Addiction Treatment & Rehab

A rehabilitation or recovery programme is developed for those struggling with an addiction or substance dependence. Both inpatient and outpatient programmes involve detox, access to therapy, and essential support services. To better understand what to expect from a rehab programme, we look at addiction and the options for rehab as part of a recovery plan.

What is rehab?

Rehab is a programme designed to help one recover from alcoholism, drug addiction and other behavioural addictions such as gambling addiction. Prior to entering a rehab programme, where substance addictions are present, a detox is typically the first step towards recovery, followed by therapy. The main difference between free services and paid addiction treatment services is that paid services, such as residential rehab, offer a more integrated service. Free services such as that provided by the NHS, will support you with a detox but will not usually provide a medically-assisted detox such as those offered by residential rehabs, and do not typically fund residential programmes.

A residential rehab allows patients to remove themselves from their everyday living environment and enter into a structured, supportive facility with round the clock access to addiction therapy. It is best described as a home away home. A patient will live at the facility and receive monitored care from professional nursing staff, therapists, and medical physicians (, 2020). Such supportive services can be immensely helpful in overcoming the difficulties associated with addictive behaviours. This includes withdrawal symptoms after a detox and the possibility of relapse. It is also helpful for families of those struggling with addiction.

If you would like to learn more about residential rehab or would like to speak to an expert regarding the different treatment centres here in the UK, please give us a call.

a group therapy session

How does rehab work?

Overcoming the grip of an addiction can be an overwhelming process but with the right support and care, living a sober, healthy, and rewarding life is very achievable.

Residential rehab is one treatment option, it starts with a detox from alcohol or a drug detox.

Prior to accessing a residential rehab, individuals affected by an alcohol addiction or drug addiction are required to undergo a medically supported and supervised detox in a clinical or inpatient setting. Detoxing from a drug or alcohol dependence means reducing and quitting the intake of the substance until it is no longer actively present in the body.

Once the detox is complete, individuals will enter into a rehab programme. The average duration for patients at a residential rehab is 30-60 days after which they can move onto an outpatient programme (aftercare programmes) or addiction support group.

In a residential rehab, structured activities are presented from the morning through to the evening. Residents have the chance to participate in skill and confidence building activities from crafts to support services involving individual and group therapy. It is not a clinical environment but a relaxed atmosphere where you can learn essential tools to free yourself of an addiction.

Free or outpatient services are another form of treatment, whereby individuals can access treatment while maintaining home and work commitments. Services offered by the NHS, charities or private addiction counsellors will vary. The following stages treatment are typically what you would expect from a residential rehab programme.

a rehab group session

Medical assessment

As part of a residential rehab programme, a client will undergo a medical assessment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that a clinical evaluation involves the use of educational tools to facilitate the screening, assessment, and the referral of persons with a substance use disorder.

The purpose of a medical assessment is to determine the best possible treatment and care plan based on individual needs.

A medical practitioner will facilitate the evaluation to understand drug and alcohol use over time, including any pre-existing mental health conditions. Questions concerning the nature of the addiction and physical symptoms are explored to create a tailored treatment programme.


The process of detox is a necessary part of a long term and a healthy recovery journey from drug or alcohol dependence. It is the process by which the body is cleared of drugs or alcohol and acute symptoms of stopping substance use safely managed. A detox does not identify psychological or behavioural issues related to the addiction. It must be followed by a medical assessment and referred addiction treatment.

An alcohol detox and a drug detox are best performed in an inpatient or medically supervised setting. Here, experienced staff and medical physicians monitor symptoms and assign prescribed treatments including medication to ease the process and alleviate discomfort. A detox may be performed at home but with the guidance of a professional medical doctor.

Rehabilitative therapy

Rehabilitative therapy is an ongoing part of addiction treatment and recovery. It is performed in a safe, comforting, and monitored environment. This stage of treatment aims to uncover the deep-rooted issues such as trauma, that are exacerbating or contributing to the problem. While recovery is a road that requires will-power, it can be achieved with the necessary support and professional therapy.

Clients can benefit from different types of therapeutic modalities in the management of substance abuse and dependence. Addiction Center identifies the following prominent therapies in the management of alcohol and drug rehabilitation:

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Types of Addiction Therapy

The following modes of therapy can be effective in treating addiction, and are widely used in both residential and outpatient treatment programmes.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT helps clients identify the thoughts and the emotions behind the addiction and aids the prevention of a relapse.

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)

DBT is applied where mental health conditions such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) co-occur with a substance addiction. Therapy introduces stress management strategies along with building confidence and the removal of everyday triggers.

Psychoanalytic therapy

The exploration of subconscious thoughts and its influence on emotion helps individuals determine the reason for their addiction.

Experiential therapy

The practitioner helps those struggling with addiction, by working through repressed emotions that are responsible for maintaining addictive behaviours. A variety of recreational therapies are introduced to build confidence and break-free from repression.

Aftercare & family support

One of the benefits of private residential rehab is the additional layers of support you will receive post-treatment. For the success of a rehabilitative therapy plan, aftercare and family support are the cornerstone of relapse prevention. Most private rehab centres and aftercare facilities offer family support free of charge up to a year after treatment. Along with the support that persons struggling with an addiction need when feeling vulnerable or facing temptation, family members need to learn how to avoid co-dependency and supporting the addictive behaviour. The process aims to educate both clients and their families on the signs of addiction, when to say no, and how to provide a caring, loving environment that fosters sobriety.

Choosing a treatment centre

The decision to choose a treatment centre requires careful consideration for the programmes offered and the value it offers in successful therapy. Treatment centres across the UK are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and each of these facilities receives a special rating according to its safety, effectiveness, care, and professionalism.

It is important to learn about the different treatment programmes that are offered by each centre. An alcohol dependence will require a different therapeutic plan compared to a drug addiction. A major benefit of the CQC is the breakdown of the types of services you can expect. CQC inspections describe the specialisms offered by the facility such as community services for substance abuse and the treatment of disorders.

Rehabilitation centres will also provide distinctive therapeutic models. Some rehabs offer a 12 step program compared to non-traditional models while others focus on treating both the addiction and mental health problems, commonly referred to as a dual diagnosis.

If you are confused by treatment services available or require assistance in choosing the right treatment centre for your needs, please feel free to contact us. Our dedicated professionals are here to help you make the best possible decision based on your concerns and your future healthcare.

a couple holding hands

Secondary addiction treatment

To help persons successfully integrate into their everyday lives and prevent the occurrence of relapse, secondary addiction treatment is available. Upon completion of the primary treatment, clients are referred to a secondary programme in which the behaviours and the emotions contributing to the addiction are addressed. During secondary treatment, support group therapy and individual therapy explore the trauma, the belief systems, and the maladaptive habits responsible for maintaining dependence (NCBI, 1998).

It consists of a safe and supportive environment in which clients work through structured activities to overcome their struggles and the thought processes which lead to addiction. Secondary programmes can be an extension of residential programmes as a means of supporting those longer term.

Free addiction treatment services

If you are seeking free addiction treatment in the UK, services offered by the NHS, Turning Point, and similar charities, advise on therapy programmes free of charge or at a significantly reduced rate. Some of these services now offer self-referral, but we advise speaking with a GP first before attempting a detox.

You can also reach out to charitable services for free treatment and without a GP referral with the following UK facilities:

Smart Recovery is another free service that offers group support meetings throughout the UK.

Inpatient addiction treatment vs outpatient services

Understanding the differences between an inpatient and an outpatient service can help you make the most of your recovery and rehabilitation journey. We take a closer look at the differences between an inpatient and an outpatient treatment based on individuals needs and interests.

Inpatient addiction treatment (residential rehab)

Inpatient addiction treatment offers a structured and monitored programme overseen by medical staff in a clinical environment. Another type of inpatient care is a residential rehabilitation programme. In residential rehab, patients move into the facility for the duration of their treatment. The facility is designed to feel like a comforting and safe residential environment where clients participate in activities, attend therapy, and have access to support staff throughout the day.

Outpatient services

An outpatient service offers the therapies and support you will find with inpatient programmes but without residing at the facility. Clients live at home and will attend therapy sessions provided by a professional counsellor throughout the recovery. This means maintaining a ‘normal’ daily lifestyle while attending treatment. Outpatient programmes are offered via the NHS and other charities in the UK, as well as paid services including private counselling.

The Pros of residential private rehab

  • Tailored treatment programme with integrated detox, therapy & aftercare
  • Beds are typically available immediately
  • 24/7 care & support
  • Medically assisted detox
  • Away from temptations & triggers

The Pros of outpatient addiction treatment

  • Maintain work and leisurely commitments
  • More affordable than residential treatment

However, outpatient services may not be the most suitable option for those who need immediate treatment. Speak to one of our addiction specialists for further support.

Frequently Asked Questions
You may have a lot of questions about addiction treatment. If you are unable to find the answer below please give us a call and speak to one of our addiction specialists today.
How much does residential rehab cost?
Residential rehab in the UK typically costs around £1500 to £5000 per week. The cost of private rehab includes detox, therapy and usually some form of an aftercare programme.
Is private rehab safe?
Yes, rehab is perfectly safe and immensely supportive. Clients are overseen by medical professionals and receive ongoing monitoring throughout the detox phase and any symptoms of withdrawal are carefully managed.
Is rehab confidential?
Yes, private rehab programmes are fully confidential. There are many inpatient services as determined by the NHS that also maintain your confidentiality.
Is private rehab effective at treating addiction?
Many rehab facilities claim an 80% to 90% success rate; however, these figures can be misleading owing to the extent of the addiction and a lack of follow-up after treatment (NDEC). Addiction is a complex illness that should be managed further once treatment has completed.
What should I bring to residential rehab?
Each rehab centre has its own set of rules and regulations concerning what is allowed during your stay. Items that should be brought to rehab include clothing, unopened hygiene products, identity and insurance documents, and any chronic medical prescriptions. You cannot bring items such as an alcohol-based mouthwash, weapons, food, supplements (opened), and drug-related products.
Can you force someone to commit to treatment?
No, for the best outcome, individuals must willingly enter therapy. The only successful way to help someone is through love and compassion, not force. We understand this may be a difficult time for you, so do give us a call if you would like some further support with a loved one who is suffering.