A rehab clinic in Harrow

A guide to drug and alcohol rehab in Harrow, London

Choosing the best rehab is an important decision, as some treatments will suit you better than others. Thankfully, there are many different places to seek addiction treatment in Harrow. This guide to rehab for drug and alcohol addiction will help you decide on the best treatment and detox options available to you in your London borough.

What is rehab?

Rehabilitation is a system designed to give individuals the tools to live meaningful lives without the need for addictive substances, through detox and holistic therapy. Medical professionals and therapists aim to create a supportive and compassionate environment to guide their patients toward long-term recovery. Rehab provides a space in which you can cautiously withdraw from an addictive substance, with a medical detox if necessary, and come to understand the underlying causes of addiction through group and private therapy.

A man and woman talking to a counsellor

Good rehabs will offer an aftercare programme to help those who have sought treatment to remain free from addiction. All UKAT patients have access to our Alumni network, which is designed to help them maintain a support structure after their treatment has concluded.

Is rehab free?

Free treatment is primarily found via the NHS, through the act of self-referral. It offers a mixture of treatments, ranging between detox programmes, group counselling and outpatient care.
The NHS funds some free addiction services, to provide an alternative to treatment at a private clinic. Outpatient care, group counselling and detox programmes are all examples of free services accessible through self-referral. There may also be a limited number of beds available for residential care, provided by charities such as Turning Point.

Free addiction treatment services in Harrow

Harrow Recovery Centre

Address: 44 Bessborough Road, Harrow, HA1 3DJ, London
Number: 0300 303 2868
Web Address: https://www.wdp.org.uk/harrow

Alcoholics Anonymous, Harrow Newcomers

Address: Welldon Centre, Welldon Crescent, HA1 1JZ, London
Number: 0800 9177 650
Web Address: https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/Members/Regional-&-Local-Websites/london-region-(north)/london-north-middlesex-intergroup

The downside to free services

Where private treatment is fast and offers a choice of inpatient and outpatient programmes at specialised treatment centres, free services can sometimes take weeks to access. Outpatient programmes are the most prevalent form of free treatment, because there are only a small number of residential spaces available.

Types of addiction treatment and rehab programmes in Harrow

Harrow has a range of different treatments available locally, and it’s important to understand the merits of each service. Private rehab centres provide a variety of inpatient programmes, whereas free treatment is more commonly associated with outpatient programmes and day rehab services.

Outpatient addiction treatment (day rehab)

When receiving outpatient treatment (otherwise referred to as day rehab), you will continue to live at home and only be required to visit the rehab premises for scheduled treatment sessions.

The NHS has limited funding and so most of its rehabilitation services are outpatient only, whereas private rehab centres can offer both outpatient and inpatient (residential) treatment programmes.

Pros of outpatient treatment
  • Flexible for those that have childcare and work commitments
  • You can remain in control of your home routine
  • Cheaper than private care
Cons of outpatient treatment
  • Not ideal for those with severe addiction
  • People may be referred to a clinic far from home
  • Recovery may be affected by life distractions
  • Takes longer to complete
  • Does not guarantee a safe space to stay during detox
  • Does not guarantee a dedicated therapist
  • Not able to share the experience with like-minded residents

Inpatient rehab

When receiving inpatient addiction treatment, often called residential rehab, you will live in the rehabilitation premises for the duration of your programme. This ensures that you have a stable and comfortable environment and can focus all of your attention on living free from addictive substances, without external influences. One key benefit of being inpatient care at private rehab is that you have access to constant support and care throughout your recovery.

How does residential (inpatient) rehab work?

When deciding if residential rehab is the best treatment for you, it’s important to understand what to expect from the process and learn how it can help you throughout your recovery.


When attempting to access free addiction treatment, you must first visit your GP. They can refer you to a specialist after assessing your situation, but it can often take a few weeks to schedule an appointment.

In contrast, private treatment is faster, and you can arrive at a private facility just 24 hours after you first get in touch. Any questions you might have will be answered by a licensed psychiatrist, who will explain all of your treatment options and provide you with care and support upon arrival.

Every treatment centre has its unique set of rules, but we have provided a guide to some essential items to pack for your treatment.

We recommend that you bring:

  • Toiletries
  • Nightwear
  • Exercise gear
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Outdoor clothes
  • Medication
  • Umbrella
  • Pictures
  • Mobile phone
  • iPod or radio
  • Laptop

You may be limited to how often you can use your laptop and mobile phone during treatment, to increase your chances of recovery.
The following items are usually not permitted:

  • Illicit alcohol or drugs
  • Any form of weapon or dangerous object
  • Sharp objects such as knives, scissors, needles, and razor blades
  • Non-prescribed medication
  • Aerosols or perfume
  • Mouthwash with alcohol contents
Medical detox

Alcohol detox and drug detox describe the process of dedicating time for the body to rid itself of any addictive substances you have ingested. A treatment centre will aim to provide a safe and comfortable environment and medical professionals will decide if a patient requires a medically-assisted detox. Suddenly decreasing the volume of an addictive substance can cause a lethal shock to the body, so if you have high levels of an addictive substance in your bloodstream it may be advised that medication is used to slow down the process and give more time for your body to adjust. This is known as a medical detox and helps to reduce any discomfort from withdrawal symptoms.

Any alcohol detox or drug detox should take place at a safe and residential setting where any health complications and withdrawal symptoms can be accurately assessed.

Rehab programme

Many treatment options are available as part of rehab, including 12-step programmes, one-to-one-therapy, group therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Choosing the right programme

A quality rehab centre should offer person-centred treatment tailored to the needs of each individual, and there should be an inclusive atmosphere during each therapeutic session. A good-quality rehab programme should offer family therapy, individual therapy and group therapy, and medical staff should provide care and address any individual concerns. A dual diagnosis option should also be made available to assist anyone entering into treatment with a compound disorder.

Every rehab treatment centre in the UK has to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). They assign a rating to each rehab, and it’s easy to search for each treatment centre on their website. All of UKAT’s treatment centres have achieved a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ CQC rating.

Family support programmes

Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t only affect the person suffering from it; whether it’s to drugs, alcohol, or another addiction, there are also consequences to anyone close to the person who suffers a dependency. Friends and family often find the behavioural aspects of addiction to be the most apparent, and the hardest to deal with. A supportive rehabilitation centre will offer family sessions that empower everyone to work as a team to make positive changes.

How long does rehab last?

Most rehabilitation programmes last between four and twelve weeks, but our admissions team have discovered that the longer a person spends in treatment, the more likely they are to remain free from addictive substances once they have left. A longer programme gives you time to adjust to the detox process and gives you a chance to form strong friendships within the treatment centre. Many people who initially book into rehab for a short time insist on extending their stay, which is why it is advised to choose a treatment programme longer than eight weeks to ensure the best chance of long-term success.

The benefits of residential rehab

  • Removing you from any temptations and life distractions
  • On-hand medical specialists and support staff
  • Opportunity to meet and share experiences with like-minded residents
  • Luxurious and comfortable grounds to stay in during your detox
  • Schedule and meals set up for you, giving you time to focus on recovery
  • Immersive aftercare programme

What happens after rehab?

The process of recovery continues long after you have left the rehab clinic, and aftercare is a valuable tool during the ongoing journey to live free from addiction.

Aftercare programmes

A good quality residential programme should supply free aftercare, with regular sessions to aid in long-term recovery.

Anyone who completes treatment at UKAT has access to one year of free group therapy, and they’re automatically enrolled in our Alumni community. Those involved can provide continual support for one another through activities and events, building important connections and friendships after rehab treatment has concluded.

Support groups

Support groups are an advisable part of your aftercare, as they provide an environment in which to socialise and confide in like-minded people who can support you on your recovery journey. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Cocaine Anonymous (CA) can be attended during and after your addiction treatment, depending on which programme you select. ‘SMART recovery’ is a non-profit that provides assistance to anyone seeking abstinence from addiction. All of these groups are entirely free of charge.

Long term recovery from addiction

Living a life free from addictive substances requires dedication and focus, and the techniques learnt during rehab and therapy will prove invaluable once you return to your regular routine. Those in early recovery are the most vulnerable to the triggers of the outside world and so it is important that anyone recovering from addiction makes full use of the aftercare resources that are available to them. A supportive network of peers is a valuable asset in long-term recovery, and UKAT are there to ensure this is always available.

Frequently asked questions

Are rehabs open in London during the Coronavirus outbreak?
Rehabilitation centres are operating during the Coronavirus outbreak, as healthcare facilities are essential businesses. This includes private rehab clinics in London, provided they follow the safety regulations implemented by the government.

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Does free alcohol rehab in London exist?
There are a number of free clinics in London which can help you with alcohol or drug abuse. However, there are no inpatient options. Rehabilitation centres are not free, so for residential rehab your best option is to opt for private treatment.

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How do I pay for rehab?
A deposit will be accepted at the beginning of the process and full payment taken a few days later, once you have started your programme.

Many private rehabilitation companies, including UKAT, accept BUPA insurance. However, be sure to check with your insurance company that your claim is covered.

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Can I get funding through the NHS?
Although funding through the NHS is available, it can be a lengthy and emotional process and many applications are turned down.

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Can you force someone to go to rehab?
You cannot force someone to go into rehab; it must be their choice. However, you can organise an intervention if you are worried about someone. This involves sitting and talking to your loved one with the help of a professional, in the hope they will listen and follow your advice.

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Which drug addictions can be treated in rehab?
Addictions to any of the following drugs can be treated in a rehabilitation clinic: cocaine rehab, crack cocaine rehab, heroin rehab, cannabis rehab, ecstasy rehab and prescription drugs rehab, including benzodiazepines rehab and opiates rehab.

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How long should I go to rehab for?
The recommended duration of rehab depends on the severity of your addiction and you will be advised by a professional during your admissions process.

The longer the length of stay in rehab the higher the success rate for staying sober, as you spend more quality time in therapy and in a sober environment, away from temptation.

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Is rehab confidential?
If you seek treatment through the NHS, the referral will sit on your medical records. However, employers cannot access these records unless under specific circumstances. So, there is a limited chance of them finding out.

Private rehabilitation is completely confidential and does not sit on your medical records.

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Can I visit a loved one during rehab?
You can visit your loved one for an hour every Sunday at our private centres. However, to prevent the spread of Covid-19 you will not be permitted to visit loved ones during the lockdown.

Family support groups take place every week at each of our centres and anyone who has a close connection to the patient can join. Not all rehabilitation centres offer this option, so this needs to be checked on their website.

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