Many people in the UK struggle with crippling drug addictions. It is common for others to assume that this refers only to illegal substances. However, prescription drug addiction is also a widespread problem and one that is becoming more frequent. But despite illegal drug use declining in the last few years, there are still many individuals who have not reached out for help and who continue to struggle under the weight of their addictions every single day. So, who suffers from drug addiction? This is a question that is commonly asked but one that is often answered incorrectly.
Who Is Affected by Drug Addiction?
The topic of drug addiction is one that is often surrounded by stigma and shame. Those affected often do not want to admit to having a problem because of the fear of being judged or discriminated against. The sad truth is that this is often what happens to those with this illness.
Those with little understanding of addiction usually believe that it is a self-inflicted condition. They do not even see it as an illness, more as a consequence of bad behaviour. It is not uncommon for unaffected people to be heard saying that drug addicts should just be left to get on with it if they cant be bothered to quit.
These same individuals may also believe that those affected by drug addiction come from deprived areas or have little or no education. There is a huge amount of snobbery and stereotyping that goes on when it comes to drug addiction, and the truth is often overlooked.
The reality is that drug addiction does not pick and choose. You cannot be exempt from drug addiction on certain grounds such as your age, wealth, or religion. If you use illegal drugs or prescription medication, you can be prone to addiction no matter how old you are, how much money you have, or where you come from.
What Causes Drug Addiction?
The issue of who suffers from drug addiction is one that depends on several factors. While there is no single cause that can be pinpointed for everyone, there are a few issues that can raise a persons risk of addiction. For example, those exposed to drugs at an early age are more likely to suffer themselves when they are older.
A family history of addiction can also play a role in determining who and who does not develop an addiction. As well as genes, being brought up in a home where drug abuse is present can influence how the child will respond to certain life situations when he or she is older. It is known that having a parent with a drug addiction increases a childs risk for addiction.
Another factor that increases the likelihood of addiction becoming a problem is traumatic experiences. Some people turn to mood-altering substances to help them cope with troubling or painful memories. For example, if someone was bullied, abused or was the victim of domestic violence, he or she could use drugs to help numb the pain.
The loss of a parent or living with a mentally ill parent or relative can also have an impact on a persons risk for addiction. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that even having every single risk factor does not guarantee that someone will be affected. Conversely, there are many who go on to develop a drug addiction without having one single risk factor.
How Drug Addiction Affects the Family?
When asking the question of who suffers from drug addiction, there really is no definitive answer. It is impossible to predict who will and who will not be affected. If it were possible, it is highly likely that most cases could be prevented.
But one thing is clear while we cannot say who will be affected by drug addiction for certain, we do know that many individuals suffer because of it. Believing that drug addicts do not harm anyone but themselves is naïve and incorrect. The reality is that this is an illness that stretches far and wide in terms of the damage it causes.
There is no doubt that the individual suffers greatly because of drug addiction, but others are also negatively affected. For the most part, it is the family members of the addict who bear the brunt of this illness. They have to live with the addict whose behaviour has changed dramatically. Some family members claim to no longer recognise the person they have known and loved for many years once he or she falls into the clutches of addiction.
Addiction can change the way the brain functions, which can result in unpredictable behaviour that can be upsetting and troubling for the addicts family. Watching someone you love destroying his or her life is often unbearable and made all the worse by the fact that there is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop it.
All members of the family will feel the effects of one persons drug addiction. Some will try to do everything they can to help the addict and will go into overdrive in their attempts to find the most suitable programme of rehabilitation. When they find the one they believe will help their addicted loved one, they will beg and plead with him or her to agree to attend. These pleas often fall on deaf ears. Until the addict is ready to accept help for addiction, family members will be wasting their time trying to force the issue. After a while, the family member may give up in frustration, which can lead to him or her checking out and washing their hands of the addicted loved one.
Relationships might become strained and the addict will be free to carry on with his or her addictive behaviour. However, trying continuously to get an addict into treatment can place untold stress on family members, with some realising that their own behaviour and lives have changed dramatically in response to the actions of the addict.
There is no single unifying trait that all addicts have, and this is what makes finding the answer to who suffers with drug addiction almost impossible to find. The only thing that every drug addict has in common is a need for help to overcome the illness.
It is possible to quit drugs alone but not easy, and those who do manage to quit and stay clean are in the minority. Even those who go it alone will require help of some sort. Family support is vital when it comes to beating addiction, and this applies to those who go it alone or who get professional help.
The best way to overcome a drug addiction is with a programme of detox, rehabilitation, and aftercare. All three elements combine to ensure that the individual will have the best chance of long-term successful recovery.
A drug detox can be complicated, but in a dedicated facility, staff will ensure that the comfort and safety of the patient is always the number one priority. Medication is often administered to ease or prevent the worse symptoms, and around-the-clock support is provided to make the entire process easier.
A detox programme will typically take between one and two weeks to be completed, and the type of symptoms that a person experiences will typically depend on a number of factors, including the type of drug the person was abusing and how long for. Other factors include mental and physical health problems and age.
Moving on to Rehabilitation
Although a detoxification is vital in terms of breaking the bond between user and substance, there is more to recovery than this. A drug addiction is usually broken down into two elements a physical and a psychological dependence.
The physical dependence is tackled with the detox while the psychological dependence is addressed with a programme of rehabilitation. Both programmes must be completed for the patient to fully overcome the addiction.
Rehab programmes are either based on the residential model or the day care model, and patients will be recommended to a specific programme depending on their treatment requirements and circumstances. For example, someone with a severe drug addiction might be referred to a residential programme in a private clinic where he or she will stay for between six and twelve weeks. During this time, the person will receive an intensive treatment programme that may incorporate a variety of traditional and holistic treatments.
Private clinics tend to have the remit on residential programmes and offer excellent accommodation in secure and tranquil surroundings. The environment is free from distractions and temptations, giving the patient the chance to recover without worrying about other everyday issues.
Inpatient programmes are not the only option when it comes to beating addiction though. There are many outpatient programmes available for those who either cannot or do not want to be away from home for an extended period.
An outpatient programme is less intensive than an inpatient programme but no less effective when it comes to beating addiction. Nevertheless, for this programme to work, the patient will require a real desire to change and a willingness to commit to recovery.
What Is Aftercare?
One of the elements of a comprehensive recovery programme is often neglected but is considered by many experts to be vital to long-term success. This element is aftercare and it is essential when it comes to maintaining sobriety; patients are recommended to include this in their recovery programme.
Studies have consistently shown that the first twelve months after rehab is the time when recovering addicts are most susceptible to the risk of relapse. This is what makes aftercare so important, but what exactly is aftercare and what does it entail?
Aftercare is additional support during the early days of recovery and is usually, but not always, included with a programme of rehabilitation. Those who are transitioning from a programme of inpatient rehabilitation back to normal, everyday living will require support during this uncertain time. This may come in the form of regular counselling or therapy sessions with someone from the rehab clinic, or it could be phone contact when required. Nonetheless, aftercare is also available from local support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and recovering addicts are usually advised to get involved with their local fellowship support group.
We Can Help You
To access a programme of detox, rehabilitation, and aftercare for a drug addiction, please get in touch with us here at UK Rehab. We can assist when it comes to finding the most suitable provider for you and your needs. All we ask is that you get in touch with us today and allow us to evaluate your situation through a series of questions and answers with one of our fully trained advisors.
Our service is free and confidential and our advisors are friendly individuals who want to help you get better. Many of them have been through their own recovery journeys so can offer first-hand advice on the process and how to get started. Please call right now to find out more about who we are and how we can help you get your life back on the right track.