Alcohol Rehab Treatment Centres

An addiction to alcohol can disrupt your life. But if you are prepared to ask for help, that help is out there. There are a number of high-quality treatment facilities around the country that provide assistance to people of all ages and from all backgrounds struggling with alcohol addiction.

What Are Alcohol Addiction Rehab Clinics and Centres?

Alcoholism is one of the most problematic and destructive of all addictions, claiming millions of lives each year worldwide. While some people are able to overcome their alcohol addictions independently, most alcoholic users need some kind of professional help to enter recovery and sustain sobriety over the long term. This help can take many forms, but one of the most popular and successful options is to receive treatment in an alcohol addiction clinic or rehab.

Alcohol addiction clinics are facilities dedicated to the treatment of alcoholism and helping alcohol users overcome both the immediate symptoms of alcohol dependence and the more deeply rooted psychological challenges of addiction. Alcohol addiction treatment is not simply about getting you to stop drinking but also about addressing the issues that have led to alcohol abuse and addiction. In this way, you can reassess your perspective and find healthier coping mechanisms for the challenges you face.

A great variety of alcohol addiction treatment facilities, both public and private, are available, offering a range of treatment approaches. Just as no two people are the same and no two journeys through addiction and recovery are identical, each alcohol addiction clinic may differ from the next, although certain commonalities may be found between them. One thing they all share, however, is their purpose: helping alcohol users overcome the addiction and abuse that is negatively affecting their lives and preparing them for a healthier and happier future.

What Happens at Alcohol Addiction Clinics

Although no two alcohol addiction treatment facilities are identical, it is possible to give a rough guide as to what to expect when you enter treatment. Bear in mind, however, that addiction is a very personal experience, so treatment is unique to each individual client.

Upon enrolling in an alcohol addiction clinic, a full physical and psychological assessment will be conducted, aimed at establishing your physical and mental condition and the severity of your addiction. Based on this assessment, doctors draw up an addiction treatment plan that will govern your treatment over the next days, weeks and months. This plan may be altered over time depending upon how you respond to treatment and any unexpected developments.

Depending upon the severity of your addiction, you may be prescribed medication before the detoxification (detox) phase aimed at countering any symptoms of withdrawal that doctors believe are likely.

Because withdrawal from alcohol dependence is an extremely dangerous condition, alcohol detox needs to be monitored and managed by medical professionals to ensure your safety. In alcohol addiction clinics, doctors are available 24/7 throughout the detox phase to assist you through withdrawal with the help of medication if needed. Although many rehabs offer outpatient treatment, most advise residential stays during detox, at least, to optimise safety and comfort.

Once detox is complete and the most serious withdrawal symptoms have declined, you will move on to psychotherapy, aimed at revealing and addressing the root causes of your alcohol addiction and preparing you for life after treatment. Your addiction treatment plan will include a regular therapy schedule as well as other components, including dietary and fitness management. If you are an inpatient, you will also benefit from the advice and support of fellow clients who understand the experience of addiction. You may also continue to receive medication aimed at addressing any persistent withdrawal symptoms and minimising your cravings for alcohol.

Over the course of your treatment, you will reassess the role that alcohol plays in your life and develop coping strategies and mechanisms for resisting the temptation to relapse, as well as developing new skills and abilities that you can use after treatment. By the time you come to the end of your treatment plan, your outlook on life will have been reshaped to help you to reject alcohol as an unnecessary and damaging burden, and you will leave treatment much better equipped to handle the stresses of life.

However, it is vital to remember that your recovery will not be complete just because you have completed treatment. Life outside the facility will be full of temptations, and sobriety must be continually worked for. Good treatment centres will provide you with up to a year’s free aftercare to optimise your chances of a successful permanent recovery. This aftercare may include regular appointments back at the facility, as well as phone and/or email consultations, and a plan including attending support meetings such as those provided by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and ongoing private addiction counselling.

Services Offered at Alcohol Addiction Clinics

Addiction treatment should be seen as a holistic process, addressing all elements of the condition. Although some clinics may offer compartmentalised services (for example, detox-only, or therapy on an appointment-by-appointment basis), generally speaking, the more comprehensive the addiction treatment plan, the greater the likelihood that it will result in permanent abstinence.

Addiction treatment

Fundamentally, alcoholism can be seen as having two main components: the physical pressures of alcohol dependence and psychological addiction. Although the physical symptoms are the most immediately dangerous component, psychological addiction can be harder to address successfully, and both need to be tackled if the addiction is to be overcome and sobriety achieved.

Addiction treatment in an alcohol addiction clinic will address both dependence and psychological addiction through detox (and potentially medication) and therapy, with other components also forming part of the treatment plan. Once the physical dependence has been resolved through detox,
the therapy phase helps clients come to terms with the damage that alcoholism has caused them and to reshape their outlook on their lives in order to be able to embark upon sobriety with hope and optimism.

Rehab and recovery

Alcohol rehab is not simply about stopping drinking but also about removing the need to drink and reducing the desire to do so. It is also about finding other ways to cope with life’s challenges and to enjoy oneself in healthier, more positive ways.

Rehab aims to achieve all these things within the period of treatment, but recovery is a long-term endeavour that is not achieved when treatment at the clinic is completed. Rehab is also about giving clients a variety of coping mechanisms and techniques to resist the impulse to relapse throughout their lives. Because recovery has many challenges and pitfalls, many clients benefit from attending support group meetings and counselling months or even years after completing a treatment plan at an addiction treatment facility.

Alcohol addiction detox

Detox is an indispensable aspect of the treatment of alcoholism; however, anyone who has developed an alcohol dependence is likely to go through withdrawal when they stop drinking, and alcohol withdrawal syndrome is an extremely dangerous condition. As a result, alcohol detox needs to be monitored and managed by medical professionals, who in an alcohol addiction clinic will be on site 24/7 to ensure client safety.

Alcohol detox can be assisted with various medications, some of which reduce the severity of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Others can reduce cravings and even instil alcohol avoidance through various means. Some alcohol users may need a period of tapering, gradually reducing alcohol consumption before entering detox, both to ensure their safety and to increase the likelihood that detox will be successful. This tapering period may also be pharmaceutically assisted. However, it is important to bear in mind that there is no pharmaceutical cure for alcohol addiction and that detox alone will not address the underlying causes of alcohol abuse and addiction.

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Types of Alcohol Addiction Clinics

No two alcohol addiction treatment facilities are the same; different centres may offer different approaches to treatment, including different therapy methodologies, and different levels of service. Some may specialise in treating particular age groups or genders; some may cater specifically to executives and/or high net worth individuals; others may offer specialist care to addicts suffering from dual diagnosis or polydrug use disorders. If you are suffering from an alcohol addiction and considering enrolling in an addiction treatment facility, speak with an addiction specialist about your particular situation and requirements to find out what type of clinic might be most appropriate for you.

Inpatient alcohol addiction clinics

When most people think of rehab, they are likely to think of a residential or inpatient addiction treatment facility. Inpatient alcohol addiction clinics are secure, alcohol-free, safe, calm and confidential facilities in which clients can focus wholly upon treatment and recovery. Treatment, including detox (potentially medically assisted) and therapy, is provided on site, with clients typically staying for between 30 and 90 days (though treatment plans of different lengths may also be available). Such facilities often provide gyms, libraries, and social rooms where clients can enjoy the support and companionship of other users.

Outpatient alcohol addiction clinics

Although inpatient treatment is usually recommended for more serious cases of alcohol addiction, some individuals with less dangerous addictions may be unable to take the time away from responsibilities such as family or work that residential treatment might require. For such people, outpatient treatment may be a preferable option.

In outpatient treatment, clients attend the clinic for appointments including therapy sessions, checkups and the prescription of medication where necessary but engage in other components of their treatment plans independently. Outpatient treatment is typically less expensive, and the flexibility it offers may be ideal for certain clients.

However, outpatient treatment is not without challenges, such as clients remaining in the environment in which alcohol addiction has developed, making relapse (and potentially a failure of treatment) significantly more likely.

Luxury alcohol addiction clinics

Some higher net worth individuals may choose to enter luxury alcohol addiction treatment, in which accommodation and facilities available are of a markedly higher standard than those provided at “normal” rehabs. Although such treatment is of course more expensive than standard treatment options, some people choose to invest in luxury treatment to ensure their maximum possible comfort, thus reducing the stress of staying in an unfamiliar facility in order to optimise their chances of long-term recovery.

Long-Term Residential Treatment Centres for Alcohol Abuse Disorder

How long any given individual needs to remain in treatment for alcohol addiction depends on a huge variety of factors, some of which may only emerge once treatment has begun. Although residential alcohol addiction treatment plans typically last for between 30 and 90 days, some clients may require and/or prefer significantly longer treatment.

Some alcohol addiction treatment clinics provide long-term treatment onsite, with clients staying several months or longer in the facility while receiving treatment that include therapy and potentially medication. Meanwhile, some clinics may operate partial hospitalisation units, offering a kind of halfway point between inpatient and outpatient treatment into which clients who require longer-term addiction treatment may move once a certain point in their treatment has been reached. Partial hospitalisation clients attend the facility for treatment for a significant portion of each day (and usually between five and seven days a week) but return to their homes or to other accommodations overnight.
Because the eventual aim of alcohol addiction treatment is to enable clients to lead happy and successful lives free of alcohol abuse, a balance must be found between returning them to the outside world quickly and delivering as much high-quality treatment as possible. Generally speaking, long-term residential treatment is not a preferred option as time spent in a treatment facility is time that cannot be spent enjoying a sober life outside it. Some especially challenging or dangerous cases of alcohol addiction – frequently, those involving other mental health issues or significant harm to physical health — simply cannot be treated quickly, and long-term residential treatment may be preferred to ensure both the client’s safety and the greatest possible chance that treatment will be successful.

Private Alcohol Addiction Rehabs and Confidentiality

Client confidentiality is a top priority for all addiction treatment clinics; along with very significant compliance requirements posed by legislation, there is also the commercial reality that any private clinic that cannot demonstrate rigorous confidentiality policies — or, worse, experiences a privacy breach — is unlikely to attract paying clients who require absolute confidentiality. As a result, quality addiction treatment clinics treat client confidentiality as sacrosanct.

If you are considering enrolling in an alcohol addiction treatment clinic and are concerned about the impact of details of your condition and treatment becoming known outside the clinic, ask staff at any facility you are considering to explain their confidentiality policies and processes and how your privacy will be protected. If you are in the public eye or for any other reason feel that efforts may be made to reveal your treatment status, you may choose to attend a clinic with particular expertise in treating high-profile clients. Speak with an addiction specialist, who is legally bound to preserve your anonymity, about clinics that might be appropriate for you.

The Role of Counselling in Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehab

For many people, counselling is an indispensable element of addiction treatment. Counsellors are able to offer advice on challenging situations such as those associated with alcohol abuse and addiction and can give emotional support that can be invaluable during the most problematic periods of treatment. Addiction treatment clinics typically provide counselling on site, though private addiction counsellors can also be engaged outside the facility at any point during the recovery process. Such counsellors operate throughout the country, and an addiction specialist can point you to any counsellors active in your area.

One-to-one counselling

Most counselling is provided on a one-to-one basis, with a counsellor working with one client at a time to address the issues affecting that particular client. One-to-one counselling can be engaged in on a regular schedule, but some counsellors may also be available on an emergency basis if required.

Online counselling

For clients in outpatient treatment or recovery, in-person counselling at an addiction treatment clinic or elsewhere may not be viable. Some counsellors offer online appointments, with counselling provided either over video or audio calls or via email or instant messaging. While this lacks the intimacy and interpersonal engagement of in-person counselling, a great deal can still be achieved via this form of appointment. For many people, it has proven an indispensable way of maintaining contact with a counsellor and obtaining the necessary support.

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Group counselling

As well as individual counselling, some counsellors offer group sessions, usually with three to 12 clients coming together to share experiences and offer new perspectives on each other’s challenges in a counselling environment. Understandably, group sessions require an agreed schedule and are typically easier to arrange in treatment clinics, though some independent addiction counsellors do provide group environments outside treatment facilities.

Types of Therapy Used in Alcohol Rehab Clinics

A wide range of different therapy models and methodologies are offered in the treatment of alcohol addiction, although of course each facility can only provide a limited number of different therapy types.

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)

DBT is a modified form of cognitive behavioural therapy combining typical CBT techniques with concepts such as mindfulness, acceptance and distress tolerance derived in part from Buddhist meditative practices. A DBT therapist works with the client to define the client’s concept of “a life worth living” and prepare them to achieve that life.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

ACT aims to improve the client’s psychological flexibility through a number of behavioural change techniques and acceptance strategies. An ACT therapist will not attempt to remove the client’s negative thinking and emotions but will teach them how to accept and be receptive to those feelings and to manage them in a nonproblematic manner.

Motivational interviewing (MI)

MI is a client-centred and non-adversarial approach to therapy that aims to encourage behavioural change through the exploration and resolution of ambivalence. MI therapists are typically significantly more assertive with clients than therapists employing other methodologies.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

IPT seeks to find resolutions to interpersonal challenges such as communication, based on the concept that mood and relationships are interdependent. IPT therapists work with clients to improve their interpersonal skills and build social support structures that can assist with the resolution of issues arising during recovery.

Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT)

MBCT combines mindfulness and other meditative practices with standard CBT techniques. Originally conceived as a means of reducing relapse rates, MBCT is considered to be particularly effective in the reduction of the severity and frequency of alcohol cravings.

Medication-assisted therapy (MAT)

MAT is the use of therapy in conjunction with medication during the treatment of addiction; some of the medicines typically used to treat alcohol addiction are considered to be effective only when taken alongside therapy.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is probably the therapy model most people are familiar with thanks to its frequent depiction in film and television. The aim of CBT is to improve overall mental health whilst tackling challenges, such as those posed by alcohol addiction, by identifying and improving negative thoughts and behaviours and by helping clients develop successful coping strategies. Therapists and clients collaborate to create effective mechanisms by which the pressures of addiction can be countered and triggers can be avoided, as well as developing new skills that can help with life outside the clinic.

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)

MET therapists analyse the content of motivational interviewing sessions in order to assist clients in determining and achieving particular goals and developing healthier perspectives on life. The aim of MET is to allow clients to foster internal change that enables them to desire life without alcohol use, thus making long-term recovery significantly more likely.

Psychoeducational group therapy

Psychoeducational group therapy uses CBT techniques in group settings, with topics typically including relapse prevention, skills training, trigger identification and avoidance and realistic thinking. Psychoeducational group therapy allows clients to learn from each other, enabling them to become better educated about their addictions and more aware of coping strategies.

Contingency management/motivational incentives

Contingency management (CM, also known as motivational incentives) uses positive reinforcement and, where required, punishment in order to condition behaviour. Demonstrating positive behaviours such as passing sobriety tests and attending therapy appointments can result in rewards, which may be financial but are more typically privilege-based, whilst deviating from expected behaviour can incur punishment (usually the withholding of privileges).

Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT)/solution-focused therapy

Solution-focused brief therapy encourages clients to investigate solutions to problems rather than focusing on the problems themselves. SFBT asks clients to investigate solutions they may have applied previously to a variety of challenges, including those contributing to and resulting from alcohol addiction, and to explore why they were not successful in order for them to become more aware of and receptive to better solutions that they may apply to future challenges.

Twelve-step facilitation

The 12-step model developed by the founders of AA is now used by variety of support groups and even within some treatment clinics themselves. Twelve-step facilitation aims to educate addicts about 12-step programmes and to prepare them for entering such programmes, either as part of treatment or during recovery once they leave the clinic.

Medications Used in Alcohol Rehab Clinics

A number of medications have been approved for the treatment of alcohol addiction in the UK. These medications serve different purposes, can be provided at various stages of treatment and may have a variety of effects and side effects. It is imperative that you never take any medication other than that prescribed you by a doctor, as the interaction between alcohol and certain other drugs can be extremely dangerous, even fatal.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines, often known as benzos, are type of minor tranquilizers with sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic and anticonvulsant properties. They are used to treat various symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, especially the potentially fatal condition known as delirium tremens. Although when used strictly in accordance with the instructions of a prescribing doctor benzodiazepines are usually harmless, they are associated with various side effects, some of which can be dangerous, and also known to be habit-forming (indeed, like alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be fatal).

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines, often known as benzos, are type of minor tranquilizers with sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic and anticonvulsant properties. They are used to treat various symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, especially the potentially fatal condition known as delirium tremens. Although when used strictly in accordance with the instructions of a prescribing doctor benzodiazepines are usually harmless, they are associated with various side effects, some of which can be dangerous, and also known to be habit-forming (indeed, like alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be fatal).

Acamprosate

Acamprosate (marketed via brand names including Campral and Regtect) is used to treat alcohol dependence in combination with counselling and other therapeutic approaches. It has been shown to reduce levels of alcohol consumption when provided alongside therapy. The mechanisms by which acamprosate works are not yet fully understood, though it is believed to regulate chemical signalling in the brain that might function abnormally during alcohol withdrawal.

Disulfiram

Disulfiram (sold under trade names including Antabuse and Antabus) is prescribed to prevent alcohol consumption by causing the symptoms of a hangover almost immediately when alcohol is drunk. Disulfiram blocks the enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the liver, thus creating an excessive concentration in the blood of the chemical acetaldehyde, a significant cause of hangover. Disulfiram does not reduce cravings and is therefore often taken alongside other medications, both before and during detox.

Specialized and Alternative Forms of Treatment within Inpatient and Outpatient Centres

Although mainstream addiction treatment has a proven track record of success, many clients prefer to seek out alternative forms of treatment, including more spiritually based treatment methodologies. If you believe you would prefer an alternative approach to treatment, speak with an addiction specialist about your preferences and to find out which clinics may offer treatment in line with them.

Cost of Alcohol Addiction Clinics

Although the NHS does offer treatment for alcohol addiction, waiting times can be lengthy and places limited, and many addicts prefer to take the private route in order to obtain treatment immediately. However, private alcohol addiction treatment is of course not free. Although rates vary significantly from one clinic to another, costs for residential treatment are typically between £4,000 and £15,000 per month (although many clinics do offer lower rates for more basic treatment programmes).

Paying for alcohol addiction clinics/insurance coverage

Many clients opt to fund their addiction treatment independently; for those who may be unable to do so, some treatment facilities offer credit or other staggered payment options. Those struggling with alcohol addiction who have private health insurance may be able to fund their treatment in this way; however, it is important to note that not all policies cover all types of addiction treatment. If you are thinking of paying for your treatment through private health insurance, you should ask your insurer for a full breakdown of coverage and payment terms.

Facts and Statistics about Alcohol Clinics

  • In 2018, 75,787 Britons were retrieving treatment for alcohol addiction alone, while a further 35,473 were receiving treatment for alcohol addiction alongside other substance use disorders.
  • The UK government estimates that just under 600,000 Britons require specialist treatment for alcohol dependence, five times the number actually receiving it.
  • In 2015, there were 8,748 alcohol-related deaths in the UK.
  • Alcohol-related harm is believed to cost the NHS at least £3.5 billion each year.
  • Alcohol abuse is the single biggest risk factor for death amongst 15-to-49-year-olds in the UK.

Get Help for Alcoholism Today

If you have an alcohol addiction, you are suffering from a very risky condition. Over the long term, alcohol abuse can cause a huge range of physical and mental health issues, many of which can be fatal. The sooner you can start getting help for your condition, the greater the chance that you can avoid permanent damage and achieve a sober life. Pick up the phone today and speak to your GP and/or an addiction specialist about your alcohol addiction and treatment options available to you. Making that call could be your first step on the road back to the happy and healthy life you want and deserve.

Related FAQ’s

Can I attend an alcohol rehab clinic from home?
Some alcohol addiction treatment facilities do offer outpatient treatment; however, this may not be appropriate for especially problematic addictions and can be challenging as it does not remove addicts from their day-to-day environments in which addiction has developed.
How long does alcohol rehab treatment last?
How long alcohol addiction treatment lasts can vary significantly from one case to the next. Typically, stays in residential rehab last between one and three months, though longer treatment may be required.
How do I check myself into an alcohol rehab clinic?
Although admission policies can vary from one clinic to another, checking in is usually a relatively straightforward process, as clinics seek to minimise the stress to which their clients are exposed. If you are contemplating entering rehab, contact the clinic you were hoping to attend to find out about its specific admission processes.
How do I get a family member to come to an alcohol rehab centre?
No treatment can hope to be successful unless the person truly wants help; as a result, it is futile to attempt to coerce a loved one into treatment. Contact an addiction specialist if someone close to you is suffering from an alcohol addiction to discuss the safest and most effective ways to encourage them into treatment. Always prioritise your safety and that of those around you.

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