Because every alcoholic and drug addict is different, treatment options are necessarily different as well. No single treatment works equally well for every client who enters an addiction rehab centre. For some, short-term rehab is the most viable option. And by short-term we are referring to programmes that last no more than two or three weeks.

The NHS, private rehab clinics, support groups, and charities all offer short-term rehab. The different therapies employed in a short-term rehab programme will vary according to the needs of the client. We will look at some of those therapies in more detail here.

Alcohol and Drug Detoxa

A short-term rehab treatment is usually recommended for someone whose addiction problems are not overly complex or deep rooted. These types of addicts might be newly diagnosed or may be dealing with substances, like marijuana, that are easier to break free of. When detox is necessary, it is the first step.

Drug or Alcohol Detox is very useful because it is the quickest and most thorough way to break a physical addiction to drugs or alcohol. In fact, most addicts can complete detox in 7 to 14 days. When medical supervision is necessary for safe detox, the clinics we work with will provide it.

Detox involves the following components:

  • Separation – The key to successful detox is to separate the addict from his or her drugs or alcohol completely. This separation allows their body to naturally cleanse itself of the addictive chemicals and compounds related to the substances being used.
  • Withdrawal – One of the classic symptoms of addiction is a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol. During the detox process, the body exhibits withdrawal symptoms due to this dependence. Withdrawal symptoms can include things like increased heart rate and blood pressure, headaches, involuntary tremors and hallucinations.
  • Medical Care – In some cases, detox is classified as a medical emergency requiring specific medical care. It can also include the administering of certain medications that help control withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of injury. You should never attempt detox on your own, by the way.

If your physician or therapist believes short-term rehab consisting of seven or 14-day detox is sufficient, you will be able to receive the services you need free of charge from the NHS. Should you need counselling in addition to detox, there are a number of options for receiving such services.

Counselling and Support

Two other forms of treatment for short-term rehab are professional counselling and group support. The professional counselling option matches the addict with a trained therapist who will work with the individual in a one-on-one setting. The therapist might use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or other types of counselling strategies during treatment sessions.

The group support option can be supplied by a professional counsellor or a support group like Al-Anon or Narc-Anon. The idea of group support is to provide mutual accountability, encouragement, and instruction. It is a model that has worked well for decades.

A favourite strategy among support groups is the use of the 12-step programme. The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous originally developed this programme back in the 1930s. It is a strategy based on encouraging recovering addicts to take ownership of their issues rather than continuing to blame other people or circumstances. Taking ownership is the key to achieving long-term sobriety.

Accessing Short-Term Rehab

The nature of short-term rehab dictates that it be outpatient treatment rather than residential. Accessing short-term rehab is a matter of deciding what programmes and services are most suitable to you by speaking with your physician or an organisation like ours. The programmes and services you choose will determine your course of action.

Using the NHS as an example, they offer free short-term rehab programmes to anyone in the UK who needs them. The main disadvantage is that these programmes are often oversubscribed. That means there will be a waiting period before you can actually get started. Between the time you sign up and the time your treatment begins, you’ll be expected to seek out group support or professional counselling.

If you are eligible to access short-term rehab through one of the charities operating in the UK, there likely will not be any waiting periods. You simply fill out the paperwork, attend an initial meeting for the purposes of assessing your needs, and then begin your treatment within a day or two. In the event you do have to wait, it will still probably not be any longer than a few days.

Success of Short-Term Rehab

Short-term alcohol and drug rehab can be successful if the attitude of the client is positive. In other words, if you are willing to do whatever is required of you, the services provided will likely help you break free of your addiction. The rest is then up to you. You need to make a commitment to remain drug and/or alcohol free for the rest of your life. No matter what type of rehab you choose, the only real cure for addiction is permanent abstinence.

Recovering addicts with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard usually find success ready for the taking. Those who go into rehab unwillingly do not fare as well. What does this tell you? It should tell you that your attitude is the single greatest factor in determining your success or failure.

If you are ready to break the chains of addiction or abuse, you need to get the process started by contacting your GP or us. If you choose the free and confidential services we offer, we will help you determine whether long or short-term rehab is appropriate for you. If short-term rehab is a better option, we will walk you through all the options available in your area.

If it turns out you would be better served by long-term rehab, we will let you know that as well. We can answer all of your questions, discuss financing options with you, and, if necessary, help you find and gain admission to a programme. We are here to help you in any way we can.