Everybody needs a little help from time to time, if you're looking for advice, this is a good place to start.

Drug Addiction Recovery Options

Drug addiction is a complex disorder that affects nearly every aspect of an individual’s life, including their family, work, school, relationships and community. Because of this, drug addiction treatment must involve a variety of treatment methods in order to support the recovery process. From group support meetings, to residential treatment, to dual diagnosis treatment, there are a variety of options for drug addiction recovery.

Detoxification and Medically Managed Withdrawal

  Detoxification is usually the first step in drug addiction treatment. During detox, the body clears itself of drugs and undergoes a period of withdrawal that produces uncomfortable and sometimes even fatal side effects. Depending on the type of drug the individual is detoxing from, medications are available to help ease these withdrawal symptoms. Detox alone is not an effective form of treatment because it doesn’t address the psychological, social and behavioral problems associated with addiction. Detox simply manages the acute and potentially dangerous physiological effects of stopping drug use.

Residential Treatment

  Residential treatment provides 24-hour care that’s highly structured and focuses on developing personal accountability, responsibility and socially productive lives. Treatment confronts the individual’s problems head on with activities designed to help them examine their damaging beliefs, self-concepts and destructive patterns of behavior and adopt new more constructive ways to interact with others. Residential treatment is often based on the 12-step approach and can be modified to treat individuals with special needs, such as teens, women, individuals in the criminal justice system, and people with severe mental disorders. Short-term residential treatment can last anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks, and long-term residential treatment anywhere from 6 to 12 months.

Behavioral Treatment

  Behavioral treatments help patients modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse and increase healthy life skills. There is a wide range of behavioral treatment options, including: * Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps the patient recognize, avoid and cope with the situations that usually cause them to abuse drugs. * Multidimensional family therapy, which helps teens with drug abuse problems and their families to address the influences on their drug abuse patterns and improve overall family functioning. 

Individualised Drug Counseling

  In addition to focusing on stopping drug or alcohol use, individualised drug counseling also addresses areas such as employment status, illegal activity, family/social relationships, and the patient’s recovery program. Individualised counseling helps the patient develop coping strategies and tools to maintain sobriety. The addiction counselor encourages 12-step participation at least once or twice a week and makes referrals for supplemental services such as medical, psychiatric and employment, if needed.

Group Counseling

  Group therapy allows individuals to share their experiences in a group setting of their peers and receive education and support from a trained guidance counselor. Research shows that recovery is more successful when group therapy is offered in conjunction with individualized drug counseling and behavioral therapy.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

  Having a dual diagnosis of alcohol or drug addiction together with a mood or personality disorder such as depression, anxiety or bi-polar disorder requires great care and special attention during the addiction recovery process. Ignoring one during treatment often results in the other flaring up and exacerbating the situation. Traditional treatments like antidepressants, mood stabilizers and other medications are still preferred by many patients and their doctors, but alternative holistic dual diagnosis treatments are gaining popularity over strictly pharmaceutical methods.

Worried about a friend? Here's how you can help them out!

Not all drugs are addictive, and not allusers are addicted but some drug users do develop a dependence. People who are dealing with addiction usually:

  • Feel the need for the drug regularly. 

  • Have a constant supply of it.

  • Have failed to stop using.

   Most people who have a drug problem don’t know they have one or refuse to believe that they are addicted or dependent.

If you think your friend has a problem and you want to help them, think about what you’re going to say.  It's probably  a sensitive subject for them and you don’t want to look like you’re nagging.

They may not listen to you at first but don’t let this put you off.  The best thing that you can do is to be there for them, to support and encourage them to change.

The best thing you can do is keep your friend away from situations and places which might temp them to use- like say the pub or a mate's house. Try to show them some other things to do to keep themselves busy.

With the proper help and support, many drug users are able to overcome their drug use before any serious harm has been done to them, or their family and friends.  Other drug users without support have to hit rock bottom before they can see the harm and damage they are doing and start addressing their drug use.

There are a number of ways to get the information you need to help your friend. You may want to know more about the drug by exploring the drugs list, read about treatment or to find out what services are available to you locally. 


Talk to Frank - Straight up, unbiased information about drugs 

0800 77 66 00 Free (Calls from mobiles may vary), Daily - 24 hrs 

Text 82111

Website: Talk to Frank

Alcoholics Anonymous - Advice on getting over alcohol addiction   0845 769 7555 Calls charged at local rate

Website: Alcoholics Anonymous

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