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Addiction Treatments Available Via Private Health Care

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 28 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Addiction Addiction Treatments

Addiction treatments are one of the most common types of treatment available privately in the UK. As well as being able to obtain treatment for alcoholism, smoking and drug addiction from private hospitals, there are also many independent rehab centres and clinics that specialise in helping people break free from addiction. These often also offer therapy for eating disorders, depression, stress and anxiety.

Private Rehab Centres

Private clinics offer drug addiction treatment to people of all ages and backgrounds. Many people who try illegal drugs as an experiment rarely need drug addiction therapy but addiction can quickly get out of hand. People under stress can find that a casual, now-and-again use turns into a more regular habit that can’t easily be broken. Other people become addicted to prescription drugs such as painkillers or tranquilisers or even to cough medicines bought from a chemist.

Probably one of the most well known private addiction clinics is The Priory in London to which many celebrities retreat to get treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Many others offer the same treatments, perhaps somewhat more cheaply.

Private Treatment for Drug Addiction

Addiction programs are run by many different private clinics. If the addition is to a Class A drug or a prescription drug, the treatment usually involves a stay in the centre to ‘detox’ or ‘dry out’. This gives the body a chance to recover from stopping the drug or ceasing to drink alcohol. The trained staff at the centre will monitor the condition of the person under detox to make sure they don’t suffer badly from withdrawal symptoms. Medication can be given to help with this in severe cases.The physical detox and supportive treatment is accompanied by counselling sessions. These are intended to prevent the person undergoing treatment from going back to their old habits once they leave.

Relapsing is a common problem that all addicts face and many go through, often several times. Part of the counselling advises people on how to avoid relapses and others to show them how to cope with the relapse once it has happened.

Treating Alcoholism

The first part of therapy for alcohol dependence is also usually residential. This can be for a few days and can involve taking medication to reduce the craving for alcohol. Two main drugs are used. Campral acts to disrupt the level of transmitters in the brain that encourage alcohol cravings and is usually give to people who have completed this first stage of detox treatment. The other drug, Antabuse, is more controversial. It produces very unpleasant sensations, such as very bad flushing, nausea, palpitations and sweating once the person taking it drinks a very small amount of alcohol. This active deterrent can be dangerous and can lead to collapse if more than a little alcohol is consumed.

After this initial phase, the follow up and counselling therapy is very similar to that provided for drug addiction.

Follow Up Treatments

Follow up treatments for drug addiction and alcoholism as well as therapy for other addictions – to smoking or food – are done on outpatient basis with regular appointments spread over a period of time – maybe up to a year. Some have specialist units for young people.

Smoking Cessation Therapy

Smoking cessation therapy is now widespread and available freely on the NHS. However, private clinics and hospitals do offer the option to have smoking cessation therapy privately. Some private clinics also specialise in helping people to give up smoking. These tend to use different techniques, including hypnotherapy, life coaching, psychotherapy, neuro linguistic programming and other techniques. These can be used in combination with patches, gum and other nicotine replacements.

Private Treatment for Food Related Problems

There is a huge spectrum of eating disorders besides the well known anorexia and bulimia and private counselling can help tackle the underlying psychological causes. Therapy can help young people learn how to eat a range of different foods and to overcome erratic food aversions as well as to deal with eating in public.

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