Alcohol Rehab | Learn About Alcoholism and Recovery | Rehab Guide

Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol rehab can be a very daunting prospect, even if it is not your first time.

You will undoubtedly have reservations as to whether alcohol rehab will work and how you can ensure you get the best possible experience from your rehab stay.

In this article, Rehab Guide aims to answer everything you could possibly want to know about alcohol rehab, treatments to look out for, and what to expect. 

We want you, or a friend or family member, to access the correct information within record time. We understand just how important this is for those seeking help to overcome a chronic addiction problem. Please read below to help you understand the most important alcohol rehab facts.

Recognising the signs of alcohol addiction

Spending time in an alcohol rehab centre can treat alcoholism, a chronic and progressive issue that is at the most severe end of the spectrum of alcohol use disorders. More often than not alcohol rehab treatment is needed to overcome it.

Before making any decision as to whether you need an inpatient rehab programme or not, or whether to commit a loved one to rehab, it is helpful to smash any lingering denial or reservations around what alcohol dependence is.

This is a very serious disease that at best can lead to a very miserable existence and at worst can actually kill.

Whilst it is true that those who suffer from alcohol addiction may get well through attending support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery, you may need a more hands-on approach.

In this section, we aim to help you decide whether inpatient alcohol rehab is necessary, or whether your problem is treatable through support groups in your local community.

Alcohol addiction signs and symptoms

The need for alcohol rehab is characterised by two main symptoms:

  1. An inability to control your alcohol intake once you start
  2. An inability to stay away from alcohol once you stop

Suffering from alcoholism means that you will feel compelled to drink, even when you have every good reason not to.

Once you start, you will often lose control of the amount you drink (taking more than you initially intended).

You can see how these overriding symptoms can lead to a vicious cycle of not wanting to drink, but doing it anyway, and then losing control when you do eventually give in to the desire. This is why this particular addiction is heavily characterised by relapse.

What is even worse, is that the cycle of addiction gets worse over time.

When drinking is no longer fun

Looking back on your own drinking, there may well have been times where you had control over your consumption. Perhaps you still do from time to time. However, you will notice that not only has it become progressively worse but also that the consequences you have suffered as a result of your drinking bouts have too.

Initially, alcohol would have been fun. If it wasn’t, it is highly likely you wouldn’t have continued. Perhaps you would have had a binge every now and then. The consequences are not being much more than a hangover or feeling slightly uncomfortable over what you may have said or done.

Or, maybe you started to drink to help you to relax or unwind from a stressful day? Whatever your reasons for starting to drink regularly, it will have given you what you craved at the time. For the most part, it will have been enjoyable.

Once alcoholism develops, the desire to drink is replaced by a need to drink.

The problem with suffering from alcohol dependence is that the brain, over time, prioritises this ‘need’ above all else.

Alcohol starts to play a more important role in your life and the choice factor starts to be removed, bit by bit.

If this sounds familiar or is striking a chord with you, it may well be time to seek professional help in alcohol rehab.

Early signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • The need to drink more, either in frequency or in the amount you drink.
  • You arrange your social life to ensure it involves alcohol as much as possible
  • Developing a tolerance, resulting in the need for stronger types of alcohol or consuming more units.
  • Losing control over the amount you drink, resulting in a binge
  • Suffering adverse effects to your mental health as a result of alcohol
  • Those around you have expressed concerns over your drinking
  • You find you cannot stop completely, even when there is a great need or desire
  • You need alcohol to be sociable or to facilitate sleep
  • You spend excessive amounts of time binging and recovering

Advanced signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • You cannot stop thinking about alcohol and crave it all the time
  • Physically you will have started to become ill. You may feel constantly lethargic, restless or on edge, or you may feel just generally under the weather
  • You need alcohol in order to be able to sleep, perhaps even having a drink throughout the night to get back to sleep
  • Other areas of your life feel unmanageable or overwhelming
  • You cannot imagine a life without alcohol in it
  • Quitting alcohol feels like an impossible task
  • Your relationships have suffered as a result of your consumption
  • You want help but are too embarrassed or ashamed to admit it
  • You feel the need to hide the extent of your consumption from those around you
  • You suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms if you cannot have a drink

If you do suffer from alcoholism we urge you to set aside any feelings of shame, guilt and fear you may have, effective alcohol treatment is available and it works!

It is not your fault that you suffer from this. It is much like any other chronic disease such as asthma or diabetes. You don’t ‘choose’ to become an alcoholic. However, there is a choice as to whether you access help or admit to alcohol rehab.

Alcohol abuse causes hazardous effects to the brain and body

Overcoming alcohol addiction with alcohol rehab

If you or a friend or family member are looking to overcome an alcohol problem, it really is helpful to measure the severity of your alcohol use disorder.

If you cannot stop or control your drinking despite wanting to, you will need to take time out to focus on your recovery.

If you suffer from any alcohol withdrawal symptoms, this indicates alcohol dependence. And, where there is alcohol dependence, it is not safe to stop drinking suddenly without medical help.

When we think of alcoholism, often we jump to the most severe type, where a person’s withdrawal symptoms include life-threatening seizures, hallucinations or delirium tremens. The reality is that alcoholic withdrawal symptoms are not always this severe, however, that doesn’t mean they won’t progress to this level without treatment.

Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Jumpiness or feeling on edge
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Depression

Alcohol rehab with a medical detox within an inpatient facility is the safest way to stop drinking if you suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

By undergoing medical alcohol detox, you will be administered approved pharmaceutical medications to help alleviate and control the severity of your withdrawal. You will also receive constant monitoring and support from fully qualified nursing staff to ensure you are kept comfortable and safe at all times.

Following a successful alcohol detox, you will then have the opportunity to complete a comprehensive, bespoke alcohol rehabilitation programme. This will provide you with the tools you need to stay sober on a daily basis and avoid alcoholic relapse.

Alcohol rehab: evidence-based treatments for alcohol addiction:

  • Medically managed drug and alcohol detoxification
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Counselling
  • Behavioural therapies
  • Holistic therapies, including equine therapy, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, music and art
  • Complementary therapies including acupuncture, reiki and massage
  • Relapse prevention
  • Trauma therapy
  • Fitness and nutrition
  • Life skills
  • Addiction education classes
  • Emotional regulation therapies
  • Family therapy
  • Spiritual connection and development
  • Access to alcohol support groups
  • 12 step therapy
  • Aftercare programme

Undertaking a safe way to stop using alcohol therapy, and then comprehensive rehabilitation to show you how to stay stopped is vitally important to long term sobriety.

Inpatient v Outpatient Alcohol rehab

If you have decided you need help to overcome your alcohol problem, the next step is choosing the treatment that is most likely to have a positive, long term outcome for you. This brings us to inpatient alcohol rehab and outpatient treatment and the various differences between the two.

Firstly, it is important to recognise that everyone is different and has different treatment needs. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another in terms of ongoing recovery. This is where a professional treatment assessment can prove extremely helpful.

Making sure all of your individual treatment needs are met is crucial not only to your recovery but also to your levels of happiness and wellbeing. Recovery needs to be enjoyable and not a chore, right?

The benefits of inpatient alcohol rehab include:

  • Intensive bespoke treatment – delivered by qualified counsellors, therapists and medical staff
  • Residential accommodation – Providing you with a temptation free and recovery-focused environment, meals and medications included
  • A period of time dedicated solely to your addiction recovery – A distraction-free and restorative environment with like-minded residents
  • Simultaneous treatment of any dual diagnosis and co-occurring conditions – Ensuring you are at your optimum physically and in your sense of wellbeing before returning back home
  • Introduction to support groups and mutual aid groups – Making it easier to connect with local groups on returning back home
  • Receive the latest in cutting edge, proven addiction treatments – Healing the past and learning healthy strategies for day-to-day living are essential for recovery
  • Family therapy and aftercare – Treatment doesn’t just abruptly stop when you return home. Aftercare is a hugely important part of the reintegration process and family therapy will help to support this

The benefits of outpatient alcohol addiction treatment

  • Treatment is free if you access it through your local services or support groups
  • You don’t have to take time out of your job or away from family
  • The ability to continue with any commitments you may have
  • Build a local support network to help with your recovery
  • If you are struggling with alcohol help and support from family and friends is easily accessible
  • Being able to meet with like-minded others through your local alcohol services and by attending mutual aid groups
  • Weekly key worker sessions
  • Referral for free counselling
  • Your local drug and alcohol team can look at the most appropriate medications to support your alcohol withdrawal and recovery

If you have a drinking problem, you are not alone!

Further treatment options for alcohol, include outpatient daycare, outpatient alcohol rehab, private outpatient counselling, and bespoke private outpatient treatment.

To find out which treatment option would be most beneficial and work for you as an individual, call our helpline for free and confidential expert advice.

The cost of private alcohol rehab

The cost of private rehab can vary tremendously, with certain rehabs being more affordable.

We understand that how much rehab costs can weigh heavily on the mind. Not everyone has thousands of pounds in the bank to spare!

However, most rehabs that are worthwhile do come at a price. Thankfully that price does not have to cost the earth.

Whilst payment plans are not offered by most rehabs, they will often split the total cost into several payments where a long stay is required.

In the UK alcohol rehab can cost anything from a few hundred pounds a week to a few thousand pounds a week. The price of addiction treatment is often reflected in the accommodation, levels of care and variation of treatments that are offered. The location is also a factor so while you might think ‘I want an alcohol rehab near me’, if budget is a concern going further afield might be a great way to save money. Alcohol rehab should be a respite and press pause on your normal life, so some distance could be helpful too.

If you have medical insurance, several of our rehabs will accept this as payment, so it is always worth calling us to check!

Luxury and affordable drug and alcohol rehab

Luxury rehabs are exactly what they say, they offer luxurious accommodation, extensive gardens, onsite gymnasiums, personal trainers and 5-star meals, all freshly prepared on-site.

Addiction treatments offered by five-star rehab centres are always cutting edge and delivered by distinguished professionals from around the world.

If you are looking for something on a smaller budget, there are numerous more affordable rehabs that we also have access to. Whilst they may not have the extensive grounds and luxury treatments, they do still provide comfortable and clean accommodation, professional medical carecounselling and deliver evidence-based addiction treatments.

Whether you can afford a luxury rehab or a more affordable one, it is so important to pick the right residential treatment centre for you. Thankfully at Rehab Guide, we have access to both types of alcohol clinics and everything in between. We will not only factor in all your treatment needs but also your treatment preferences.

How long it takes to recover from addiction

We are going to be brutally honest here as we feel it is important to understand that alcoholism is not curable. However, it is preventable and it is treatable! You can be treated initially, and from there recovery can be maintained, a day at a time.

If we liken alcohol addiction to other chronic diseases such as asthma, cancer or diabetes, daily ‘treatment’ is a must to keep it managed.

Most chronic diseases require an initial period of treatment and rehabilitation, where the person will be taught how to manage their condition on a daily basis. Addiction is no different. This is why those who suffer from an alcohol use disorder often require an initial period of treatment in a rehabilitation centre.

The purpose of alcohol rehab treatment

Alcohol rehab treatment’s main purpose is to stabilize a person. Often, this will require a full medical detox and behavioural therapies as well as learning new coping strategies.

Alcohol addiction has similar relapse rates to that of asthma, hypertension and diabetes. It can also be equally fatal if not managed correctly.

Alcohol recovery is an ongoing process once the initial detoxification and rehabilitation period has been completed.

If you suffer from alcoholism, the mere thought of giving up alcohol forever is likely challenging to wrap your head around. We understand this, as do millions in recovery from addiction. This is why we focus on maintaining sobriety a day at a time. This feels far more achievable for most.

Length of rehab stay

How long you will need to stay in alcohol rehab will depend on a number of factors that are completely personal to you.

Factors that affect the duration of rehab treatment include:

  • The duration of your alcohol addiction
  • Whether you have any co-occurring illness that requires treatment
  • The length of detox that you need (occasionally people need to detox from more than just alcohol. This is very common)
  • How physically and mentally well you are. Most people who admit to rehab have reached what is called a ‘rock bottom’. This means that they will have to be built up physically, mentally and emotionally before they are suitable for discharge.
  • Social and environmental factors. It is important that you are discharged from rehab to a safe place and not back into a toxic environment or homelessness
  • How quickly you respond to treatment. Everyone is different and everyone heals at different rates
  • How do you and your counsellors feel about your discharge? An extension of inpatient treatment might be recommended when it is in your best interest.

For most people requiring inpatient alcohol treatment, the optimum treatment duration is 6 to 12 weeks. You may require less or more; it entirely depends on your situation.

The best long term treatment outcomes come from those that stay in treatment the longest. This has been evidenced by government statistics and is helpful to bear in mind when considering how long to commit to an inpatient programme.

How to apply for NHS alcohol rehab

Most people don’t realise that there is no such thing as an NHS alcohol rehab. The government does not provide the facilities or specialist treatments that are required to comprehensively treat drug and alcohol addiction on an inpatient basis.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do private rehab that is funded publicly.

In order to apply for funding for free alcohol rehab treatment, you will need to contact your local alcohol services and start engaging with them.

If you meet the criteria specified for free drug and alcohol inpatient treatment, your key worker can put in an application for funding. Following this, if accepted, you will be required to complete a pre-rehab preparation course. As you can imagine, this is not a quick process and is certainly not suitable for those in crisis.

Waiting times for funded alcohol rehabs vary from area to area. It can take anything from a few months, up to a year. You will need to speak to your local services to find out the waiting times and if funding is available in your area. Not all areas are able to fund rehab due to local government budgets.

The benefits offered by Rehab Guide

Choosing an alcohol rehab programme through Rehab Guide means that you will have several additional benefits. As a leading authority in addiction treatment, we take our role in helping those afflicted with addiction, and their families, extremely seriously

We understand just how damaging addiction can be. We also know just how beautiful and rewarding recovery can be.

We make it our mission to be as helpful as possible and ensure that you or your loved one receives the best treatment possible.

Because each one of us is unique and each has our own experiences, strengths and difficulties, it is vital that our rehab programmes are flexible to account for this.

We will uniquely tailor your alcohol rehab programme to suit you. Ensuring all of your treatment needs are met in full, and your preferences for treatment are taken into account.

Having faith in your rehab programme is important for your engagement and in successfully completing it. We will take out time to listen and offer friendly advice to guide you in the right direction.

We can also arrange for you to view our rehabs prior to admission so that you have a better understanding of what to expect!

Every alcohol clinic we work with is CQC registered, heavily regulated and offers a compassionate and caring environment in which you can thrive.

We will not only take care of all the arrangements and payments for you, so you don’t have to worry, we will also support you and your family for the duration of your treatment and afterwards.

Call us now and speak to one of our friendly addiction experts for a free and confidential assessment. The first step to a brand new life is asking for help.


  1. Understanding alcohol use disorder
  2. Warning signs of alcoholism
  3. Treatment approaches for drug addiction
  4. Alcohol and drug misuse prevention and treatment
  5. Principles of effective treatment/National Institute on Drug abuse
  6. Effectiveness of long-term residential substance abuse treatment for women: findings from three national studies –


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