Addiction treatment at SafeHouse is not restricted to the ‘Substance Addictions’ of drugs and alcohol and food. Addiction also presents in the form of ‘Process Addictions’ such as: gambling, sex, co-dependency to name but a few. These are activities or processes that activate the Neuropsychopharmacology of human beings, produce a mood-altering effect, and can have life threatening consequences. Our program is designed to be personally tailored to address whatever addiction a client suffers from. Our clinicians – very well qualified and with long experience in the wide field of addiction – have the skills to provide all addiction treatment, and address the often associated problems of dual diagnosis such as OCD and trauma.
People have been medicating and abusing themselves with substances and processes for various reasons since time immemorial. If one looks back throughout history it is quite evident. Drug use varies from population to population and sub cultures. It is affected by socioeconomic circumstances, ethnicity, trauma experiences, dysfunctional and inter-generational relationships and history. It is no surprise that the need for addiction treatment in all its forms is on the rise. Addictions maintain a position among the world’s top catalysts for premature death. And it is no surprise that the use of food, sex, gambling etc. has exacerbated the scope of addictive practices over time.
In all people blighted by addiction, patterns of behaviour are imprinted and become habitual, due to brain chemistry changes in the reward mechanisms. Thinking patterns such as rationalisation and justification (usually of the most outrageous sort of nonsense!) provide excuses to have more of the substance or activity. This perpetuates the dependency and associated addictive thinking and behaviours. Addiction always impacts mental health by way of anxiety, depression, a sense of hopelessness and desperation. The compound effect will eventually become extremely serious and can lead to suicidal thinking and sometimes death. Increasing frequency of use will affect most users’ ability to deal with the emotional impacts of everyday life. It will interfere with emotional regulation and distress tolerance of fear, panic, depression, motivation, loss, sadness, grief, death, anxiety, anger, frustration and more. This will have detrimental impacts on relationships with self and others. Employment and financial problems, hospitalisations, incarceration, demoralisation and degradation will impact the sufferer’s lives, not to mention the ever-present risk of death.
Is it any wonder that the scope and profession of addiction treatment has had to adapt to variation of addictions and ever-expanding misery amongst populations? Addiction treatment has been improved over the years by trial and error, scientific advances, and wide experience. Rehabilitation really addresses the symptoms rather than the specific substances or actions. The drugs and activities indulged are a ‘symptom’ of the addiction. Addiction treatment goes way deeper than the physical link to the substances and behaviours. These are complex physical, mental and emotional problems, many of which will fall under the banner of dual diagnosis.
The physical withdrawal element of addiction treatment from some drugs and Process Addictions is relatively quick, easy and painless. From others, it is not the most pleasant experience. And from some, it can be a lengthy and tedious process. However, the symptoms will be properly managed by medical professionals. People undergoing withdrawal and detox often need to give themselves permission to ‘not feel well’ throughout the process. Impatience is a significant emotional trigger of which to be wary, as this can and does give rise to people not completing the full addiction treatment plan.
All detoxes can be managed! Important issues to be assessed and considered prior to community based withdrawal are: the level of dependency; the combinations and frequency of the addictions and behaviours; a safe and supportive environment; regular access to nursing and medical care; and diligent professional monitoring of the withdrawal state. Our detox options page tells a little more, and despite the gravity of all the above text, millions of people successfully undergo addiction treatment, detox and rehabilitation without undue distress or discomfort. That is one of SafeHouse’s main aims.