If You Need Help
Often the hardest part of having an addiction is recognising that a habit has become a dependency and making the decision to do something about it. If you feel you are struggling with a dependency, your GP will be able to offer you impartial advice on a strictly confidential basis; seeing a doctor can help assess the gravity of an individual’s dependence and establish the best way forward. A GP can also explain any existing health concerns, prescribe any necessary medication or refer a patient to a specialist for further care; each care pathway is tailored to the individual.
The NHS is committed to providing a service for all and it is important to be aware that those who have a dependency have exactly the same rights to treatment as those who do not. Government initiatives encourage one-to-one sessions with specially qualified key workers, who may be nurses, doctors or drug workers; these key workers are assigned to work in line with health-related guidelines to provide help with arranging treatment as well as additional advice and support throughout the treatment and recovery period. These workers can also help with other practical concerns such as housing and looking for work.
Family and Friends
In terms of emotional support, try to be open and honest with relatives and friends; most people find that their family and friends are a great source of support and encouragement and research suggests those who have the backing of a support network make a faster and more long-lasting recovery than those who try to go it alone. Having people you can trust and rely on will make the process of detoxification and recovery easier and can also be helpful when trying to organise other areas of your life such as work, keeping up with payments or taking care of children.
There are also numerous private organisations that offer counselling services and rehabilitation programmes, although these can sometimes be expensive. The internet and local telephone directories will contain all the necessary contact details for these organisations. Some community programmes are linked to the NHS and your GP will be able to tell you more about which local services are suitable.
If you feel you have nobody to talk to a number of charities offer counselling services on an individual and group basis and if you do not want to tackle the issue face to face there are several helplines you can call and most are open 24 hours a day; these include the Samaritans and FRANK. There are also numerous websites and forums online which offer advice as well as the opportunity to discuss your condition with fellow sufferers or simply chat to others in a similar position to yourself.