A rehab clinic in Tower Hamlets

A guide to drug and alcohol rehab in Tower Hamlets

Starting the road to recovery from addiction can be a turbulent time, and you may be faced with all sorts of options. In Tower Hamlets, there are several options and it’s important to work out what works best for you. Making an informed decision is essential, so we have put together a guide to drug and alcohol addiction rehab in your area so you can make the best decision for you, about next steps for detox in London.

What is rehab?

Rehabilitation is the process of supported recovery from addiction, whether it be drug addiction, alcohol addiction or gambling, through a range of holistic therapies. In rehab, qualified specialists will help you to manage your need for substances, starting with carefully planned medical detox if appropriate, in a safe environment where you can also start to think about the future.

The specialists involved in rehab are often able to draw on their own experiences as well as relevant trainings to give the best support with maintaining sobriety. Specialists include medical professionals and therapists, who run group and private sessions to help you to consider the cause of your addictive behaviours, as well as encouraging the sharing of experiences with others.

A man and woman talking to a counsellor

Rehab aftercare is provided to encourage peer support once treatment ends and enable access to helpful groups and resources for maintaining sobriety. If you are a UKAT patient, you will be given access to our online Alumni community, which brings all the important information in one place, although some details may differ between clinics.

Is rehab free?

Rehabilitation for addiction can be privately funded or funded through the NHS. To access free treatment, you can self-refer directly to get involved with detox programmes and group therapy as an NHS outpatient. For those in need of residential services and unable to privately fund, charities such as Turning Point can provide support for a limited number of people.

Free addiction treatment services in Tower Hamlets

Finding a service that works for you is important, so, please see below the free services available in the Tower Hamlets area.

Reset Treatment and Recovery Service

Address: 183 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1DN
Contact number: 020 3889 9510
Web Address: https://www.changegrowlive.org/reset-treatment-recovery-support-service/info

Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting – Tower Hamlets

Address: 1 Raven Wharf 14 Lafone Street, London, SE1 2LR
Contact number: 020 7407 0700
Web Address: https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/AA-Meetings/Find-a-Meeting/tower%20hamlets

The downside to free services

Unfortunately, the demand for rehab services is currently high, so gaining access to free services may involve being placed on a waiting list which many find frustrating. With limited government funding, programmes may be run with less intensity meaning that they take weeks to get through, affecting day to day life for longer. Many people prefer residential services, however, as spaces are limited, outpatient programmes may be the only available option.

Private treatment offers more choice enabling you to access specialist programmes and community aftercare projects from your chosen clinic. Private treatment also includes full board and lodging for the duration of your treatment programme.

Types of addiction treatment and rehab programmes in Tower Hamlets

There are several different types of treatment programme available depending on the help you are looking for. This includes outpatient services (commonly referred to as ‘day rehab’) and residential services, both NHS and privately funded.

Outpatient addiction treatment (day rehab)

As part of an outpatient programme, you will be asked to visit the clinic regularly for planned treatment sessions. You will be living at home whilst you are receiving treatment, only required to visit the clinic for your appointed session.

Pros of outpatient treatment

  • Flexibility – important for those with responsibilities e.g. care
  • Limits disruption to normal routine
  • More funding and support available

Cons of outpatient treatment

  • Less effective for those with chronic addiction
  • Limited space means that you may be referred to a clinic outside of your area
  • Treatment programmes may take longer to complete
  • Other life factors are more likely to impact recovery
  • Individual therapy is not provided

Inpatient addiction treatment

An inpatient programme (also referred to as ‘residential rehab’) requires you to stay at the rehab centre until the programme is completed. Residential treatment programmes provide a safe and supporting environment to help you through the recovery process.

Staying in private rehabilitation accommodation can support in breaking unhelpful routines which may be promoting your addictive behaviours. Taking time out can also be valuable as it gives time to reflect and enables you to focus attention on your recovery journey.

How does residential (inpatient) rehab work?

Finding the right treatment programme may seem like a daunting task, however, residential treatment centres enable access to medical professionals who can answer any questions you may have.


Free addiction treatment starts with a visit to your GP who will assess the current situation and advise you on what to do next. You may then be referred to a specialist to further discuss your needs before admission, however, it is important to bear in mind that unfortunately waiting times a currently high and it may take weeks to get an appointment.

If funding for private treatment is available, admission can take as little as 24 hours from your initial phone call. A private on-suite will be made ready for your stay and on arrival you will meet with a psychiatrist who will provide a full consultation to explore your treatment needs.

Each treatment centre is different and may have its own rules, however, the following items are useful for all treatment stays.

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 strongly advised that use of laptops and mobile phones is limited to help best support your recovery.

The following items are customarily 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

Detox involves the process of supporting your body to withdraw and subsequently manage without any addictive substance, such as drugs or alcohol, that you may have become dependant on. To reduce discomfort, it is important to do this in a safe and controlled environment. This involves ongoing monitoring and support from a medical professional who may in some cases, prescribe medication to make sure your body manages the detox safely.

Rehab programme

It is important to consider the options when choosing a drug or alcohol rehab treatment and find the programme which works best for you. There are a number of treatment approaches to choose from, for example, some may prefer a 12-step programme whereas others prefer a more therapy-based approach. Some people feel they benefit more from individual therapy sessions, whereas others enjoy learning from others in a group setting. Using a treatment model such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is popular for drug and alcohol addiction services, however, other forms of psychotherapy e.g. art or drama therapy may also be helpful.

Choosing the right programme

A good quality rehab centre will provide an inclusive environment which supports diversity and helps you to feel comfortable. If you have any concerns regarding religious practice, existing health conditions/ mental illness, disability, or any other personal need, it is important you speak to your chosen rehab centre to ensure you get tailored support which works for you.

The term dual-diagnosis is used to describe both addiction and mental health difficulties experienced at the same time. Corresponding mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, is very common for those who are facing addiction, as certain life stresses are likely to have led to or made addictive behaviour worse. This does not make finding a suitable programme more difficult as it is part of the reason why a programme of therapeutic support can be most beneficial in reducing addictive behaviours. It may be helpful, however, to get advice on which model or approach may be most supportive for you.

To check the quality of your chosen rehab centre, you can look at the Care Quality Commission’s ratings (covering safety, effectiveness, caring, responsiveness and leadership) on the CQC website. The CQC conduct inspections of all health facilities and experienced professionals offer ratings relevant to the above categories, as well as overall. A clinic with a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating is deemed to be of the highest quality.

Family support programmes

Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t just affect the individual, as many will know, addictive behaviours e.g. drugs and alcohol can also have a significant impact on the friends and family closest to you. It is therefore important that loved ones are included in a treatment programme and can also access specialist support in a safe environment. This may include workshops or individual sessions to enable better communication and understanding with family members around issues of addiction or sobriety.

How long does rehab last?

Rehab programmes can last between four and twelve weeks, although requirements and outcomes may differ between centres. Generally, the longer a person stays in a treatment programme, the longer they can stay sober.
It is advised to book a treatment programme which is eight weeks or longer to achieve the best long-term results.

The benefits of residential rehab

  • A break from the stress and temptation of day to day life
  • Easy access to medical support
  • Safe and secure environment to meet others and feel supported during your programme
  • Beautiful grounds and comfortable living space
  • Meals are arranged for you meaning you have more time to focus on recovery
  • Extensive aftercare programme

What happens after rehab?

Completing a treatment programme is a big step, however, ongoing support is essential to help you start your new life.

Aftercare programmes

Most residential rehab centres will offer an aftercare programme which includes access to support groups, crisis management and other helpful resources for staying sober.

With UKAT, you can have access to group therapy for up to a year after finishing your treatment programme. All UKAT clients also have access to the Alumni community which helps you to support and stay in contact with those meaningful connections you made during your stay.

Support groups

Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and SMART Recovery are free and confidential services you can access for long-term support after completing a treatment programme.

Long term recovery from addiction

The journey toward long-term recovery from addiction looks different for everyone, and it is important not to compare yourself to others. Some may find certain services more beneficial than others; some may need to repeat programmes or utilise different parts of their treatment whereas others may steam ahead first time. Finding the right programme is an essential part of that process and UKAT aim to provide the support you need, 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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