An addict presents as someone who repeatedly engages in a certain type of behaviour, whether this is in relation to a substance (such as alcohol or drugs) or an activity (such as gambling), despite the harm this causes. The harmful behaviour is repeated because it initially results in pleasurable or valuable outcomes for the person and ultimately, results in an emotional or physical dependence on the substance or activity.
Addictions have an incredibly detrimental effect on a person’s quality of life, as well as their general health and wellbeing. It impacts their families and friends, too. They can also result in a wide range of long-term physical and psychological problems.
At Priory, we’re able to offer expert treatment for addictions and addictive behaviours. We offer world class treatment for substance use disorders such as:
- Drugs (e.g. cannabis and cocaine)
- Prescription medication
We can also provide support for broader behavioural addictions such as:
- Gambling addiction
- Internet and gaming addiction
- Love and sex addiction
- Shopping addiction
- Porn addictions
Here, we will explore what happens during addiction rehab, and what you can expect during your addiction treatment journey.
Getting a Diagnosis
If you think you’re struggling with an addiction, the most important first step is to reach out for professional support. Your first port of call may be your GP – they will be able to explore your symptoms and addictive behaviours, offer medical advice, and refer you for specialist treatment.
Alternatively, you can contact Priory directly. We offer a free, no obligation addiction assessment, which takes place with one of our specialist addiction therapists. During this, we’ll be able to explore your addiction in more detail and advise on the most appropriate next steps for you, taking into account your individual needs and preferences. You can find out more about our free addiction assessment here.
Checking into Rehab
When you check into rehab with us, you’ll be met by a member of our friendly team who will be able to show you to your private en-suite bedroom, answer any initial queries that you have, and help you get settled. Soon after you’ve checked in, you’ll have the chance to meet your clinical and therapeutic teams, and learn all about the intensive therapeutic programme that you’ll be embarking upon.
While you’re with us, it’s important that you stay abstinent from drugs, alcohol or any other mood-altering substances and addictive behaviours (e.g. gambling), during the entire time of your treatment. That’s why we’ll do drug screens and breathalyser tests on admission and throughout your stay in hospital, to check for any substances in your system. We do this for everyone, just to be on the safe side. We’ll also take a blood sample from you on admission, and you will be given a medical examination by a doctor, so that we can establish any physical damage that your addiction may have done to your body. This is all done in the interest of your safety and for the good of your recovery, but if you have any queries about this, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of our team.
Meet Anne, a recovering alcoholic, who's recieved treatment for alcohol addiction.
A Typical Day in Rehab
A typical day in rehab is very busy! You’ll have a full treatment and therapy timetable, as well as designated times for meals and exercise. That being said, we still recognise the importance of leisure time, which is why we’ll also build in some time for you to socialise with your fellow patients in our relaxing living areas, or spend quiet, reflective time in your private bedroom.
A typical day in rehab may consist of:
If you’re struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, you might need to go through a medically assisted addiction detox as a first step in your Addiction Treatment Programme. During detox, we’ll support you to withdraw from these harmful substances in a safe and carefully controlled environment. You’ll be located in one of our specialist detox rooms and will receive round-the-clock care and monitoring from our multidisciplinary team, to make sure you’re comfortable and well taken care of. The detox process at Priory usually lasts for 7-10 days and we’re also able to prescribe medication to help you manage any withdrawal symptoms during this time. Once your detox has commenced and you’re feeling physically stable, you’ll be able to join our intensive addiction therapy.
A core element of rehab will be an intensive programme of addiction therapy. We can offer a wide range of therapeutic techniques as part of addiction treatment at Priory, which will usually consist of primarily group therapy, complemented by additional one-to-one therapy.
The types of addiction therapy we can offer at Priory include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for addictions, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and mindfulness, alongside many others. These therapies are essential to overcoming any underlying causes of your addiction, such as dual diagnosis mental health difficulties, stress, or circumstances in your environment that might trigger a return to your addictive substance or behaviour.
Family support sessions
We also offer family support sessions as part of our Addiction Treatment Programmes. This will give you the chance to attend therapy sessions with your immediate family or loved ones, so that everyone involved can gain a better understanding of your addiction, learn about the knock-on effects this is having, and explore how you can support each other moving forwards. We’re also passionate about supporting your family and friends, if you want us to, as we know addiction can have an impact on your loved ones. Therefore, there is a variety of support for family members included in your programme.
The 12-Step approach
Addiction treatment at Priory draws upon the 12-Step approach. You may have heard about this approach from meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Therefore, you’ll also have the opportunity to attend a range of 12-Step fellowship meetings during your time with us, which can occur both on and off-site.
We also recognise the importance of looking after your mind, body and spirit on your road to addiction recovery. That’s why we also offer a range of wellbeing activities as part of our Addiction Treatment Programmes. These may include:
- Yoga, Tai Chi and Shiatsu classes
- Meditation and relaxation groups
- Exercise classes and groups
- Art and drama therapy
- Acupuncture and massage
All of the above activities and therapies take place within our beautiful hospital environments, which have been carefully designed to offer the perfect sanctuary for you to get better. You can view all our addiction treatment centres to find out more about our beautiful sites.
How Long is the Rehab Process?
Our world class Addiction Treatment Programmes typically take place as part of a 28-day inpatient (residential) stay at one of our welcoming addiction treatment centres. This is the recommended treatment time for addictions, enabling you to fully overcome your addictive behaviours and take steps towards recovery. If you’re struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, the first 7-10 days of your stay may be spent on our detox programme.
Inpatient treatment is intensive and highly effective. It gives you the chance to spend some time away from your usual living situation and any triggers that may be making your addiction worse, and really take the opportunity to focus on your own health and wellbeing. We will help you to tackle any physical symptoms of your addiction through our detox service, before delivering evidence-based therapy to really try and get to the bottom of your addictive behaviours and teach you coping mechanisms for the future.
However, we understand that everyone experiences addiction differently and has a range of life and work commitments. That’s why we’re also able to consider flexible treatment lengths at some of our hospital sites, if this is appropriate for you.
Life After Rehab
We’re dedicated to your ongoing recovery at Priory, which is why we offer free addiction aftercare to everyone who has completed our 28-day Addiction Treatment Programme. Most of our hospitals offer free aftercare for 12 months following treatment, but aftercare is offered for life for individuals who receive addiction treatment at Priory Hospital Roehampton and Manor Clinic. Aftercare consists of ongoing access to support and therapy groups, family support, help with your continuing care plan and alumni events where you can meet with other recovering addicts. Find out more about what happens after rehab.
We can also offer follow on care, like day care following on from inpatient treatment, or outpatient 1:1 sessions to further support you as you embark on early recovery.
In addition, we understand that transitioning from an inpatient Addiction Treatment Programme back to you day-to-day life can feel like a daunting and overwhelming prospect. That’s why we also offer a secondary addiction service, The Elphis, supporting you to reintegrate back into your everyday life, while consolidating the skills you learned during your primary treatment.
You can visit our videos page to hear what some of our The Elphis patients have to say about their experience of secondary addiction treatment.