Public Health England (PHE) issued a warning of sharp rises in the number of overdoses linked to those using drugs across England, urging users of heroin in particular to be extra careful about what they are using and how much they take.
In a long list of advice for those who currently use drugs, PHE advised that drug users should never to use alone and to test a small amount of any drug they intend to use first. Of course this is easier said than done as many people struggling with addiction feel isolated and do not have access to drug testing kits. Others worry that asking for supervision when taking drugs will land them in trouble with the police, so take the risk alone.
That’s why drug consumption rooms (DCRs) have been introduced in other countries, such as Scotland, allowing people with addictions to inject their own drugs under medical supervision in a safe and sterile place, not only working to prevent overdoses but also reducing the spread of HIV between drug injectors.
Should staff notice any signs of an overdose or adverse reaction to a drug, they can administer naloxone, a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose, and potentially save their lives.
However, despite proving to be somewhat successful solution at preventing overdoses, UK Government Minister for Crime, Kit Malthouse, said that that a more assertive approach was required and that drug rooms, to him, are a “bit of a distraction” and that there wasn’t enough consistent research from around the world, with many results being mixed.
There were also concerns around the legality of drug consumption rooms as drug possession is a crime under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and police would have to arrest anyone involved.
Targeting the Root of the Problem
Whilst the idea behind drug consumption rooms is great for preventing overdoses and reducing the risk of HIV transmission, they don’t target the problem of addiction head on, providing just a temporary solution that allows users to continue their addiction with no real encouragement to seek help with recovery.
At Acquiesce Rehabilitation Centre, we provide a private, residential rehab service at our treatment centre in Bolton, helping individuals to first understand their addiction and then learn how to manage it using a range of physical, psychological, spiritual and social approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and the 12 Steps. The programme is delivered by our highly trained and experienced team, incorporating the latest evidence based interventions, alternative therapies and activities.
The Acquiesce urban recovery model provides a discreet, highly supported and safe environment within the community. Many people find the favourable conditions of rehab, such as a manor house in the countryside, help with the initial detox, but once they leave the rehab facility, the temptation of everyday life can become too much and they relapse.
At Acquiesce, we aim to make the transition as smooth as possible, to mitigate these risks and increase your chances of a drug-free life. Whilst not being hidden from the real world this allows individuals to gain all the tools and experience necessary whilst maintaining a carefully monitored level of autonomy and responsibility over their own recovery. This makes any transitional period from treatment a much smoother process resulting in a more sustainable recovery journey.
With substance based addictions, detox is the first step to recovery. Unlike drug consumption rooms, which promote safe drug consumption, detox works to facilitate the safe removal of substances from the body and to manage the withdrawal symptoms. Common substances that may require detox include:
- Prescription medication
At Acquiesce, we arrange all aspects of the detox including transportation to ensure a hassle free process, providing a seamless and fluid treatment journey.
Finding the Trigger
As we mentioned earlier, finding the root of the problem is the key to tackling addiction. The root or trigger of an addiction is either an external action or internal thought that triggers strong feelings. These actions or feelings are most likely negative, and can be difficult to face or resolve alone.
Some triggers include stress from work, a traumatic experience and difficult breakups but the great majority of triggers stem from pre-existing mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder.
If you are unsure of what triggers your addiction, the Acquiesce rehab programme can work with you to recognise, understand and provide a solution to the psychological aspect of your addiction, including therapy for mental health disorders.