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Understanding Spice Addiction and Rehab Treatment Options

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Spice (or K2) is a synthetic drug that is made to simulate the effects of the marijuana plant. For this reason, it is often referred to as ‘fake weed’ or ‘synthetic cannabinoids’. However, the actual chemical composition of the drugs is quite different, with Spice providing a much more intense effect, but also one that is incredibly addictive.

Once sold in shops as a ‘legal high’, Spice was soon banned in 2016 under the Psychoactive Substances Act. Usually solid in a solid or oil form, the drug can make you feel happy, relaxed, or euphoric, but it can also cause you to experience frightening hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, psychosis, and muscle weakness.

This is due to the much higher strength of the synthetic cannabis. It is for this combination of effects that Spice is both so addictive, yet also so damaging to your life.

As with many addictions, there is a range of rehabilitation treatment options available which can provide you with a stable foundation on which to recover from your addiction.

What to Expect from Treatment

Treatment for spice addiction will involve certain key steps that will help you move towards a drug-free life. The first of these steps will be detoxification, followed by inpatient or outpatient treatments involving therapy and rehabilitation activities, then aftercare programs, amongst others.

Treatment will be similar, but slightly different for each person as there may be cases where a dual diagnosis is present, or specific therapies or more effective. These will be discussed later in the article. Either way, getting screened and assessed for your addiction will help you take the correct actions moving forward, and help you and those helping you to greatly reduce your suffering.

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Addiction screening and assessment

Screening is typically done using a criteria of evidence-based screening tools (such as questionnaires) that help you and the professional doing the screening understand the nature and severity of your addiction. I.e. What drug or drugs are you addicted to? How often do you use them?

Cooperating with the screening and assessment honestly and openly will help you to get the most accurate results and reduce your suffering in the long run. After this is done, you can begin what is arguably the most important part of rehabilitation:

Detox.

Spice detoxification

Detox from Spice is the first step you need to take to recover from your addiction. Detoxification is the process by which you abstain from taking Spice in order to remove any traces of it from your system.

Doing so can cause you to experience painful and challenging withdrawal symptoms, as well as strong cravings to take more Spice. However, this step is absolutely necessary if you are to engage fully with the next stages of treatment. While the drug is still in your system, your dependence on it will remain strong, and make it difficult for you to get the results you desire from treatment such as therapy.

Once detox is complete you will have made an enormous step towards recovery and you can begin to engage with therapy fully.

Therapy

Therapy is one of the most important tools you have at your disposal when it comes to beating your addiction to Spice. Alongside a therapist, you will work through the underlying issues surrounding your addiction, such as emotions, habits, traumatic memories, and patterns of thinking in order to help you recover.

Any addiction is borne out of a variety of causes, and working with the therapist you can begin to understand the unique ways in which you are compelled towards Spice, and then learn to undo or master those ways so that you can significantly lessen your suffering. 
The therapist may work with you in a one on one setting, or you may attend group sessions. The therapist may also present you with valuable therapeutic techniques, such as the Cognitive Behavioural technique, which can assist you in the long-term, and help you to stay in control of your life.

Addiction education 

Addiction education, similar to therapy, helps you to understand the nature of addiction as it is understood by research. 
This includes how addiction is born from genetic determinants, certain environments, and complex psychological causes – an understanding which helps you to see why some people become addicted and why that isn’t necessarily their fault. It can also help you to understand how treatment can benefit your life, and what a drug-free life has to offer you.
Understanding addiction in this way helps you to understand your addiction, learn more about its presence in your life, and help you to understand that many others have suffered from conditions similar to yourself – In short, that you are not alone. It also helps you to let go of any painful judgement or shame you may feel about your addiction, and instead come to forgive yourself for its role in your life.

Follow up and aftercare (to avoid relapse)

Follow up and aftercare involves a long-term, post-treatment plan of recovery that has you less frequently engaging with a therapist but using certain techniques or patterns of behaviour to help you avoid a relapse into your Spice addiction. This can be simply avoiding any trigger situations which will prompt you to use the drug again, or staying clear of environments where there is easy access to the drug. You can also attend regular support groups for addiction that you have receiving help and helping others struggling with a similar addiction to yourself.[2] 

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This stage of the treatment helps you to come out of the umbrella of acute treatment you receive in rehab, and take key steps to master your addiction in the long term, giving you full control over your life moving forward. Something that not only reduces your suffering from addiction but also will increase your confidence and your happiness.  Take care to check if follow up and after care services are offered by the rehabilitation centre you are interested in before making a choice of which to attend.

Dual Diagnosis in Spice Addiction Treatment and Rehab

It is important that know that you are not necessarily the same as everyone suffering from a spice addiction. In some instances, you may also be suffering from an underlying mental health condition as well. This is incredibly important to identify in order to help treat your addiction.

Dual Diagnosis of an underlying mental health condition can be challenging, as many symptoms are similar in nature to those of addiction. This can make it difficult for a therapist to acutely diagnose. However, currently diagnosing what you are suffering from is important as it helps you to receive the correct treatment and improve your quality of life.

Simultaneous treatment is the most effective way to treat a dual diagnosis. This is because one condition may be creating the other, so treating the root cause can help to alleviate both conditions. However, if this causal relationship is not identified, then both conditions must be treated separately for a successful rehabilitation.When a dual diagnosis is being treated separately, a therapist will make sure that they treat each element in a way that does not aggravate the other. The therapist will work alongside you to discover the correct treatments that support and help you the most.

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Detoxification: The First Step of Spice Treatment

Detoxification is the first step for relieving your suffering from spice addiction. Although therapy may seem like the best option, removing the addictive substances from your body is an essential first step in helping to make any therapy you receive a success. Without doing so, any treatment becomes a lot more difficult. 
Detoxification is a process where your body is entirely cleansed of the drugs that you are addicted to. Generally, this is done before you take on any therapy, and there are a couple of key ways to undertake it:
A home detox is, as the name implies, done in your own home. This is usually a solitary detoxification and done without the constant medical attention that you would receive in something like rehab. This can seem like an appealing approach to detox, but it is important to understand that there are risks. A great number of individuals die each year when attempting to detox on their own – with this mind, a solitary home detox is generally advised against.
A residential detox is a detoxification process that you go through in a dedicated rehabilitation facility, where experienced staff can help you through the process of recovering from your addiction. This kind of experience can make your detoxification process much smoother, and at a greatly reduced level of suffering.

Lastly, there is a medically assisted detox. A medically assisted detoxification process is where you undergo detox aided by specific drugs and medication which lessen the painful and challenging symptoms of withdrawal. As the symptoms of withdrawal can be extremely challenging for those suffering from addiction, this can be an important support.

Medication used for Spice Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Withdrawal from spice addiction can come with several challenging symptoms. This is largely due to how the synthetic marijuana binds so tightly to brain receptors.

During withdrawal, you may experience symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and irritability. Some have been known to experience intense hallucinations and suicidal thoughts. As such, withdrawal can be an extremely difficult period of your rehabilitation, and expose you to additional suffering you’d otherwise seek avoid. To counter this, medication can sometimes be used.There are various medications which can help you lessen the painful symptoms of withdrawal. These can be as simple as painkillers, to more complex drugs that lessen the effects of your highs, reduce cravings, or help you to deal with the lows of depression.

However, medication should only be taken under supervision as getting the correct dose is essential to helping you manage your detox and prevent you from simply becoming addicted to another substance. That said, if taken correctly, a medication treatment can significantly increase your ease of life through withdrawal and as a result, greatly increase your chances of a successful recovery from the suffering of your addiction.

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Pros and Cons of Using Medication in Spice Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Medication treatment can be an enormous help in lessening the painful symptoms of withdrawal, as well as giving you more control over your cravings, and lessening your highs. These are all extremely positive aspects of the treatment which can help you to see great improvements in both your detox process and overall rehabilitation. 

However, it is important to know that any medication, despite how positive it may appear also comes with many side-effects which can have a negative impact and increase your suffering. Alongside this, many medications can develop into a crutch if over-relied on, and if taken without proper supervision, can develop into another addiction.Taken together, these are the most glaring pros and cons of medication, however, there is another element to consider. While medication can alleviate painful symptoms, it does not treat the underlying issues that are related to and motivate your addiction. With this in mind, it’s important that you treat medication as part of a wider treatment process – one that induces therapy to help you understand the underlying causes of your addiction.

Medication Replacement Programmes for Spice Addiction Treatment

There are a few examples of drugs that are effective medication replacement when it comes to treating Spice addiction. Sedatives like Benzodiazepines or anti-psychotics like quetiapine have been shown to be stand-out examples of drugs that can significantly help to reduce your suffering during your detox when your withdrawal symptoms are at their worst.

12 Step Programme for Spice Addiction Treatment and Rehab

One of the cornerstone methods of addiction therapy is what is known as the 12 Step Programme.

The 12-Step model has been adopted for various programmes but follows a general structure, as was outlined in the original Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book. It follows principles such as admitting a lack of control, recognition of a higher power, forgiveness, learning, acceptance, and helping others.

The 12-Step programme is a therapy that many find to be incredibly useful. However, there are other therapeutic techniques that must also be considered.

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Therapy in Spice Addiction Treatment

When treating your addiction to spice, there are a variety of therapy options that will be available to you. These are essential when it comes to learning to understand and manage your addiction, something that not only helps you in the short term but is something that you can carry with you and rely on the rest of your life. 

There are a few different options available to you, including, but not limited to Cognitive behavioural therapy, recreational activities, and counselling

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Spice Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a method of therapy that works with you to develop your self-control by rewiring your habits of behaviour and thought. This can lead to gain more control over your cravings and spot patterns of behaviour or situations where you might be more exposed to the risk of using Spice.

It has been shown that cognitive behavioural therapy teaches you techniques that stay with you throughout your life, long after the therapy itself has finished. This is why many people who undergo the therapy find it incredibly rewarding and empowering as it gives them back the fundamental control over their lives that they desire.

Therapeutic recreational activities

Another therapy available to you is therapeutic recreation. This is a process of therapy that uses different methods of recreation such as games, dance, and sports to provide you with the key psychological needs that increase your well-being.

Such activities are not only enjoyable but also highly social. These actives can lead to great reductions in depression, stress, and anxiety, all of which are difficult experiences which can emerge during rehabilitation. Addiction is also sometimes a lonely condition, so socialising with others can be an enormous in your life and help to relieve painful feelings of isolation.

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The Role of Counselling in Spice Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Perhaps the purest form of therapy is interacting with a counsellor on an individual basis. Alongside the therapies listed above, counselling can help you to treat your addiction to Spice and reduce the suffering it causes in your life.

When you are in counselling, the counsellor with work with you to help you understand the presence of addiction in your life, as well as help you to change the painful beliefs, thoughts, and behaviours that are causing you so much pain. This is an enormous benefit to your wellbeing and helps to support you as you go through rehab.

The counsellor will strive to understand your personal history and how it relates to your addiction so that they are best positioned to help you moving forward. All the information you share with them is confidential and helps them to best treat your addiction throughout your rehab process. While this is usually done in a one on one setting, it can also be done as group therapy.
The counsellor’s main goal is to help you overcome your addiction to spice, support you through rehab and help you to stay in the rehab process. By building a relationship with you, they provide you with a safe environment to treat your addiction and improve your life.

Choosing a Treatment centre for Spice Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Choosing the right treatment centre for spice addiction can be difficult, but there are ways to make it easier.Understanding the cost of the treatment centre is important, as the financial constraints of treatment are something you will need to consider. Alongside this, choosing a therapy centre with a proven track record of dealing with people who suffer from a similar condition to yourself can greatly increase your chances of a successful rehabilitation.

It is helpful to understand the different types of treatment offered. Such as long term vs short term, different age groups, and genders, and the location of the treatment.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Treatment

A short term treatment may be more suited to you if you are not heavily addicted to Spice. It will provide the temporary break you need to regain control of your addiction, however, for most addicts, this may not be enough and longer-term treatment will see much better results for them.

Your cravings will be strongest when you first begin rehabilitation, and due to this, shorter-term treatment programmes may not go on long enough for you to truly free yourself from your cravings for Spice.
In general, a 12-week programme of treatment seems to suit most people suffering from addiction and provide them with the most benefits. However, this will vary greatly depending on your level of addiction.

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All-Age Rehabs vs. Specific Age Group Rehabs

As the names imply, all-age rehab groups are open to people of any age. Specific-age rehab groups are only available to people of the appropriate age. Which one you choose depends on what it is you’re looking for from a rehab group, which is where the differences come into play. 

Firstly, different ages deal with addiction differently, so being with people your age might provide you with people you can more easily relate to. For example, adolescents are less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, which can make their rehabilitation very different from someone who is older. 

Secondly, the life situation of different age groups is important. You may have a family, a job, and financial worries. In comparison, an adolescent may have none of those responsibilities.

Despite these differences, being confronted with someone struggling with addiction in a different way to you can be beneficial. So whether you chose be in all-age or age-specific depends on what kind of experience you think you’d respond to best.

Gender-Specific vs. Mixed Gender Programmes

There are a variety of reasons why you would choose Gender-specific over Mixed Gender programmes (and vice versa). An immediate reason would be whether dealing with your addiction in the presence of the opposite gender would inflame any feelings of shame, or cause any other difficulty in dealing with your addiction. If this is the case, then a gender-specific programme may be better for you.

Similar to adolescents and adults, there are also differences when it comes to the experiences of addiction between men and women. Women’s bodies are very different to men, both hormonally and physically, and this can cause large disparities in the way they experience and recover from addiction. For instance, while men are more likely to become addicts, women progress from use of a substance to dependence on it much faster.[8]

Whether you would benefit from different experiences of addiction vs. similar, as well as the presence of the opposite gender are important to consider as they will have a strong effect on the experience of your treatment.

Treatment Near Home vs. Different City or County

Deciding where to attend rehab can be another important choice. Sometimes, travelling to a different city or country can be extremely beneficial as other countries or cities may have far superior treatment for the addiction which you struggle with. It can also put you in the mindset that you are quite literally on the journey of recovering from your addiction.

Alternatively, due to the constraints of your life, it may be more beneficial and practical to find a treatment that is close to your home as it will allow you to balance your various responsibilities with the treatment you need, as well as maintain your important relationships. Local treatments are also familiar with the area in which you live, which can make them more adept at designing an aftercare plan for you. On top of this, attending a local treatment will usually save you money when compared to travelling.

Inpatient Spice Addiction Treatment Programme

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Living in a residential facility is called an inpatient programme. This can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days, sometimes more. Engaging with the type of treatment means leaving your home and daily life behind, but it comes with many benefits when it comes to addiction.

An inpatient treatment programme is much more focused than other programmes, your detoxification process is closely monitored, and you get regular therapy from a therapist. This focused approach gives you much more control over your addiction and can greatly reduce your suffering.

Advantages of Inpatient Spice Addiction Treatment and Rehab centres

There are many benefits to inpatient addiction treatment that can make it a preferable option for treating addiction. Amongst these are that you will have no access to your addictive substance, which is crucial during your rehabilitation; you receive constant support, which helps you manage the symptoms of withdrawal; and you are provided with structure, which gives you a clear path towards relieving your suffering and conquering your addiction.

Outpatient Spice Addiction Treatment Programme

Alternatively, you can attend an outpatient treatment programme. This is a treatment programme that has you living outside of a rehab centre but attending regularly for treatment. Outside of these treatment hours, you are free to return home where you will be under your own supervision.

Outpatient programmes don’t typically begin until you are no longer taking Spice, so you will need to complete a full detox first. Whether or not an outpatient programme will work for you depends entirely on whether you feel you will feel better results on your own, or with the constant care and supervision of an inpatient programme.

Duration of Spice Addiction Rehabilitation

The length of rehab for Spice addiction varies from person to person, as the length of care you need is the most important thing. Some people suffering from Spice addiction experience a level of toxicity that causes them to experience long-lasting effects which require a longer level of care. This may be the case for you. 
As a result of this, the length of rehab will vary, but many programmes occur in 30-day increments ranging up to and potentially beyond 120 days. No matter the length, whichever length of treatment is right for you, and helps you to regain control over your life is the one that is the right.

Spice Addiction Rehabs and Confidentiality

Spice addiction treatment centres are extremely serious when it comes to confidentiality. It is also something that is regulated by UK law.

When you enter any treatment centre, it should be explained to you what information will be collected, when and what information will be shared with any other organisation involved with care, who the information will go to, and in what circumstances confidentiality is deemed to be breached.

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Questions to Ask Treatment Centres and Insurers

Here are some key questions to ask treatment centres to help you decide which centre is right for you:

  • Do you treat my addiction?
  • Do you have success in treating my addiction?
  • What kind of staff do you have? What are their qualifications/background of
    experience?
  • What is the cost?
  • Where are you located?
  • What is the typical programme of treatment?
  • What kind of support will I receive?

Alongside this, there are important questions to ask insurers that will help you know whether you are covered for rehab. For example:

  • Do you cover spice addiction treatment and rehab?
  • How long am I covered for spice addiction treatment?
  • Is there any additional cost to being covered?
  • Is there anything that would revoke my cover?

Spice Addiction Treatment & Health Insurance

You may be covered for spice addiction treatment under your health insurance although this will vary from insurer to insurer.  

Before you attend any rehab centre or treatment, you should contact your insurer and ask them the questions listed above as well as any questions you need to gain a clear understanding of what your financial support will be during treatment. This will help to alleviate any financial worries and help you get on with the treatment you want.

Spice Addiction Rehab and Treatment Statistics

The best tool you have for your treatment is you, but rehab can be of great help. Studies show that roughly 70% of people complete treatment, and 21% of those never relapse again. With this in mind, when you engage with rehab fully, it can be an incredible tool for making a full recovery and changing your life for the better.

Spice Addiction Treatment and Rehab Success Rate

As shown above, complete treatment can lead to a life where you would never relapse again. However, it is important to understand that this is down to you completing the treatment fully, and sticking to your after-care program. Although this is challenging, if this is something you work to achieve then you can and will see a great reduction in your suffering from addiction.

Get Help Today

If you are suffering from Spice addiction and seek to regain control of your life, then be sure to get help today! 

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Related FAQ’s

Will my body and brain return to pre-abuse/addiction state after rehab?
Yes, the body and brain can return to a pre-abuse / addiction state after rehab, although this depends on the amount of the drug that has been taken and for how long. Spice can cause long term brain changes as well as body damage, and in rare cases, this can be permanent if taken in large doses. However, with the right treatment the brain and body can return to a healthy state.
How severe are the withdrawal symptoms from Spice?
Spice can have severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, and breathing problems but these are rare. Other symptoms, such as vomiting, are more common, but typically resolve within a week.
Are there any guarantees with Spice rehab interventions?
No, there are no guarantees with spice rehab intervention. Although they can be successful, whether the person suffering from addiction decides to pursue rehab is ultimately their decision.
Are there home remedies for getting off Spice?
Over the counter pain killers might help with milder symptoms of withdrawal, but there are no proven home remedies for getting off Spice.
What are the relapse rates with Spice?
There are no concrete statistics when it comes to relapse rates with Spice. However, for general rehab statistics: Studies show that roughly 70% of people complete treatment, and 21% of those never relapse again.

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