According to the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS), an estimated 43% of the population (roughly around 9 million people) aged 14 and over admitted to using an illicit drug at least once in their lifetime.
Just under half of this estimated amount had used the illicit drug in the past year – an increase since 2007 in the number of drug users in Australia.
It would be relatively easy for a majority of the surveyed people to continue to use alcohol or drugs completely recreationally, but for some, this is not possible, and addiction and dependence can soon take over a person’s life.
Data shows that this is true, as in 2019 alone there were a devastating 1,865 deaths from drug abuse and addiction in Australia, equivalent to around 7.4 per 100,000 people.
In the same year, the most commonly used drug was cannabis, but this was followed closely by cocaine and ecstasy.
If you are someone who is experiencing a substance addiction, it is time to reach out to us here at Rehab 4 Addiction today.
With our support and guidance, you could soon be on your way to a full recovery in a suitable and local drug and alcohol rehab in Australia.
To make sure you are admitted to a rehab facility in Australia that can appropriately treat your personal needs, you will undergo two quick and easy evaluation-type assessments.
These assessments will tell us all we need to know about you, such as what kind of rehabilitation you will need (some facilities cater just for those battling alcohol addictions, some do the same for those with other drug addictions), and what your treatment should look like.
After these assessments – usually one over the phone and one in person – we will have all the information needed to narrow down your facility and treatment options, which we will then recommend to you.
From our suggested options, you can make an educated decision on where to attend, and you will then be admitted to your chosen drug and alcohol rehab in Australia.
Dependence on substances such as drugs or alcohol can often be referred to as a physical addiction.
Other addictions such as shopping, gambling, and collecting items can be referred to as the opposite; psychological addictions.
Though these two types of addiction can overlap at times, we use these terms to differentiate how an addiction presents itself, and how it can impact an individual.
Physical addictions are usually associated with the development of tolerance for whichever substance the individual is using, and the presence of physical withdrawal symptoms (headaches, muscle pain, nausea, etc).
Psychological addictions can of course exhibit similar symptoms, but they are usually more cognitive and emotional.
Alcohol detox is the process of ridding your body of the toxins within it. It is the crucial first step on the journey to recovery, and you will likely undergo one if you attend a drug and alcohol rehab in Australia.
Throughout the detoxification process, it is highly likely that you will experience a number of withdrawal symptoms.
These can range from mild to much more aggressive and can change quickly and uncontrollably, which is why it is important to always detox in the care of medical professionals that can intervene if necessary.
During the first 24 hours of a detox, you may experience mild symptoms such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, shakes, fatigue, and irritability.
These symptoms – usually the most painful symptoms – will likely continue into day 2, where panic attacks may occur as the body rids itself of alcohol.
Days 3-7 will see symptoms coming and going.
This is the period of time where you are most at risk of developing withdrawal symptoms that could potentially be life-threatening, though they are rare.
After this first week, you should see symptoms tapering off slowly as your body adjusts to the lack of alcohol and the chemicals they release.
It is common at this time to experience Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), which is the prolonged symptoms of detox. Some clients may experience low energy, anxiety, delayed reflexes and trouble sleeping as a result of PAWS.
In order to fully recover from drug addiction, you will likely have to undergo a full drug detox at your chosen drug and alcohol rehab in Australia.
The point of drug detox is to help your body heal from the toxins that remain from your previous drug use and to minimise the physical harm that may result from quitting your drug of choice after a sustained period of time.
The length of this process can vary depending on the client.
During this detox stage, it is highly likely that you will experience several withdrawal symptoms, which can range from mild to quite aggressive.
Some examples of mild side effects commonly experienced include mood swings, fatigue, muscle pain, nausea, shaking, headaches, and dizziness, whilst some of the more severe symptoms can include tremors, seizures, disorientation, and hallucination.
Rest assured that the team at your chosen drug and alcohol rehab in Australia will be highly-trained and ready for anything.
They will be able to guide you through the drug detox process and can prescribe you the appropriate medication to ease withdrawal symptoms if necessary.
If you are battling a drug or alcohol addiction as well as a mental health disorder, you are unknowingly experiencing what is referred to as a dual diagnosis.
Dual diagnosis is the condition of experiencing both a mental or behavioural condition and a substance dependence, and it is very common – around 45% of people with an addiction are also facing a variety of mental health disorders.
Some of the most common mental health disorders that are found in dual diagnoses are:
Because the two issues are not mutually exclusive, there are overlapping factors that can aggravate both your mental disorder and your existing addiction, such as genetics, certain brain responses, and exposure at an early age.
If you think you are suffering from both an addiction and a mental health condition, get in contact with us as soon as you can.
We are able to alter your treatment plans to cover both issues equally and effectively, and can find you a more suitable drug and alcohol rehab in Australia for your situation.
Rehab is hard work, and hard work takes time.
The average length of time spent on a residential rehab programme in a drug and alcohol rehab in Australia is 28 days, though of course this is simply an average, and will not be the experience for every client.
No matter how long you spend in rehab, your journey to recovery is still very much possible.
Do not be ashamed if you require longer in order to recover, and don’t view needing less time in rehab as an instant ‘cure’, or an excuse to be lax when it comes to aftercare.
Every addiction is different, so every treatment plan must be too.
To ensure you are receiving the treatment that is most beneficial for you, your treatment plan is created with your personal needs and aspects of your specific addiction in mind.
This means that you will likely only experience a select few forms of therapy.
Some of the therapy and counselling methods that are commonly used include:
1. Motivational interviewing
Motivational interviewing is a counselling method involving four guiding principles (Resist the reflex, Understand the motivations, Listen with empathy, and Empower – or ‘RULE’) that aim to improve a clients motivation to change
2. Contingency management
Contingency management is a simple treatment involving prizes as rewards for good behaviour
3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psycho-social intervention that focuses on challenging and changing cognitive behaviours and improving emotional regulation
4. Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is a type of talking therapy that is similar to CBT, but is adapted for people who feel emotions more intensely than others
The well-known 12 steps were created by the fellowship group Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and are directions meant to provide members and others battling addictions a clear path to sobriety.
These 12 step programmes are often considered to be the fellowship of mutual support groups such as AA and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
Many report the programme as not just a recovery tactic, but a way of life that they continue to live by years into their recoveries.
Though they have been adapted slightly over the years to fit with the fast-moving times, the meanings of each step remain mostly the same across current recovery programmes.
The majority of the steps have the same meaning today as they did when they were first created.
The steps are:
11. Making Contact
By following this 12 step model, clients can hope to gain a clear understanding of themselves and the way their addiction has hurt them and the people around them.
They can also learn to accept their faults and behaviour, whilst also being committed to changing themselves with the help of a higher power and others.
The final steps of the programme ensure that clients continue with the progress made throughout, and even pass on what they have learnt to those in need.
Though of course there is always a chance you may relapse after you leave the care of your drug and alcohol rehab in Australia, your chances of doing so decrease the longer you stay sober.
It is reported that around 21% of people relapse within their second year of recovery, whilst only 10% relapse in years 3-5, and even less relapse after their fifth year, at around 7%.
To help decrease your chances of relapsing even further, a relapse prevention plan can be made.
A relapse prevention plan will look at aspects of you such as your history with substances, the exact substances you have used, and your personal triggers that would likely lead you to relapse.
With this data, your plan of prevention can be created, as well as an action plan for if you do happen to experience a relapse.
The more detailed this plan is, and the more personal and specific it is to you, the better your chances are of not relapsing early on or at all.
Joining a mutual support group such as AA or NA can greatly improve your chances of staying on track with recovery from addiction, and further decrease your chances of experiencing a relapse.
These groups – and those made especially for loved ones of those who are struggling with substance dependence such as Alateen and Al-anon – have a huge focus on community, honesty and sponsorship, and usually follow some form of the 12 step programme.
Through these 12 steps, and also through social interaction and support from those with similar experiences, you can hope to maintain a healthy recovery and find the support you need to continue living your new substance-free life.
There is no fee in participating in official AA/NA fellowship groups, and they are open to anyone, and any age.
To ensure that you attend the best possible group for your addiction and personal recovery journey, we recommend doing some research on the possible options in your area before committing to one.
Some groups offer expansive support for all addictions, whereas some specialise between drug addictions and alcohol addictions, and some groups specialise even further by catering to the exact substance you may have used.