A rehab clinic in Kingston Upon Thames

A guide to drug and alcohol rehab in Kingston Upon Thames, London

If the time comes that you need to seek support for your addiction, working out your options may seem overwhelming. Whether it be help with drugs, alcohol, or a behavioural addiction like gambling, there are several options in the Kingston area. UKAT have created the following guide aimed at giving you everything you need to know to make an informed decision when planning your detox in the London area.

What is rehab?

Being admitted to rehab may seem like a scary idea, however, it really just means the process of controlled detox and holistic therapy to help you break addictive habits. A rehab treatment centre will be staffed with experienced professionals who will support you on your journey from addiction to sobriety. Your treatment may include a medical detox, as well as therapy and group activities, so you can have the benefit of peer support. Rehab is a safe and supportive environment for you to reflect and learn how to manage your addictive behaviours, so they stop being problematic in the future.

In most rehab centres, the staff team is made up of people with lived experience as well as specialist training. You may meet doctors, nurses and therapists, as well as having the opportunity to share your experiences with fellow patients. Many people make life-long friendships with those they meet in rehab, as you will be able to support each other on a similar journey. Treatment programmes will offer group and one-on-one activities to help you learn new skills for managing addictive behaviours, in addition to giving you the chance to reflect on the changes you’d like to make in your life.

A man and woman talking to a counsellor

Following completion of a rehab treatment programme, you will be given the option to take part in aftercare activities such as ongoing groups and peer support. If you complete a programme with UKAT, you will be able to access the online Alumni community where you can find all sorts of relevant resources to guide you and connect with others you met during your stay.

Is rehab free?

Some services are free (funded by the NHS) whereas others need to be paid for privately. If you need to access free rehab treatment you will need to visit your GP to be referred as an NHS outpatient. Free services involve treatment programmes, otherwise referred to as ‘day rehab’, which may include group therapy and peer support. If you require residential (inpatient) rehab, you will likely need to seek private funding. However, charities such as Turning Point provide support for a limited number of people.

Free addiction treatment services in Kingston on Thames

The following are free drug and alcohol services available in the Kingston on Thames area.

WDP Drug and Alcohol Recovery

Web Address: https://www.wdp.org.uk/kingston

The Kingston Wellbeing Service

Web Address: https://www.kingstonwellbeingservice.org/

The downside to free services

Free services offer support for those who really need it; however, the current demand is high so many people find themselves on a waiting list, which can be frustrating. Lack of funding from the government means that some services are squeezed and so can only provide limited resources, making access difficult. For example, groups may be full or set at awkward times. Most people would prefer residential treatment, however, limited funding for free beds means that outpatient services are likely to be the only option.

If you have private insurance or are able to access private funding, treatment options can be tailored to you. You can pick whichever clinic feels right and plan your programme with a specialist on arrival. Residential rehab also includes full room and board which many say gives them a much-needed break from the stresses of everyday life to enable them to focus on their recovery.

Types of addiction treatment and rehab programmes in Kingston on Thames

As previously outlined, there are inpatient (residential) and outpatient (day rehab) options to choose from, NHS or privately funded. The following gives a guide to help you find what works for you.

Outpatient addiction treatment (day rehab)

Outpatient addiction treatment involves visiting your chosen rehab centre on regular occasions to attend one-on-one appointments or groups. You do not stay at the treatment centre, although you still benefit from access to resources and peer support.

Pros of outpatient treatment
  • Works better if you have other responsibilities (such as childcare)
  • Can be fitted in around your daily routine
  • More funding options available
Cons of outpatient treatment
  • May be less effective for more chronic addiction
  • Limited space means you may not be admitted to your closest clinic
  • Harder to break daily habits
  • Individual therapy is limited

Inpatient rehab

On the other hand, many find themselves admitted to inpatient (or residential) rehab which means they are invited to stay at the treatment centre for the duration of the programme. This enables them to take a break from everyday life to focus on their recovery in a safe and controlled environment.

How does residential (inpatient) rehab work?

Choosing the right centre for you may involve asking lots of questions. It is important to remember not all rehab is the same. Contacting your chosen treatment centre may be helpful if you have any worries or concerns.


If you are being admitted to a free treatment service, you will have likely started off at the GP surgery. They will assess your current difficulties and, if appropriate, refer you to a specialist for further discussion. This may involve being placed on a waiting list. The specialist can then admit you to a relevant treatment programme.

If you have access to private funding, however, you can be admitted to residential rehab almost straight away. Within 24 hours of the first phone call, a private on-suite will have been prepared and your details will have been passed to a psychiatrist who will be ready to meet you on arrival. From there you will discuss your treatment options to find a programme which works for you.

There are certain items which are advisable to bring. However, it is worthwhile checking ahead as some centres may have different rules.

Items you might like to bring:

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

It is important to note that some rehab centres restrict the use of laptops and mobile phones.
The following items are not allowed:

  • 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

You may have heard the phrase ‘medical detox’ used by professionals, so it is important to understand what this means. For some people, addictive behaviours may have led to physical dependence which makes coming off drugs or alcohol uncomfortable, or in some cases dangerous, to do alone. Medical detox involves monitoring by medical professionals who prescribe medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Residential rehab provides a safe and supportive environment for you to work through this process, so you can move on to planning your abstinence goals.

Rehab programme

Not all rehab treatment programmes are the same; there are many different approaches you can take and it’s important to find what works best for you. Some prefer a 12-step programme but there are also therapy based approaches which are equally effective. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a popular model used in drug and alcohol services, although some prefer psychotherapy, such as art or drama. Many have a preference for individual or group approaches, whereas others enjoy a mixture of the two.

Choosing the right programme

All rehab programmes should value diversity, therefore if you have any needs relating to religious practice, disability or pre-existing health conditions, etc. it shouldn’t affect your finding a programme. If you have concerns, it may be helpful to contact your chosen centre to ask for more information.

Dual-diagnosis’ means to be diagnosed with both addiction and mental illness at the same time. It is extremely common as often the same stresses which lead to addiction also trigger poor mental health. If you have concerns about any mental health needs you may have, contact your chosen treatment centre to discuss your needs. Most programmes will be aware of dual diagnosis and prepared to support you in a holistic approach.

You may like to check out the overall quality of your chosen treatment centre, given after inspection. You can look at the Care Quality Commission’s ratings (covering safety, effectiveness, caring, responsiveness and leadership) on theirCQC page.

Family support programmes

Most inpatient and outpatient treatment programmes will offer additional support for family and close friends. This may include group activities and available resources to help them understand and talk about what has been going on. Many people find this an important part of completing rehab, as addiction will often also affect those close to you. Therefore, creating an open dialogue is important.

How long does rehab last?

The length of treatment programmes varies; however, it is advised that you complete a minimum of eight weeks for the best long-term effects. Some programmes can be as short as four weeks, whereas others are as long as twelve.

The benefits of residential rehab

  • A break from the temptations of everyday life
  • Medical support
  • Chance to meet others on a similar journey
  • High quality facilities
  • Pre-planned programming giving you more time to focus on recovery
  • Aftercare offering support once you’ve gone home

What happens after rehab?

Leaving rehab can be unsettling. However, there is plenty of support to help you build your new life.

Aftercare programmes

Aftercare is an essential part of your treatment programme. This includes ongoing access to information, crisis planning, groups and peer support to help you stay sober. If you have completed a rehab programme with UKAT, you will have access to our online alumni community as well as an optional group therapy access for up to a year.

Support groups

There are also lots of support groups in the community which can be helpful for maintaining long-term sobriety. This may include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and SMART Recovery.

Long term recovery from addiction

Recovering from addiction takes time and what works for one person may not work for another. Some people find they need to repeat a programme, whereas others can maintain sobriety after the first time. So, it’s important not to compare yourself to others, as not everyone will have the same results. Wherever your journey takes you, UKAT will be here to support you every step of the way.

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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