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Getting Help - Treatment

What Is Drug Addiction?

Substance dependency is a chronic illness that is identified by uncontrollable substance seeking and use, regardless of the harmful effects and alterations in the brain that can be permanent. These adjustments in the mind can prompt to the hurtful practices found in individuals who take drugs. Substance dependency is also a relapsing illness. Relapsing is when a person starts to use drugs again after he/she attempted to quit.


Addiction starts when the decision to take drugs is first made. However, as time passes, an individual's ability to decide not to use drugs weakens. The desire to search for and make use of drugs will now rely on a very huge urge. This is mainly because of the effects of long-term substance exposure on the functioning of the brain. The parts of the brain that control reward and motivation, learning and memory, and self control are all significantly affected by addiction.

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 ailment, individuals can't just quit utilizing drugs for a couple days and be treated. Most patients need long haul or rehashed care to quit utilizing totally and recoup their lives.


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The addicts must be assisted to achieve certain things through the treatment for addiction, and they include:

  • stop using the substances
  • remain drug-free
  • be a productive member at work, in society and in the family

Essentials Of Successful Treatment

According to scientific research conducted since the mid-1970s, the essential principles listed below should be the foundation of all successful treatment programmes:

  • Though a complex brain altering illness, drug dependency can be successfully treated.
  • There is no particular treatment that is fitting for all.
  • Individuals must be able to access treatment quickly.
  • Treatment deals with more than just drug use, addressing all of the patient's needs.
  • It is extremely important to remain under treatment for a very long period of time.
  • Psychological and other behaviour remedies are used in treating the habit.
  • Behavioural therapies are often combined with medications, which are another important aspect of therapy.
  • To make sure the user's most current requirements are met, there is a need for continuous evaluations and adjustments to the treatment regime.
  • Some other associated mental problems must be taken care of by treatments.
  • The first step during treatment involves detoxification that is overseen by medical personnel.
  • Treatment doesn't require being voluntary to be successful.
  • Drug usage amid treatment must be observed constantly.
  • A treatment programme must test a patient for hepatitis B and C, TB, HIV/AIDS and other infectious illnesses and educate the patient about things he/she can do to reduce his/her risk of these diseases.

How Is Drug Addiction Treated?

Effective treatment comprises many steps:

  • detoxification (the procedure by which the body frees itself of a medication)
  • behavioural counselling
  • medication (for tobacco, opioid, or alcohol addiction)
  • Diagnosis and management mental illness associated with drug addiction such as hopelessness and nervousness
  • lifelong follow-up in an attempt to prevent relapsing

A variety of care with a customised treatment programme and follow-up options can be key to being successful.


Both medical and mental health treatment should be utilized as needed. Follow-up care may comprise group or family-based recuperation supportive networks.


How Are Meds Utilised As A Part Of Drug Compulsion Treatment?

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. Cleansing the body is not the same as treatment, it only the beginning of the journey. Patients who only go through detoxification and don't have any additional treatment typically relapse back into drug use. The SAMHSA, 2014 study has shown that about 80% of detox programmes use prescription drugs.
  • Relapse Prevention Medications can help manage cravings and help patients re-establish normal brain activity. Medications are accessible for management of opioid (heroin, prescription pain relievers), tobacco (nicotine), and alcohol dependence. Scientists are also currently developing additional medications to treat addiction to marijuana and stimulants, like cocaine and methamphetamines. Treatment for every substance they have ever abused will be necessary for those that use multiple drugs.

How Are Behavioural Therapies Used To Treat Drug Addiction?

Behavioural therapies assist a patient to:

  • Change their behaviour toward and the way the think about their drug use
  • Upturn healthy life abilities
  • Continue with varying forms of treatment like medication

There are a lot of settings and approaches for patients who are seeking treatment.

Outpatient behavioural treatment involves different programs designed for patients with an organised calendar of regular meetings with a counsellor for behavioural health. 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 recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs
  • multidimensional family therapy-devised for teenagers with substance dependency issues as well as their families-which looks at a series of influences on their substance abuse patterns and is created to better family functioning in general
  • Motivational interviewing has been used to prepare a patient to accept their problem and wants to change their actions by seeking help
  • Motivational incentives that work by positively reinforcing like rewards to help the patient's urge for drugs reduce

Treatment is at times strenuous initially, where a patient attends many outpatient sessions weekly. Subsequent to finishing escalated treatment, patients move to customary outpatient treatment, which meets less frequently and for decreased hours every week to help manage their recuperation.


For people with problems of high severity (plus co-occurring disorders), residential or inpatient programs will have better effects. Authorised residential treatment centre offers 24-hour organized and proper care, including safe lodging and medicinal consideration. Inpatient treatment facilities can use many therapeutic approaches and are usually working toward assisting the patient after treatment to maintain a drug free, crime free lifestyle.


Cases of residential treatment settings include:

  • 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, which ordinarily concentrates on detoxification and also giving early extensive counselling and readiness for treatment in a community based setting.
  • Recovery housing, which is normally an aftermath of inpatient or residential treatment, and where patients are given limited term housing under an expert watch. Recovery housing can assist a person to complete the changeover to an independent life-for example, assisting him/her learn how to tackle finances or look for a job, as well as linking them to the community's support services.

Challenges Of Re-Entering Society

The excessive urge to take drugs could be "triggered" by several factors within the brain, as the workings of the brain is altered by drug abuse. For everyone in treatment, but especially for those in an inpatient program or prison, it's essential to learn how to recognize, avoid, and handle any triggers they may encounter after treatment.