For many, the idea of drug addiction will be illicit drugs, bought on a street corner. However, drug abuse comes in many forms, and it is just as likely for people to misuse pills which have been prescribed to them by their doctor. And sadly, the numbers of people dying from overdosing on prescription medication is fast overtaking the figures for illegal drug deaths.
In 2019 the UK press reported that 1 in 4 Brits are addicted to prescription drugs. Whether this was an exaggeration to sell papers or not, it has been supported in part by figures from Public Health England, which stated a staggering 11.5 million patients in Britain received a prescription for potentially addictive drugs, such as sedatives, stimulants, and opioid painkillers. The final figures for 2020 are still to be published but we can assume they are likely to be even higher.
With the events of the last 18 months is it any wonder that peoples psychological and emotional health has suffered? We have seen a deadly virus that led to months of lockdown, restrictions and has potentially changed the world forever. There has been an increase in problems with addiction, depressive and anxiety disorders. Some figures suggest that in 2020 up to a quarter of the population started or upped their use of alcohol and drugs, both prescription and illegal, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prescription medication has a purpose and if used correctly is a lifesaving invention of modern medicine. Unfortunately, not only is it open to abuse by criminals and drug gangs, but too many medical professionals repeatedly prescribe a potentially lethal and highly addictive substance without thought of the long-term consequences, and the pharmaceutical giants offer massive incentives to make it stay that way.
More control over the distribution and prescribing of addictive medication is necessary and required, but with health services already stretched to breaking point it is not always easy to get the help needed or to even look at other viable alternatives to pharmacological treatments.
Whether it is to treat a mental health illness such as depression and anxiety; or to help someone who is addicted to a drug, alcohol, or a process like gambling, here are just a few of the options that are available.
A pharmaceutical solution is often the go-to, first stop for the treatment of many psychological and psychiatric conditions. In many instances prescription medication is successful and if used in the prescribed manner can be extremely helpful in a multitude of cases.
Used independently, or in conjunction with other treatment methods, counselling and talk therapy have proved hugely successful when dealing with all types of mental health issues. These types of illnesses often leave suffers isolated and lonely. Giving someone a safe space to connect and talk about their feelings, whether it is in a group or on a one-to-one basis, is a key factor in resolving any underlying emotional problems.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic practice that teaches people to identify their unhelpful, inaccurate, and destructive thought patterns which lead them to negative emotions and behaviours. Once identified individuals then learn to use coping mechanisms and problem-solving to change these thoughts and how they act on them, thus improving how they feel and behave.
TMS is a non-invasive form of brain stimulation therapy that has proved effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety, substance and compulsive addiction. TMS treatment is performed in outpatient clinics and rehabilitation centres. There are minimal side effects and patients function normally immediately following each session.
There are several types of alternative and complementary therapies: art, drama, music, and animal-assisted to name just a few. The concentrated participation in the activity helps the client to express feelings and emotions, teaches them restraint and patience and improves confidence and resilience. The therapist is also able to identify underlying issues by picking up non-verbal cues and behaviours.
In equine-assisted therapy, looking after the horses encourages growth. It helps build trust, confidence, and self-control and individuals learn about responsibility, boundaries and how to focus. At the same time, the equine psychotherapist can assess a client’s state of mind and wellbeing through their interaction with the animal and how the horse responds.
Day care courses, and out-patient drop-in centres provide a protected and secure environment for many to attend weekly or daily counselling sessions and enable participation in peer group fellowship meetings.
Residential rehab is a good way for someone suffering from an addiction or disorder to get away from their daily life and all the distractions that go with it, giving them time to focus fully on their recovery. A well-established private rehab centre, or specialised addiction clinic will use a combination of therapy models to treat an individual’s primary and co-occurring conditions.
Here at our luxury rehabilitation centre, set on the beautiful Spanish island of Ibiza, we have a highly qualified team experienced in a range of therapies for the treatment of anxiety, depression, substance and process addiction, as well as other conditions affecting mental health. Alongside the more traditional methods of individual and group counselling, we use cognitive behavioural therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation and equine facilitated psychotherapy.
For information on all the therapies available here at the rehab centre, and details on admissions contact [email protected]
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