Drug Rehab: symptoms of addiction and when you need to go
Help available outside drug rehab clinics
There is very little or literally no help, these days, for anyone with any form of drug addiction outside of a residential addictions rehab or drug addiction clinic. Due to legislation a GP usually cannot give a home detox and any hospital is very reluctant to admit someone with a drug addiction to offer a drug detox.
Certain drugs do not even have a recognised medication to assist with a detox and withdrawal. For example, there is no recognised detox medication to help to come off Cocaine, so when you get to seek help from the NHS or your GP they will just advise you to simply stop or cut down on your using. However, it is not that easy to do this as we will experience withdrawal symptoms and our body will often react with cravings for the drug.
Usually, Cocaine and alcohol do go “hand in hand” so the medication that is used for an alcohol detox, within a residential drug rehab setting, will also help with the withdrawal symptoms from Cocaine. Certainly, being in the safe environment and the care of a residential drug rehab or addiction clinic makes all the difference in someone being able to come off their drug of choice as opposed to attempting to “cut back” at home.
Help for heroin addiction
If your drug of choice is heroin then there is a degree of help with needle exchanges, free water and the chance of being prescribed Methadone, which is a synthetic opiate, and a heroin substitute, which is meant to help with coming off heroin and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
The problem is that with the body’s tolerance and dependence on heroin there is the real possibility that heroin will get used on top of the daily Methadone dose. Also, any individual complaining of withdrawal symptoms, with their prescribed methadone dose, can unbelievably get the dose upped and this invariably leads to the prescribed methadone becoming as much of a problem as the heroin was in the first place.
Signs of drug addiction
The time amount of time taken for drug abuse to change to drug addiction is different for everyone. If any of the following symptoms apply then the process of becoming addicted is happening within us.
- Using a substance in larger amounts or for longer than intended
- Spending a great deal of time obtaining, using and recovering from the effects of the drug
- Having a persistent desire or unsuccessful attempts to cut down or quit drug use
- Experiencing cravings or strong urges to use the drug
- Using the drug repeatedly, leading to a failure to fulfil responsibilities at home and in the workplace
- Continuing to use the drug despite recurrent or persistent problems in relationships and social life
- Giving up or cutting back on recreational, social and professional activities because of drug use
- Repeatedly using the drug in physically hazardous conditions
- Continuing to use the drug despite recurrent physical and psychological problems caused or exacerbated by the drug
- Experiencing tolerance to the drug which is a diminished effect with the same amount of the drug over time or the need for an increased amount of the drug to achieve the same desired effect
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug or needing to use the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health or DSM which is used as a reference worldwide, states that if six or more of the listed symptoms are present then the addictive condition would be classified as severe.
Cutting back on drug use
With any drug, it is near impossible to cut back or stop using in a home environment, There would be easy access to the drug, we can get our dealer on the phone, we might have a hidden stash “just in case,” we have using friends, the withdrawal symptoms and cravings get the better of us, we think it is about willpower and so the list goes on.
Getting a drug detox and drug addiction treatment
In fact, for anyone who goes into a residential drug rehab to get help for their addiction, actually being medically detoxed from that particular drug is only a very small portion of what being admitted for treatment is about. It is critical that the addictions rehab or detox clinic that is chosen has a structured daily therapy programme facilitated by therapists. It is vital that our addictive thinking and behaviour is addressed while we are in treatment so that we will be able to understand the changes that we need to make and continue to make when we leave treatment in order that we do not relapse. Going into treatment is the start of getting on a bridge to normal living.
12 Step Drug Rehab Clinics
95% of all addiction rehab or drug detox clinics within the UK are based on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step Programme. This programme has been so successful and helped so many people that it has been adopted to help those with addictions to other drugs and there are now support groups such as Cocaine Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
The recommended residential rehab treatment period is 28 days but possibly due to finances or not being able to have the time off work, then people can be admitted for 14 days though they have to be very committed to Recovery and getting well, if they are in treatment for a shortened period of time.
For anyone just seeking a medical detox and wanting to leave treatment when it is completed they will usually relapse quite quickly as they will not understand the changes they need to make to change their addictive thinking and behaviour.
It is important to also remember that a drug rehab or addiction clinic is just the beginning. We do not come out of residential drug treatment after 28 days “fixed.” The day we enter drug rehab treatment is the day we start our rehab programme and some people make the big mistake of thinking that in treatment they are on a course. The difference is that a course has a determined start and finish date and a programme has a start date but no defined finish date.
We have started our journey when we enter residential rehab treatment and it is very possible to regain our life that we lost through addiction and maintain that “a day at a time” for as long as we choose. I have never met anyone who said they enjoyed their relapse but at The Haynes Clinic we have met so many people who say they are enjoying their Recovery.