Choosing the right alcohol and drug rehab centre

Embarking on the journey to sobriety is a significant step, fraught with decisions and challenges. Central among these is the selection of an alcohol and drug rehab centre that aligns with your recovery needs. With numerous treatment options available, we understand that choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. However, it could be the most important decision you ever make, so it is crucial to arm yourself with as much information as possible.

This guide aims to assist you and your loved ones through this crucial process by highlighting the different factors to consider. We will lay out everything to look for regarding treatment, the different types of alcohol and drug rehab centres available and the pros and cons of each.

Understanding your individual needs

Before diving into the specifics of different alcohol and drug rehab centres, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of your own unique needs. This introspection will act as a foundation for making the right rehab choice. Here are some key considerations:

Nature and severity of your substance use

Recognising the extent and depth of your addiction can guide the level of care needed. For instance, if you have a long history of chronic addiction, you may require a more intensive approach.

Co-occurring disorders

Substance abuse often goes hand in hand with other mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. It is essential to select a facility experienced in treating people with co-occurring disorders, ensuring that medication and extra support are offered.

Cultural and personal preferences

A rehab centre that respects and understands the individual’s cultural background, gender identity and spiritual beliefs can make the recovery process more comfortable and effective.

Financial situation

While the primary focus is on recovery, it is also important to consider the financial implications. NHS rehab services are free, while private rehab centres may be covered by insurance or offer payment plans or financial aid.


Types of alcohol and drug treatment centres

When evaluating rehab options, one of the significant decisions is whether to opt for inpatient (residential) or outpatient treatment. Both have potential advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to understand exactly what they entail.

Inpatient/residential rehab

This is the model used in UKAT alcohol and drug rehab centres and involves individuals staying as a resident in the centre for the duration of their recovery journey. The main benefits include:

  • Intensive care: Continuous 24/7 medical and emotional support, ideal for those battling severe addictions. Medical detox is also provided for those who may face intense and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. This is when you are provided with around-the-clock observation and possible medicinal support to ensure your comfort and safety.


  • Structured environment: A planned schedule, including therapy sessions, group discussions and activities which keep you occupied and minimise the temptation to relapse.


  • Peer support: Being in a controlled environment away from daily stressors allows residents to focus solely on recovery.


  • Freedom from distractions: Being in a controlled environment away from daily stressors allows residents to solely focus on recovery.


  • Full immersion: The person is completely engrossed in the recovery environment, promoting a more profound commitment to sobriety.


  • Safety: The controlled setting ensures no access to drugs or alcohol, eliminating the possibility of a relapse during the initial stages of recovery.


  • Holistic approaches: Many residential centres, like UKAT, offer holistic therapies such as yoga, meditation, nutrition and fitness as part of the recovery journey.


Potential drawbacks include:

  • The need to commit time to rehab: Individuals in residential rehab are not able to work, look after children or look after any of their other responsibilities.


  • Cost: Inpatient rehab is usually privately funded.

Outpatient rehab

Outpatient rehab, such as that available through the NHS, involves living at home while attending regular treatment sessions. These can range from daily commitments to a few times a week.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Flexibility: Allows maintenance of everyday responsibilities like work or school.


  • Cost-effectiveness: Often less expensive than inpatient rehab or potentially even free through the NHS.


  • Family involvement: Being home can mean more immediate support from loved ones.


  • Less disruption: There is no need to take extended leave from work or other responsibilities.


However, there are several potential cons which often make outpatient rehab less effective. These include:

  • Potential exposure to triggers: As you will remain at home during treatment, you will still be exposed to your everyday triggers and stressors.


  • Limited therapy options: Due to limited resources, individual therapy and holistic approaches are usually unavailable in outpatient rehab.


  • Difficulty getting appointments: Particularly with NHS outpatient rehab, underfunding and oversubscription can make it difficult to get an appointment that fits your schedule.


  • No medically supported detox: This can make the withdrawal process difficult and potentially dangerous.


In summary, while both treatment options present distinct advantages, inpatient drug and alcohol rehab centres tend to offer a more holistic, intensive and protective environment. This can benefit everyone who is going through recovery but is particularly essential for those with severe addictions, co-existing conditions or limited home support.


Accreditation and CQC ratings

In the UK, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator for health and social care services. They inspect and rate such facilities, ensuring they meet fundamental standards. When looking into a rehab centre, understanding the CQC rating can offer insight into the centre’s quality and care levels.

Drug and alcohol rehab centres like UKAT pride themselves on achieving commendable accreditations, particularly CQC ratings, which indicate a commitment to providing top-tier care. When choosing a drug and alcohol rehab centre, verify their current CQC rating and read the report.

Why CQC ratings matter

Assurance of standards: A ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating indicates the centre adheres to the requisite safety, effectiveness, care, response and leadership standards.

Objective assessment: CQC inspections are carried out by expert teams, including doctors, nurses and trained members, ensuring an unbiased, knowledgeable evaluation.

Continuous improvement: Regular inspections ensure that facilities maintain or elevate their care standards. Those with low ratings are re-inspected more frequently, motivating them to enhance their services.

Treatment approaches for drug and alcohol addiction

Treatment modalities are pivotal in the recovery process, and not every approach suits everyone. It’s essential to understand the available treatment types and what they entail to make sure your chosen rehab centre provides the approaches you need:

  • Evidence-based treatments: These are treatments that have undergone rigorous testing and have evidence backing their effectiveness. Examples include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviour and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), which targets emotional regulation.
  • Holistic therapies: In addition to conventional treatments, many alcohol and drug treatment centres now integrate holistic or complementary therapies, aiming to treat the whole person. Techniques may include yoga, meditation, art therapy, sound therapy and acupuncture.
  • Group therapy sessions: Group therapy allows you to share experiences, learn from others and develop a supportive community. The collective experience can be instrumental in understanding addiction from different perspectives.
  • Individual counselling: One-on-one sessions with a therapist can delve deeper into personal issues, traumas or coexisting mental health conditions that may be fuelling addiction.
  • Family therapy: Addiction doesn’t only affect the individual. Engaging family members in the therapy process can mend strained relationships and foster a supportive home environment.
  • Aftercare and relapse prevention: An integral part of long-term sobriety is learning how to navigate life post-rehab. Quality facilities will offer aftercare programmes to ensure continuous support and guidance.

Importance of location and accessibility

Selecting an alcohol and drug rehab centre is not just about the treatments it offers but also where it is located. The environment can play a crucial role in recovery, and there are a few things to consider:


Escaping the noise and stress of the city can enhance the healing process, so rehab centres in peaceful environments, possibly near the sea or surrounded by nature, are very popular.


While a serene setting can be peaceful, if you want your family to visit, you will need to ensure the rehab centre is not too remote.

Distance from triggers

For some people, the further, the better, as choosing a rehab away from your regular environment can be beneficial to avoid familiar triggers or negative influences.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing the right alcohol and drug rehab centre for your recovery. The most important factor, however, is to trust your instincts. While all the factors in this guide can help shape your decision, your gut feeling about a place or its staff is invaluable. If a facility feels right and ticks all the necessary boxes, it’s a good fit. If something feels a little off, keep looking until you find the right one.

UKAT has nine rehab centres across the UK, providing world-class treatment in comfortable surroundings. To find out more about our centres or to get started on the road to recovery, contact us today.

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