According to Islington council statistics, the estimated number of opiate users in Islington is 1,873.
Many of those with substance dependency do not receive treatment.
For those suffering from substance dependency, it is recommended that they seek treatment.
This article will discuss the drug and alcohol rehab options in Islington.
It will explain what services are available and what to expect when entering rehab.
One of the first questions that many people ask before entering treatment is: how do I know if I am addicted?
This is a fair question, as it is not always obvious for those that have either just begun using a substance or are unfamiliar with the signs of dependency.
There are, however, many signs that can be a useful indicator that someone has a substance dependency.
Most substances, whether drugs or alcohol, have a physical and psychological impact on people.
When a substance is consumed over a long period, the brain and body will become accustomed to its presence, begin to crave it, and need the substance to function properly.
Alcohol dependency, for example, leads to many physical and psychological symptoms, such as:
For heroin, this might include:
For cocaine, symptoms might include:
These are just a few examples – there are often many more physical and psychological indicators of addiction.
One of the most prominent signs of dependency is withdrawal.
Without the substance, the body will begin to try to expel the substance from the body.
This can lead to some unpleasant symptoms.
Some universal symptoms of withdrawal include:
Substance dependency also tends to manifest itself in:
Some other indicators might include:
To help assess if someone has developed a substance dependency, medical professionals developed the CAGE (Cutting Down, Annoyance by Criticism, Guilty Feeling, Eye-openers) questionnaire.
Like other addiction questionnaires, the CAGE questionnaire uses four questions to determine whether someone has a dependency.
Research has found that the CAGE questionnaire has a 93% success rate.
For alcohol dependency, the questions are as follows:
Although the CAGE questionnaire was developed for alcohol dependency, it has been adapted for those that suffer from drug dependency:
Entering rehab can be a daunting prospect for those suffering from substance dependency.
This could be for several reasons, such as fear of acceptance, social rejection or the difficulty of the treatment process.
Alternatively, many individuals might not believe themselves to need professional help.
For the loved ones of those that have a dependency, this can lead to a lot of concern and frustration.
A common solution to these issues is for loved ones to organise an intervention.
An intervention, as the name suggests, refers to the process of concerned others attempting to prevent and alter someone’s substance use.
This can take on many forms but is most commonly a gathering where the loved ones express their concerns and attempt to convince the person with the dependency to seek professional help.
Unfortunately, interventions can lead to a negative confrontation, and it is recommended to seek the help of a professional.
A medical professional will be able to assist in the process, give useful information, help strategise and organise the intervention, and provide useful tips for positive communication.
Most medical professionals that specialise in intervention suggest that there are several important factors to consider.
For example, the primary goal of an intervention is persuasion.
For this to be successful, concerned others must approach the subject carefully, and with compassion and understanding.
In addition, the outcome of the intervention should lead to accountability.
Individuals with substance dependency must recognise that they need help.
Many methods have been developed to help with this process.
One such method is Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT).
The CRAFT method was developed to help guide concerned others to interact with those that have a substance dependency.
It has several aims, and guides concerned others to:
This intervention method will take place over several months, where a professional will organise meetings to assess the needs of the family and the individual with substance dependency.
For those based in Islington and struggling with substance dependency, the Islington council have set up an organization called Better Lives.
Better Lives offers support with substance dependency for those over the age of 18.
In addition to Better Lives and local services in Islington, treatment is available through the NHS.
To access treatment through the NHS, individuals must first speak with their General Practitioner.
The GP will be able to recommend suitable treatment and make a referral if needed.
It should be noted that referrals for residential treatment are rare and are only offered to those with severe addiction.
Instead, it is most likely that the GP will recommend local services, such as Better Lives, a key worker, or an outpatient treatment program.
If these options are not successful, then the GP or a key worker will make a referral for residential treatment via the Islington council.
This requires the approval of a funding application by the council.
The wait time for residential treatment usually takes between 6 months and a year.
In some cases, this could be longer deadening upon availability and demand.
Alternatively, there is the option to enter a private facility.
Private treatment is expensive, however, often costing upwards of £10,000 per month.
On average, UK residential rehabs costs between £400-500 per day.
In some cases, however, employee or health insurance will cover the cost of rehab.
To find out if insurance will cover the cost of treatment, individuals are recommended to speak with their insurance provider or employer.
Some insurance policies will cover all expenses, but this is not the norm.
On average, rehab can last between several weeks to several months.
Treatment for more severe cases can last much longer.
For example, those that have been using a substance for a long time might require more treatment.
The reason for this is that the withdrawal process might take more time and the individual might also need more therapy and counselling before leaving the facility.
When seeking treatment for substance dependency, there are commonly two options: inpatient and outpatient treatment.
Both share the same goals: to offer detox and post-detox support to help individuals overcome substance dependency.
However, inpatient and outpatient treatment differ in their approach and have various individual benefits.
Inpatient treatment is residential – this means that individuals will stay at a facility overnight for a period.
Inpatient treatment tends to be more intensive and aimed at those with severe addiction.
Inpatient treatment is typically very structured. Patients will undergo a 24/7 supervised detox followed by intensive therapy and counselling.
Inpatient treatment usually lasts between 28 days to 6 months.
Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, is not residential.
Individuals receiving outpatient treatment will continue to live at their own residence and will attend treatment centres – usually between 10 to 12 hours per week.
Outpatient is often better suited to individuals that have other engagements or for those that have a less severe dependency.
Individuals will undergo a variety of different sessions during their treatments.
Outpatient treatment can last for several months. However, in some cases, it can last for over a year.
The initial steps for entering rehab are the same, regardless of the substance.
The pre-admission assessment involves discussing the nature of the addiction, such as which substance is the cause of the dependency, the duration the individual has been taking the substance, and whether residential treatment is the best option.
This assessment period helps determine the severity of the dependency.
Some questions that might be asked are:
Upon entering rehab, individuals will then undergo a medical assessment – both psychical and psychological.
This will help determine the severity of the addiction and to check for dual-diagnosis.
Dual-diagnosis refers to the interaction between addiction and mental health.
However, it is also common for people suffering from mental issues to use drugs as coping mechanisms, developing an addiction.
Diagnosing any mental health conditions will allow for a more thorough treatment, helping to ensure long-term recovery.
After the medical assessment, individuals will go through detox: the process of expelling the substance from the body.
During the detox process, individuals will most likely experience withdrawal symptoms.
These symptoms can vary depending upon the substance and the severity of the dependency.
Cannabis, for example, has a less severe detox process. Symptoms tend to be mild: headaches, irritation, stress and restlessness are all common.
Although cannabis remains in an individual’s system for several months, withdrawal symptoms tend to subside after a few days.
For individuals suffering from severe cocaine addiction, a medical professional will likely prescribe medication such as Buprenorphine.
Mild cocaine withdrawal symptoms include anxiety and restlessness. These symptoms should end between 5 to 7 days.
Heroin also has a serious withdrawal process and can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, including hypertension – high blood pressure in the arteries – dehydration and breathing problems.
Medications to help with such symptoms include buprenorphine and naltrexone.
Some mild symptoms are vomiting, nausea, anxiety and sleeplessness.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms should begin to reduce after several days.
This is often based on the individual’s needs but might include:
The former focuses on helping the individual develop the necessary tools to maintain sobriety and to address potential triggers when leaving rehab.
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are both popular choices of support groups.
Click here for more information about AA and NA in the Islington area.
The initial stages of rehab, as described above, are the same for alcohol rehab.
Individuals will undergo a pre-assessment, followed by a medical assessment, and then undergo detox.
For those with alcohol dependency, Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS) occurs between 5-10 hours after the last consumption of alcohol.
AWS refers to a wide and varied range of symptoms from mild to severe, such as:
These will begin to subside after several days.
However, certain symptoms can last much longer – in some cases, up to several weeks.
When going through alcohol detox, medication such as benzodiazepines will be prescribed to those that need them.
A common example of a benzodiazepine used for AWS is Librium.
Symptoms that Librium addresses include anxiety, stress and restlessness.
However, there are some negative side-effects of Librium, such as:
For more information on rehab facilities and treatment in Islington, contact Rehab 4 Addiction on 0800 140 4690.
Rehab 4 Addiction offers a free assessment and will advise you on the best rehab options available to you.
So long as you are dedicated to recovery, there is no addiction that cannot be overcome.