Alcohol rehab and treatment

This Page was last reviewed and changed on February 16th, 2022

Verified by Dr. Mateen Durrani
MBBS; DPM(lre); MSc(Lon); BSPsych(Lon)

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Covid-19 update

Rehabilitation treatment for alcohol addiction is still fully available in our clinics, with some facilities out of use. At this time, if you feel concerned about your drinking, are worried about someone else’s alcohol intake or you notice any of the signs below, then please call us for free advice or use our live-chat service if you have any questions.

Content Overview

Alcohol addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. It feels like everywhere around us, we are encouraged to drink alcohol, so even attempting an alcohol detox can be incredibly difficult. Professional help at an alcohol rehab can support you through the difficult moments and teach you the tools needed for to overcome unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Take your time to read through the following information, which explains everything you need to know about alcohol rehab, alcohol addiction treatment and how to select the right rehabilitation centre for you when you feel ready.

Recognising alcohol addiction

Alcoholism, which begins with alcohol abuse, is characterised by a strong, often uncontrollable, desire for alcohol. Naturally, the more someone drinks, the more accustomed their body becomes to the effects of alcohol, so they have to drink more than before to feel that same ‘high’. This produces what is known as tolerance. Tolerance often results in physical dependence on the substance, which can develop into alcohol addiction.

Although alcoholism affects millions of people around the world, it is not openly talked about or understood; many people who would benefit from treatment at an alcohol rehab clinic may not reach out for help, as they’ll be unaware that their drinking is out of control. The most telling sign of alcohol addiction is you will prioritise the opportunity to drink alcohol above anything else, including friendships, family and work. This is usually unintentional but can be misconstrued as a lack of care for family and loved ones. Your drinking habits will quickly begin to take over your life; you may start lying to loved ones in order to hide how much you drink or spend more money than you can afford on drinking, which leads to further difficulties.

Alcohol addiction can often be a coping mechanism for other, deeper issues. You may well be dealing with underlying mental health issues, such as depression, or drinking to suppress painful memories. Unfortunately, alcohol will only make things worse, and these problems can quickly spiral to reach uncontrollable levels. If you have recognised that you have an alcohol dependence, it may be time to seek professional help.

Someone with a dependence on alcohol may seem like they function as normal. There are people suffering from it that have full-time careers and families, and many will claim that they can stop drinking any time that they want. However, hiding the signs of alcoholism does not mean that it doesn’t exist. So, it’s essential to talk about and consider attending an alcohol rehab centre.

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Withdrawal symptoms

If someone with addiction goes a long period without drinking alcohol, their body, which has become accustomed to it in the blood, responds by signalling something is wrong. This reaction, otherwise known as withdrawal symptoms, is the body’s way of adjusting to the blood’s drop in substance levels and makes the person feel unwell. Withdrawal symptoms can include sweating, nausea, panic and shaking.

If you are considering an alcohol detox, it is important to seek medical advice first. Different people will have different withdrawal symptoms depending on their level of dependency and their general health, so a medical professional will be able to advise you on what measures you will need to take to stay safe. All of our drug and alcohol rehab clinics will be able to provide you with this kind of medical assistance following an initial assessment, in which they can prevent any health complications during the detox.

Here are some symptoms and side-effects of alcohol addiction:

UKAT infographic showing side-effects of alcohol addiction

Who does alcohol rehab work for?

Alcohol rehab can work for anyone that is committed to stopping drinking. There isn’t one type of person that drug and alcohol rehab work better for; it is for everyone. The main reason for this is that there are so many different types of treatments available, all overseen by highly trained addiction counsellors. Just like drug addiction treatment, different treatment centres will offer different types of therapy, so it is important to have a look to see what your options are and decide which one will work best for you and the people around you. UKAT offers a range of treatments and workshops within our rehab programmes, so all clients can explore different avenues and find a path that works the best for them.

Alcohol rehab gives someone struggling with alcoholism the chance to address the sources of their pain that encourage them to drink. Alcohol rehab centres offer a safe environment with others who are going through a similar experience, as well as with experienced professionals, so that they can talk to therapists at their own pace and without judgement. The entire goal is not just to stop drinking but to address any issues that caused the alcohol addiction in the first place and to leave rehab as a more rounded and happier person.

It is important to note, though, that alcohol rehab can only help when a person is ready and willing to make a change. If a person is fully committed, alcohol rehab is an opportunity to tackle the entire process, rather than just the drinking. There is the opportunity to come out the other side feeling much better about yourself and provide you with the foundations to build the life that you have always wanted, free from the unrelenting grip of addiction.

The benefits of alcohol addiction treatment

Alcohol rehab, as with any addiction treatment, offers a wide variety of benefits. The most important aspect is that you can begin to take control of your life again. Excessive alcohol consumption puts an enormous and unnatural strain on your body, your mental health and the people around you. By signing up for alcohol rehab, you are taking the first step towards not just being able to quit drinking but to establish what caused you to drink in the first place. By discovering the roots of your addiction, you give yourself the best chance possible to achieve long-term recovery, as you change entire behaviours and learn to think about things in different ways. In the likelihood of that being related to underlying mental health issues, you will have the support and advice from medical professionals to address these too.

Is rehab free?

While there are free options when it comes to alcohol rehab, it is important that you understand all of your options before you select which treatment is best for you.

You can peruse free alcohol rehab through the NHS. However, you are most likely going to be limited to outpatient options and will have little say where and when your treatment will begin. Alternatively, opting for private alcohol rehab gives you have plenty of options with regards to which alcohol rehab centre you choose, when you start, which treatments are included and also the aftercare, which provides invaluable support to maintaining successful recovery. Most UKAT clinics also accept Bupa and AXA insurance to help you fund your treatment.

If it is possible, we would always recommend private treatment. This is the best way for you to get full, round-the-clock care and support. Free services are generally outpatient, which means you do not get the benefit of having that break from unhelpful distractions nor the medical support during your detox. Inpatient treatment is the best way to start your journey towards a life free from alcohol and where you can work towards relapse prevention within a supportive group.

Alcohol rehab treatment

There are three parts to alcohol treatment: detox, rehabilitation and aftercare. Detox deals with the physical aspect of addiction; rehabilitation works with a person’s mindset towards alcohol; aftercare provides support for when your alcohol rehab has finished.

Alcohol detox

Detox (alcohol withdrawal) involves allowing the body time to rid itself of any harmful substances. This is done in a controlled environment, with medical professionals, to make you feel as comfortable as possible. If there are high levels of alcohol in a person’s

bloodstream, then medication can be used to wean them off gradually and reduce discomfort.

If you are concerned about someone with alcohol addiction, please discourage them from self-detoxing, as unsupervised alcohol withdrawal causes a shock to their body and could be lethal, especially if there is a high volume of alcohol in the blood or detox is attempted too fast. It is always safer to detox with a medical professional who can offer support, advice and, in some cases medication, to adjust comfortably to lower alcohol volumes.

Alcohol rehabilitation

Rehabilitation involves a holistic approach towards alcoholism, using therapy to talk through any underlying issues that the person wants to address. Being surrounded by others in a similar situation will give someone with alcoholism a third-person perspective on how their alcohol dependence affects those around them, and therefore contributes to reconnecting with others when they return home.

There are different treatment options available for alcohol rehab, and it’s not always easy to tell which will be the right fit for you. Often people feel like they would prefer one-to-one sessions, only to later realise that they get much more out of group therapy sessions with other people that are treating their alcohol addictions. This is why our programme consists of a range of therapies to explore as a group. This has the added benefit of helping to form natural support groups after your treatment has finished.


Once your alcohol rehab has been completed, most private treatment providers will offer you continued support in order for you to maintain your newfound sobriety on the way to your alcohol-free life. This may be in the form of group therapy sessions or peer support.

If you go through UKAT for your alcohol rehab, you will be automatically registered onto our Alumni Network on completion. This is a community of other people that have been through similar treatment programmes and are now continuing to apply the changes they have made at home. This support includes event days, regular communication and online resources to keep you connected with a strong network of people to aid your recovery.

Inpatient vs outpatient treatment

All forms of alcohol rehab will fall into one of two categories: inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment. The difference between the two is that inpatient treatment requires you to stay at a residential treatment centre for the duration of your treatment process, whereas outpatient treatment only requires ad-hoc visits to the clinic.

Inpatient addiction treatment

Inpatient programmes provide stability and constant care throughout the alcohol rehab programme, from coping to withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detox to providing aftercare to residents to support them in the recovery process post-treatment. Being away from routine also gives someone suffering from substance use disorder time to reflect on their options and focus all their attention on their recovery. Our recovery approach is centred around support and connection; living in an inclusive environment with others on the same journey creates a trusting family unit that cannot be achieved while living outside the premises.

Outpatient addiction treatment

Outpatient rehab involves going into the rehab clinic for treatment and then heading back home each day. Some people prefer this option, as it allows them to be in their own home and not take time away from work, or it may help them if they have childcare responsibilities. However, it is difficult to focus on a recovery plan when you are still exposed to alcohol. It is also not always possible to provide a dedicated therapist. Furthermore, if you experience withdrawal symptoms during your detox phase, you may find it more difficult to find medical help.

Visiting whichever therapist is available that day may result in repeating their circumstances over and receiving different advice, so you may find that residential alcohol rehab is the better option for you.

What benefits will UKAT provide?

A group therapy session at Linwood House addiction centre

When you’re ready to commit to alcohol rehab, you’ll need to choose which type of centre to go with and whether you should go private or seek aid from a charity. The NHS addiction treatment budget is severely underfunded, which means there are very few inpatient NHS programmes and a limited number of outpatient treatment programmes, for which there is a long waiting list.

UKAT was established in 2012 when our founder, who sought private rehab treatment to help recover from gambling addiction, discovered that private facilities were expensive and had a low level of care. His vision was to ensure that top-quality treatment is accessible at the lowest possible cost for every person who needs help.

Choosing residential alcohol rehab may seem a big step, but it will give you the time away to focus on your alcohol rehabilitation in a caring environment, which is the best solution to overcoming addictive behaviour. These are our priorities for each clinic to ensure that every individual gets the most out of their time with us:

Our therapists are in recovery

Not only are our therapists highly qualified, but they have also been through addiction rehab themselves. They combine professionally trained advice with a real understanding of what you are going through, as they have experienced it themselves first hand. Drawing on their own experiences, they are best placed to share their understanding of the 12-step programme, making it easy to follow. They will also be able to offer practical advice about how to incorporate new ways of living to work towards relapse prevention.

We offer a range of therapy approaches

There are various treatments that can be used for alcohol addiction, and each individual will be more suited to a different programme. Our clinics specialise in:

  • 7*, 10*, 14 and 28-day treatments
  • 12-step programme
  • Addiction intervention
  • Addiction treatment
  • Art therapy (available in some rehabs)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioural Treatment
  • Family support programmes
  • Music therapy (available in some rehabs)
  • Drumming therapy (available in some rehabs)
  • Trauma therapy
  • Strengths model
  • Primary and secondary addiction treatment
  • Physical health recovery
  • Holistic workshops

The treatment available for your programme will be based on an assessment with our qualified and experienced psychiatrist, who will answer any questions you have and talk you through your treatment programme. Everyone in the group will participate in a wide range of therapy sessions and activities, and from there, we will work with you on your plan, which outlines the best course of action for your journey to overcoming alcoholism when you leave the centre.

While we mainly focus on the 12-step model, we also have a strengths model programme at one of our centres for those that prefer a non-12-step approach.

We offer family support

Alcohol addiction doesn’t solely affect the life of the person dependent on alcohol; it also affects the lives of everyone close to them – sometimes damaging friendships and leaving the family to encourage individuals to accept rehabilitation treatment. It may be that friends and family simply don’t understand the hold that addiction can have on a person or that they don’t know how they can help.

We organise weekly family support sessions to involve anyone closely connected to you in progress being made and work through any concerns while at the same time offering practical advice so they can support you on your journey.*

We are fully accredited

UKAT’s residential alcohol rehab centres are fully accredited by the Care Quality Commission. We have high ratings based on inspections checking how Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well-led the clinic is. You can find a CQC rating on each of our treatment centres, which are all at a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ ranking. Wherever you end up going for your alcohol rehab treatment, make sure you check the CQC rating of the rehab centre before you sign up.

We invest in your aftercare

Going to rehab is only the first step on your journey to an alcohol-free life. Stepping out of our clinic into a world where alcohol will be accessible to buy, you will be faced with many challenges to stay sober and focus on the techniques you learnt during your rehab programme. We guarantee that all residents will have access to free aftercare – receiving group therapy for up to a year after their stay with us – supporting their journey towards long term sobriety.

You will also gain immediate access to our Alumni programme when you complete your rehabilitation. In this interconnected network, activities and gatherings are organised with others recovering from alcohol addiction, so you mix with people going through the same experience and encourage each other to stay sober. This network of friends will be available for life, helping you through every step of your alcohol rehabilitation.

We have competitive prices

We understand that alcohol rehab isn’t cheap. However, we work hard to ensure that our prices are competitive, particularly compared to the rehab clinics that feature in the papers when celebrities attend them. All of our treatment facilities are clean, safe and have an inclusive atmosphere designed to aid you on your quest to stop drinking.

Ultimately, the main purpose of any alcohol rehab clinic is not to provide you with a luxury hotel for you to stay in; it is about you getting the best care possible and the best possible alcohol rehab programme. It is about you being able to cope with the detox phase, including any withdrawal symptoms that you may feel, in a comfortable and caring setting and then using working with medical professionals on your treatment programme.
At all of our rehab clinics, we provide residents with high-standard food fresh from markets and butchers to keep them healthy during their alcohol treatment.

Treatment payment options

Before admission, all payment options will be explained to you. Many of our rehab clinics accept BUPA and AXA insurance. However, be sure to check with your insurance company that your claim for alcohol addiction help is covered. We can also discuss cash payments, credit cards and other options. We will do everything we can to connect you with a treatment facility that suits your budget.

Please be aware that once you are accepted for admission, a deposit will be required to secure your place in an upcoming treatment programme. The balance due will be payable upon admission. If you wish to visit one of our rehab clinics before you make your mind up about committing to treatment, you are welcome to do so by arranging a viewing with our staff.

The next step

If you think you are ready to make the brave decision to sign up for an alcohol rehab programme, then you are already on your way towards creating a new, better life for yourself. Like any substance abuse, alcohol consumption may have held a tight grip around your life, and seeking help is the first step towards taking back control.

The next bit is simple – call our admissions team to discuss your various options. They will be able to advise you on everything you will need to know, from the choice of rehab clinics in your area to prices and payment plans. You can also have a look at our client stories so that you can learn more from people who have experienced our alcohol rehab programmes and even arrange visits so that you can see first-hand what inpatient rehab looks like.*

Admitting that you or a loved one may need support for alcoholism can take time, but those fully committed to rehab will stand a much better chance of full recovery. Let us help you start your journey towards overcoming alcoholism and creating the life for yourself that you deserve. Call us today, and let’s do this together.

*To reduce the spread of Covid-19 and keep our rehabs safe, the following changes will be in place until further notice:

-We’ve introduced a shielding period in our facilities for all new residents. For this reason, 14-day treatments will be the shortest programme available during the pandemic.
-Family support sessions have been put on hold. However, we still offer Zoom sessions and calls can be made to clients at certain times.
-Centre visits are currently on hold. However, virtual walkthrough tours can be viewed on each centre’s website.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are alcohol rehabs private and confidential?

Yes, they are. We respect your privacy and your need for confidentiality throughout the entire process.

Is there an ideal length of rehab?

Though the typical rehab programme lasts from 4 to 12 weeks, there is no ideal length applicable to everyone. You might progress more quickly than others in your facility; you might need a longer stay.

What does treatment include?

Treatment includes a medical assessment, medically supervised detox, a variety of rehab therapies, and aftercare. Residential facilities also provide food and lodging; some offer additional amenities.

What are the factors I should look for in a rehab programme?

In addition to the treatment approach taken (rehab vs detox-only), we recommend considering the level of accommodation, the physical location of a facility, and the kinds of therapies offered. There are enough options to meet any need.

How much does treatment cost?

Due to the varying length of treatment programmes and the different kinds of accommodation available, is not possible to provide an accurate cost here. The cost of your treatment will depend on the options you choose. We can discuss cost when you contact us.

Are there treatment programmes for teens?

Yes, there are. Specialised programmes tailored to the unique needs of teenagers are available through UKAT.

How do you know if you’re addicted to alcohol?

Alcoholism is a condition that manifests itself in identifiable symptoms and signs. If you exhibit any of them, you may be addicted. You can find more information about signs and symptoms here on our site.

How do clinicians recommend duration of stay?

Recommendations for the length of stay are made based on a patient’s overall health and the severity of the addiction. Length of stay is established in the patient’s treatment plan, though it can be modified as needed.

Does insurance cover alcohol treatment?

Though we cannot offer any guarantees, most private insurance policies do offer at least some level of coverage for alcohol treatment. Check your policy documents to learn what your insurance covers.

How does alcohol rehab work?

Alcohol rehab combines detox and rehabilitative therapies to help patients come clean and stay clean. Detox addresses the physical while rehab therapies address the mental and spiritual aspects of addictive behaviour. The goal is to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety.

How effective is alcohol rehab?

Alcohol rehab has proven effective for countless people over the years. When approached with the right mindset and combined with professional, supportive care, rehab can form the foundation on which the recovering alcoholic can build a new, alcohol-free life.

Our brand promise

If you successfully complete our 90-day inpatient treatment programme but experience a relapse within 30 days of leaving, we will welcome you back for complimentary 30 days of treatment.*

* Click here to learn more or contact UKAT directly for rehab availability.

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