In the UK, we rely on the NHS for all of our medical needs, whether it is an occasional check-up with the doctor, or life-changing surgery.
But what about addiction? What does the NHS do for those suffering from alcohol and drug-based illnesses, and what improvements are being made?
Addiction is a complex illness which comes in all kinds of forms. It is the uncontrolled abuse of substances such as drugs or alcohol.
Those suffering from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) rely on either drugs or alcohol to the point they cannot live without it, and continue to use it knowing that it causes problems.
Here is a list of what an individual can become addicted to:
Almost 40% of individuals in the UK are addicted in some way to a substance.
You can also be addicted to more behavioural things such as work, gambling, the internet, porn, shopping or spending.
Read more about addiction here.
Addiction is a very serious illness, but it is treatable and recovery is possible.
As with much of the health resources available UK-wide, there are both NHS and private services that can help with addiction.
Private rehab services
Private residential rehab programmes are the most effective way of kickstarting the addiction recovery.
They do cost, unlike the NHS which is free, however admission is immediate, and patients have access to the highest-quality treatment and care.
The NHS has a funding programme for rehab, however requires a long-term show of commitment.
As a result, applying and receiving NHS funding for addiction rehab can take up to 18 months.
There are currently a very small amount of beds available in NHS facilities. NHS tends to offer outpatient care – frequent GP visits and support groups as opposed to residential resources.
Though residential rehab is available in the NHS, it is rare and lacking.
Read more about residential rehab treatment in the UK’s leading facilities.
The NHS has set up a comprehensive online resource where you can search rehab services near you. See here.
There is also a facility called Talking Therapies that seeks to support those struggling with mental health. The purpose of this venture is to offer free counselling and a directory of helplines to call.
If you are struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, then it is important to reach out and seek help.