Drug addiction, also referred to as substance use disorder, is a serious medical condition when a person engages in excessive and harmful use of a mind-altering substance to the point of dependency. People can easily become addicted to prescription medication as well as illicit ‘street’ drugs.

Drug abuse is a global issue that has negative effects not only on the user but also the people around them. Drug addiction leads to a number of societal problems including relationship breakdown, loss of jobs, trouble with the law and crime. It is important for people to recognise when they need help and be able to access drug addiction treatment, before the problems spiral out of control.

Finding the best drug rehab clinic for a specific person isn’t as simple as checking into the nearest rehab available. Drug addiction rehab varies from one centre to another. A drug addiction treatment clinic may range in its philosophy, intensiveness, and speciality. Therefore, for a successful recovery, it’s crucial that a person finds the approach that is most suitable for their situation.

Castle Health is a specialised network of treatment facilities for drug addiction and other dependency disorders. We offer both inpatient and outpatient drug rehab programmes utilising proven evidence-based practices. Anyone suffering from addiction to drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol or gambling, can be rest-assured that they are getting the help they need from a clinically excellent drug rehab treatment programme.

Is Drug Addiction a Medical Condition?

Mental health professionals classify drug addiction as a chronic mental disorder and the ‘brain disease’ concept of addiction classes it as a biopsychosocial disorder – it requires proper medical and therapeutic treatment. Drug detoxification alone is not a cure, detox does not address the underlying contributing factors which require therapy and peer-support and dedicated relapse prevention support. Thankfully help is at hand through rehab clinics such as those in the Castle Health group, therapists, doctors and self-help groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.

What Types of Drugs Are the Most Addictive?

There are many different types and classes of drugs which have different effects on the human body and brain. Some are more addictive than others, and some people are more susceptible to the addictive effects than others.

Chronic drug abuse causes lasting neurochemical changes in the brain. These changes affect the person’s self-control and decision making processes and cause a strong urge to continue taking drugs despite the harm that the drug use is causing to that person’s body and mind.

Addiction to drugs can take hold quickly depending on which drug is being abused. In the case of heroin or crystal meth, a huge rush of dopamine is released in the brain causing euphoria, and this feeling is encoded in the brain’s memory. As the high from the drug diminishes the brain will send out signals called ‘cravings’ as a sign that it wants more of the substance that gives it the dopamine hit. However the body is already adapting and creating a tolerance to the drug, and users can never achieve the same effects as the first time and so start to increase their dose or look for stronger alternatives. The cravings increase and as addiction sets in the user requires increasing amounts or stronger substances to achieve the desired effect, this is known as building up a tolerance to the drugs. Drug craving and drug withdrawal keeps the user ‘hooked’ and those suffering from addiction will go to great lengths to fund the habit.

What is the Process of Drug Rehabilitation?

Most treatment plans consist of three stages:

  • Detoxification,
  • Psychotherapy,
  • Continuing Care.

All drug addiction rehab centres vary in their approach to treatment and there are different models that treatment but most follow the peer-supported models such as The 12 Step Model (also known as the Minnesota Model) with one-on-one counselling.

Therapy for addiction is usually a mix of individual and group counselling, led by addiction specialists. Many private drug rehabilitation centres, including Castle Health facilities, also utilise complementary therapies as an aid, such as equine therapy, art therapy and sport.

Whether a person opts for outpatient or inpatient care, the process of drug rehabilitation is more or less the same. Detoxification may not be necessary for everyone but therapy, being the most important aspect, usually makes up the majority of any treatment plan.

What Type of Therapy is Best for Addiction?

Most drug addiction rehabs implement a CBT-based approach and/or a 12-step philosophy. These have been proven to be the most effective for addiction treatment.

A review of 27 studies published in March 2020 by the Cochrane Library, an organisation renowned for its analyses of scientific research, concluded that 12-Step Facilitation works as well as or better than other scientifically proven treatments (such as CBT) in promoting abstinence from alcohol addiction.

In regard to what specific type of therapy is best, the answer will largely depend on the person and treatment should be individualised, taking into account each person’s unique circumstances and history. For example at Castle Health, our treatment is based upon the 12 Step Model which is clinically proven to work, and incorporates CBT which is also clinically proven to work, and includes separate therapy sessions targeting individual problems such as grief and trauma and EMDR so that these are addressed. Creative complementary therapies, such as art or drumming, can be beneficial as part of a programme, alongside therapy.

This is why choosing a drug rehab centre with a wide range of therapeutic methods can help, especially in early recovery. Private residential rehabs are usually the best choice in this aspect.

What Kind of Drug Addictions Does Castle Health Treat?

Our inpatient and outpatient centres treat all types of drug addictions, including cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, prescription drug addiction, cannabis addiction, and many more. We have experience helping people with all sorts of substance abuse issues, including cross-addiction.

While our outpatient locations treat patients with drug addictions, we may recommend an inpatient programme instead, if we feel that a residential stay is more suitable in their situation.

How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Drugs in Your System?

The drug detox timeline for each drug varies. Although the effects may fade fast, the drug itself can remain in the body for a very long time. This doesn’t mean the substance has any effect on one’s physical or mental state, but it can be detected on a drug test.

Most drugs can be detected in urine or saliva for up to a few days. Cannabis can be detected in urine up to a week. In the blood, drugs can be detected for a longer period, usually a week. In the case of cocaine, with chronic use, it can be detected in the blood for a month or more. Drugs can show up on hair tests for about 3 months. Benzodiazepines can take 40 weeks to clear the system. Detox should always be carried out by a medical professional and at a slow and steady speed to avoid complications.

Even once a person detoxes from a specific drug, they may not feel 100% back to normal. This is because drugs can cause changes to the brain and body that take time to recover from. For some people, this initial recovery period lasts a year or more. This is why we always say that detox is the ‘first step’ on the road to recovery.

How Long Does Drug Rehab Take?

An intensive inpatient programme usually takes 4-6 weeks to complete and outpatient treatment may take longer. In some cases, a four-week programme may be acceptable. However, during treatment at Castle Health, we recommend a six-week stay at least for the initial residential treatment.

Under guidance from the focal therapist, patients can remain in treatment longer, from a further 6 weeks to six months in our extended care facility, Recovery Gardens. Research shows that patients who stay in treatment longer have improved outcomes in their recovery.

Every patient who comes into treatment with Castle Health goes through various assessments to determine the appropriate length and style of treatment. The treatment course for drug addiction at our outpatient centres is typically longer, ranging from 6-12 weeks, depending on whether a person enrols in an outpatient programme or a day programme. Patients are also welcome to prolong their participation if they feel it is necessary.

It is important to note that being discharged from rehab doesn’t mean a person is free from addiction. Continuing care is necessary for recovery to last. Therefore, even if a person is no longer attending therapy sessions within a rehab centre, they still need to attend meetings and/or addiction counselling. Rehabilitation, after all, is a lifelong commitment.

What Is Drug Addiction Treatment at Castle Health Like?

After a variety of initial assessments, patients at Castle Health are provided with a personalised treatment plan that is aimed at their specific needs. Once a person enters rehab, drug detoxification is the first step in treatment. This is always medically supervised because detox can be dangerous in certain situations.

After the initial uncomfortable side-effects of detox have worn off, patients start the therapeutic process, joining in groups and engaging in one-to-one therapy sessions. It is important that patients become part of the community as soon as possible, and a mentor is assigned from among the other patients to help with orientation and be a friendly point of contact in the settling-in phase.

At Castle Health, our therapeutic approach is based on the 12 Step clinically proven model as well as CBT and DBT principles. Therapy is one of the keys to overcoming addiction because it helps the person understand what led them to drugs in the first place and what they need to do to change their life. At any drug treatment facility, psychotherapy makes up the majority of the rehabilitation process.

Finally, before a person finishes their treatment, they are taught about preventing relapse and continuing care and given referrals to resources they can use after they leave. Many sign up to our online continuing care course, where personal therapy takes place once a week over Skype. Our free 2 year aftercare is part of all of our drug addiction rehabilitation plans.

If you are dealing with problematic drug use or worried about someone else, you can contact one of our centres to inquire about admission. We can provide a free assessment without any obligation to treatment.