A rehab clinic in Lambeth

A guide to drug and alcohol rehab in Lambeth, London

If you have decided to seek treatment for addiction in London, you may be feeling unsure about what to do or where to go. Addictive behaviours may include drugs, alcohol, sex, or gambling and making an effort to get help is courageous. There are several options in the Lambeth area to choose from, and we’ve put together the following guide to help you make an informed decision.

What is rehab?

Rehab treatment involves safely withdrawing from a substance which you have become addicted to (by medically supervised detox if necessary) followed by a programme of therapeutic support to help you stay sober. This may include individual therapy, groups and peer support to help you think about the past, present and future. Many people find that rehab helps them to get a new perspective on the things they once found important and enact the changes they have been looking to make in their day-to-day lives.

In rehab you will meet staff who have lived experience of addiction and are able to draw on personal experiences, as well as doctors, nurses and therapists. You will work alongside others who are on the same recovery journey and are able to share experiences which you will find helpful. Many people say that the people they meet in rehab become lifelong friends.

A man and woman talking to a counsellor

Once you have completed your rehab programme, you will need ongoing support to maintain abstinence and make changes to your life. This is why it is important to take part in the aftercare options available, such as ongoing groups and workshops. One of perks of being a UKAT patient is that you can instantly access the Alumni community – an online resource which allows you to stay in touch with the people you met, as well as having lots of helpful information for staying sober.

Is rehab free?

There are free services available, however, these may be limited due to restricted government funding. NHS funded rehabs can be accessed via your GP, who will refer you to an outpatient service with experts and group activities to get involved in. Some people require residential (inpatient) treatment, but these are usually funded privately. Charities such as Turning Point may be able to help if you need residential treatment but cannot afford it.

Free addiction treatment services in Lambeth

Please see the following examples of free services in the Lambeth area.

Lambeth Drug and Alcohol Treatment Consortium

Web Address: http://www.lambeth-drug-alcohol.co.uk/

Alcoholics Anonymous – Lambeth

Address: Trinity Chapel, St Matthew’s Rd, SW2 1NF, London
Number: 02074 070 700
Web Address: https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/AA-Meetings/Find-a-Meeting/lambeth

The downside to free services

Although some people do not have the option to privately fund, free services unfortunately have some downsides. Limited availability may mean that you wait for weeks before being admitted, and group activities may be at specific times which can be difficult to fit in with your daily routine. Many people would greatly benefit from the solidarity of residential treatment but services available on the NHS tend to be limited to outpatient programmes.

If you have health insurance or are able to fund it, private rehab is advisable, as you can overcome the barriers mentioned above. Privately funded treatment allows you to choose your treatment centre and guarantees immediate admission. Many people find that residential treatment offers a break from normal life, allowing them to work on obstructive habits and resolve stresses which make their addictions worse.

Types of addiction treatment and rehab programmes in Lambeth

There is a mixture of treatment options available whether you are NHS or privately funded, looking for inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Outpatient addiction treatment (day rehab)

Outpatient treatment means that you stay at home for the duration but attend the clinic for planned sessions, activities and groups. You will be able to access information, medical support, and advice from peers. However, you will have to travel to and from the centre on a daily basis.

Pros of outpatient treatment
  • May be helpful if managing childcare
  • Doesn’t restrict daily activity
  • NHS funded
Cons of outpatient treatment
  • Requires high level of personal investment to attend sessions
  • Less flexibility of treatment options
  • Continued exposure to everyday stress

Inpatient rehab

If you can choose inpatient treatment, you will be packing your suitcase and staying at the clinic whilst you work through your programme. Many people find this more helpful as they can get away from unhelpful influences or distractions which influences their addiction. Inpatient treatment gives you the space and time to really focus on your recovery, meet others in a similar position and reflect on how things will change going forward.

How does residential (inpatient) rehab work?

To really understand the nature of your chosen programme, you may need to contact the centre directly to ask questions. The following is a rough guide to what you can expect.


A free NHS rehab service requires assessment and referral through your GP. Unfortunately, this is where lots of people get frustrated as the waiting lists are long, and you may have to wait weeks before you can be seen by a specialist. There is then likely to be only outpatient services available.

Private treatment, on the other hand, is much easier to access. Following your initial phone call, you can be admitted within 24 hours if needed and assessed by a medical professional on arrival. You will be allocated a private room to settle in and have a number of treatment options available.

There are a number of things which are advisable to bring with you, however, the rules and regulations of different treatment centres may vary.

Items you might like to bring:

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

You will need to check with your chosen treatment centre as for some, laptops and mobile phones may not be allowed.
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

For some people, addictive behaviours may have led to physical dependence on a substance which requires medical support to come off. Starting residential rehab may involve a medical detox which is when you are advised, supported and supervised by professionals to withdraw from a substance safely, using medication to ease any withdrawal symptoms. Once you have safely come off the substance, or when you feel you can, you will be invited to continue the rest of your treatment programme.

Rehab programme

Not all treatment programmes are the same and it is important to find the style which works for you. You may have heard of a 12-step programme which some people really benefit from, whereas others get more out of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or psychotherapy models. It is common for people to find one-on-one therapy intimidating and love the shared experience of a group; however, others prefer talking to one person at a time and fear speaking in front of others. Engaging in a rehab programme gives you the opportunity to try new things. This may increase your confidence and help you feel stronger in your sobriety going forward, as well as learning new ways of thinking about life going forward.

Choosing the right programme

Celebrating diversity is an important part of healthcare, therefore any personal needs or requirements you may have will not restrict you from accessing the best possible care. If you have any pre-existing health condition, disability or religious practice (among other examples), it may be helpful to contact your chosen centre in advance to make sure they can make suitable adjustments before your arrival.

Lots of people experiencing problems with addiction may also have difficulty with their mental health. This is referred to as ‘dual-diagnosis’․ Dual diagnosis is very common as the triggers which lead to or exacerbate addiction also lead to or make mental illness worse. Most treatment centres are fully prepared, therefore, to manage any mental health needs you may have. If you are worried in any way, contacting the treatment centre in advance is advisable so that they can reassure you. This is particularly relevant if you are prescribed medication.

The Care Quality Commission inspect and govern all healthcare facilities in the UK to make sure they are performing to the highest quality. The centre’s CQC scores will detail the results of this inspection so you can consider their quality of service before you are admitted.

Family support programmes

Most of you will be aware that addiction does not just affect the person with the addictive behaviour; families also need support whilst you work through your treatment. This is why most rehab services will also offer a family support programme to ensure everyone’s wellbeing, as well as ongoing understanding and communication to help you stay in recovery. This may involve workshops, group therapy, access to clinical professionals and information on handling this difficult time.

How long does rehab last?

Both inpatient and outpatient services vary in length of treatment programme, but they usually take anywhere between four and twelve weeks to complete. It is strongly advised that for the best results (in maintaining long-term sobriety), a programme of up to eight weeks is completed. The evidence generally implies that the longer a person stays in rehab, the more likely they are to stay sober.

The benefits of residential rehab

  • Space and time to focus to reflect and focus on recovery
  • Professionals support every step of the way
  • Interactive environment with a chance to meet others
  • Comfortable living quarters
  • Long-term support

What happens after rehab?

Completing rehab is an incredible achievement. However, it is widely acknowledged that most people will need some sort of ongoing support to stay in recovery long-term. The following are the available options for long-lasting support.

Aftercare programmes

Care after rehab is an important part of any treatment programme. Therefore, you should take the opportunity to get involved in as much as you can. With UKAT, you will be offered group therapy for up to a year after completing rehab, as well as online access to the Alumni community. This encourages you to stay in touch with fellow sober friends so you can support each other with your journeys going forward.

Support groups

There are lots of support groups readily available which offer free, confidential advice and peer support to keep you on the straight and narrow. Examples of these include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and SMART Recovery.

Long term recovery from addiction

Long-term recovery from addiction is an ongoing journey which looks different to each and every person who embarks on it. It is important you don’t compare yourself to others and work hard on finding the path which is right for 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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