Drug rehab and drug addiction treatment

This Page was last reviewed and changed on October 18th, 2021

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

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Covid-19 update
Rehabilitation treatment for drug addiction is still fully available in all UKAT centres during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you feel concerned about your drug intake, are worried about someone else’s substance abuse or have any questions regarding treatment for drug addiction, please call, email us or use our live chat service for free and confidential advice.

Content overview

If you are considering seeking treatment for drug addiction, then we applaud you. Getting help is not always easy, but we will talk you through each step to ensure you are prepared for the whole journey.

This page will explain everything you need to know about the different stages of drug rehab, available treatments and how to select the right centre so that you can help yourself, or someone else, on the road to recovery.

What is drug rehabilitation?

Drug rehabilitation means utilising the experience of professionals, many of whom have been through addiction themselves, to help a person overcome addiction to a substance.

It can be challenging to recognise who will benefit from drug rehabilitation because addiction will tell the person abusing substances that they are in control. Many people who choose to do drugs, be it recreationally or daily, might not believe they are addicted, because they want to take it. This may be for reasons such as confidence or creativity.

However, choosing to take a substance does not mean they are capable of stopping. If someone has large quantities of an addictive drug in their bloodstream, their body physically needs the effects of that drug in order to function without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. This is known as addiction.

Addiction treatment offers respite to both the person with a dependency and the people around them, as they can remove themselves from any drug-related environment and discuss the relationship they have with these substances with open-minded and understanding professionals and peers. This gives them the opportunity to reflect on their behaviour and what advantages the treatment plan in rehab offers.

Drug treatment

There are three phases of drug rehabilitation. These include detox, therapy and aftercare. Detox is the time a person allows their body to rid itself of any harmful and addictive substances that are in the bloodstream. Detox is necessary for substance addictions, such as drugs and alcohol, whereas behavioural addictions, like gambling and porn, will not require a detox.

Therapy involves talking with professionals about the relationship with an addictive substance or behaviour, which helps people address the way they view addiction and learn to live comfortably without it.

Aftercare is the service offered once the treatment programme has ended, to support someone through recovery once they leave the centre.

How UKAT can help


Within a short period of time after contacting UKAT, you will be set up in a luxury, en-suite room and have access to a tranquil garden area and regular breaks to make the detox process as comfortable as possible.

Our qualified Counsellors and Nurses are on-hand 24-7 to support you emotionally if you want to talk, as well as doing their best to ease any physical discomfort.

If you have consumed large volumes of addictive substances, you may require a medical detox. In this case, our nurses will administer medications to ease you off the drugs slowly and alleviate withdrawal symptoms.


UKAT utilises a mixture of group and individual therapy, as well as a range of interactive activities, such as yoga, CBT and movement sessions in our treatment plan. These classes expose you to different ways of centring yourself and allow you to express any feelings about your addiction openly. Connection is at the heart of addiction recovery, so we’ve prepared group treatment sessions and comfortable communal areas to share the experience with others going through the same journey.

During counselling, we will discuss the 12-steps, different defence mechanisms and the divided self, guiding you through the healing process as a team and helping you to deal with any anxiety in a safe space.


UKAT offers an extensive aftercare programme to help you adjust back into routine. You can attend a weekly group therapy session for up to a year after your programme is completed, and you will become a part of our Alumni community. The Alumni is a life-long supportive network that brings everyone in recovery together through group activities, phone calls, days out and online interaction, so you can stay connected to peers, support each other through recovery and celebrate your successes.

UKAT also ensures that if you find yourself relapsing within 90 days of leaving our centre, we will readmit you for 30 days for free to support you through any trouble and help bring your focus back to recovery.

Support for families

Drug addiction impacts more than just the person abusing drugs – it can also affect those around them, such as family members and close friends who worry about that person’s welfare.

To ensure that every client has the best chance of long-term recovery, we provide ongoing family support groups for loved ones impacted by the addiction; this allows them to address any psychological and emotional damage they may have experienced and build a better picture of how addiction works. Rebuilding this foundation provides an understanding network of people who are aware of the best ways to support their loved one when they return home.

Choosing the right addiction rehab facility

Inpatient vs outpatient treatment

When researching drug rehab, you will notice there are two types of treatment. One is inpatient (or residential) rehab, which involves living at the centre for the duration of treatment.

The other, known as outpatient treatment, entails visiting the centre for each scheduled appointment and heading back home again once the session is finished.

Because outpatient treatment does not provide a substance-free environment, it is most suitable for those who have just started abusing a substance and want some guidance on how to handle their cravings. If you have been abusing a substance or behaviour for a while, have tried to give up before or have been told by those around you that you need help when you don’t think you do, then we advise talking to us about inpatient care to give you the best chance of recovery.

Many people opt for outpatient treatment because it is free on the NHS. However, limited funding means there are long waiting lists and it can take weeks to have an initial assessment. Although it provides more flexibility, dipping in and out of rehab means you are not fully immersed in recovery, which can hinder your progress. We do not offer outpatient care for this reason.

Residential programmes absorb you into the healing process with other like-minded individuals and build invaluable friendships along the way. They can also be paid for through private insurance.

If you cannot access inpatient rehab, and find yourself on a long waiting list for free addiction care, please do not attempt to self-detox. Coming off a large volume of addictive substances can be dangerous and it’s essential to seek medical assistance so they can help you through the process safely.

Choosing the right addiction rehab facility

If you opt for residential care, there are a few benefits you should look for to decide which centre is right for you.

CQC rating

Ensure the rehab centre is fully accredited by the Care Quality Commission.

These are ratings ranging from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’, based on inspections checking how safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led each clinic is.

Qualified workers

Nurses and Therapists that have specialist qualifications make a huge difference in how effectively they can communicate and put you at ease. You may find it best to research the team in the company and find out what their experience and values are.

Treatment options

Not everyone will respond to the same treatments, so it’s important to have a mixture of different therapies and sessions available. This way, everyone in the centre explores a variety of options and finds the technique that makes them feel most at ease.


Investing in your addiction care will be one of the most valuable payments you make, but that doesn’t mean you should overpay. If you don’t have private insurance, then try to find a residential rehab that has all the above but at affordable prices.

We created UKAT to provide the highest calibre of addiction treatment at an affordable price. If you’d like to find out more, you can call our friendly team or use the live chat service to find out what programme would best suit your situation and how much it would cost.

If you’d like any more information on drug misuse, would like to book into one of our clinics or have any questions, feel free to contact us via phone, email or live chat. Our empathetic and knowledgeable admissions team make sure to keep all conversations strictly confidential.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is drug rehab?

Drug rehab – short for ” rehabilitation” – is the provision of drug addiction treatment at a dedicated secure facility away from the temptations and distractions of the outside world, and in particular the environment in which an addict has become accustomed to indulging in substance abuse. At rehab an addict has access to highly experienced medical care 24/7, as well as to a variety of therapies through which they can come to understand the nature and underlying causes of their addiction. Rehab is also, crucially, highly confidential, allowing the addict to remain confident that their condition will not become common knowledge outside the facility.

How much does rehab cost?

The cost of rehab varies considerably from one facility to the next and depends on the specific treatment which an addict requires. Moreover, logically the longer a person spends in rehab the more the process will cost. As a result it’s impossible to put a price on rehab which will apply to every given circumstance, though roughly speaking patients should typically expect to pay somewhere around £3,000 per week – which compared with the long-term cost of most addictions should be considered one of the most valuable investments you could ever make.

How do I pay for private rehab?

Patients can either pay for rehab treatment privately, or through medical insurance, and some patients receive funding through their national health insurer – in the United Kingdom this is the NHS or the local authority.

How does drug rehab work?

Drug rehab invariably begins with the process of detoxification – “detox” – whereby the addict’s system is cleansed of substances of abuse (and during which they may experience withdrawal symptoms, which may be ameliorated with medication); following detox, they move into a therapy phase during which the underlying causes of their addiction are investigated and defence mechanisms put in place to enable them to resist relapse once they leave the facility.

Pros and cons of NHS versus private rehab?

NHS treatment is of a very high quality, and is of course free at the point of service, while private rehab does come with a significant cost attached. However with NHS budgets strained to bursting, and with so many addicts competing for such limited space, there is no guarantee that you will get a referral at all, and even if you do waiting times can be extremely long – which in a tragically high number of cases has meant the difference between life and death. Private rehab are able to admit addicts immediately so that they can begin getting the help they need straightaway.

What is a medical drug detox?

A medical detox involves the provision of drugs to treat symptoms of withdrawal, or to substitute less harmful and addictive drugs on a temporary basis for the substances to which an individual has been addicted; they are then able to be weaned off the substitute substance whilst experiencing less severe withdrawal symptoms.

What type of drugs does rehab treat?

The drugs treated will vary from one rehab to another, with some specialising in certain substances and others catering for many or all types of addiction. Most rehabs will have experience in treating addiction to prominent drugs including cocaine, heroin, amphetamines (including ecstasy) and cannabis, as well as alcohol. Speak with an addiction specialist to find out which rehab facilities have experience in treating specific drugs – or contact the facilities directly.

How long does rehab take?

How long a person stays in rehab will vary case-by-case, but a typical stay will last 28 days, with some programmes designed to be of much shorter duration and, at the other extreme, with some addicts choosing to stay for significantly longer, even several months, if they do not feel able to return to daily life after one month.

How to stay drug free after rehab?

Remaining drug-free after you leave rehab is an ongoing challenge; however alongside the defence mechanisms you will be given during therapy in rehab, you may benefit from attending fellowship group meetings or having ongoing therapy, as well as taking advantage of any aftercare provided by your rehab.

Is drug rehab covered by private insurance?

Some health insurance does cover private rehab; contact your insurer to check whether this applies to your policy specifically.

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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