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Medical Help to Beat an Addiction

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 18 Jul 2020 | comments*Discuss
Mediacl Help; Mental Health Nurses;

There are many agencies that can help overcome an addiction some of these people will be medically trained in some way, others not. Those that have received some description of medical training include General Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Psychologogists, Mental Health Nurses and often many of the therapists have undergone some degree of medical training.

General Practitioners

GP’s are often the first group of people contacted when an addict is looking for help with their addiction. They can provide referrals to other agencies such as counseling, rehabilitation centres, hypnotherapists and psychotherapists, they can also prescribe medications to help with withdrawal symptoms and those that are used as replacement therapies.GP’s can offer support, advice, provide information and keep track of general health, making decisions and referring when necessary.

The main role of the GP in addiction is to treat the detox period and symptoms of withdrawal and help with rehabilitation by providing the necessary referrals when needed.

Mental Health Nurses

Along with working in mental health hospitals, these nurses often form part of the community drug team and can help offer support and advice in the community and for the friends, families and carers of the addicts.Many of these nurses specialise in certain areas such as teenage drug addiction and can offer expertise and a wealth of knowledge in their field.

They can help liaise between the person and the doctors, explain terms, administer medications and other clinical duties, plan treatment schedules and assess their effectiveness.

These nurses also help with planning the management of everyday activities with particular attention to maintenance of personal hygiene needs.

Mental health nurses are almost always trained in counseling, some even continuing their training to become psychotherapists.

Mental health nurses often act as a counselor and will work with either groups or on a one-to-one basis. They may use a variety of techniques to address issues and will allow the person to express themselves in which ever way they feel comfortable with.


Psychotherapists are highly trained individuals, often from a medical or nursing background who work with either the individual or with a group and address the emotional and behavioral issues surrounding the person’s problem. They will use proven techniques to discover the root of the problem and using specially designed therapies, reeducate the person and introduce new ways of coping with these problems.

Most of the therapy is performed using verbalization, though some employ art and drama when they feel it is necessary.They normally use listening, thought provocation and communication techniques to bring about changes in behaviour that allow for the individual to cope better with life’s everyday challenges without the use of the drug or substance to help them.As with all methods of counseling and medical intervention, psychotherapists are forced to abide by rules of confidentiality.Getting medical help is essential in beating addiction as most recovering will admit that they relied on these people for the initial stages of their addiction recovery. Those who choose not to receive any medical help find the process of beating an addiction a great struggle.

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FAO: John re Codeine addiction. As someone who has suffered from codeine addiction, I hope this helps; or, at least, will sound familiar. I assume that your addiction is the result of codeine based pain killers e.g., Nurofen Plus (NP), etc. Not only are the likes of NP available over the counter from a pharmacy (although I believe that this is changing), but it is not unusual for chronic addicts to consume the entire contents, of a large pack, at any one time e.g., 32 tablets. This, in itself, is foolish (although it never stopped me), and taking even more e.g. two packs, incredibly stupid (and tends to make you feel sick). However, the facts of the matter, for an addict, seem to be (to name but a few): 1/ A very pleasant high, after 15 minutes or so, that can last for hours (PS: If you haven't tried it, don't!); 2/ Regular consumption causing addictive behaviours which can seem impossible to deal with (again, the best course of action is not to start taking the drug in the first place); 3/ Can make life miserable as you try to obtain supplies from a geographically dispersed range of pharmacists (sometimes referred to as codeine runs). This is because a pharmacy will get to know your face very quickly and will refuse to sell you codeine based products (see note for 2/); 4/ Maintaining the effect of the drug on a continuous basis generally require higher and more dangerous dosages (see note for 2/). However, the reality can be somewhat different. In my experience, you are unlikely to be as addicted as you think. Also, attaining total abstinence is not that hard. However, although I employed a cold turkey approach, without medical supervision or assistance, you should always seek medical advice for all addiction problems (even if you simply require validation of your intended withdrawal process). Some basic research should reveal that most addicts have their own personal reduction experiences (which is not particularly helpful). Typically, a gradual reduction in consumption is recommended. This makes sense and depends upon how much codeine you have been taking and for how long. However, as this can take time, there is a risk of relapse along the way. This is why I chose the cold turkey approach. Although the first 48 hours were a little shaky, it minimises the risk of failure as withdrawal is immediate. However, as above, always seek medical advice prior to your detox. Finally, if you really do have a problem, please be aware that you are not alone, not by a long way. You should also already know that your condition will not get any better and the sooner you take steps to attain complete abstinence, the better. It's easier than you think and the satisfaction of beating the drug will work wonders for your self confidence. So, go to it, and good luck.
Dr Bob - 18-Jul-20 @ 6:09 AM
I have a problem with addiction. I smoked a lot cannabis for a long time. Toyed with LSD for a bit , that ended badly, which was probably a good thing. Then tried cocaine. I did this every weekend for about 3 years, then started do doing it through the week as well.I got bored with that and stopped pretty much, and dabbled in mdma for a bit. Slightly addicted to pornography may be an issue as well. But wasn't aware of that until I read some stuff about it. Tried to be clean for a while but finding it draining. Smoking cannabis every day again now. Trying Alcohol as a more socially acceptable alternative is filling the void as a new experience I guess (never really used to drink). I am aware of the real issue, or so I believe. Just not sure how to start dealing with it.
taylor100 - 12-May-20 @ 11:09 PM
i have been struggling with a pornography addiction and it is getting too much for me now to handle and it’s starting to make me feel very depressed and i need help asap. i haven’t told my parents or sibling because i don’t know whether they will be ashamed of me so i need help asap, thanks
Fin - 28-Dec-18 @ 12:20 AM
Hi guys I have a codeine addiction and only I know about it I am struggling so much I dont want to take it but I feel like it's the only thing that gets me through the day please help
John - 6-Nov-18 @ 5:23 PM
My brother in his thirties still lives at home with my parents. I really believe he’s a gaming addict. He sleeps most of the day, and plays his XBox during the night. He is a complete recluse and has not one single friend, as he’s seemed to shut himself away. He doesn’t have a job and has no need to claim benefits, as my parents support him. I feel like they’re in denial too, as I’ve openly said that I think he has an addiction and clearly needs help. He is like a child, having everything done for him, washing, cleaning, meals prepared etc. I worry that he’ll take his own life one day, as he really has nothing to live for. He’s been like this for years and it’s not going to change and I’m at a loss. I went with him to the Doctors who suggested CBT which was all well and good. He said all the right things, but didn’t change his behaviour. I have suggested to my Mum to put a block on the internet after twelve at night, but she wasn’t keen to do this. She’s reluctant to talk about it and closes up every time I try to suggest things. I understand that the situation is very depressing for her too, he’s her son after all. I guess I could just do with a bit of advice PLEASE.
Tor - 5-Nov-18 @ 2:28 PM
My adult son is battling cocaine addiction. It affects his behaviour dramatically, from a loving caring person, to an aggressive man who has no memory of what he has done. He won't accept help.......I live 140 miles away....my ex lives in the same area as my son......I don't know where to start to get help when he is adamant he does not want help....its just social.....(I guess it can't ever just be) he won't talk about it.....I just don't know what to do, but am willing to do anything
Petal - 30-Oct-18 @ 10:39 AM
I am addicted to smoking cannabis and it’s affecting my life. It has caused anxiety and I need advice.
Katie - 19-Oct-18 @ 5:23 PM
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