Hallucinogen Addiction Explained
Hallucinogens may sometimes be seen as less obviously harmful than some other drugs – but they can cause a wide range of serious psychological problems, as well as greatly increasing the chance of potentially fatal accidents and the likelihood that users will engage in risky behaviour. A hallucinogen addiction should never be seen as anything other than an extremely dangerous condition, and if you suffer from this condition you should seek professional help immediately to minimise the chance of suffering life-changing consequences. Fortunately, a number of high-quality facilities are now operating in the UK treating hallucinogen addicts and helping them return to normal and healthy lives.
Where to Get Help for Hallucinogen Addiction/Substance Abuse
If you suffer from a hallucinogen addiction, and are determined to get help, your first port of call should be your GP who will give you an assessment to determine the extent of your addiction and any damage it may already have done, and who will be able to recommend further treatment options and may refer you to further treatment immediately.
You should also make contact with an addiction specialist well versed in the UK’s addiction treatment landscape: the diversity of choice you will face at the beginning of your treatment journey can be somewhat daunting, and the more help you can get from the off, the easier that journey will be – and the greater the likelihood that your treatment will be successful.
Importance of treating hallucinogens addiction & when to seek treatment
Hallucinogens are a very diverse group of drugs, with a variety of different implications for the health of anyone abusing them – but all pose immediate serious risks in the form of the dangers associated with intoxication, and longer-term in the form of potentially catastrophic harm to mental health. The longer you abuse hallucinogens, and the greater your intake, the greater the likelihood that such harm will manifest – and the more damage will be done meanwhile to your life circumstances and the important relationships in your life. Therefore, the sooner you can get help to overcome your hallucinogen addiction, the better the prognosis – though never forget that any time to get help is better than not getting help at all. In that sense, there is no wrong time to request professional help.
You will not benefit from treatment until you are committed to it, however, and that will be impossible unless you can admit to your addiction. Therefore as soon as you reach that point, reach out to your GP and/or an addiction specialist to start the treatment process as quickly as you can. Meanwhile, if you have tried and failed to stop abusing hallucinogens, and/or if your hallucinogen abuse has started to take a toll of any kind on your life or the lives of those close to you, get help urgently to avoid that toll growing any worse.
Understanding hallucinogen addiction treatment and rehab options
Addiction treatment in the UK – including the treatment of hallucinogen addiction – has become a sophisticated field in recent years and there are now many different options for addiction treatment to explore. However, not every kind of treatment will be appropriate for you and your life circumstances – numerous factors, including your physical and mental condition, how long you have been abusing hallucinogens, the specific type of hallucinogen you abuse, how much you take, your financial circumstances, your location and more, will all have an impact on your final decision regarding the kind of treatment you seek. However, regardless of whether you go for treatment provided by the NHS, a charity, or a private healthcare provider, the most important thing is that you get help of some kind rather than not getting it at all: a failure to address your hallucinogen addiction could cost you everything.
- NHS Options
- Private Rehab
- Residential Care
Private rehab vs free treatment options for hallucinogen addiction
If you want to get immediate help for your hallucinogens addiction, you may wish to explore private addiction treatment options. Understandably, going down the private route does come at a cost; however, if you have private health insurance you may be able to get treatment paid for in that manner, while some rehabs offer credit and/or easy payment terms.
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Executive/luxury rehab programmes for hallucinogens addiction
If you work in a high-pressure and/or high-profile senior executive role, you may not be able to take the time away from work which addiction treatment entails without its having an impact – possibly a serious one – on your organisation, and potentially your career. However, your treatment must take priority. This problem can be resolved by attending executive rehab, in which you will have access to facilities such as videoconferencing suites and secure internet et cetera which will allow you to keep up with your professional obligations whilst receiving the treatment you need.
On the other hand, if you are a high net worth individual and wish to minimise the stress of treatment, you may wish to investigate a luxury rehab environment, with a standard of accommodation and facilities similar to those found in luxury hotels. This will enable you to relax in great comfort and focus wholly on your treatment whilst remaining in the lifestyle to which you are accustomed.
What Happens in Hallucinogens Rehab
No two individual journeys through treatment and recovery are the same: even within the same clinic, one hallucinogen addict may have a very different experience of treatment from that of another. Meanwhile, different treatment organisations may have very different operating philosophies, and things like the regime governing interaction between clients, the type of therapy offered and many other factors can differ from one organisation to the next. Therefore, it is important that you do not go into treatment with any preconceptions about what to expect when in rehab. Having said that, however, various commonalities may be observed between different clinics and treatment approaches, and it is possible to provide a rough guide as to what you might expect when you go to rehab for your hallucinogen addiction.
Hallucinogens rehab admission process
It is in everyone’s best interests – most importantly, of course, your own, as you may be in a great deal of distress when you first reach out for treatment and any extra stress could prove intolerable (and could drive you to resume your substance abuse) – that a rehab’s admissions process is as simple and hassle-free as possible. When you first make contact with a treatment organisation, you will be asked a few basic questions about your condition and the nature of your addiction; based on your responses to these questions the organisation will then recommend a specific clinic.
If it is a private organisation, at this point you will usually be asked to provide a deposit. As soon as that has been received, you will have your place in treatment confirmed and will be able to set off for the clinic (some rehabs will arrange transport for you).
Hallucinogens addiction assessment
When you arrive at the clinic your first appointment will be a full medical assessment to establish the severity of your addiction and the current state of your physical and psychological health. This assessment will subsequently form the basis of your addiction treatment plan – so it is absolutely vital that you are completely honest and open with doctors about every aspect of your condition. If you are not fully candid, and provide incomplete or misleading information, your treatment plan will not be as effective as it should be – and you may also be placing yourself in danger, as your doctors may decide to prescribe you medication which may exacerbate any condition of which you do not make them aware.No matter how embarrassed or ashamed you may be about your addiction and what it may have entailed, do not keep anything from your doctors: they are not there to judge you, nor to shame you, but to help you get back to a healthy and happy life.
Acceptance of the problem
Accepting that you have a hallucinogen problem is an imperative prerequisite to treatment: no addiction treatment can hope to be successful unless the addict is determined to devote themselves to treatment, and in order to do this they must be able to admit that they do indeed have an addiction. Many people are reluctant to make such an admission as they do not wish to appear weak – but in order to engage fully with your treatment you need to be able to overcome any such reluctance and speak freely and openly about your condition,
which will enable you to get every last benefit from the therapy which you will receive in rehab as well as from the other components of your addiction treatment plan.
Medically assisted/controlled detoxification
After your assessment, you will proceed into the first phase of treatment proper: detoxification (detox), is a period of abstinence during which your body is cleansed of any substances of abuse – including hallucinogens. This is an indispensable first phase of treatment because without going through detox you will still be affected by your substance abuse and – depending on the type of hallucinogen consumed and other factors – possibly by dependence.
If dependence has developed, during detox you are likely to experience a range of withdrawal symptoms. Hallucinogen withdrawal is normally predominantly psychological in nature – though some physical symptoms may manifest psychosomatically, and others may be a consequence of consuming a particular type of hallucinogen – and some psychological withdrawal symptoms can be extremely distressing and debilitating. In some cases they can also be very dangerous – suicidal ideation is not uncommon at this point – and because of this doctors will be on hand 24/7 to ensure your safety.
Your doctors may decide as early as immediately following your initial assessment to prescribe medication to tackle the withdrawal symptoms they believe are likely to develop (or which may already have begun to manifest, depending on how long after your last dose you have arrived at the clinic). Medically assisted detox can help make withdrawal infinitely more bearable – though bear in mind that it is not universally provided and may not be deemed appropriate in your case.
After completing detox, and once the majority of your withdrawal symptoms have either disappeared completely or subsided to a manageable level, you will move into the next phase of treatment (which is sometimes known as rehabilitation – though confusingly this is also a term used to describe addiction treatment as a whole, and the clinic in which such treatment is provided.Rehabilitation is based upon therapy aimed at dealing with the underlying psychological causes of your hallucinogen addiction, and at providing you with coping strategies and defence mechanisms against relapse which you will be able to deploy once you leave the clinic.
As well as therapy, during rehabilitation you will also receive bespoke dietary and fitness plans (“healthy body, healthy mind”) and be able to use any fitness facilities such as gyms and swimming pools et cetera which your rehab may possess.
Once you complete your addiction treatment plan, you should not assume that your recovery is complete: on the contrary, recovery is a long-term (perhaps lifelong) process. To assist you through the period following your departure from the clinic, good rehabs will offer up to a year’s free aftercare to anyone who completes addiction treatment. You may also wish to engage in supplementary activities such as counselling or attending support groups (which may also be required by your aftercare plan) which can further shore up your recovery.
What is an Inpatient Rehab Programme?
Inpatient rehab (often also known as residential rehab) is what most people have in mind when they talk about “rehab” generally: treatment is provided to clients who reside on-site (usually for between one and three months, although other lengths of treatment may be provided by your treatment organisation) in a safe, peaceful, confidential, friendly and substance-free facility offering 24/7 medical support and providing access to a ready-made peer group comprising fellow recovering addicts who know the highs and lows of addiction and can provide potentially transformative support and companionship.
What is Outpatient Rehab?
If you do not feel able to remove yourself from obligations such as family and work for the entire duration of an inpatient treatment programme, you may wish to explore outpatient rehab, in which you will visit a clinic for appointments such as therapy sessions and possibly medication prescription, but will then be required to carry out the other components of your addiction treatment plan by yourself. While this flexibility can help some people balance life responsibilities and treatment, outpatient rehab is not without its challenges: it does not take you entirely away from the daily environment in which you have succumbed to hallucinogen abuse and addiction – including access to drug dealers – and therefore it can make relapse much more likely.
Some clinics offer day programmes, in which you may attend the clinic for treatment during the daytime (depending on the programme, for anywhere between one and seven days per week) but then head home or to other accommodation each night. Day programmes are usually thought to be appropriate for people living near the clinic; for clients with strong support networks which can help them when they are not at the facility; and for anyone who has obligations (for example, a young baby at home) which would make staying away from home overnight problematic. Day programmes are also often engaged in by addicts who have gone through treatment and are in recovery but who feel they need further support.
On the other hand, day programmes are not advisable for anyone living more than an hour or so away from the clinic, or for anyone lacking a strong support network. Day programmes are also usually inappropriate for anyone suffering from dual diagnosis (or any other health issue which could make treatment more complicated).
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Intensive outpatient programmes
As the name suggests, intensive outpatient treatment isa more intensive approach to standard outpatient treatment. Intensive outpatient treatment programmes require clients to visit the clinic for several (usually four or more each week) sessions of a longer duration (typically between three and five hours) than those provided during “normal” outpatient addiction treatment. For the rest of the week, clients can go about their daily lives, including possibly going to work (if their employers are able to structure their attendance around their treatment plans).
Clients in intensive outpatient treatment are usually obliged to undergo frequent drug testing to ensure they are remaining compliant with the requirements of their treatment plans, because the amount of time they have outside the clinic makes it possible for them to acquire substances of abuse if they cannot resist the temptation to relapse.
Ongoing care – usually known as “aftercare” – is care offered by clinics to clients who have completed their treatment plans, in order to give them the strongest possible foundation for recovery. Addicts in recovery can benefit from a variety of supplementary care including further therapy and counselling, prescriptions and more; an aftercare plan will typically include a schedule of such appointments to be given at the clinic (with others being carried out over the phone or via email) as well as a commitment to attend support group meetings and other activities provided outside the clinic itself.
Most good rehabs will offer up to a year’s free aftercare, with the frequency of appointments declining over the course of the year as you progress through recovery. It is vital that during your initial research into possible treatment options you enquire about the components of any aftercare plan offered, as the standard and intensity of aftercare can differ significantly from one treatment organisation to another.
How is Medication Used to Treat Addiction?
Although a great deal of research is ongoing, at present there is no pharmaceutical cure for addiction, including hallucinogen addiction; however, medication can and does play a number of important roles during treatment. Medication may be prescribed to reduce the intensity and frequency of cravings, and to help addicts taper down their intake over time; it can also be given as a safer, legal alternative to more problematic, dangerous and illegal drugs, and can even act to disincentivise substance abuse. In rehab, medication is most commonly given to alleviate withdrawal symptoms (though it should be remembered that not every such symptom can be treated pharmaceutically).
Medications used in addiction treatment & rehab
A number of different medications have been approved in the UK for use in the treatment of addiction. However, not every medication is relevant in every case of substance use disorder; moreover, even some which might normally be appropriate may need to be avoided in certain cases (for example if they might interact dangerously with other medication or with particular substances of abuse, or if they might exacerbate coexisting health issues). Because of the potential dangers associated with some medication it is vital that you never attempt to self-medicate your hallucinogen addiction: doing so could prove deadly. Instead, make sure you only ever take any medicine in strict accordance with your doctor’s instructions.
In rehab, medication is most commonly given to lessen the impact of withdrawal syndrome. However, bear in mind that your doctors may judge it unnecessary, or potentially dangerous, to prescribe medication and there is no guarantee that you will receive any. If you do not, you should not assume that this implies your condition to be any less serious; nor does it mean that your treatment is less likely to be wholly successful.
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
- Buprenorphine (Buprenex)
- Disulfiram (Antabuse)
- Acamprosate (Campral)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Modafinil (Provigil)
- Desipramine (Norpramin)
- Mirtazapine (Remeron)
- Bupropion (Buproban)
- Gabapentin (Fanatrex)
- Vigabatrin (Sabril)
- Baclofen (Kemstro)
- Topiramate (Topamax)
Psychotherapy for Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment
Therapy is the foundation of addiction treatment. Through therapy, you will reveal and tackle the underlying causes of your substance abuse and addiction and will be given various tools and techniques with which to resist the temptation to relapse, greatly improving your ability to lead a normal life free of hallucinogen abuse. Treatment which does not include therapy, but simply addresses the immediate pressures of dependence (for example, a detox-only approach to treatment) is unlikely to result in permanent abstinence: it will not deal with the root causes of addiction and therefore will not help an addict stay “clean” once they leave treatment.
A range of therapy models have been developed for use in the treatment of addiction (some of which are typically provided alongside medication), and in rehab therapy may be provided in various formats including individual and group sessions.
Coping-focused psychotherapy methodologies are commonplace in addiction treatment – most rehabs will offer at least one, and possibly both, of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) – with therapist and client working together to investigate why the coping strategies the client may have deployed previously have been unsuccessful, and to develop more effective strategies for use once the client leaves rehab.
Social skills/interpersonal/growth psychotherapy
People suffering from poor social and interpersonal skills often find it very difficult to build and sustain important relationships (such as romantic or professional ones). This has obvious implications for general happiness and financial security, and the challenges typically caused by inadequate interpersonal skills can drive people into a range of negative behaviours including substance abuse – and if addiction then results, these problems can be compounded as the addict becomes increasingly isolated, including from family and friends.
Interpersonal psychotherapy sees therapists working with clients to boost their social skills, with the long-term benefits including greatly increased levels of happiness and potentially of professional success. Interpersonal psychotherapy can also help make addiction treatment itself more successful, as clients come to be able to articulate their thoughts and feelings more fluently.
Exploratory psychotherapy –which is also known as psychodynamic psychotherapy –examines the relationship between past events and present behaviour. Traumatic experiences are a major driver of substance abuse and, consequently, of addiction, and addressing them and enabling clients to reshape their ways of coping with traumatic memories can have a hugely positive impact in terms of reducing the compulsion to engage in substance abuse – as well as significantly improving the client’s general psychological wellbeing.
Exploratory psychotherapy can be a protracted process as therapists need to work very carefully when exploring what are often hugely distressing experience. However, the benefits of this approach to therapy can be remarkably profound (especially in terms of improving self-esteem, self-awareness and mood regulation) and clients frequently decide to remain in therapy for quite some time (perhaps even indefinitely) after completing addiction treatment and achieving abstinence.
Types of psychotherapy used in hallucinogens addiction treatment
Some people do not “click” with every type of therapy and may prefer to try out different models before settling on the approach which feels most beneficial to them. However, not all clinics are equally flexible in this regard; when contacting clinics during your research period, ask what scope you will be given to try out different therapy models.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
- Art therapy
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Dialectical behavioural therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Family therapy
- Fitness therapy
- Group therapy
- Holistic therapy
- Individual therapy
- Music therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
The Recovery Process
You should not assume that you will have completed your recovery simply because you have completed treatment; when you leave the clinic it can be useful to adopt the mindset that your recovery will be a very long-term (possibly life-long) process, because that way you will be more likely to stay dedicated to the process and vigilant for potential pitfalls. Even years after your last instance of hallucinogen abuse, relapse could lead you very quickly back into dangerous old habits, potentially undermining all the hard work you put into achieving abstinence during your treatment.
Elements of recovery
Everyone’s journey through addiction and treatment is unique, as is everyone’s experience of recovery, and while there is much to be learned from another person’s recovery journey you should not assume that there is one “roadmap” to the process. However, it can help to break recovery down into different elements common to all experiences, which you can then work on in therapy in rehab (indeed, some therapy models are particularly useful when it comes to addressing particular components of recovery and your therapists may emphasise these elements during your treatment).
- Developing hope
- Secure base
- Sense of self
- Supportive relationships
- Social inclusion
- Coping skills
- Giving meaning
How Long are Hallucinogens Rehab Programmes?
How long you will need to remain in treatment for your hallucinogen addiction will be affected by numerous factors including the severity of your addiction, how long you have been abusing hallucinogens, your physical and mental health, and the specific type of treatment being provided. While a typical stay in rehab will last between one and three months, you may respond especially well to treatment and move through the process faster than initially planned (or, on the other hand, may face unexpected challenges and need to remain in rehab for longer than expected) so a degree of flexibility over the timeframe of your treatment is strongly advised.
What does Hallucinogens Rehab Cost in the UK?
Giving even a very rough estimate of the cost of hallucinogen addiction treatment in the UK can be futile as costs range so significantly from one treatment organisation to the next – and even from one treatment plan to another within the same rehab. Residential rehab usually costs between £4,000 and £15,000 per month, with precise costs depending on a host of factors including the type of treatment with which you are provided, any specialist care you may need, and the standard of the facility you attend.
Because of the wide range of potential costs, it can be dangerous to make any assumptions regarding the overall cost of your treatment without getting specifics from any clinic you speak with before you take any final decisions regarding treatment options. An addiction specialist can help you regarding how to establish costs, as well as potentially pointing you towards less expensive alternatives.
Hallucinogens Addiction Recovery and Aftercare
Good rehabs usually offer up to a year’s free aftercare following the completion of an addiction treatment plan. No matter how much you may want to move forward with your life and leave your addiction in the past (many addicts find it difficult to return to the clinic because it reminds them so strongly of their recent struggles) you should take full advantage of aftercare as it can greatly strengthen your recovery.
Recovery and community
The stronger your support network, the more secure your recovery will be. However, while your loved ones and friends will obviously be extremely important in this regard, they are not the only group to which you can turn for support. One silver lining to the UK’s addiction epidemic is that there are now many thousands of recovering addicts who are active in providing support and companionship to others going through the recovery process, and this community can be extremely beneficial to you once you complete hallucinogen addiction treatment. Moreover, you can help others in turn, which can be very therapeutic for you – as well as helping you address and get new perspectives on some of the issues with which you may still wrestle during this period.
A number of organisations – including Narcotics Anonymous (NA) – now host support group meetings throughout the country for recovering addicts of all kinds, including hallucinogen addicts. Such meetings are typically free to attend, with the only requirement being an ongoing commitment to leading an abstinent life. To find out more about support group organisations, including which host meetings in your area, speak with an addiction specialist.
NA uses the 12-step model first developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Although 12-step models may not be appropriate for everyone (certain steps may be incompatible with a person’s belief system) they have saved literally millions of lives around the world and you may benefit hugely from participating in such activity. For more information on 12-step models, get in touch with an addiction specialist.
Ready to Start Rehab?
Your hallucinogen addiction is a very serious problem which could lead to the destruction of everything you hold dear in your life, and could even contribute to your death. As a result, overcoming your addiction is absolutely imperative if you are to enjoy the happy and successful life you want and deserve, and the sooner you can get professional help the better. If you are ready to admit to your condition and devote yourself to treatment, reach out to your doctor and/or an addiction specialist as soon as you can.
Take control of your life – get started on the road to recovery
A hallucinogen addiction can be an extremely chaotic condition and you may well feel that you have lost control of your life – but if so you can take back that control with the right help, and return to a life free of substance abuse and full of promise and success. Get in touch with your GP and/or an addiction specialist to discuss possible treatment options: making that call could well be your first step on the road to recovery and to the resumption of a happy, healthy life free of addiction. Don’t delay; make that call today.
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