Addiction is an illness that affects many thousands of people across the UK. It is an illness that can devastate the lives of those affected and as well as their families. There are many different types of addiction but the two most common are alcoholism and drug addiction.
Those affected by drug addiction and alcoholism suffer from an uncontrollable urge to take drugs or drink alcohol. Their addiction becomes the most important thing to them and they will often neglect other responsibilities in their lives. This leads to problems at home, in work, and at school, and in many instances, causes the breakdown of relationships with loved ones.
Family members and friends find it hard to watch someone they love change so drastically. The problem with addiction is that it is an illness that affects the normal functioning of the brain. Those affected will act in a manner entirely different to the way they did before becoming addicted. The affected individual may become selfish and manipulative, which loved ones often find unbearable. It is as if the person they love has disappeared and been replaced by someone they no longer recognise.
Help for Addiction
Getting a drug addict or alcoholic to admit that he or she has a problem and accept help is often the hardest thing for family members and friends to do. It is not as easy as just stopping; addicts have no control over their compulsion to drink or take drugs and no amount of pleading or begging will work if this person does not want to get better.
He or she may promise to stop, but when experiencing the intense cravings attached to addiction, the person will be unable to resist and the promise made to loved ones will end up meaningless. Many addicts are afraid to get help because they have been told that rehab is going to be too difficult or too painful. They would rather pretend that everything is fine than admit they have a problem so that they do not have to get help. Others are afraid of failure and would rather not try than to try and fail.
However, the good news is that addiction help is available in both the public and private sectors. Many individuals all over the UK are in recovery now thanks to the help and support they have received from the NHS, charity organisations, local support groups, and private organisations. If you are a sufferer and need help for addiction, below are a few examples of where this support is available from…
National Health Service (NHS)
The first port of call for many addicts who need help for addiction is their local GP. Doctors will be able to provide information on where to get help for the particular addiction you are suffering with. You may be referred to an addiction counsellor who can offer support for overcoming your addiction.
Your GP may also suggest a number of national helplines that you can call for support, including:
• The Samaritans – 116 123
• Alcoholics Anonymous – 0800 9177 650
• Narcotics Anonymous – 0300 999 1212
The NHS also has some addiction units that can be accessed. The NHS Choices website will provide you with contact information for the various addiction units in your area.
NHS Choices also has a plethora of information relating to charity organisations from which drug addicts and alcoholics can access treatment services. Charity organisations work hard to offer a host of services to addicts and their families including interventions, cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, counselling, group therapy, family therapy, and more. Below are a few examples of charity organisations working to help addicts and their families, along with the relevant telephone numbers:
• Addaction – 020 7251 5860
• Adfam – 020 7553 7640
• Drinkaware – 020 7766 9900
• Drug Addicts Anonymous – 07818 260811 / 0300 030 3000
• National Association for Children of Alcoholics – 0800 358 3456
• Turning Point – 020 7481 7600
When it comes to addiction services, there are many private organisations providing up to date treatments for those suffering from addiction. The benefit that private organisations have over the NHS is that there is very rarely a delay in accessing necessary treatment.
Addiction helpline’s have advisors and support staff on hand to offer help and advice to addicts and their families. With access to a large network of treatment providers both here in the UK and abroad, these services can take the hassle out of finding the right treatment services for those with addiction.
The services work by providing clients with the ability to access the right treatment for their particular requirements, be it public or private treatment. As well as referrals to treatment centres across the country, they can provide services including home detox, counselling programmes and aftercare support. Many offer a free service and calls are completely confidential.
The type of addiction treatment that you choose will be determined by your circumstances and the type of addiction that you currently suffer from. For the most severe addictions, an intensive residential treatment programme is generally preferred, but this is not the only option. The good news is that there are many organisations that make it easier for addicts and their families to access the most appropriate treatments.