Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation
When recovering from any major illness, a period of rehabilitation is required and drug and alcohol addiction is no different. What this looks like in terms of a recovery programme, and how long the period of rehabilitation will take, varies from person to person.
When thinking of addiction rehabilitation, you may well think of a drug and alcohol rehab. However, many that suffer from addiction successfully rehabilitate in the community, providing they access the right help and support.
If you want to stop drinking alcohol, using drugs, or engaging in a particular behaviour, rehab is an option. Rehab provides a safe and temptation-free place that will support you in breaking the addictive cycle.
If you are struggling to break free from addiction yourself (even with community-based support) rehab can provide the time and space you need. Inpatient rehab offers a nurturing and recovery-focused environment. One where you can recuperate and start your recovery journey with the help of professionals.
Here, Recoverlution looks at the different types of addiction rehabilitation available and what they involve. There is no one right way to recover. We hope this will help you to make the right choices, choices that will support a full and healthy recovery from addiction.
What is rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is a period of restoration. A period of rebuilding, one that helps you to transition from active addiction into a recovered state.
You can achieve recovery from addiction in so many different ways. However, it is most achievable when you access a combination of therapy, medicine and support.
Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction should ideally treat your mind, body and spirit. Healing all components of you as an individual optimises your chances of maintaining recovery and developing emotional sobriety
Rehabilitation takes on many forms and really depends on your personal treatment needs. The period of restoration should follow on from detoxification, or after a short period of abstinence.
Therapy, recovery programmes and training can only really be beneficial once the brain is clear of addictive substances. If you need help with stopping drugs and alcohol then a medical detox is proven to be the safest way.
What is a drug and alcohol medical detox?
A full medical detox will provide you with approved medications to diminish and control your withdrawal symptoms. When conducted within an inpatient setting, you will also receive around-the-clock care, delivered by qualified professionals. For some people this process is necessary in order to break the addictive cycle.
In order for rehabilitation to work, the desire to stop and change is helpful. This willingness needs to come from within. The reasons why change is so important to becomes very evident once the addictive substances have been stopped.
Basically, during active addiction, all of a person's behaviours and thought processes will be supporting their addiction. In order to stay clean and sober, thoughts and actions will need to change. For some, this process comes quickly, for others it takes a lifetime of applying new coping strategies and learning. Everyone is different but willingness is key to recovery.
Different types of drug and alcohol rehabilitation
The type of drug and alcohol rehabilitation that will work for you, depends on your individual treatment needs and requirements.
A doctor or addiction treatment professional can provide you with an initial assessment. They can help to diagnose your condition and suggest a suitable treatment plan. An assessment can also identify any other physical or mental health illnesses you are suffering from.
If you are considering private rehabilitation through a rehab centre, you will firstly need an addiction triage assessment. This assessment will help to ensure that you access the right treatment programme. It is crucial that you undertake a programme that meets all of your treatment needs.
Rehabilitation in the community is accessible through local mutual aid groups. Your local drug and alcohol team can also offer support and treatment.
Drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation options:
- Community rehabilitation through the NHS
The NHS are able to provide you with free community rehabilitation for addiction. The NHS can provide key work sessions, counselling, medications, education and support. Many local drug and alcohol teams also provide access to SMART Recovery.
- Rehabilitation through the support of mutual aid groups
Mutual aid support groups are free to access and are available through face-to-face meetings in most major cities and towns. You can self-refer to any mutual aid support group. Most mutual aid groups offer a free programme of recovery to follow. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are examples of very successful mutual aid groups
- Private inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation
Private residential treatment centres are helpful if you are unable to manage your addiction within the community. They are especially helpful if your substance abuse has reached life-threatening proportions.
- Daycare addiction rehabilitation
Daycare treatment programmes are available privately and through established charities. During the day patients attend a recovery programme facilitated by qualified therapists, key-workers and counsellors. In the evening they then return back home.
- NHS drug and alcohol rehab
Sadly, due to colossal cuts in government funding, free drug and alcohol rehab is rarely accessible. This will come as a devastating blow to many seeking addiction help. If you do apply for free rehab through NHS services, be prepared for a long wait.
Further points to consider on different types of rehabilitation
Private drug and alcohol rehab offers the latest in evidence-based addiction treatments. Treatments are delivered by qualified medical and addiction treatment professionals.
The main obstacle for accessing private rehabilitation is usually the cost. Not everyone can afford to pay for private rehabilitation. Taking time off of work and away from family can also be an issue.
However, it is worth noting that the vast majority of people who do undergo private addiction rehab, find the experience very beneficial to their ongoing recovery process.
Outpatient day care programmes are only suitable if you have already managed to stop taking alcohol and drugs. As you will be returning back home each evening, you will need to be able maintain abstinence in between sessions.
NHS-funded rehab is available in some areas. You will need to check with your local drug and alcohol service for availability. If you do qualify for government-funded rehab you will be required to complete a rehab preparation course before admission. This treatment option is only suitable if you are not in an addiction crisis and are able to attend all of your appointments.
Components of effective drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment
There has been a lot of research over the years into the components of effective rehabilitation. Experts have found a number of evidence-based treatments that are helpful in overcoming addiction.
The basic principles of treating addiction must incorporate the following:
- Treatment needs to be individualised and targeted
- All aspects of the person require treatment, not just the drugs and alcohol
- Treatment needs to be flexible to fit in with the persons needs
Components of successful addiction rehabilitation include:
- Group therapy & education
- Screening and treatment for blood-borne viruses including HIV, STIs, and hepatitis B & C
- Sober living accommodation
- Therapeutic community
- Mutual aid groups
- Aftercare & support groups
Any addiction rehabilitation you undergo will need to be tailored to your own personal treatment needs. What works for one person won't necessarily work for you, and vice versa. Thankfully, there is now a wide variety of person centred treatments that you can access.
Another thing to consider when looking for effective drug and alcohol rehabilitation is that your social needs are met. Any problems you are experiencing with the law, finances, housing, social services or relationships should ideally be addressed within the same treatment period. Treating social and environmental factors will give you the best chance of maintaining your recovery back in the community.
The purpose of addiction rehabilitation
The purpose of rehabilitation is to restore you to a place of good health and balance. A place where you are no longer relying on substances in order to function.
Addiction is a very complex illness, it affects the brain to varying degrees. Rehabilitation also needs to account for the severity and progression of your own addictive illness. This will have a bearing on the intensity of treatment you need and the speed at which you recover
The duration of drug and alcohol rehabilitation
The duration of addiction rehabilitation varies from person to person and is dependent on treatment needs and the severity of the condition.
It is important to remember that addiction cannot be cured, it can however be successfully treated. Recovery can then be maintained following rehabilitation
Undertaking rehabilitation for an adequate period of time is crucial to a person's longterm wellbeing.
Research has shown that most people suffering from addiction need at least twelve weeks intensive rehabilitation. The best long term outcomes come from longer periods of intensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation. For some people this can mean a transition period within supported living accommodation.
Recovery from any addiction is a long term process. Continual growth, support and learning are needed and can last a lifetime. Thankfully, whilst this can seem a very daunting prospect for most, you only need to take recovery a day at a time!
Factoring in the ‘fun’
Happily, recovering from a drug and alcohol addiction is not all hard work. If it was, no one would be able to sustain it. Rehabilitation can be enjoyable and it is often fun!
Yes, there will undoubtedly be times when uncomfortable and painful emotions have to be faced. This should, however, be balanced out with feelings of joy, contentment and achievement.
Why should you choose recovery?
Most people come into recovery to escape a deadly addiction. They then stay in recovery because they discover a new purpose and find peace.
Recovery can most definitely be enjoyable and infinitely more rewarding than active addiction. There are currently millions of us in recovery from addiction around the world, so it is possible!
As you learn new coping strategies to replace the need for drugs and alcohol, you will be able to feel gratitude for the simplest of things. You will come to appreciate the value of life and create a new support system that is nurturing in so many ways. You will learn that you can be happy, productive and free!
If you are struggling with an addiction, we urge you to ask for help. We have many ways in which we can support you at Recoverlution. Overcoming drug and alcohol addiction isn't something you have to face alone. We are all in this together, helping and supporting one another, every step of the way.
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