline to addiction shortened  as they are suddenly drinking larger quantities from an earlier age.   Being younger also has the age related thought process attached to it that “I can’t have an addiction at my age, I can manage my drinking or cut down when I want to when I am older.”   It is possible that some people will be able to make changes but for others the situation will not be able to be self manged and will worsen.

For a heroin dependency or cocaine habit or ketamine addiction the drugs have such a physical impact on the body and health that generally there has always been a younger population seeking help for addiction to these drugs. More young people have recently been seeking help for gambling addiction in particular since the Covid pandemic. This created the perfect storm of boredom, being at home and the huge rise in gaming available off the internet, with people needing only a smartphone or laptop to rack up individual debt. 

Denying we have an addiction

With any addiction there is always the stage of denial as we do not want to accept that we have an addiction in the first place or that we need help. We cannot accept that we are unable to manage our life without getting this help from others.  There is also the fear of the unknown and even the fear of “how can I mange my life without my drug of choice,” even though the reality is we cannot manage life with it. We have an unrealistic thought process which is associated with addictive thinking and behaviour and the tolerance and dependency we have developed. We are more focused on “how can I cope without it” than our own misery and the reality that with it, we are spiralling down to a possible early death (or certainly a living hell).

Making the decision to go into addictions rehab treatment

There is usually something or somebody that will make us finally want to change the way our life is heading, a final realisation that whatever we try to do we are not winning and things in our life are daily getting worse.  There is then a small window of opportunity to take that step of seeking and asking for help from others but our options are limited. These days, due to legislation, a GP can no longer prescribe a full home medicated detox. If you go along to your local hospital A&E department they will generally hydrate you but will not admit you for any form of treatment and the local drug and alcohol agency has little or no funding and are not able to offer immediate help.  There is, therefore, the only option of getting near immediate help by being admitted to a residential addictions rehab or detox clinic.

How long is an alcohol and drugs addiction treatment programme?

People will usually be admitted for 28 days, which is the recognised period of time to be the most effective within a structured addictions treatment programme. Sometimes, due to finances or even not being able to get time off work, then 14 days could be considered.  It is amazing, though, the amount of people who initially opt to come in for 14 days and then start to engage with addictions treatment and the twelve step programme and extend their residential time to 28 days.   

What sort of people will be at the addictions rehab clinic?

Going into a residential addiction centre is an avenue of hope as opposed to the avenue of self-destruction that we were on. We will be in treatment with others suffering from similar addictive behaviour and thinking around their own drug of choice that has also been ruining their lives, so we can start to feel a sense of belonging.  The therapists at any drug addiction rehab or alcohol addiction clinic are usually all in Recovery and have sat where we are sitting and they offer further hope as we can see that they have managed to turn their lives around and are living a life of Recovery from their own addiction. Going into an addictions rehab clinic is about many things, a medicated detox to withdraw safely from the drug we were using, daily therapy to gain an understanding of a 12 Step programme, processing our guilt, shame sadness and remorse, working on any changes we need to make and more.  The biggest thing, though, about going into an addictions rehab unit is the breaking of our addictive cycle and the chance to get a life that is not being shackled by our addictive behaviour.

If we have the option then grab it!