Drug addiction and withdrawal

Drug addiction and withdrawal
How Serena House Can Help

Is your drug taking becoming a problem?

  • Do you take illegal drugs regularly?
  • Do you use drugs to help you feel more confident?
  • Do you need to take more drugs than before to get the same effects?
  • Do you feel guilty about your drug taking?
  • Do you feel anxious when you are not taking drugs?
  • Have you bought prescription medication online or on the street?
  • Are you hiding your drug taking from family and friends?
  • Do you suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, shaking or nausea when you are not taking drugs?
  • Do you lie about the amount of drugs or medication you are taking?
  • Are you having arguments with significant others about the drug use.
  • Are you taking prescription medications that were prescribed for someone else?
  • Have you visited more than one doctor to get the same prescription medication?
  • Are you taking more pills than the specified dose because they are not ‘working’ anymore?
  • Have you tried to quit or cut down but found you were unable to do so?
  • Have you stopped spending time with loved ones in favour of drug taking?

If you have answered yes to two or more of the above questions, then it could be you have a problem with drugs. You can talk to someone about this in confidence by contacting Serena House where we’ll put you in touch with a counsellor or therapist who knows how difficult drug addiction can be.

What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a recognised illness, like other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.  It is where drug seeking and use is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite the sufferer knowing that they might be damaging their health and relationships.

You may start taking drugs in a social setting, perhaps out of curiosity, or due to peer pressure from friends or colleagues, in a bid to fit in. However, while some people can take recreational drugs and never become addicted, for others, the grip of addiction can happen quickly.

The rise in the number of people becoming addicted to prescription drugs has opened up a whole new category of addiction, which can be even more difficult to identify, as these are legal, over the counter medications or drugs prescribed by your GP.

What prescription drugs are addictive?

You may think of dangerous addictive drugs as only being heroin, cocaine and forms of acid and marijuana. However, there are many prescription drugs that can be just as easy to get in the habit of taking.

  • Opiates - often prescribed to treat pain such as codeine.
  • Central nervous system depressants, which are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, such as benzodiazepines like diazepam and temazepam.
  • Antidepressants, such as citalopram and mirtazapine.
  • Antihistamines, including chlorphenamine.
  • Stimulants used to treat ADHD, such as dexamphetamine.

Who’s most at risk of becoming a drug addict?

Drug addiction can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. However, experts have identified that some people are more susceptible, which puts them more at risk.

Someone is more at risk of becoming a drug addict if they are exposed to one of the following, although this is by no means inevitable.

  • Trauma experienced in childhood
  • Family history of substance abuse or addiction
  • Suffering abuse or domestic violence
  • Exposure to drugs
  • Mental health disorders.

Signs you’re addicted to drugs

A person in the grip of drug addiction will find that they need to use more of a drug to get the same high, and to stop their body going into withdrawal.

This is because over time, the brain adjusts to the excess feel-good hormone dopamine, which the drug triggers, and as your tolerance to the effects of the drug goes up, this reduces the high that you felt when first taking the drug.

It is very difficult for an addicted person to resist the intense physical and mental compulsions to take more of the drug, in an attempt to achieve the same high.

As a person continues to use a drug, their ability to make right decisions becomes impaired. Over time, that individual becomes dependent on the drug. This may feel like you’re out of control and have lost all sense of willpower and ability to stop taking this drug, even if you want to.

Why a medical detox from drugs is important

Some substances can be very dangerous and uncomfortable to stop suddenly as your body can go into shock. By taking drugs you are at more risk of physical problems to your digestive system, liver and kidneys, as well as the psychological trauma and fear of drug induced psychotic episodes.

Although drug addiction can be life threatening, it is treatable. However, the intense cravings during withdrawal, is the reason many people fail to complete detoxes by themselves.

The answer is to do it the safe way with a residential medical detox at a clinic, where you can feel looked after under the watchful eye of an integrated team of doctors, nurses, therapists and support staff. The specially trained staff at Serena House are on hand to offer you support 24-hours a day, and can cater for your emotional needs as well as ensuring that any side-effects of withdrawal do not pose a threat to your health. Many of our staff are in long-term recovery and can offer first-hand advice and support.

Recovering from drug addiction

You can begin your journey to wellness, by kick-starting a safe detox, followed by a bespoke programme of therapy including cognitive behavioural therapy, individual counselling and access to holistic therapies, while our chef provides nourishing meals. 

And once we’ve helped you to get back in the driving seat of your own life, we will continue our relationship of trust by offering follow-up therapy sessions, giving you the best possible chance of a successful long-term recovery.

Serena House is a private drug addiction detox clinic in the heart of London

Book an Appointment

Talk to one of our counsellors on 020 3582 4288.