How Your GP Can Help With an Addiction

Your GP is the obvious person to see when you're feeling unwell and you need a diagnosis and treatment. However, this is not the only time they can help you.

Addiction is something that affects many people, and the wide range of potentially-addictive substances means it's a varied problem. The one thing people with addictions have in common, however, is that it's extremely difficult to seek help.

Part of the problem is not knowing what to expect when you reach out to a professional about an addiction. By understanding the sort of help you're likely to get, it can reduce your stress and encourage you to go ahead and make an appointment. Here are some of the typical parts of treatment for addiction.


Referral for therapy is one of the fundamental parts of addiction recovery. General practitioners can help you get an appointment with a therapist.

A therapist can help in numerous ways. Firstly, they can teach you ways to cope with the psychological effects of withdrawal, so you're less likely to relapse during your treatment. Secondly, therapy can help you to understand any underlying reasons for your addiction. Understanding these factors goes a long way towards a good, lasting recovery.


Depending on the nature of your addiction and the substance involved, there may be a medication available that can help. It may relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms, as is the case with some recovery medication for opioids. Alternatively, it might make using the addictive substance less appealing or bring about unpleasant side-effects if you do, which is a technique sometimes used to treat alcoholism. A GP could help you understand medication that may help you.

Assisted detoxification

It's no secret that recovering from an addiction isn't the easiest thing to do, and the most important part of it is total detoxification from the substance you're addicted to. If you were to try and go it alone without guidance, there's a stronger chance of relapse.

A GP can refer you to a structured programme, which will help you stay on track and learn better ways to stick to your goals. You may also be able to learn from other people who have been through the same thing if a group programme is available.

Continued support

Something as simple as having continued appointments can be enough to keep you clean. GPs can provide you with accountability and a stronger desire to remain sober, even in difficult times. It also means you have a trained professional ready to help you whenever you need it, so you can make an emergency appointment whenever you feel there's a risk of relapse.