Self Care

Self Care

Ever looked at how you actually treat yourself physically? Maybe it’s time to step back and have a really good look at your internal dialogue and begin to view your physical self in a whole new way?

 

We are each given a body when we arrive in the world, and our bodies are amazing pieces of kit! If we think about what our bodies go through as we are growing, and the rate at which they grow, it’s quite an astonishing and fascinating viewpoint. Our bodies then continue to function for us and we barely give the functioning a second thought.

 

Someone once said to me “if you can look after a plant, it will remind you to look after yourself.”. When I heard this many years ago it kind of went over my head, but now I see the relevance. It was about raising awareness of physical care, with a psychological effect and I will use this as my analogy for this blog.

 

So maybe the first step in your recovery from addiction is to look at how you treat yourself? Imagine someone very dear to you is treating themselves as you are treating yourself? Whether the addiction is physical or psychological, imagine the levels of stress, anxiety, physical and emotional strain your loved one is inflicting on themselves. What advice would you give them? What care and support would you give them?

 

Often stepping out of ourselves, or looking at ourselves differently for brief moments of time can open our eyes to self-care.

 

Would you feed a plant toxins? Would you pull all the leaves off a plant so it had nothing left? Would you limit the plant’s root growth so it struggled to survive? No, you wouldn’t, so why would you do this to yourself?

 

Self-respect, both physically and psychologically, are paramount for addiction recovery. It may be very difficult for you to know where to begin and it might be helpful for you to explore with the help of a counsellor as to why you find respecting your body and mind so difficult?

 

Often addictive behaviours are a result of historical learned behaviours/experiences and lack of self-respect. Addictive behaviours can manifest from a trauma you may have experienced, or they can be ways of living that took control of you over time. However, your addiction manifested itself a good first step in recovery is awareness of self-care.

 

Imagine waking up in the morning and having a good stretch to wake up all those muscles which function for us daily without us giving them a second thought! Then imagine pouring yourself a glass of cold water to feed virtually every part of your body for the day ahead. Feeding your body a healthy breakfast to fuel you for the morning ahead to help you achieve your daily work and goals. Then as you go about your daily routine become aware of your breathing, walking, seeing, tasting and all the other bodily functions your amazing piece of kit does automatically to keep you alive!

 

The more you can become aware of yourself physically the better you will become at psychologically caring for yourself.

 

I’m not saying become a health freak, but if you decide that’s what you would like to do that’s ok. I’m asking you to trial thinking about your body from a different viewpoint. You can do this from either a plant aspect, a pet, caring for a child or loved one…..you could even take the stance of car care if necessary.

 

Addiction often adapts itself, known as a functioning addiction, but as your body and mind deteriorate with abuse, age, lack of care and disrespect addiction becomes more and more difficult to contain, control and keep up with. You find your body and mind struggling to recover, it takes longer to feel ok and function throughout your day, you may become moody, forgetful and complacent and these ways of functioning have a negative effect on your entire life.

 

Ever thought of the amount of time you dedicate to your addiction? All the thoughts, actions, behaviours and recovery time. All the thoughts of guilt and shame, hiding the addiction, making excuses, planning the next hit, where the money will come from……I imagine it will amount to a substantial chunk of your day, week, month or years!? And all behaviours of no self-care.

 

Addiction is not feeding your plant. Addiction is pulling the leaves off the plant so it struggles to survive. The plant may adapt itself to survive as best it can over time, but eventually with no food, water, repotting or care it begins to die well before it needs to. The plant begins to look unhealthy as it wilts. I imagine we have all seen the plants on the shelf in the supermarket that nobody wants because they look so unhealthy? Some people buy those plants and try to help them survive…..and some do survive and go on to become beautiful as they grow, but sadly some die too.

 

Become as aware as possible of your self-care, even if you only take little steps to start with. Write yourself a little note on the bathroom mirror to remind yourself of self-care, set some alarms of your phone saying “look after you’re body”, go out of your way daily to do something respectful for yourself and little by little you will begin to grow and recover.

 

I wish you all wellness.

 

Rebecca Jarvis-Hilton

Nicholas Conn / 15th May 2018/ Posted in: Latest News

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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 0330 088 9518.

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