A rehab clinic in Westminster

A guide to drug and alcohol rehab in Westminster

Addiction comes in many forms, including drugs, alcohol or gambling. Taking the step toward recovery can be difficult and you will need to consider all sorts of options. To help you make an informed decision, UKAT have created a guide to treatment services in your area. In Westminster, there are several service options, so finding out as much information as possible can help you plan your detox if you live in London and decide what is going to work best for you.

What is rehab?

Rehab is short for rehabilitation and involves controlled detox and recovery from addiction through holistic therapy. Experts will help you to withdraw from addictive substances, such as be drugs, alcohol, or gambling, and cope with future cravings to enable you to work towards long term sobriety. In some cases, this may include a medical detox as well as therapy and peer support. Rehab treatment offers a safe space to help you manage your addiction and plan for the future.

The specialists who support you during your treatment programme will be able to draw on personal experience as well as professional qualifications to give you the best support and guidance. The team will include medical professionals and therapists, who run various types of treatment sessions – in a group as well as one to one – aimed at introducing new ways of thinking about addiction and encouraging peer support to sustained abstinence.

A man and woman talking to a counsellor

Once you have completed your rehab programme, aftercare is provided so you can share your experiences with others and access lots of different types of information once treatment ends. When you complete rehab with UKAT, you gain access to our online Alumni community, enabling you to connect with peers and find all sorts of relevant resources in one place.

Is rehab free?

Rehab treatment is funded through the NHS in certain cases but is also accessible if you have access to private funds or insurance. If you need to access free services, you visit your GP for supported self-referral. As an NHS patient, you can get involved with various outpatient treatment programmes, including group therapy. Most residential services are privately funded. However, for those have limited funds, charities such as Turning Point provide access for those who need it most.

Free addiction treatment services in Westminster

The following are free drug and alcohol services available in the Westminster area.

WDP Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Treatment Service

Address: 18 Dartmouth Street, London, SW1H 9BL
Contact number: 020 7421 3100
Web Address: https://www.wdp.org.uk

Turning point

Address: 32a Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1D 6QR
Contact number: 020 7437 3523
Web Address: https://www.turning-point.co.uk/wellbeing-cloud

The downside to free services

Sadly, the current demand for addiction treatment is relatively high, so many looking to access free services will end up on a waiting list which may take a long time to come off. Some programmes may be restricted due to lack of government funding so it may take longer to access or finish a programme. There are lots of people in need of residential treatment; however, limited free beds mean that for some, outpatient programmes are likely to be the only option, which may not be as effective.

If possible, private treatment provides the best treatment options with the freedom to pick your clinic and tailor your treatment programme. Private rehab also includes full board and lodging which can provide a break away from the stresses of everyday life and help with maintaining long term sobriety.

Types of addiction treatment and rehab programmes in Westminster

It may feel overwhelming choosing a treatment programme as there are many different options available. The following provides an overview of outpatient services (‘day rehab’) and inpatient (‘residential’) services, both NHS and privately funded.

Outpatient addiction treatment (day rehab)

If you are admitted to an outpatient rehab programme, you will be expected to visit the treatment clinic on a regular basis for planned sessions – for example, groups. You will stay at home whilst completing your treatment, although you will still have access to all the relevant services.

Pros of outpatient treatment

  • Ideal for those who may have difficulty with childcare
  • Little disruption to your daily routine
  • Better for those who need free treatment

Cons of outpatient treatment

  • Long-term addiction may require more intensive treatment
  • You may be referred to clinic some distance from home
  • It can be harder to avoid temptations in everyday life
  • Individual therapy may not be included

Inpatient addiction treatment

Admission to a residential rehab (also known as ‘inpatient rehab’) means that you stay at the centre to complete your treatment programme. Residential services enable you to make the most out of your treatment programme in a safe and supportive environment.

Being admitted to a residential rehab programme can help give you a break from everyday stresses and potential triggers which may be making your addiction worse. Completing treatment in this way can also give you space and time to reflect on your life and the changes you are looking to make.

How does residential (inpatient) rehab work?

Not every rehab treatment programme is the same, so it is important to find what works for you. Most residential rehab centres will have advisors on hand to answer your questions or concerns.


Admission to free treatment services involves a visit your GP. They will ask you some questions to accurately assess your support needs before they refer to visit a specialist who can then approve your transfer to a treatment programme. Unfortunately, waiting times are high at the moment so it is likely there will be a couple of weeks before you get an appointment.

If you have the option to fund private treatment, admission is a much simpler process. It can be arranged in under 24 hours if needed. You will be allocated a personal on-suite for when you arrive before you are offered private consultation with a resident psychiatrist who will help to tailor your treatment options.

Different facilities may have different rules, however, in most cases, the following items are advisable to bring with you.

Items you might like to bring:

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

Although many people wish to bring laptops and mobile phones with them, most rehab centres advise you minimise use to allow for maximum focus on your recovery.

The following items are customarily not permitted:

  • Illicit alcohol/ 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, sustained use of a substance may mean that a medical detox is needed to withdraw safely. The entails medical professionals monitoring your progress and using medication to slowly decrease the levels of addictive chemicals in the blood. This prevents a shock to the system and limits any withdrawal symptoms. The aim is to ensure you are as safe and as comfortable as possible whilst working towards your abstinence goals.

Rehab programme

When choosing a rehab programme, there are various approaches you can take. Many have heard of a 12-step programme; however, this may not be what is best for everyone. There are also many therapy-based approaches. Some people prefer one to one therapy while others get more benefit from sharing in a group. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most commonly available therapy model for addiction. Yet, there are other types of psychotherapy such as art or drama which may be available.

Choosing the right programme

Inclusivity and diversity should be at the top of any good quality treatment centre programme. If you have concerns about religion, mobility difficulties or existing health conditions, disability, or any other requirements, it is important you speak to someone at your chosen centre to ensure the programme will meet your needs.

The phrase ‘dual-diagnosis is often used by professionals to refer to both addiction and mental health difficulties diagnosed at the same time. Mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression are particularly common for those with addictive behaviours, as triggers or stresses are often the same. This shouldn’t affect finding a suitable programme, but it may be helpful to get advice to ensure you get all the support you need.

If you would like to look into the quality of your centre of choice, it may be advisable to look at the Care Quality Commission’s ratings (covering safety, effectiveness, caring, responsiveness and leadership) on the centre’s CQC website. CQC is an organisation which provide oversight of health facilities in the UK to make sure the care they provide is good quality.

Family support programmes

Addiction does not just affect the individual; it can also have a considerable impact on the people around you. It is important for loved ones to be included in a rehab programme so many treatment centres offer specialist family support. This may include group or individual sessions to support learning and encourage open dialogue around issues of addiction.

UKAT offers family sessions throughout the process, working with loved ones to immerse themselves in the recovery process and work through any miscommunication.

How long does rehab last?

Treatment programmes can be as short as four or last as long as twelve weeks, although times may vary across programmes. Many professionals advise that staying on a programme for longer increases the likelihood of long-term sobriety.

UKAT strongly advise booking a rehab programme longer than eight weeks to achieve the greatest long-term results.

The benefits of residential rehab

  • Less likely to be bothered by temptations and triggers
  • 24-hour access to medical support
  • Opportunity to interact with others who may have similar experiences
  • High quality accommodation for a pleasant stay
  • Scheduling of meals and activities give you more time to focus on recovery
  • Aftercare options available

What happens after rehab?

Completing a treatment programme is a massive achievement but the recovery journey doesn’t end there. You will need ongoing support to help maintain your sobriety.

Aftercare programmes

Most residential centres offer an aftercare programme which includes access to support groups and further information to help you keep on your road to recovery.

After finishing a programme with UKAT, clients have the option to take part in group therapy for up to a year. You will also have immediate access to the online Alumni community which can help you to keep in touch with friends you made in rehab and build life-long connections.

Support groups

Support groups can also be helpful following a rehab treatment programme; you may have heard of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and SMART Recovery. These services are free, confidential and can offer ongoing support.

Long term recovery from addiction

Managing life after rehab may seem daunting but the road looks different to each person who walks it. Many prefer certain treatment options to others; some like to try out everything available whereas others may need to take programmes again. Finding the right support for you can be tricky, but UKAT will be here 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.

Go back to the top

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.

Go back to the top

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.

Go back to the top

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.

Go back to the top

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.

Go back to the top

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.

Go back to the top

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.

Go back to the top

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.

Go back to the top

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.

Go back to the top