Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious issue right across the country.
In Lincolnshire the latest statistics suggested that usage was lower than the national average but only by a small amount.
There were an estimated 6,746 dependent drinkers in the county, which is equivalent to 11.2 people per 1,000 of the population – compared to 13.5 per 1,000 nationally.
Similarly, there were estimated to be 3,669 opiate and crack cocaine users in Lincolnshire. This is equivalent to 8.07 people (aged 16 to 64) for every 1,000 population – compared to the national rate of 8.85 per 1,000. The majority of these people are not receiving treatment for their addictions.
There is a danger in focusing too much on figures and that lies in forgetting that behind every one of those statistics is an individual human being and a tragedy waiting to happen. Every year, thousands of people die in the UK from alcohol and drug poisoning, accidents, criminal behaviour and preventable illnesses attributable to drinking and drug use.
Even more become seriously ill as a result of their addiction. And drug and alcohol abuse doesn’t just affect the individual going through it. Spouses, parents, partners, children and other loved ones also invariably suffer. Addiction tears families apart and wrecks lives.
If you’re in the grip of an addiction, it can seem like there’s no way out. It can be incredibly difficult to beat alone but with the evidence-backed support of professional drug and alcohol services, you can break free.
Managing the Detoxification Process
One of the biggest hurdles facing anyone trying to kick a long-standing addiction to drugs or alcohol is detoxification or detox. This is when the body metabolises the toxic chemicals already in the system from substance abuse, whatever form this might take.
Over time the body and brain come to rely on the drink or drugs being in the system. It adjusts to this way of being and can build up a tolerance, requiring the user to take more and more on board – initially to get the same high or intoxicating effect but eventually this can be just to feel normal.
When the chemicals provided by the drugs or alcohol are taken away the body and brain can react badly. This creates what are generally known as withdrawal symptoms. They can take a number of different physical and psychological forms and can be unpleasant and even dangerous.
For a dependent drinker or habitual user battling their addiction alone, this can often be too much to get through. The temptation is always there to make the symptoms go away with ‘one more hit’ but this is very rarely the last one.
At a professional detox clinic you can go through this process in a secure and supervised environment. This provides all the support to get you through this crucial time, with medical and expert supervision.
Even if you are lucky enough to have a support network in the form of friends and family, they are unlikely to have the knowledge and expertise needed to get through this crisis.
Understanding the brain and Addiction
Many of the withdrawal symptoms experienced during drug or alcohol detox are physical in nature. Alcohol, for example, suppresses the central nervous system and alcohol withdrawal can be particularly severe, leading to sweats, vomiting, uncontrollable tremors and even seizures.
Some of these symptoms can be controlled or alleviated with medication and you will undergo a complete psychological and physical assessment before any drug and alcohol treatment programme begins to ensure you receive the appropriate treatment at all times.
Beyond the physical dependency, addiction also has a major psychological element. Getting clean or sober is only one part of the puzzle. It is also important to understand the root causes of an individual’s addiction and other related issues.
There is little point in spending time, money and discomfort in going through detox if you are only going to go back to drinking or doing drugs once you leave the rehabilitation centre behind. The goal must always be a long-term recovery.
Holistic Addiction Treatment Programmes
Addiction does not occur in a vacuum. There are usually many associated issues that need to be explored, which could include a range of conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders and burnout linked to stress.
The root causes of your addiction can be explored by numerous types of therapy. The exact types used can vary depending on the rehab centre, the programme and your own individual situation and requirements, but could involve a combination of group and individual talking therapies.
Cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT is often used in the treatment of addiction, as well as other conditions such as depression and anxiety. This approach aims to change the way you think about your problems, ultimately allowing you to change the way you behave.
A holistic programme may also offer complementary therapies such as art or music therapy, mindfulness, meditation and relaxation techniques. Learning about stress management can also help once you leave the rehab and can be a very valuable means of relapse prevention.
Cutting edge and newly developed techniques such as virtual reality (VR) suites can even be used as an advanced kind of therapy.
The journey doesn’t finish when you leave the doors of the rehab centre behind. Aftercare is also essential and at our rehabs in Gainsborough and elsewhere we can provide the support you need as you embark on your new, healthier and more positive life.
Family and Friend Referral
We know that sometimes it is difficult to admit when you have a problem. It can also be exceptionally painful to watch someone you love destroy their life with drugs or alcohol so it is often families and friends who get in touch first.
We can offer expert and confidential advice so whether you or someone you know needs help, find out how a drug and alcohol treatment clinic in Gainsborough can help.