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Substance abuse can affect all areas of your life, whether it be drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or another form of substance use disorder.

It can affect your relationships, finances, career, and of course, your mental health and physical health. This is why it’s so important to seek treatment – and find the right rehab centre for you.

But what happens in rehab? What are the different treatment options available? And how do you find a rehab clinic? That’s what we’re going to explore on this page.

At HelpAddiction, we can discuss your treatment options and consider your preferences and requirements to find the best treatment plan for you.

Rehab is a place for you to overcome addiction, whether it be drug or alcohol addiction, nicotine addiction, food or eating addiction, gambling addiction – or any other addiction that you feel has taken over your life.

Rehab centres can offer you a safe and supportive environment to address the addiction, and get you on the path to recovery.

Read on to learn all about rehab, including residential outpatient rehab, the key stages of addiction treatment, how long rehab typically lasts, and how to find the right rehab facility for you.

Signs You Need Drug or Alcohol Rehab

Recognizing the need for drug and alcohol rehab is a crucial step towards overcoming addiction and seeking the necessary support and treatment. Here are some common signs that may indicate the need for drug or alcohol rehab:

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Loss of Control

If you find yourself unable to control your drug or alcohol use, such as repeatedly failing to cut back or stop despite wanting to, it may be a sign of addiction.

Cravings and an inability to stop using despite negative consequences are strong indicators that professional help is needed.

Neglecting Responsibilities

When substance use begins to interfere with your daily responsibilities, such as work, school, or family obligations, it is a clear indication that addiction has taken hold.

This may manifest as poor performance, frequent absences, or neglecting personal relationships.

Health Issues

Substance abuse often leads to physical and mental health problems. If you experience deteriorating physical health, such as weight loss, frequent illnesses, or chronic pain, it may be a sign that your substance use has reached a critical level.

Likewise, if you notice significant changes in your mental health, such as increased anxiety, depression, or mood swings, it could be related to substance abuse.

Relationship Problems

Addiction can strain relationships with family members, friends, and romantic partners. If your substance use is causing conflicts, misunderstandings, or distance in your relationships, it may be time to seek rehab to repair and rebuild these important connections.

Financial Difficulties

Addiction can take a toll on your financial stability. If you find yourself struggling with money due to spending excessive amounts on drugs or alcohol, neglecting bills or obligations, or engaging in illegal activities to support your habit, it is a clear sign that professional help is necessary.

Failed Attempts to Quit

If you have tried to quit or cut back on your drug or alcohol use multiple times without success, it may indicate that you need the support and structure provided by a rehab program. Rehab can offer the necessary tools and strategies to overcome addiction successfully.

Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, and the presence of these signs may vary from person to person.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs, it is important to seek professional help and guidance. A healthcare professional or addiction specialist can provide a comprehensive assessment and recommend the appropriate treatment options, including drug or alcohol rehab. At Help4Addiction, we can ensure you receive the right treatment for you.

Inpatient Rehab vs Outpatient Rehab

There are three main forms of rehab – inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, and quasi-residential rehab.

Inpatient rehabilitation involves residential treatment – you’ll reside in a rehabilitation centre for an amount of time and receive treatment in the same centre. You’ll have your meals and accommodation provided for you. Many people prefer residential treatment centres as they take you out of your previous environment.

An inpatient program is generally recommended for those with severe addictions. One of the reasons for this is that withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant and sometimes even dangerous.

Generally speaking, the more severe the addiction, the more severe withdrawal symptoms can be. A residential rehab environment appears to be most common among those with cocaine addiction, alcohol addiction, excessive alcohol abuse problems, and addiction to prescription medication.

Many people, however, prefer outpatient rehab, as it allows them to go about their day-to-day life. During a course of outpatient rehabilitation, you’ll still reside at home but attend rehab sessions at a facility. You’ll visit an outpatient treatment centre to receive therapy sessions, guidance, counselling, or detox help.

Outpatient rehab isn’t often recommended for people with a severe addiction, as it doesn’t remove them from the temptation that may be present at home.

Outpatient rehab is often used as secondary treatment – which means you’ll attend rehab as an outpatient after you have completed a course of full-time residential rehab.

Another type of rehab is quasi-residential rehab. This is essentially a combination of outpatient and inpatient treatment. However, you’ll reside in a residential rehab centre but travel to other locations to receive different rehab treatments.

It can be effective as it removes you from the environment where you became addicted to a substance, like with residential rehab. However, it can feel less restrictive as you can travel to other locations.

The Key Stages of Addiction Treatment

Drug rehab and alcohol rehab follow similar steps – detoxification, therapy, and aftercare/ secondary treatment.

Although you can find separate treatments – for example, an alcohol detox or drug detox – rehab often works best as part of a larger plan involving medical and psychological care.

Read on to learn all about the rehab process from start to finish, so you know what to expect from a typical day in rehab.


The first stage of the addiction treatment process typically involves detoxification – the act of cleansing your body of the substance you’re physically addicted to. This means that you’ll have no access to the substance you’re addicted to, to allow your body to free itself of the substance.

Not every rehab program will include detox, so be sure to check with the treatment provider beforehand if you’re looking to detox from alcohol, drugs, or other addictive substances.

Many rehab clinics will have detoxification centres on their premises – however, in some cases, you may be required to travel elsewhere.

If you have a severe substance dependence, you may be required to detox from a hospital or medical facility and then be discharged into rehab.

However, when it comes to severe substance use disorders, you’ll likely be recommended a medical detox. This may involve medication management – you could be given detox medication under medical supervision, with medical health professionals on hand.

Detoxification aims to deal with physical addiction – ultimately minimising the physical damage that drugs and alcohol can cause.

Detoxification alone doesn’t address the social, psychological, or behavioural aspects of addiction – this is something that is addressed as part of a larger treatment plan.

Some people will detox from home. To learn more about detoxing from home, see this page.

Addiction Therapy

Therapy is an integral part of any rehab plan. Usually followed by a successful detox, therapy aims at addressing the psychological aspects of addiction.

Therapy isn’t just for people with mental health conditions or a dual diagnosis – it can be extremely helpful for people with addiction.

Alcohol and drug rehab therapy can teach you effective coping skills and encourage you to build healthy habits.

During therapy, you’ll likely learn more about yourself and your addiction. For example, you may learn some of your addiction triggers, or figure out the root cause or causes of your addiction.

Different clinics will offer different rehab facilities and treatment facilities. Most rehab centres will offer CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), one-to-one counselling, group therapy sessions, family therapy and individual therapy. However, other clinics may also offer holistic therapies such as art therapy or music therapy.

CBT is very common in addiction therapy. It is a form of talking therapy that focuses on how your thoughts, attitudes and beliefs can impact your actions and your feelings.

Therapy can also help you to become emotionally sober, helping you to manage your emotions in a better way.

Secondary Treatment

Secondary treatment, also known as aftercare, is designed to streamline your addiction recovery. It can feel daunting returning to your everyday life after rehab, which is why aftercare aims at easing the transition and providing you with support.

Addiction recovery can be difficult, but you don’t have to deal with it alone. Secondary treatment can be beneficial in terms of relapse prevention, encouraging you to live a sober life and supporting you throughout your ongoing recovery.

Some forms of secondary treatment include telephone support or online support, group therapy, and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

Support groups can help you to build your support network, as you can socialise with other people with substance abuse issues in recovery.

How Long Does Rehab Last?

The length of the rehab process can vary – it can last as long as you need it to. If you can afford the cost of alcohol or drug treatment, and you feel like you need a longer plan, you should be able to extend your stay.

Likewise, you can leave rehab early if you don’t think you need it anymore – however, this isn’t recommended.

Usually, the more severe the addiction, the longer the treatment plan. Many people opt for a 28-day rehab plan, whereas others with milder addictions may prefer a 7-day or a 14-day plan.

Shorter rehab plans are only usually recommended as part of a larger plan, or for those with a mild addiction.

Be sure to discuss your needs with the rehab centre during your initial assessment – this should help you make an informed decision as to how long you think you’ll need to spend in a rehab facility.

How To Find A Rehab Clinic

Finding the right rehab clinic for you and your circumstances can be difficult, which is why our team of experts at Help4Addiction will listen to your story to find the best local treatment centres for you.

Whether you have an addiction to prescription medication, illicit substances, or alcohol, we can discuss your treatment options and find a treatment plan at a drug or alcohol rehab clinic that can help you overcome your addiction.

Contact us today to get in touch with an addiction specialist, and to start your recovery journey. You can call us on 0203 955 7700 for free, confidential advice.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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