Classified as ‘tranquilisers’ or ‘sedatives’, they are primarily used to treat anxiety and are also prescribed as sedatives for insomnia, anti-convulsant medications and muscle relaxants.
The effect is similar to that of alcohol or barbiturate medication, both of which attach to the Gabor receptor (and both of which relax the brain). They generally produce a calm feeling which helps users cope with anxiety.
Ecstasy is a street name of the methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, which is an illegal, synthetic drug, which is a stimulant that has potential hallucinogenic properties. MDMA or Molly are typically white, crystal-like powders, where ecstasy often comes in pill or tablet forms.
Whilst Molly is marketed as the purest form of MDMA, there is no way for users to guarantee what’s in it. MDMA and Molly are often cut with other ingredients such as amphetamines, rat poison, LSD and heroin.
The prescription-only drug is used to treat nerve pain, reduce anxiety and reduce abnormal electrical activity involved in epilepsy.
Pregabalin is widely prescribed by GPs across the UK as a treatment for nerve pain, epilepsy and anxiety and the rate of prescription has increased hugely in recent years.
Painkillers are a routine and legitimate part of medical treatment and are prescribed by doctors for short-lived (acute) pain such as headache, period pains or stomach cramps.
But painkillers are also essential for people suffering from severe and long term (chronic) pain from migraines, rheumatism, back pain and after an injury. It is hard to imagine the health service functioning without them.
Valium is a drug that belongs to a group called benzodiazepines; those who take Valium use it to treat anxiety, muscle spasms and fits/seizures. It is a very addictive drug.
Valium addicts tend to not recognise the severity of their addiction will deny or minimise the amount they use.
Salvia (synthetic marijuana) is a plant native to Mexico, which was traditionally used in the past for divine and spiritual rituals.
Its traditional uses make it sound harmless, but it is an incredibly strong hallucinogenic drug that causes erratic behaviour and vivid, often disconcerting hallucinations.
Salvia is sold either as a green plant or liquid to be smoked or chewed.
Sleeping tablets are what doctors provide to adults that are suffering from insomnia. People who are prescribed with them are likely to get addicted if they take them for longer than four weeks.
If you notice the symptoms of addiction it will start the process for anyone struggling with addiction to get the help they deserve.
Stimulants are commonly abused drugs that increase energy and attention. Stimulants make people more alert, while simultaneously raising a number of body functions like blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.
Some prescription medications that treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, anxiety and depression are also stimulants.
Recognising drug addiction
Drug addiction is generally easy to spot, although the symptoms vary dramatically based on the drug in question.
- Using alone without other people knowing
- Hiding your usage
- Memory loss
- Lying about the amount you take
- Using it to shut out negative thoughts
- Trying to forget memories or traumas
- Trying to numb any pain – physical or psychological
- Using it to turn down thoughts of guilt and shame
- Others being concerned about your behaviour
- Turning into a different person
- Treatment duration ranging from 28-90 days
- Detox lasts 1-2 weeks (depending on drug and severity)
- Mental health assessments
- Outpatient opportunities
- Inpatient “life-changing” programmes
Types of therapy provided
- Behavioural therapy
- 1-1 counselling
- Group therapy (plus women-only groups)
- 12 step support
- Be in a secure and safe environment
- Medically managed detoxes with round the clock, 24/7 care
- The correct diagnosis that ensures you receive the correct help
- Experienced team of doctors, nurses and therapists (note, not all facilities will have onsite medical staff )
- Personalised treatment plan & aftercare (some facilities)
- Relapse prevention
Rehab will be your best option for overcoming chronic relapse conditions and addiction.
A detox will be used to address the physical side of addiction, whilst therapy will be used to address your psychological addition.
Rehab, in this case, will play a big role in identifying the underlying causes of your illness and teach you essential coping mechanisms to deal with triggers in the future to prevent the risk of relapse.
Which are the best rehabs in the UK?
What free help is available?
With any addiction, it is good practise to visit a GP first to assess your symptoms.
From there, there are several options when approaching drug addiction.
If you decide that inpatient treatment is right for you or your loved one, there are multiple options available like NHS funding or charity-run hospitals. Alongside online support networks like Narcotics Anonymous.
However, long waiting times and poor facilities can often be a barrier to recovery.
Drug addiction: An overview
The risk of addiction and how fast you become addicted varies by drug.
Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others.
As the addiction develops, most find that they need more and more of the substance to obtain the same high.
A consequence of this is the inability to feel normal without it that leads to strong psychological and physical side effects.
Drug addiction can grip anybody, regardless of age or background.
However, certain factors can make the possibility of drug addiction more likely, such as:
- Mental health disorders – certain mental illnesses, such as ADHD and PTSD, can make drug addiction more likely.
- Early use – picking up a drug habit early in life increases the chances of developing an addiction later on.
- Family history of addiction – addiction is in part genetic, meaning that if a close blood relative has a drug addiction, you may be more likely to develop one also.
My loved one is addicted to drugs – what do I do?
A difficult symptom-based by drug addicts is lying and secrecy. This can make intervening especially difficult.
It is also the case that intervening can be emotionally stressful, sometimes resulting in for harm than good.
An intervention should be carefully planned and may be done by family and friends in consultation with a doctor, such as a licensed alcohol and drug counsellor.
The Executive Rehab Guide is published by Castle Craig, a private addiction clinic that specialises in family therapy for drug addicts and their loved ones.
For more details, visit their website.
Help for the family: