How a Drug and Alcohol Detox Helped One Woman Get Her Life Back on Track

It is never easy to beat an addiction to chemical substances such as alcohol or drugs. To get better, one must first complete a drug or alcohol detox, followed by a programme of rehabilitation. However, before an alcohol detox or rehabilitation programme can even be considered, the person must be able to see that he or she has an addiction in the first place. Many people do not realise that their drinking or drug-taking has become a problem; until they do, they will not be in a position to ask for help.

Partying Hard

Nicole Harcourt is well aware of the consequences of abusing substances such as alcohol and drugs. The Australian businesswoman was carving out a successful career in London and was mingling with the rich and famous after moving to the UK in 2003.

Nicole was living the party lifestyle and was out almost every single night, but this life was taking its toll. She said, “I was working and partying, burning the midnight oil on both ends.”

Due to her hectic work and partying schedule, Nicole had asked a doctor to prescribe something to help her sleep. She was given a prescription for Xanax and Stilnox, which she was taking while drinking excessive amounts of alcohol every night. She was soon addicted to the prescription pills and admitted that she started drinking more alcohol and taking drugs.


When Nicole realised her life was beginning to spiral out of control, she checked herself into a residential rehab programme in London. She said, “I knew that I needed a change, I knew that if I kept on going, I would die.”

However, she now admits that she did not fully realise how serious her situation. She added, “I actually thought it was cool to go to rehab. I had famous people in there with me, very famous people, including Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss.”

Nevertheless, it was only when Australian actor Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose of prescription medication that she began to re-evaluate her situation. She said, “That is what made me really pick up and think. It made my family really pick up to it as well.”

She had finally realised that the life she was living was a dangerous one and so enrolled herself in a 12-step programme to fight her alcohol addiction and the consequential drug dependency. She also returned to Australia and started treatment in Sydney. Fortunately, she has been clean for the past fifteen years and now dedicates her life to helping others struggling with addiction. She is the director of World Alliance Life Coaches and has helped countless individuals to overcome addiction and start enjoying their lives once more.

Beating Addiction

Nicole is an example of how it is possible to overcome even the most severe addictions. Beating both an alcohol and drug addiction can be extremely tough, but with support and care from professional counsellors and therapists, and a determination to change your life, it is possible to recover.

For most people, recovery begins with a drug or alcohol detox. This is the process of quitting the substance to which you are addicted and then waiting for the body to rid itself of all the chemicals and toxins. This is a tough process that can be quite unpleasant due to withdrawal symptoms, but it is much more comfortable and safe to detox in a supervised facility. Within these facilities, trained staff are on hand to react in the event of an emergency, and they can also ease even the most severe symptoms with medication if appropriate.

Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment?

When it comes to beating addiction, you will have a number of options in terms of treatment. Some people prefer the idea of inpatient care as it means they can immerse themselves in recovery without worrying about anything else. Being in a safe and secure environment does have its benefits. Those who opt for inpatient treatment will spend a period of around six to eight weeks receiving intensive treatment without any distractions from the outside world. It provides them with a head-start when it comes to successful long-term recovery.

Nevertheless, not everyone will benefit from inpatient treatment. Some find it extremely difficult to be away from home for weeks at a time, usually due to family or work commitments; others simply cannot fund the cost of inpatient care without getting into debt. Getting into debt for treatment could prove to be counterproductive because the stress and worry of the debt could be enough to send the recovering addict hurtling back to addiction once they leave treatment.

The good news is that there are a number of outpatient treatment programmes available for those who want to overcome addiction, and while they are less intensive, they are no less effective.

For more information about drug or alcohol detox and rehabilitation, contact us here at Addiction Helper today.

Source: From partying with the Spice Girls to rehab with Amy Winehouse: How a high-flying TV executive lost her career, marriage and almost her life after becoming addicted to Xanax and Stilnox (Daily Mail)

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