If you are struggling with an addiction to amphetamine the toughest step towards a drug-free life may well be the first: that of actually admitting you have a problem. However, once you have taken that step, and are determined to get the help you need, finding the treatment can sometimes be a much bigger problem than anticipated. What is the right treatment? Where is that treatment provided? How do you access it? Is it available on the NHS or do you need to go privately? All these can be tricky questions to address when you are wrestling with the drug addiction; let Primrose Lodge take some of that burden from your shoulders. Reach out to us today.
Put simply, compared with the option of not getting help at all, there is no wrong time to get treatment for your addiction: the consequences of inaction – especially when dealing with a strong stimulant like amphetamine with its significant impact on the physical and mental health of the user – are just not worth the risk. Of course, you may not feel as though you have a problem – and while illegal and potentially dangerous, the occasional recreational use of amphetamine does not constitute addiction. On the other hand, your consumption of amphetamine may be extremely problematic but you are unable or unwilling to recognise it.
If you exhibit any of the following signs, your amphetamine use has already reached problem levels, and you should get help before the situation gets any worse:
If you have made the decision to seek help in trying to stop taking amphetamine there are numerous different options available to you. Not all of these will be appropriate for you, and some marketed over the internet may not be medically approved: unfortunately, there is a good deal of misinformation being disseminated. Before embarking on any course of treatment always consult your GP and/or an addiction specialist.
Residential rehabilitation – “rehab” – has long been established as the most successful long-term treatment for addiction of any kind. (“Rehab” describes the process of attending a dedicated rehabilitation facility, and the facility itself.) At rehab addicts are able to receive treatment – including a medically assisted drug detox and a broad range of therapies – in pleasant, tranquil surroundings in which they can focus entirely on their recovery without the distractions – and, crucially, the temptations – of the outside world.
At Primrose Lodge, our first-class drug rehab in Surrey, our hugely experienced professional staff have helped countless amphetamine addicts get back onto the path towards healthy happy lives. Our rehab programme includes therapeutic models such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), art therapy, meditation therapy, mindfulness and more; we provide bespoke dietary and fitness plans to ensure healthy bodies as well as healthy minds; and,, being aware of the importance of loved ones in the recovery process – as well as the impact on them of addiction – we also provide a Family Recovery Programme to ensure the healing spreads throughout the entire home.
Therapy is a vital aspect of addiction recovery; simply dealing with the physical aspect of addiction, where relevant, will do nothing to ensure long-term recovery since the underlying causes of addiction will not have been addressed. Our therapy includes both one-to-one and group settings, both considered vital so that addicts can gain valuable new perspectives on their addiction; group therapy, in particular, can also provide an important peer group with whom to share experiences and advice, and from whom to gain support at critical times. Working with others who have also experienced the highs and lows of amphetamine addiction can provide key learnings as well as robust emotional support.
Rehab is not an inexpensive option; while costs will vary considerably from one case to the next depending on the duration of the stay and possibly other factors, and therefore a precise figure cannot be given here, usually cost would be around £3000 per week (based on a 28-day stay). Clearly, this may not be appropriate for everyone. However the effectiveness of rehab is such that that sum may be considered an investment in your future, and the cost of not getting treatment – in financial terms and, more importantly in terms of your health, your life prospects, and the well-being of your loved ones – is so devastatingly high that this could easily be considered the best investment in yourself you will ever make.
Some of the advantages of rehab are:
Some of the disadvantages of rehab are:
If rehab is something which you feel may be cost-prohibitive – or if any other reason you would like to explore alternatives – there are a number of NHS services and charities which provide addiction treatment. Your first port of call should always be your GP who can explain to you the various options available to you in your area. If appropriate your GP can then refer you onwards to other NHS services – which may include rehab.
Some charities operate on local or national levels which are aimed at helping addicts into recovery. Two of these which have achieved notable success are Compass (www.compass-uk.org) and CGL (Change Grow Live: www.changegrowlive.org), providing help and support to adults and young people struggling with substance abuse. Your GP and/or a local addiction specialist will be able to give you details of other charities active in your area.
One of the difficulties associated with taking the NHS route is the length of time it may take to access the services you require. NHS budgets are increasingly stretched beyond bearing – indeed there is no guarantee you will be able to get a place in more expensive treatment options such as rehab – and waiting times in many parts of the country are intolerably long. Unfortunately, this is especially true when it comes to counselling, psychotherapy, and detox: once your GP has assessed you and decided you are a suitable candidate for any of those services, he or she will refer you – but you then may need to wait several weeks or even months for a place. Obviously, if you are wrestling with a serious addiction this can be extremely traumatic, and in the intervening period, your circumstances may worsen drastically.
Unfortunately, there is no medication which can cure an amphetamine addiction. However, your GP may prescribe certain medicines to ameliorate the worst effects of withdrawal. For example, if you are experiencing insomnia – a very common consequence of withdrawal – your GP might write a prescription for sensitive (perhaps a benzodiazepine) to counter that; benzodiazepines may also be prescribed for anxiety, which is especially common in amphetamine withdrawal. Depression is another common withdrawal symptom and antidepressants may be prescribed on a short-term basis to counter that. As every case of withdrawal is unique there is no hard and fast rule what should and should not be prescribed; your GP will make an assessment of your specific situation.
Some advantages of medication are:
On the other hand, some disadvantages of medication are:
Over the last few decades as substance abuse has become an increasingly huge problem throughout the world, various fellowship groups have been established to help people in recovery stay drug-free through mutual support. The first and most famous of these, Alcoholics Anonymous, was set up in the 1930s and runs on a 12-step model which many others emulate.
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Cocaine Anonymous (CA) are fellowship groups which host meetings throughout the UK, and which provide support to recovering drug addicts (and in the case of CA, recovering cocaine addicts specifically). Attendance at meetings is free and anyone is welcome who is committed to remaining drug-free. Many people who have been to rehab attend these meetings for months or even years afterwards to gain support from their peers and eventually to help others who have been through a similar experience.
Attending fellowship group meetings gives recovering addicts support in the form of the advice and companionship of people who have also experienced the ravages of drug addiction. Attendance can be especially useful for those who are struggling to resist relapse, as they can gain encouragement from others and receive advice on how best to tackle that temptation. Many people keep their experience of drug addiction secret from everyone around them, which can be psychologically damaging in the long run; it can help greatly to be able to discuss their situation in a confidential environment with people who will not judge them. It can also help a person’s recovery to help others as it can greatly benefit someone’s feelings of self-esteem and self-worth.
Some of the advantages of fellowship groups are:
Some of the disadvantages are:
For some people, private addiction counselling proves a very useful option, either following attendance at rehab as a supplement during long-term recovery, or as a way of managing addiction before taking steps to overcome it altogether (this may be useful for very long-term effects who feel they need a period of preparation before making such a drastic change). Private councillors can be found across the country and provide various different therapy models, including some especially niche options which may benefit those for whom mainstream addiction treatment has not proved successful in the past.
Private addiction counsellors act as personal therapists, who can be engaged directly or sometimes through a network of counsellors or businesses. These counsellors can be seen at a frequency to suit the addict, but this usually comprises weekly appointments, often of an hour or so at a time. Some counsellors require a minimum commitment – perhaps six appointments – while others have no such limit. Patients usually pay a fee per appointment although other fee models are available, depending on the preferences of the counsellors in question. Some counsellors may offer emergency access in times of great distress on the part of the client; however, most operate only by appointment during working hours.
Some of the advantages of private addiction counsellors include:
Some of the disadvantages include:
Every case of addiction, as noted, is different and every addict is unique. Therefore it is impossible to say at the beginning of the recovery journey which treatment service will be appropriate for you.
However, it is generally agreed within the medical community that a rehab clinic provides the best chances of thorough permanent recovery. The combination of medically assisted detox with a variety of therapy models, delivered in an attractive peaceful environment, provides a holistic approach to treatment which benefits addicts physically and mentally and spiritually; the combination of individual and group therapy gives useful multiple perspectives on addiction and uncovers its root cause, which can then be addressed in a confidential and non-judgemental setting. Moreover Primrose Lodge recognises that in many cases the family is key to long-term recovery at happiness and our Family Recovery Programme provides healing for both the addict and their loved ones – the perfect foundation for a return to happiness.
Whichever approach to treatment you choose, fellowship groups should always be a component of your long-term recovery plan, as they provide invaluable peer support and can play a crucial role in preventing relapse. You will feel cravings during your recovery, but resisting them is vital and it is easier to do this with the support of those who have been through the experience of addiction.