For those suffering from substance dependency in Westminster, there are many treatment services available.
This article will discuss drug and alcohol rehab in Westminster.
It will include information on what services are available in Westminster, what to expect when entering treatment and what to expect afterwards.
According to the Adult Substance Misuse Treatment Statistics, a total of 275,896 adults in the UK contacted drug and alcohol services in 2021.
This was a slight increase from the following year.
A total of 140,863 people entered treatment for opiate use, accounting for 51% of all treatment entrants – this makes opiates the largest substance treatment group.
Alcohol makes up 28% of treatment entrants, making it the second-highest – 76,740.
The rest include people seeking treatment for prescription-related addiction, such as benzodiazepines.
It is not always obvious when a substance dependency has developed.
When many people begin using a substance, they are unaware of the psychological and physical changes that occur as a result.
There are, however, many signs that can be clear indicators that addiction has, or is about to, develop.
This varies from substance to substance, however.
Substances such as cocaine, for example, tend to manifest mostly through psychological changes.
This might include the person becoming more irrational, paranoid, or anxious.
Alcohol dependency, although also having a psychological impact, affects the body in many negative ways.
People with alcohol dependency will likely experience:
The same is true for heroin dependency, which might also include respiration issues, heart problems and nausea.
These symptoms occur due to the body reacting to the substance and the damage it does.
The most evident sign of addiction, however, are withdrawal symptoms.
When the mind and body have continually been subject to a substance, they soon become dependent upon it to function.
Without the substance, people will begin to crave it and withdrawal will occur.
Again, the withdrawal experience can vary based on the substance and how long the person has been using it.
This article will discuss withdrawal in more detail later but some common withdrawal symptoms for most substances include:
When a person becomes dependent on a substance, changes in behaviour will also occur.
There are two primary reasons for this: firstly, most substances harm the brain.
This leads the person to make poor choices and experience a loss in reasoning.
Secondly, the need for the substance will often take precedence over other things – whether hobbies, work or family.
The result of this is often unusual behaviour.
This might include:
Most substances also affect a person’s personality.
People might become more irritable, stressed, angry, and irrational.
Because substance dependency is not always evident, medical professionals have developed tools to help better uncover addiction.
An example of this is the CAGE (Cutting down, Annoyance, Guilty feeling, Eye-openers) questionnaire.
The CAGE questionnaire is built around several questions designed to help people think about their substance use and habits.
The questionnaire was originally developed for alcohol addiction, but a variant has also been developed for those with drug addiction.
The alcohol questions are:
For drug dependency:
Each question is aimed at uncovering a certain aspect of addiction.
The thought of entering a treatment program is a worrying prospect for many.
In addition, accepting the need for professional help is not easy.
Many people that suffer from substance dependency fear social consequences – whether being judged, criticised, isolated or rejected.
For these reasons, many people might not feel ready to face their dependency.
For loved ones, dealing with a person that is addicted is also very difficult.
It can cause great stress, anxiety and fear for that person’s life.
All of this can make dealing with addiction even more complicated.
The solution, as recommended by experts, is to organise an intervention.
An intervention is an attempt by loved ones to convince the person with a dependency to seek professional help.
However, interventions are also a good place to engage in open dialogue and express concern.
It gives the person with the dependency the chance to understand the impact it is having and provides an opportunity for accountability.
Some useful tips for conducting an intervention include:
Addiction is emotionally draining for everyone involved. As a result, it is hard to separate emotion from an intervention.
This has the potential to make interventions a negative experience.
Therefore, it is recommended to seek the help of an intervention expert.
These are trained specialists that will be able to mediate if required, provide useful information and tips, and help guide loved ones with communication and how to approach the person with the dependency.
There are also useful methods available.
An example of this is the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) method.
The CRAFT method was developed to help educate loved ones on how to successfully organise and implement an intervention.
It focuses on developing positive communication and reinforcement tools.
The idea behind this is to remove the stigma and negative connotations surrounding addiction and treatment.
CRAFT seeks to:
For those that are struggling with addiction and are based in Westminster, there are several treatment options.
The local council has helped fund the Westminster Drug Project (WDP).
The WDP is a local charity that helps deal with issues related to addiction.
Services they provide, include:
An alternative to local services in Westminster is the NHS.
The NHS provides various treatment options for those suffering from addiction.
Treatment via the NHS is free but not easily accessible. Individuals are recommended to first speak to a general practitioner (GP).
A GP will be able to assess an individual’s needs and determine what treatment might be best suited.
A GP can make a referral and guide the individual to local and private facilities.
In most cases, residential treatment through the NHS is only available for those with the most severe addictions.
Instead, individuals will likely be expected to try an outpatient program and have received help through local services.
The reason for this is that treatment through the NHS requires the completion and submission of a funding application to the local council.
Both a GP and a key worker can help with this.
However, this process can take many months and it is not uncommon for individuals to be placed on a waiting list – on average this can range between 6 months to a year.
This can take a lot longer, however, depending upon the area and availability.
Another alternative is to access treatment through a private facility.
Unlike the NHS and local services, however, private facilities are not free.
According to statistics gathered in the UK, the average private rehab facility cost £10,000 per month – that is between £300-350 per day.
Although this is expensive, insurance providers may cover the cost of rehab.
This will depend upon the individual’s provider and is often more expensive than regular health insurance.
However, this is almost certainly cheaper than paying outright for rehab.
Most health insurance that covers rehab ranges from £120-150 per month.
Health insurance might also be covered by an employer.
For those that are employed and seeking treatment, it is recommended that individuals speak with their boss or their Human Resource department.
If an individual’s insurance covers rehab treatment, they will pay for all expenses.
Examples of UK-based insurance companies that cover rehab treatment include:
The duration of rehab in Westminster depends on the type of treatment the individual receives and what is being treated.
On average, however, most treatment will last between several weeks and several months.
However, as mentioned, this is variable.
The main reason for this is that the withdrawal and detox process varies from substance to substance.
Heroin and alcohol have sometimes life-threatening withdrawals, meaning that it might take longer for the individual to fully detox and might need more medical assistance.
In addition, therapy also varies from person to person. Some individuals might need more therapy before leaving rehab.
There are two main treatment options available for those suffering from substance dependency: inpatient and outpatient treatment.
Although both have similar aims – to help individuals detox, access therapy, and maintain sobriety – they vary in some ways.
In addition, there are some benefits and negatives when compared to each other.
The most obvious difference between the two is that one is residential, and the other is not.
Inpatient treatment is residential and requires the individual to stay overnight at a facility for the duration of their treatment.
Inpatient treatment is often more structured and intense.
Usually, it is better suited to those with severe addiction, as they will receive 24/7 medical supervision.
One of the main benefits of inpatient treatment is that it removes the individual from their social environment, therefore removing potential triggers.
Inpatient treatment can last anywhere between one month and several.
Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, does not require an overnight stay at a facility.
On average, most individuals will attend appointments between 10 to 12 hours per week.
The benefit of this is that it allows for flexibility – whether for work, childcare or other engagements.
The negative, as experts note, is that it does not remove many of the triggers or access to substances.
Outpatient treatment is less intense and often lasts longer than inpatient treatment – usually between several months to a year.
When entering residential treatment in Westminster, whether private or through the NHS, the process is relatively the same.
This is also true regardless of the substance. Only the withdrawal and detox vary, which will be covered below.
When contacting a rehab facility, individuals will first be subject to a pre-admission assessment.
This assessment is best thought of as an interview regarding the individual’s addiction.
Its purpose is to uncover which substance is being used, how it is being used and how long it has been used, as this helps determine the best treatment plan and options for post-detox therapy.
Following this, and upon entering rehab, individuals will undergo a psychological and physical assessment.
This is a very important part of the rehab process, as it will inform the medical staff of any health complications – this might affect which treatment is given, prescribed medication and necessary therapy.
For example, the medical assessment might check for dual diagnosis.
Dual diagnosis refers to how addiction and mental health interact.
It affects many individuals with substance dependency.
It is not uncommon for individuals to use a substance to deal with mental health issues. In turn, this can lead to addiction.
Conversely, those that use substances are at risk of developing mental health issues.
Following the psychological and physical examination, individuals will enter detox.
This is where the rehab process can vary.
This variability is due to several factors. As previously mentioned, these include the type of substance and the duration the individual has been using.
Detox refers to the process of the body expelling substances. This process often leads to withdrawal symptoms – these too can vary.
For most substances, the withdrawal will occur several hours after the final consumption.
Withdrawal symptoms related to cannabis withdrawal, for example, tend to be less severe than other substances.
Symptoms can include:
Withdrawal symptoms from cannabis usually end within a few days.
However, cannabis can stay in a person’s system for up to 6 months.
In comparison, a substance like cocaine can lead to more serious withdrawal symptoms.
These can range from mild – headaches, restlessness and anxiety – to more severe symptoms, such as breathing issues and seizures.
Symptoms usually subside after 5 days.
One of the most arduous detox processes is for heroin.
This is due to heroin being very addictive and having a serious impact both psychologically and physically.
Symptoms also range from mild to severe.
Withdrawal symptoms from heroin include:
For those going through heroin detox, it is common that medical professionals will prescribe methadone or naltrexone.
Symptoms of heroin withdrawal usually last between several days to a week.
Withdrawal from alcohol is known medically as Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS).
AWS symptoms also range from mild to severe:
Symptoms of AWS usually reduce after several days but, in some cases, can last for up to several weeks.
Other symptoms of AWS include anxiety, stress, and restlessness.
Fortunately, there are prescription medications that can help alleviate these symptoms.
An example of this is Librium.
Librium is commonly used because it is not as addictive as other benzodiazepines, which means that there is less risk of a dependency occurring.
However, there is a caveat – Librium has some unpleasant side effects.
This will include, for example, exploring an individual’s past, seeking to better understand upbringing, relationships – family, friends, and romantic – trauma and possible triggers.
The most common of these is CBT.
CBT is based on the premise that certain thought processes often lead to certain behaviours.
For example, negative thoughts might lead an individual to use a substance.
Therefore, by changing negative thoughts to positive ones, the chances of risk-taking behaviours are reduced.
Group therapy, as the name suggests, takes place in a group setting.
The group will be supervised by a specialist and individuals will be encouraged to talk about their experiences surrounding addiction – this might include why the addiction occurred or struggles with sobriety and rehab.
Rehab in Westminster has a high success rate.
However, there is always the possibility that, upon leaving rehab, individuals will begin to use substances again.
To help prevent this, rehabs will work alongside the individual to develop a relapse prevention plan.
This process involves the individual sitting with a medical professional to discuss potential triggers – environments, relationships or social and economic circumstances, for example.
These will be taken into consideration and a plan to help avoid or cope with them will be developed.
This might involve developing tools to help process potential triggers better, emotional management or better communication.
Part of the relapse prevention plan is aftercare.
This refers to continued support and counselling following the individual leaving rehab.
Most rehabs offer aftercare programs that include continued 1-to-1 therapy and group therapy.
In addition, Westminster hosts both Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) groups.
These are similar to group therapy and often include a 12-step programme to help support continued sobriety.
If your addiction has started to impact areas of your life, such as work, family or your health, it’s time to take action now.
Addiction to alcohol or drugs can destroy your life, as well as those of people you love, if you don’t do anything about it early enough.
Contact Rehab 4 Addiction today to find the right addiction rehab clinic in Westminster for you.
With the right help, there is no addiction that cannot be overcome.