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Substance abuse and addiction can impact all areas of your life – not only can it impact your relationships, finances, and general wellbeing, but it can also have negative consequences on your physical health and mental health too.

Whether you abuse or are dependent on alcohol, prescription drugs such as oxycodone or valium, or illicit substances such as heroin, cocaine, or amphetamines, it’s important that you receive the treatment you need.

Addiction treatment typically involves detoxification, addiction therapy, and secondary treatment – but what exactly is secondary treatment? What are the benefits of receiving secondary care? And where can I find the right secondary treatment provider for me?

Read on to learn more about secondary rehab treatment, including what it entails and the key benefits.

The Primary Treatment Process Explained

Before we delve into the ins and outs of secondary treatment for addiction, let’s talk a little about the primary treatment process.

In an intensive treatment approach, you’ll begin with detoxification, move on to therapy, and then receive secondary treatment.

However, some people will only complete the detoxification stage, or attend rehab drop-in sessions as an outpatient. Read on to learn more about detoxification and addiction therapy.

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Alcohol and Drug Detoxification

Some people will undergo an alcohol or drug detox as part of a larger treatment plan, but others will only detox from alcohol and then receive aftercare. As part of an intensive rehab plan, detoxification is the first stage.

A drug or alcohol detox addresses the physical addiction – you’ll have no access to the substances you’re addicted to in order to cleanse your body of the substance. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.

This stage of the rehab process can be particularly difficult due to withdrawal symptoms. Although the severity of the withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, the general rule of thumb is that the more severe the addiction or substance misuse, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms.

In very severe cases, you may be at risk of delirium tremens, which can be fatal. Although detoxification can be tough, there are many benefits of detoxing from alcohol and drugs – for example, detoxification can improve your mental health, and break the physical addiction.

Detoxification isn’t usually dangerous – however, special care is often required depending on the severity of the addiction and personal circumstances. Special care may also be required when it comes to rehab for seniors.

In some cases, you may be offered a medical detox. During medical detox, you may be given medication – for example, detox medications for alcohol addiction such as Antabuse.

You may also be given medical supervision, where a medical professional closely monitors your symptoms.

Detoxification alone doesn’t address the psychological, behavioural, and social aspects of addiction. This is something that is addressed as part of a larger plan, including counselling, therapy, and secondary treatment.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Therapy

Therapy is an important step when it comes to addiction rehab. Addiction therapy can not only teach you effective coping strategies but valuable life skills that you can implement for the rest of your life.

Therapy isn’t just for people with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety – it’s an effective form of treatment for addiction, and can help with overall personal development.

Whether you’re looking to attend rehab as an inpatient or an outpatient, you’ll have access to addiction counsellors to discuss your thoughts, feelings, and history.

Different clinics will have different therapy options available – however, most treatment providers will offer cognitive behavioural therapy/ CBT, group therapy, and one-to-one counselling.

Some other forms of therapy in rehab include family therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), interpersonal therapy, and holistic therapies such as art therapy or mindfulness.

As well as teaching you healthy coping strategies, therapy can also help you to gain a further understanding of yourself and your addiction – for example, the reasons you may have developed substance use disorders in the first place, or what triggers your addiction.

What Happens After Rehab?

Once you have completed a course of rehab, you may feel nervous returning to your daily life. After all, you’ll be faced with the same temptations you had to deal with before you started your recovery journey.

This is why it’s important that you receive ongoing support during this transitional phase – something crucial to long-term recovery, relapse prevention, and emotional sobriety.

This is something that secondary treatment aims at providing. Read on to learn more about secondary treatment.

Secondary Treatment: What Is It?

Secondary treatment also referred to as extended care or aftercare, is the final stage of rehab treatment. Secondary treatment supports you through the recovery period.

Many people believe that recovery truly begins after rehabilitation, which is why it’s so important that you receive the right support.

After leaving rehab, you’re expected to return to your day-to-day life which can be scary. However, receiving secondary treatment ensures that you’re supported throughout your recovery.

Often, aftercare is provided as a follow-on from intensive rehab treatment. You may have discussed factors that may have contributed to your addiction, or other problematic areas in your life – for example, social factors, housing, career, family, or dual-diagnosis/ mental health disorders.

Extended care aims to deal with these areas. For example, you may receive support while you find another place to live, you’re homeless, or place you in a recovery home. This is because destructive living is considered an obstacle to continued sobriety.

You may also receive employment support – for example, you may be invited to educational workshops, work seminars, or job fairs. This is because unemployment can be considered a barrier to long-term sobriety.

It’s also important that you receive support from loved ones during your recovery from addiction.

This is why secondary care can help you reconnect with family members through family therapy. Likewise, interpersonal therapy can help you develop healthier relationships with others.

If you have a dual diagnosis for drug or alcohol addiction, secondary treatment can involve ongoing mental health support. Read on to learn some common forms of aftercare.

Forms of Secondary Treatment/ Aftercare

Secondary care can take many forms – for example, group therapy, online therapy, extended therapy, personal development, and even recovery cafes.

Group sessions often require repeat visits for optimal effectiveness – typically once or twice a week. Attending group sessions can expand your support network, and get you in contact with others in a similar situation to yourself.

Further therapy such as CBT or DBT doesn’t have to end once you leave rehab – you can continue your treatment in the form of aftercare. Most people see a CBT therapist for roughly eight weeks. Behavioural therapies are considered an effective form of addiction treatment.

You may also wish to receive telephone support – whether it be contacting a support line or telephone counselling sessions. Another form of secondary care is life skills development – which typically involves attending workshops that target different areas of your life.

Leisure facilities can also be helpful during recovery – for example, gym sessions, animal therapy, or art courses. You may find that these help you during inpatient care – and you can continue this throughout your recovery journey.

You may also wish to attend support groups, whether it be well-known groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, or smaller groups within your local community.

Getting Help For Alcohol or Drug Addiction

At Help4Addiction, we can find the right treatment plan for whether you’re looking for a primary care facility, inpatient facility, or outpatient treatment options. We can also help you seek secondary care to streamline your recovery.

We understand that the costs involved with rehab can be daunting, which is why we’ll discuss the costs with you beforehand so you’re not hit with any surprise expenses. We can find both NHS-operated options and private rehabilitation options at an inpatient treatment centre.

Have a chat with our friendly team today to make an informed decision on rehab and aftercare. We can help you decide how to work secondary treatment into your treatment plan.

At Help4Addiction, helping those with addiction and substance use problems is our number one priority – we believe everyone deserves support, and nobody should tackle addiction alone. Call us on 0203 955 7700 or complete our online consultation form, and we’ll get back to you.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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