What Sort of People Go to Addiction Rehab Centres?

What is a typical alcoholic or addict like?

Only a few years ago, if you were asked to describe an alcoholic, then you would probably think of the typical “park bench” drunk. A heroin user would be thought of as similar to anyone in the film “Trainspotting” and a Cocaine user would bring to mind images from the film “Wolf of Wall Street.” A gambler would be typified as the unemployed person sat in the high street betting office all day watching horse racing on TV and reading Sporting Life.

These generalisations cannot be further from the truth.  The only thing that can be generalised is that there can be an old, in years, alcoholic and gambler. However in general, because of the drugs impact causing damage to the body organs, an increase in risky behaviour, or an increased suicide incidence, you tend not see an old heroin or Cocaine user as they end up sadly passing away at a relatively early age.

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Has there been a rise in addiction in recent years?

Studies over the last 10 years have demonstrated that there has been a significant increase in people having their life affected by addictive thinking and behaviour associated with, alcohol, drugs, eating and gambling. This has been brought about by changes within our society. It basically boils down to availability and accessibility.

Regarding alcohol, the licensing laws have changed, and it is possible to buy alcohol at any time of the day or night and even garages are selling alcohol. A few of you reading this may remember being in a pub having a drink on a Sunday and due to the then licensing laws, it having to close at 14.00 and then reopen at 19.00 that evening.  All the licensing restrictions has been eased or changed.   

It is the same with gambling, there has been such an advancement in technology that as long as you have a smart phone or laptop and an internet connection you can gamble up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you don’t even have to leave your home. 

The actual accessibility of drugs has also increased throughout the UK.  This is not just in our towns and cities but even within smaller populated areas.  There is now an insufficient size of police force to ensure that that availability of any drugs is kept to a minimum.  Plus, if you are a Heroin user you can be prescribed Methadone, which is a heroin substitute, by your local Drug and Alcohol team. 

Social media has entered nearly everyone’s lives, particularly the young, with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. A large part of these social media accounts revolves around sharing photos of your daily life with others and gaining as many followers as you can get to share your life with you. This has put tremendous strain on many young people, male and female, who suddenly feel that their life is not “exciting enough” or more dangerously that their body, compared to others, is not “good enough” and this can lead to a change in how we eat to create, what we think, is a more perfect figure which usually leads to unhealthy and extreme weight loss. Furthermore, social media is a known platform for online bullying leading to individuals suffering all ranges of depressive episodes including suicidal ideation.

As a result of all these changes, there are now more people seeking help for alcohol addiction, more people needing drug rehab clinics, more people needing treatment for eating disorders and more people requiring gambling rehab.

Do young people need rehab?

So, society has been responsible for changes as to how some of us will lead our lives. As a result of that one of the absolute changes is that now more young people need addiction rehab treatment

Has Covid increased the numbers of alcoholics / addicts?

Over the last two years Covid and lockdowns have not helped people with addiction tendencies. Working from home and schooling in a home environment has led to a spike in people telephoning the Haynes Clinic for advice on their increased drinking, uncontrolled drug use, gambling issues or problems with an eating disorder.

If an individual already has a predisposition for an addiction, with the associated addictive thinking and behaviour, then these recent life changes will reduce the time that they will need to consider getting help for that problem.

There is no such thing as there being a typical individual that can be identified.  Simply, anyone from any walk of life and background can develop an addiction problem that they can not rectify by themselves. They will feel unable to control their behaviour by will power and they lose the ability of any form of control.  These are the sort of people that need to consider that their only real option of getting well is to be admitted to a residential rehab centre or addiction clinic. 

I don’t drink every day – can I be an alcoholic?

The idea that “I can’t go to rehab as I don’t drink every day” is nonsense, it is just part of the old stereotyping. I do Cocaine because everyone else I know does it.  No, you are nearly 35 years old, and others stopped using years ago. Anyone with any form of addiction will know that they have a problem.  They will also be told by their friends and family, who will have seen the individual change in so many ways and just want them to seek help. 

Can anyone become an addict / alcoholic?

We have known people from every single profession you can think of, seeking help by being admitted into an addiction rehab clinic for a 28 day, 12 Step residential programme.   

When they arrive for addiction rehab treatment, it is very clear that they come from a complete mix of backgrounds. A similarity would only be that the majority will be low in mood and lacking self worth, as their addictive behaviour and their inability to correct it will have been depressing for them. 

They will all have different ways that they have been brought up from their childhoods and could come from a broken home or a solid family background. There is absolutely no distinctive or typical “type” that can be affected with the problem of addiction and therefore any sort of people or person will go to an addiction rehab clinic for help.