Narcotics Addiction – Symptoms, Side Effects, How to Get Treatment & Rehab

Narcotics Addiction Treatment – Summary

Narcotics (Painkillers) are often prescribed initially by a doctor to treat pain a patient might be experiencing. If you or a loved one is suffering from a narcotics addiction, it can have long-lasting health effects. Help4Addiction can help you overcome this addiction and stop the dependency you may feel.


Narcotics Addiction Treatment

If you are wondering how to beat narcotics addiction, you have already taken one of the most important steps; you’ve begun searching for information. There is no denying that overcoming any sort of drug addiction can be very difficult. However, it can be even more difficult when you try to do this on your own. There are withdrawal symptoms that need to be managed and there are things that are going to be happening that you may not understand.


Why do you feel this way? Are you going to feel like this forever? Why have you found yourself in this position? The inner turmoil can only add to the physical struggle, and this is why people often find themselves taking drugs again when they don’t get professional help.


With the right assistance, your withdrawal symptoms will be minimised so that the experience is not as bad, and you will get to the bottom of what triggers your narcotics addiction so that you can make sure you don’t fall back into this vicious cycle. So, if you would like more information on how to overcome narcotics addiction, please continue reading to discover everything you need to know about how to get help for narcotics addiction.

What exactly is narcotics?

Narcotics is another word to describe painkillers or opiates. Narcotics prevent pain. They work through binding themselves to your nervous system’s pain receptors, which blocks the pain signals. A lot of people are prescribed narcotics by their doctor when they have been experiencing a form of severe pain and other types of pain relievers are not effective. This may have happened to you, which may have lead you on a path to addiction. This is what happens with a lot of people. 

There are both legal and illegal narcotics. The most common illegal narcotics are opium, heroin, and any medications that are taken outside of the doctor’s prescription recommendations.

Some narcotics that are legal, so long as they are taken according to the prescription recommendations of your doctor, are as follows:

  • Tramadol
  • Morphine
  • Methadrone
  • Meperidine
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydrocodone 
  • Fentanyl
  • Codeine 

Are narcotics addictive? 

The short answer to this question is yes. A lot of people start out taking narcotics because they have been prescribed by their doctor. However, rather than stopping when they are meant to, they keep taking them whenever they have small aches and pains, or on a continual basis to feel better. This can spiral out of control, which is how addiction can take over. 

Why is narcotics addictive? How addictive is narcotics?

There are a number of different narcotics addictive properties. The fact that they provide a short-lived euphoria can mean that people keep taking them again and again to experience this feeling. However, as you develop a tolerance, you need more and more pills in order to get anywhere close to the euphoria you first experienced. 

Not only this, but long-term use of painkillers can lead to physical dependence. This is because your body will adapt to the presence of this substance. Therefore, if you try to stop taking the drug, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, as mentioned, you need more and more of the drug in order to have the same impact, which can lead to you taking more and more. 

What causes narcotics addiction?

Everyone is different, and there are a number of different reasons why someone may become addicted to narcotics. As mentioned, a lot of people become addicted to painkillers after being prescribed legally. However, there are a number of risk factors when it comes to drug addictions. This includes the following:


  • A serious injury or illness – This can lead you to require painkillers, and then developing a dependency on them.
  • Genetics – If you have a parent with a drug problem, you are more likely to suffer the same disorder. 
  • Social factors – This could be because you make friends with people who peer-pressure you into taking them, for example.
  • Life stresses and a lack of coping strategies – Life seems to be more stressful than ever, right? From work pressures and losing a loved one to financial difficulties, there are many stresses that could cause you to turn to drugs if you don’t have the right coping strategy.


Signs of narcotics addiction

If you are worried that someone you love is addicted to painkillers, it is a good idea to look out for some of the signs that indicate that this is the case. Some signs of this include…

  • Poor decision making, i.e. putting herself or himself, or others, in danger
  • Seeking the same prescription from a number of different doctors because they want a ‘back-up’ supply
  • Losing medication so that more prescriptions can be written
  • Borrowing medication from other people
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Mood swings, including excessive swings, from hostility to elation
  • Taking painkillers when they are not in pain ‘just in case’
  • Regularly taking an opioid in a way not intended by the doctor 

Aside from this, you may notice some of the physical narcotics addiction symptoms associated with a narcotics addiction. This includes:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tremors
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Confusion
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Goosebumps
  • Salivation 
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Rapid breathing
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety 

Am I addicted to narcotics?

There are a number of questions you can ask to determine whether you are addicted to narcotics. This includes the following:

  • Do you experience physical symptoms whenever you try to stop taking narcotics?
  • Are you using more of the drugs than were intended?
  • Are you using the drugs for longer than they were prescribed?
  • Do you use despite social or legal problems?
  • Have you become tolerant to narcotics, i.e. do you take the drug more often or need more of the drug?
  • Do you use narcotics despite mental and physical problems
  • Do you take narcotics while doing something dangerous, like driving?
  • Have you cut down or stopped important activities?
  • Do you have a strong desire to use narcotics or an urge to do so?
  • Do you spend a lot of time finding drugs or recovering from use?
  • Are you in financial difficulty because you spend so much money on narcotics?
  • Do you use means that are illegal to get your hands on drugs, for example, fake prescriptions?
  • Do you find that you cannot control or cut down use?

If you have found yourself answering yes to any of the questions mentioned above, you should look into getting help. Generally speaking, if you only have a couple of symptoms, you have a mild addiction to narcotics. If you have between four and five symptoms, your addiction could be classified as moderate. If you have a severe addiction, you will probably have around six symptoms or more. No matter what category you fall into, you need to take the required steps to get the help you need.


What are the side-effects of narcotics addiction?

An addiction to narcotics can impact you in a number of different ways. Let’s take a look at some of the most common side effects of narcotics addiction:

Physical side-effects

  • Nausea
  • Respiratory depression
  • Lethargy
  • Drowsiness 
  • Brain damage caused by hypoxia
  • Liver damage
  • Constipation 
  • Abdominal bloating and distention 

Psychological side-effects

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Other mental health issues 

How to beat narcotics addiction

There is little getting away from the fact that overcoming any sort of drugs addiction is challenging. A narcotics addiction is no different. We are not going to lie to you and say that it is going to be easy. However, the most difficult step is definitely recognising that you need help. The fact that you have found yourself reading this guide and looking for more information says a lot. You have already taken the first step in your journey to a drug-free life. Don’t turn back now. We are here to help you keep moving forward. We can explain all of the different treatment options that are available to you. 

Which narcotics addiction treatment methods are available?

There are a lot of different treatment options available for anyone who is currently experiencing a narcotics addiction. It is important to have an understanding of the different options that are available so that you know what you’re going to be doing, no matter whether you decide to go to rehab or make the most of outpatient services. 

How can treatment be delivered?

There are a number of different environments that are available to someone who is looking for help with overcoming a narcotics addiction. Rehab is the most well-known solution. This is known as residential treatment. With this approach, you will stay in a treatment centre for as much as 90 days in most cases. You will benefit from 24-hour supervision and you will receive intensive addiction services. A lot of people find this the most effective approach for narcotics drug recovery treatment because they can focus on their recovery and their recovery alone. We will explain more about the benefits of rehab later in the guide.

There are other options for those who do not want to go to rehab. Outpatient treatment is an example of this. This involves attending a treatment centre at least once per week, however, you will still live at home. This is more suitable for those who do not have a serious addiction or are unable to reside in a treatment facility.

Aside from this, you can also make the most of the different support groups that are available. Most communities around the UK have free self-help groups for people that are overcoming drug addictions. If you give us a call, we will be able to tell you all about the different self-help groups in your area and what you can expect when attending. 

What are the different types of treatments?

No matter what type of facility you go to, the process will always involve speaking to an experienced medical professional who will put together a recovery plan that is suitable for you. This plan will involve a number of different treatment options. Sometimes, a healthcare professional may decide that medication-assisted treatment is needed. This means that they will provide you with certain medications to make the process of moving from narcotics to a drug-free life as effectively as possible and to reduce the bad withdrawal symptoms.

Aside from this, it is likely that there will be some form of behavioural intervention in order to treat your addiction to narcotics. There are a number of different methods that are used when it comes to behavioural intervention. 

This includes cognitive behavioural therapy, which is a talking therapy. It is all about helping you to identify any negative and unhealthy thoughts, with the purpose of changing them. You will focus on the behaviours and thoughts that lead you to take narcotics so that you can stop this from happening. 

Another option is contingency management, which is all about using positive reinforcement to help you achieved desired goals and tasks. 

The matrix model is another popular form of behavioural intervention. There have been a number of different studies that have been conducting showcasing the effectiveness of this treatment. It is a time-limited instruction form of treatment that utilises a number of techniques, including group therapy, self-help groups, family therapy, drug education, and relapse prevention education. Of course, you may not use all of these approaches; it is tailored to suit you. 

The benefits of narcotics rehab

When it comes to figuring out how you are going to overcome your narcotics addiction, one option you should certainly consider carefully is narcotics. There is no denying that outpatient services can be helpful. However, most people will agree that narcotics rehab programs are the most effective solution if you are going to overcome a serious drug addiction. There are a number of benefits of the narcotics rehab process, so let’s take a look at them in further detail…


  • Tailored care – One of the main reasons why you should consider going to rehab when it comes to how to fight narcotics addiction is because the care you receive will be tailored to you. After all, we are all different, right? How a narcotics addiction impacts one person may be very different from how it impacts someone else. Plus, we get addicted to drugs for different reasons. This is why tailored care is so important. It is all about developing a program that is 100 per cent catered to your needs and the addiction you are experiencing. 
  • Support from other people – Another reason you should consider rehab is because you will have the chance to meet people that are in the same position as you. You will make friends for life; people you can turn to in the future if you are finding it difficult and people that you can confide in and they will actually understand how you are feeling, rather than just saying that they do.
  • Supervised treatment – If you choose to go to rehab, you will have the assistance of an experienced healthcare team. This means that you will be able to talk to trained professionals who have helped many people to overcome narcotics addictions. Not only can they provide you with the right advice, but they will help you to deal with the withdrawal symptoms you are experiencing. One of the main reasons why people relapse is because they cannot cope with the withdrawal symptoms they are experiencing. This may have been something you have personal experience with yourself. The withdrawal symptoms feel so severe and so you take narcotics to take the edge off, right? Well, when in rehab, these symptoms will be managed, and this means that the negative effects will be minimised as much as possible. In fact, you may not even experience some of the worst symptoms. 
  • Focus on recovery – A final benefit worth considering is that you will be able to fully focus on your recovery. With outpatient services, you still have all of the other pressures of everyday life, from environmental and social factors to workplace stress. This can make it much more difficult to overcome a drug addiction. However, by going to rehab, you are going to be able to focus on your recovery, and your recovery alone. This means you do not have to worry about the strains of work, pleasing other people, or potential temptations. It is all about you. 


Narcotics rehab cost

One of the main reasons why so many people simply rule out going to rehab when they have a narcotics addiction is because they feel like it is going to be too expensive and they are not going to have the money. Are you worried about the narcotics rehab cost? The cost of going to rehab will differ depending on a number of different factors, including the facility you go to and the type of treatment that you need.


The typical charge for a private rehab facility in a residential program in the UK is roughly £1,000 per week. However, this can be higher or lower – it really does depend on where you go. You may even be entitled to help under the NHS, and so this is something that is definitely worth exploring, and there are always more affordable options, so don’t let the cost put you off.


If you are fretting about the cost of narcotics rehab, please give us a call. We will talk you through all of the different options so you can get a better understanding of what is going to be affordable. We recognise that you need a treatment solution that is going to be within budget. It’s worth knowing narcotics addiction can easily cause a person’s bank balance to decrease rapidly, and the last thing you need is more financial strain on top of everything else.


We are on your side and will find a treatment that is going to be affordable for you. 

Find a narcotics rehab center

If you have decided that you are ready to seek help for your narcotics addiction, and you would like some assistance on taking the next step, we can help you to find the right facility centre for you. There are so many rehabs all over the United Kingdom, and we can help you to find one that is suitable for you. Some people prefer to be close to home so that they can have support from their family and friends.


There are then people that would rather be away from home, as they feel like home is where they are triggered to take drugs and so this will only make it harder. We will help you to choose something that is right for you and that you are happy with you. We even have contacts with rehab facilities outside of the UK if this is something you are interested in. And, we know that location is not the only factor that is going to impact your choice.


From your budget to your needs and preferences, we will work hard to get to know you and what you need so that we can find you a rehab centre that is going to give you the best chance to fight this addiction for good. We are all about ensuring the journey is as easy as it can possibly be.

Where to get help for narcotics addiction

Are you concerned that you could have a narcotics addiction? Perhaps you are worried about a family member or a friend? If so, give Help4Addiction a call today. Our helpline is free, and you will speak to one of our trained experts who can provide you with information on how to get the help you need for your narcotics addiction.


Taking the first step is the hardest one but once you have done this, you will have a professional by your side to guide you on your journey to recovery. We have years of experience in working with drug services across the United Kingdom, which means we can put together a plan that is tailored to you.


No matter whether you are ready to go to rehab or you simply want to talk, we are here for you. Simply dial 0203 955 7700 or you can request a free callback via our website. 


We are here 24/7 to help get you and your recovery on the right path.

    Our promise to you

    thumbOur advice will always be led by your needs and is free, confidential and impartial.
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    thumbOur purpose is to provide you with all the information needed to make informed decisions.

    Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

    The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

    Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

    • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan)
    • Diazapam (vailium)

    Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

    There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

    • Naltrexone
    • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
    • Nalmefene
    • Acamprosate (campral)

    Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

    There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

    Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

    A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

    Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

    The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

    Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

    Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

    Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

    *based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

    There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

    If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

    If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

    Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

    How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

    There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

    Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

    There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

    Local treatment

    Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

    Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

    Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

    Treatment Away

    Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

    As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

    When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

    There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

    Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

    There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

    Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

    Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

    Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

    Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

    Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

    Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

    How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

    The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

    Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

    Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

    Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

    You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

    The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

    There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.