❝ there is no best treatment but there is
plenty of good help available ❞
The first thing to decide is whether you are looking for professional help or want to plan your own self directed route to recovery. Here are some choices...
SMART Recovery is a mutual aid programme to help people manage their recovery from any type of addictive behaviour. Meetings can be found in most towns and cities. This includes addictive behaviour with substances such as alcohol, nicotine or drugs, or compulsive behaviours such as gambling, sex, eating, shopping, self-harming and so on. SMART stands for ‘Self Management And Recovery Training’.
There is no single approach to recovery that is right for everyone. Research into various recovery methods and therapies suggests that mutual aid can help recovery and so can treatment – a combination of the two is probably even better for many people. SMART Recovery draws on scientific evidence to help participants decide whether they have a problem, build up their motivation to change and offer a set of proven tools and techniques to support recovery. The SMART Recovery programme has four elements: i) Building and maintaining motivation ii) Coping with urges iii) Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviours iv) Living a balanced life.
People can stay with SMART as long as they wish. There is no requirement to make a lifetime commitment to the programme, just to their recovery and leading a healthier life. Many people find that continuing to participate in SMART after they have recovered helps them avoid lapses or relapses. Some will volunteer to train as facilitators and set up further meetings. Others simply continue to attend meetings and share their experiences with others.
Within SMART, labels are not thought to help with recovery and are avoided. People are not referred to as ‘addicts’, ‘alcoholics’, ’druggies’, ’overeaters’, ’sex addicts’ or other labels at meetings. SMART Recovery will not be able to help with every kind of problem and participants are encouraged to seek professional help when needed.
Visit 🌐 SMART and use RESULT to measure your progress
Alcoholics Anonymous is a mutual aid fellowship concerned solely with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of individuals. The Fellowship has adopted a policy of "cooperation but not affiliation" with other organisations. AA members have always taken care to preserve their anonymity, and that of others attending meetings, at the public level namely: press, radio, television, films and the new media technologies such as the Internet.
Many problem drinkers might hesitate to turn to AA for help if they thought their problem might be discussed publicly, even inadvertently, by others. Newcomers should be able to seek help with complete assurance that their identities will not be disclosed to anyone outside the Fellowship. The concept of personal anonymity has a spiritual significance in that it discourages the drives for personal recognition, power, prestige or profit that have caused difficulties in some societies. The heart of the suggested programme of personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practise these principles in all our affairs.
Newcomers are not asked to accept or follow these Twelve Steps in their entirety if they feel unwilling or unable to do so. They will usually be asked to keep an open mind, to attend meetings at which recovered alcoholics describe their personal experiences in achieving sobriety, and to read AA literature describing and interpreting the AA programme.
Visit 🌐 Alcoholics Anonymous and use RESULT to measure your progress
Narcotics Anonymous is a mutual aid fellowship dedicated to helping people for whom drugs have become a major problem. Recovering addicts meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a programme of complete abstinence from all drugs. There is only one requirement for membership: the desire to stop using drugs. We suggest that you keep an open mind and give it a try. Narcotics Anonymous follows the same twelve step principles as Alcoholics Anonymous (see the Twelve Steps above). Narcotics Anonymous is not affiliated with any other organisations, there are no initiation fees or dues, no pledges to sign, no promises to make to anyone. Anyone may join, regardless of age, race, sexual identity, creed, religion or lack of religion.
The basic requirement of anonymity allows addicts to attend meetings without fear of legal or social repercussions. This is an important consideration for an addict thinking about going to a first meeting. Anonymity also supports an atmosphere of equality in meetings. It helps ensure that no individual's personality or circumstance will be considered more important than the message of recovery shared in Narcotics Anonymous. All members are expected to help in maintaining the tradition of personal anonymity by not identifying other members by name or in full face photos as members of Narcotics Anonymous, or by describing details of their personal circumstances which could reveal their identities. Narcotics Anonymous is not secret, just anonymous.
Narcotics Anonymous encourages its members to abstain completely from all drugs including alcohol because members have discovered that complete and continuous abstinence provides the best foundation for recovery and personal growth. Narcotics Anonymous however, takes no stand on the use of caffeine, nicotine, or sugar. Similarly the use of prescribed medication for the treatment of specific medical or psychiatric conditions is neither encouraged nor prohibited.
Visit 🌐 Narcotics Anonymous and use RESULT to measure your progress
The NHS offers free one-to-one support along with stop smoking medicines available for the cost of a prescription. There are local Stop Smoking Service in all parts of the country. The Stop Smoking Service provide expert advice, support and encouragement to help quit smoking for good. People have found these services to be very effective. Smoking is always harmful and the harmful consequences accumulate through life.
Cigarettes contain nicotine which is addictive. Giving up smoking can cause nicotine withdrawal symptoms, including cravings, headaches, feeling irritable and not being able to sleep. Stop smoking medicines can help reduce these symptoms. Champix tablets (varenicline) and Zyban tablets (bupropion) are available from the NHS with a prescription; nicotine replacement (NRT) products, including patches, gum, lozenges, microtabs, inhalators and nasal sprays are also available on prescription or can be bought from pharmacies and supermarkets without a prescription.
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are designed for users to inhale nicotine without most of the harmful effects of smoking. As there is no burning involved, there is no smoke. Unlike cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not produce tar and carbon monoxide. The vapour has been found to contain some toxicants also found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels. There are vaping shops in most retail areas.
Visit 🌐 Smokefree NHS and use RESULT to measure your progress
Breaking Free Online is a comprehensive treatment and recovery programme that helps people to resolve the psychological and lifestyle issues that drive their use of alcohol and/or drugs, and so conquer their dependence once and for all. Breaking Free Online is an internet intervention which can be applied to any addiction. It employs the best evidence based approaches from behavioural psychology. The sessions can be worked on alone or with the support of a therapist.
Breaking Free Online is suitable for anyone whose life is being significantly affected, or health is being damaged by their drinking or use of drugs. It enables people to overcome their dependence on alcohol or any type of drug, including ‘legal highs’ and prescription drugs. It is equally effective for people who want to reduce their drinking or drug use to less harmful levels or those who need to stop completely because their dependence has become severe. It is applicable to every stage of the treatment journey, from initial engagement and motivation through active treatment to supporting people’s long-term recovery. It can be used by young people as well as adults, and by those with impaired concentration, because supporters and practitioners can assist and reinforce the treatment process.
Breaking Free Online is not sold directly in the United Kingdom. At the present time, you can only get an access code for Breaking Free Online from those commissioning Breaking Free Online in your geographic area. These are typically either members of the local Drug & Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) or related service providers (not for profit such as Turning Point, Addaction, Phoenix Futures) or specialist service providers. You can find out if Breaking Free is available in your local area by contacting the organisation at email@example.com
Visit 🌐 Breaking Free and use RESULT to add to the built in measures of progress
If you have decided that you want professional help there are therapists both in the public and private sectors who can support online treatment or work face to face at home or at a clinic. Local public sector services are very variable and changeable - your doctor or health care professional should be able to guide you.
If you are choosing a self directed programme then your general practitioner is still able to help with health checks and some medications. Not all general practitioners will offer to help with addiction treatments such as detoxification or relapse prevention, but many will.
If you want to pay for private health checks then search online for companies that provide this service in the form of running blood tests which are interpreted by doctors (they will need to know about your drinking or drug use). You can often get blood by a finger prick or go to a clinic to have a sample taken.