Are you struggling with an addiction problem yet afraid to enter rehab? If so, we want to set your mind at ease. There is nothing to be afraid of where rehab is concerned. Millions of others just like you have successfully completed rehab and are now living lives free of addiction. You can do the same.
We’ll explain what happens in rehab as we go through the paragraphs to follow. First, we want to challenge you. We want you to assess your circumstances and how far you are willing to go to get well.
First of all, we congratulate you for recognising a problem that needs help. That recognition is the first step in the right direction. On the other hand, just recognising a problem does not do much for you. Now you have to do something about it.
Any rehab programme you choose to engage in is heavily dependent on your attitude if you are ultimately going to succeed. No one can force you to get help, and no one can force you to give it your best effort. If you are willing to do whatever it takes to get well, rehab can make it happen.
You can choose either outpatient or inpatient rehab available at either public or private clinics. We will start by explaining outpatient rehab. Outpatient services are those typically rendered by the NHS and community-based organisations. As such, they are usually free of charge.
In an outpatient scenario, you will be expected to visit an NHS facility on a regular basis. During the initial detox phase, that schedule will likely be every single day. Your visit will enable you to receive any medications that have been prescribed while also allowing your GP or registered nurse to track your progress.
Once the detox period is over, your outpatient rehab takes a very decided turn. You will then be taking advantage of community-based services offered by support groups and charities. However, please understand that you will be responsible for finding, accessing and attending these programmes. There will not be anyone looking over your shoulder to make sure you are doing what you should be.
Inpatient rehab is a much more thorough process that requires a lot more explanation. For starters, you need to know that inpatient rehab is only offered by private clinics and charitable organisations. The NHS does not provide any inpatient rehab above and beyond a 7 to 10 day detox programme.
The next thing to know is that inpatient rehab works on a residential model. In other words, you will go to live at the rehab facility for the duration of your treatment. How long will that be? That depends on the facility you choose and the nature of your addiction. Residential programmes typically last from four to 12 weeks. You may be eligible for a longer programme if your circumstances warrant.
Residential rehab can be broken down into three basic components: detox, rehabilitative therapy, and aftercare. Continue reading for all the details.
Detox is a treatment designed to break the physical addiction to drugs or alcohol. This physical addiction is the result of something known as tolerance. What is tolerance? It is a physical condition in which your body adapts to the chemicals you’re putting into it, requiring you to consume more drugs or alcohol in order to enjoy the same pleasurable effects. If you find you continually need to increase your drug or alcohol use, you have already developed a tolerance condition.
In order to break that tolerance you need to abstain from the drugs or alcohol you are using. This is exactly what detox is. At a residential clinic, detox takes place in a dedicated wing of the facility so that medical staff can concentrate their resources on your care. Detox can be:
- Medicated - Most detox of these days is medicated. That means prescription drugs are used to help take the edge off withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of medical complications. The main disadvantage of medicated detox is that it can prolong the process unnecessarily.
- Non-medicatedShould you desire it, and the medical staff approve it, you can undergo non-medicated detox. This type of detox is also known as ’cold turkey’. Under a non-medicated detox scenario, you will be allowed to withdraw without the assistance of any prescription medications. The advantage of non-medicated detox is that it is the fastest and most thorough way to get it done.
Where detox breaks the physical addiction, rehabilitative therapy deals with the psychological aspects. What are the psychological aspects? They are the thought processes and emotions that lead to addictive behaviour, enable an addiction to continue, and cause the recovering addict to live in fear of a life without drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, the psychological aspects of addiction are often more difficult to conquer then the physical ones.
Rehab specialists have a number of therapeutic tools at their disposal to help deal with psychological issues. We will not list them here because they are just too numerous to do so. However, we can say that these treatment options are designed to:
- uncover any deeply rooted emotional issues
- help you understand what triggers your addictive behaviour
- help you understand how your behaviour hurts others
- help you come to terms with your own weaknesses
- teach you ways to cope with temptation
- teach you new ways to think about drugs and alcohol
- teach you the skills you will need to reintegrate into society.
In short, rehabilitative therapy prepares you to live a life free from drugs or alcohol. It is followed by aftercare; a group of support services designed to help you in the weeks and months following the completion of residential treatment. It includes things like support group meetings, counselling and life skills training.