There are many different types of help with drugs available, and so it is important to spend some time thinking about the right kind of help for the individual. There are many factors that need to be considered before enrolling into an alcohol or drug rehab.
Perhaps the first thing to decide when seeking help with drugs is whether there is any funding available for private drug treatment. The advantage of funding addiction treatment privately is that it can be accessed immediately. There can often be a narrow window of opportunity between a person for asking for help and then changing their mind. Therefore, it is important that wherever possible, the person is able to access an addiction treatment programme straight away.
However, that being said, not everyone is in a position to fund treatment privately and so will need to look into the free services available. What it is important to realise with these services, is that nothing happens quickly. Unfortunately, the government does not provide much funding for help with drugs, which means that there are often long waiting lists. Obviously for some people this will be there only hope, and is certainly better than seeking no help at all, but they need to be prepared for what to expect. Normally these services will assign the person a key worker, and will then arrange many meetings over a course of weeks to discuss providing help with drugs.
The lack of government funding for help with drugs also means that the chances of accessing residential alcohol or drug rehab are slim. Therefore, another question to consider is the sort of drug treatment programme being accessed. The three main types of help are residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and self-help groups.
Residential treatment is the most intensive form of treatment available. This is because the person is given some time away to really focus on getting themselves better. They are also provided with 24/7 support meaning there is always someone available to help them if they are struggling. Residential treatment combines physical detox, psychological counselling and addiction education to give the person the best possible chance of successful recovery when they leave treatment.
Some individuals may need to consider outpatient services due to work or family commitments. We would always encourage these people to look into ways they can be supported to access the more intensive residential options, however if this is not feasible, outpatient services may be a consideration. Outpatient services include home detoxes for alcohol (where the person is provided with the medication for the week and is responsible for taking it) or substitution programmes such as receiving a script for methadone. Both of these forms of help require the person to exhibit a certain amount of willpower as they are responsible for ensuring they take what they need to. They will also not have access to constant professional support, which is why anyone considering an outpatient programme should be aware of the need for outpatient counselling.
There are various different forms of outpatient counselling, varying in intensity. Intensive addiction programmes will involve the person speaking to the counsellor everyday by phone, seeing them face-to-face twice a week, and completing tasks set by the counsellor in the meantime. The less intensive option would be to see the counsellor on a weekly basis. If this option is being considered, or even if the intensive counselling is an option, the person should also give serious thought to attending self-help groups.
Self-help groups include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous etc. The advantage of these groups is that they are run by people who are in recovery themselves, therefore giving the drug user a chance to speak to people who genuinely know what they are going through. There is no requirement for a person to speak at these meetings; they can simply go along and listen if they find it helpful to do so. There are some common misconceptions around the fellowship meetings: firstly, that they are only for people who are in a desperate state and constantly using substances. False. These groups welcome anyone who is struggling as a result of their drug use, and wants to do something about it. This includes those that only use drugs occasionally, but are experiencing difficulties because of this. The second misconception is that these meetings are religious. False. Whilst some people will use religion to help them with the fellowship meetings, the focus is on spirituality, and so the “Higher Power” is whatever is motivating the person to get well, whether that is friends and family, someone in their lives they lost, whatever works for the individual.
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