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People develop addictions to shield themselves from intolerably painful feelings. An addiction always creates harmful, often ignored consequences. Only when it becomes unmanageable will people do something about it.


As with all addictions, recovery is a process of self-discovery. It requires taking specific steps: breaking through denial and acknowledging the addiction; owning the harmful consequences of the addiction; and intervening to stop the addictive cycle from occurring.

The good news is that all of these addictions can be treated effectively at Red Umbrella. We have made sure that our clinics – which we hand-picked based on personal experiences – have the ultimate combinations of staff, knowledge and tested treatment programmes to truly deal with the addictions listed.


There is a wealth of information and statistics available on the various drugs and addictions, but they won't give addicts the solution they need – a way out of the afflictions of a lifetime of substance abuse.

Eating DisordersEating Disorders
Eating Disorders
Dual DiagnosisDual Diagnosis
Dual Diagnosis

We at Red Umbrella have dealt with clients suffering from all the addictions listed below, and helped them find their way out.
We have seen amazing results when the right treatment is found, so please give us a call or contact us through live chat to discuss your individual problem and to find your individual solution

Ketamine can be injected in its liquid pharmaceutical form, sniffed or smoked in its powdered state and swallowed as a pill. This complex drug is chemically related to phencyclidine (PCP), and is an anaesthetic with analgesic, stimulant and psychedelic properties. Both ketamine and PCP are 'dissociative' anaesthetics, which make users feel distant and isolated from their surroundings. Users report having a changed outlook and feeling detached from their body and self after taking the drug.
Originally produced as a painkiller, cocaine – the name for the drug in powder or crystal form - is extracted from coca leaves. Corn starch, talcum powder and sugar, along with drugs including local anaesthetic procaine and amphetamines, are often added to the powdered form. Most users sniff it, but it can also be swallowed or rubbed into gums. It can be injected for quick absorption, but this raises the risk of overdose. For abusers wanting a quick fix, it is less risky to inhale it as smoke or vapour.
More powerful than powder cocaine, crack is the solid, rock form of the drug. It is made by mixing cocaine with water and other solvents, before cooking. Although chemical changes occur in the cooking process, crack is still very potent and addictive. Physical dependence happens quicker, making it much more threatening than its powder equivalent.
Although, as the name implies, these drugs are legal, they are not safe. They are created to give the same highs as drugs like cocaine and ecstasy, but are different enough in structure to fall outside the boundaries of the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is illegal to sell them for human consumption, but sellers sidestep this by marketing them as "not for human consumption", or labelling them bath salts or plant food. They are frequently called New Psychoactive Substances or New Drugs rather than the inaccurate "legal highs".
Legal highs
Marijuana, commonly known as cannabis, comes from the hemp plant cannabis sativa, which contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The plant's dried leaves, flowers stems and seeds are used to make marijuana, and they can also be made into the resin hashish or thick, black hash oil. Stronger types of the drug, with a higher concentration of THC, are called skunk due to their intense scent while growing. Other varieties include AK-47, Knock Out and Destroyer.
Known scientifically as MDMA, ecstasy pills – often called E by users – can contain anything from ketamine and added amphetamine (speed), to LSD and caffeine. As MDMA can be cut with just about anything, users can never be sure of what they are taking. Just one dose of the drug may be enough to kill those sensitive to it.
This extremely addictive drug is derived from morphine extracted from opium poppy plants. Heroin is a depressant that affects the way a user's brain perceives pleasure and pain. It can be injected into a vein (mainlining), injected into muscle, inhaled as smoke through a straw from tin foil, or snorted as powder.
Prescription drugs Valium and Xanax are examples of benzodiazepines. Users take them to fight anxiety, which they do by enhancing the effects of the natural chemical GABA. This calms the activity of neurons in the brain, which combats anxiety. But when a regular user tries to stop taking their benzodiazepine, they will suffer intensified symptoms of the problem the drug was prescribed to help, such as chronic anxiety and panic attacks. Withdrawal can even lead to death in some cases, making quitting the drug an extremely difficult task.
While methadone can be prescribed as a substitute for heroin, it is still an extremely addictive drug and therefore very difficult to stop taking. Methadone will lose its ability to cause euphoria once the body gets used to it being there, but many substance abuse counsellors remain unconvinced of it as a treatment for heroin addicts as they feel a user is substituting one addiction for another.
Internet addiction – where users can't control their time spent online, even if it means going without food or drink – is estimated to affect 5-10% of all web users. These are mainly game players who become so engrossed in the action that they neglect their education, job and real-life relationships. A pioneering study using MRI scanners has revealed brain abnormalities, similar to those seen in alcoholics and cocaine and cannabis addicts, in youths who spent long periods of time on the internet.
Pathological gamblers can find themselves in a downward spiral as they go through the phases of their addiction. They neglect their family, use the family's money to gamble until there is none left, and then they may resort to theft. It also affects their job, as they misuse working hours to gamble and find concentrating on a project difficult. A pathological gambler may also suffer from mood swings and get involved in illegal activities such as embezzlement. This desperation can lead to suicide attempts, drug abuse or an emotional breakdown.
The relentless availability of online and TV shopping, combined with easy access to credit, has made compulsive shopping and spending easier for people – and therefore increased the potential for addiction. It is defined as a pattern of intense buying that is hard to stop and leads to adverse consequences. An impulse control disorder, it is similar to other addictive disorders but does not involve a chemical high.
As those with drug addictions need their desired drug to feel normal, sex addicts become dependent on sexual highs. Linked with risk-taking, addicts turn their backs on "normal" relationships in search of the short-lived pleasure of unhealthy liaisons – despite the risk of harmful consequences. Sex addiction has the same progressive nature of other addictions.
Gaming is a harmless pastime for many, but for some it is an uncontrollable impulse. With studies estimating that 10-15% of gamers show signs of addiction, according to the World Health Organisation's criteria, it is evident that mobile or video games can take over people's lives. A survey by Divorce Online even suggested that video game addiction causes 15% of divorces. The popular Candy Crush Saga mobile game has been installed over half a billion times in the year since it launched, and is one of the most addictive.

Whatever your concern about addiction, and other disorders. Contact us by phone on +44 (0)300 002 0061, or leave us a message, to find out more.