Alcohol Rehab - Residential

Residential Alcohol Rehab

Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Treatment In A Clinic

Overcoming alcoholism and maintaining long-term sobriety requires a comprehensive treatment approach. There are many ways to stop drinking and start a life in recovery. Inpatient alcohol rehab is widely considered to be the most effective method of treatment for individuals struggling with alcohol addiction. Inpatient alcohol rehab can be the preferred choice for many, due to the intensive nature.

What Is Alcohol Rehab?

Alcohol rehab, or rehabilitation, is a structured and intensive treatment program designed to help individuals with alcohol addiction. It allows clients to develop the necessary tools and strategies for long-term sobriety. Residential rehab treatment is the highest level of care available for individuals diagnosed with addiction or significant alcohol dependence.

Because it is residential, clients receive their care, treatment (often with an alcohol detox but not always), their meals and sleep in the rehab for the duration they are there. In effect, the clients spend a period away from home, work and family commitments to heal.

Why Is Alcohol Rehab Important?

Inpatient alcohol rehab offers a supportive and controlled environment where individuals can focus solely on their recovery without the distractions and triggers of their everyday lives. The comprehensive nature of inpatient rehab programs ensures that individuals receive the necessary medical care, psychological support and behavioural therapy to address the physical, mental and emotional aspects of alcohol addiction.

Benefits of Inpatient Alcohol Rehab

24/7 Medical Supervision and Support

Inpatient alcohol rehab usually provides 24-hour supervision and support, ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals undergoing detoxification and withdrawal. The withdrawal process can be challenging and, in some cases, life-threatening. Find out more about alcohol detox here. During detox as well as post-detox, having addiction professionals on hand to monitor symptoms and provide appropriate interventions significantly reduces the risks associated with withdrawal as well as any post-withdrawal physical or mental ailments.

alcohol group therapy

Structured & Scheduled Environment

Inpatient alcohol rehab offers a controlled and structured environment that removes individuals from the triggers and temptations of their everyday lives. This programmatic environment helps individuals manage cravings and develop healthy coping mechanisms without the risk of relapse.

Singleness Of Purpose

A spell in a dedicated treatment facility allows people to fully immerse themselves in their recovery journey without distractions or external pressures. The focused environment allows for deeper self-reflection, personal growth and the development of essential recovery skills. Nothing else goes on in rehab – they are places of recovery, well-being and joy – where people overcome adversity.  It only has one purpose, to allow people to become well.

Holistic Approach to Alcohol Rehab Treatment

Inpatient alcohol rehab programs take a holistic approach to treatment, addressing the physical, psychological and emotional aspects of alcohol addiction. Treating the whole person as such. Often, a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals including doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and addiction counsellors work together to create an individualised treatment plan for each patient. Although the exact make-up of the medical and addiction teams varies at different rehabs. This integrated approach should ensure that all aspects of an individual’s addiction are addressed and treated effectively.

holistic therapy for alcohol - yoga

Peer Support in Alcohol Rehab

Inpatient alcohol rehab provides a supportive community of individuals who are going through similar struggles. Peer support plays a crucial role in the recovery process, as individuals can share their experiences, provide encouragement and learn from one another. The camaraderie and sense of belonging fostered in a residential rehab setting can significantly enhance the recovery journey. And, it helps to create a familiarity that will hopefully continue post-rehab when attending mutual aid support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART Recovery.

What Happens In Alcohol Rehab?

Alcohol rehab encompasses a range of evidence-based treatments and therapies aimed at helping individuals overcome alcohol addiction and develop the skills and strategies necessary for long-term sobriety. Entering an alcohol rehab program can be a life-changing decision. Understanding what to expect during treatment can help alleviate anxiety and set realistic expectations. While each rehab program may have specific variations in their approach, the following are common elements typically experienced during inpatient alcohol rehab.

Medical Detoxification

The first step in alcohol rehab is often medical detoxification, commonly known just as “detox”. Alcohol detox allows the body to rid itself of alcohol and its by-products while managing withdrawal symptoms. In an inpatient alcohol rehab setting, medical professionals closely monitor individuals during the detox process, providing medication and support to alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms.

Customised Treatment Plans

Once detoxification is complete or if it isn’t needed, individuals begin the therapeutic phase of alcohol rehab, which involves comprehensive treatment tailored to their specific needs. Inpatient rehab programs develop individualised treatment plans that address the underlying causes of alcohol addiction and provide the necessary tools and strategies for sustained recovery. Some people might have severe trauma or abuse, some may have bereavement issues, and yet others have simply fallen into alcoholism via drinking too much over time. In this example, each would have their treatment customised to suit their individuality to address whatever they need to remain sober.

one to one alcohol counselling

Counselling – Individual Therapy

Counselling and therapy are essential components of alcohol rehab.

Individual therapy sessions or counselling, also known as one-on-one therapy, is an essential component of alcohol rehab programs. In individual counselling sessions, individuals work closely with a therapist to explore their unique challenges, underlying issues and personal goals for recovery.

The benefits of alcohol counselling in rehab include:

Personalised Attention:

Individual counselling allows for focused attention on the individual’s specific needs, concerns and goals. Therapists can tailor treatment approaches and interventions to address the individual’s unique circumstances.

Identifying Addiction Triggers and Patterns:

Through individual counselling, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of the underlying triggers and patterns that contribute to their alcohol use. Therapists help people develop strategies to manage these triggers effectively and avoid relapse.

Addressing Co-occurring Disorders:

Many folk with alcohol addiction also have co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety or trauma-related conditions. Individual counselling provides a safe space to address these underlying issues and develop strategies for dual recovery.

Counselling – Group Therapy

Group therapy is a fundamental component of alcohol rehab programs. It provides a supportive and non-judgmental space where individuals can share their experiences, learn from others and gain valuable insights into their own addiction. Group therapy sessions are led by trained therapists or counsellors who facilitate discussions and guide participants in exploring various topics related to alcoholism and recovery.

The benefits of group therapy in alcohol rehab include:

Peer Support:

Group therapy allows individuals to connect with others who are going through similar struggles. It provides a sense of belonging, reduces feelings of isolation and fosters a supportive community.

Learning from Others In Alcohol Rehab:

Hearing the stories, challenges and successes of others can be inspiring and educational. Group members can offer different perspectives and insights, providing valuable lessons and strategies for recovery.


Group therapy encourages individuals to take responsibility for their actions and hold themselves accountable. Sharing experiences and progress with others can motivate individuals to stay committed to their recovery journey.

Behavioural & Psychological Therapies

Behavioural therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing, are widely used in alcohol rehab to help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours associated with alcohol addiction. These therapies help individuals develop healthier coping strategies, improve decision-making skills and enhance their motivation to maintain sobriety. This is really the bread and butter of rehab after detox and provides the most significant healing process.

Dual Diagnosis Rehab Treatment

Many individuals with alcohol addiction also struggle with co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sometimes, people also take other substances as well as drinking alcohol, perhaps cocaine or prescriptions pills. Inpatient alcohol rehab programs often offer integrated dual diagnosis treatment, addressing both the addictions and the underlying mental health condition simultaneously. This comprehensive approach increases the likelihood of successful recovery and reduces the risk of relapse. In inpatient alcohol rehab, dual diagnosis treatment may involve:

Psychiatric Evaluation: A comprehensive evaluation by a psychiatrist to assess mental health symptoms and diagnose any co-occurring disorders.

Medication Management: If medication is necessary, a psychiatrist will prescribe and monitor the appropriate medications to manage mental health symptoms alongside addiction treatment.

Therapy for Co-occurring Disorders: Therapists trained in dual diagnosis treatment provide specialised therapy to address the unique challenges of individuals with co-occurring disorders. This can include trauma-focused therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).

Dual diagnosis treatment aims to treat both the substance use disorder and the underlying mental health condition, leading to more comprehensive and lasting recovery outcomes.

Holistic Recovery In Rehab

In addition to counselling and therapy, alcohol rehab programs often provide a range of supportive services to address the various needs of people. These services may include nutritional support, fitness, holistic therapies such as reflexology or massage and educational workshops on addiction and relapse prevention.

Mindfulness and Meditation:

Mindfulness practice teaches individuals to be present in the now, observe their thoughts and emotions without judgment, and cultivate a sense of inner peace and acceptance. Meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety and cravings associated with alcohol addiction.

Yoga and Fitness Activities:

Physical exercise such yoga, tai chi and swimming can have numerous benefits for individuals in recovery. It promotes physical health, reduces stress, improves mood, increases self-awareness and self-confidence.

Art Therapy and Expressive Arts:

Art therapy provides clients with a creative outlet to explore emotions, express themselves and process their experiences. It can be particularly beneficial for those who struggle with verbal communication or have difficulty accessing and expressing their feelings – which is common in addicts.

Holistic approaches complement traditional therapy and provide individuals with additional tools and resources to support their recovery journey.

Relapse Prevention, Future Planning and Aftercare

Relapse prevention and aftercare planning are integral parts of alcohol rehab. Treatment professionals work closely with individuals to develop personalised relapse prevention strategies, identify potential triggers and establish a support network for ongoing recovery. Aftercare plans may include outpatient therapy, participation in support groups and continued counselling to ensure long-term sobriety. No one can stay in rehab forever, so this type of planning is super-important before clients are discharged from rehab.

A comprehensive plan for ongoing support and relapse prevention – if followed properly – should guarantee sobriety after completing inpatient treatment. Continuing care plans are tailored to the individual and may include a combination of the following elements:

Outpatient Rehab Treatment:

Outpatient treatment programs provide ongoing therapy, counselling and support while people to live at home and resume their daily responsibilities. Outpatient programs can offer a next-step level of care after completing inpatient rehab, providing clients with a structured means of recovery maintenance and growth.

Support Groups:

Support groups or mutual aid groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery, provide a supportive community of individuals in recovery. Attending regular meetings can help individuals stay connected, share experiences and receive ongoing support. We highly recommend attending mutual aid groups.

Individual Counselling:

Continued individual counselling sessions (one-to-ones) can help individuals address ongoing challenges, maintain accountability and work through any new issues that arise in recovery.

Sober Living Homes:

Sober living homes, sometimes called supported accommodation, offer a transitional living environment for those in early recovery. These homes provide a supportive and drink and drug-free community where residents can practice and reinforce the skills learned in rehab.

Family Involvement:

Involving family members in the recovery process can be beneficial for both the individual in recovery and their loved ones. Family therapy sessions and educational programs can help rebuild trust, improve communication and provide ongoing support for all. Support groups for families and those affected by alcohol such as Al-Anon are very beneficial.

Relapse Prevention Strategies:

Relapse prevention is a crucial aspect of long-term recovery. While relapse does not mean failure, it is essential to develop effective strategies to minimize the risk of relapse and maintain sobriety. By attending inpatient alcohol rehab, people learn various relapse prevention techniques and coping skills, including:

  • Identifying Triggers: Individuals learn to recognize the people, places, situations or emotions that may trigger cravings or temptations to drink. By identifying these triggers, people can develop strategies to avoid or cope with them effectively.
  • Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms: In rehab, individuals learn healthy ways to manage stress, anxiety and other emotional life challenges that may arise in recovery. This includes practising relaxation techniques, engaging in physical exercise or seeking support from peers or therapists.
  • Building a Support Network: Having a strong support system is crucial in recovery. Clients are encouraged to surround themselves with positive influences and seek support from friends, family, support groups or mentors (such as an AA Sponsor) who can provide encouragement and accountability.
  • Practising Self-Care: Self-care is essential in maintaining physical, mental and emotional well-being. People can learn to prioritize self-care activities such as getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and engaging in activities they enjoy – looking for joy we call it.
  • Abstinence Medications: Some rehabs offer clients the option of an ongoing medical abstinence program, or education on the types of alcohol abstinence medications that are available and may refer clients to another service for this.

Continuing care planning and relapse prevention ensures that individuals have the necessary tools, resources and support systems in place to maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse.

Rehab Alumni Support Programs

Many inpatient alcohol rehab programs offer alumni (rehab graduates) support programs to those who have completed their treatment. These programs provide ongoing support, connection and resources to help in recovery. Alumni support may include:

Regular Check-ins and Follow-up:

Alumni support often includes regular check-ins with treatment staff to assess progress, address any concerns and provide ongoing guidance.

Educational Workshops and Events:

Workshops and events focused on recovery-related topics, life skills and personal growth are often organized to support alumni in their continued journey.

Networking and Community Building:

Alumni support programs provide opportunities for individuals to connect with other alumni, fostering a sense of community and shared experiences.

They can play a vital role in long-term recovery by providing ongoing support and resources to individuals as they navigate life after rehab.

How To Choose An Alcohol Rehab

alcohol rehab bedroom

When choosing an alcohol rehab program, several factors should be taken into consideration:


The cost of private alcohol rehab can be outwith the financial means of some people. It’s important to find rehab that suits budgets. Not all rehabs are the same, and some that are more expensive than others don’t necessarily provide a level of care you would expect for the fees they are asking. 

Many budget rehabs offer a lot more in terms of therapy at a trade-off with standards of accommodation, for example. And other rehabs have luxury standards of fixtures and fittings, but can offer less on the therapeutic side. 

Also, the cost of rehab varies widely throughout the country and also due to length of stay.

It’s important to understand exactly what you are getting for your money. Talk to us about which rehabs offer great therapy and recovery at a great price. We have access to over a hundred rehab clinics in the UK and know which ones provide value for money and wonderful service.

Level of Care Required:

Assess the severity of your alcohol addiction and determine the appropriate level of care. Inpatient rehab is recommended for individuals with severe alcoholism or a long history of heavy drinking, while outpatient rehab may be suitable for those with milder forms of addiction.

Accreditation and Licences:

Ensure that the alcohol rehab program is accredited and licensed by reputable organisations. In the UK, it would be the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England, the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) in Wales, Care Inspectorate in Scotland or Health Improvement Scotland (HIS). Accreditation ensures that the program and clinic meets specific quality standards and provides evidence-based treatment approaches.

Treatment Approach:

Consider the treatment approach used by the rehab program. Look for programs that offer a comprehensive and individualised approach, addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of alcohol addiction.

Therapeutic Modalities:

Evaluate the therapeutic modalities offered by the rehab program. Look for programs that provide a range of evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), 12-Step, motivational interviewing and family therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions On Alcohol Rehab

The duration of alcohol rehab varies depending on the individual’s needs and the severity of their addiction. Inpatient alcohol rehab programs typically range from 30 to 90 days, although longer-term programs may be available for individuals with complex needs or co-occurring disorders. The length of treatment is determined through an individualized assessment by treatment professionals.

The NHS has no alcohol rehabs, however, it does have some detox units. To be referred to a detox unit, you normally have to go through your GP and NHS.  This depends on where you live in the UK. Sometimes, the NHS and local councils use private rehab clinics for the most serious cases of addiction. Contact your GP, local Community Addiction Team (CAT Team) or Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) for information on how to access these addiction services.

The cost of rehab varies depending on the clinic, standard of treatment and where is it located in the UK. Rehab starts around £1,500 per week, and often the weekly cost decreases the longer you stay in the clinic. All rehabs set their own prices and this is based on the standard of accommodation, therapy, staffing numbers and quality of service. This is why we exist, to advise people on where to go and how to access the finest help. We know every rehab in the UK and know which ones offer the best quality and the best prices.

Alcohol rehab – residential anyway – allows people to stop drinking and obtain the tools to stay stopped. Normally, people live in the rehab for a duration and eat, sleep and receive their therapy and other treatments in the rehab. The information on the page details what happens in rehab. Contact us if you want to find out more about what happens and how rehabs work.

Some rehabs allow visits from family members at set times and durations, usually on a weekend day. This is entirely up to the client whether they get visitors or not at rehabs that do allow visitors. Being away from home can be advantageous when overcoming alcohol, as it allows the individual to focus on themselves without worrying about domestic issues or family matters. If staying long-term (3 months or more), some rehabs allow clients to leave the rehab day release to go visit family.

Rehabs cater for all kinds of dietary requirements. Each rehab will have its own policies for clients bringing their own food and supplies.

In Scotland, all rehab rooms have to be single ensuite, so attending rehab in Scotland guarantees you get your own room.

In the rest of the UK, rehabs usually have single and double rooms (sometimes triple) for clients, which means they can keep the cost of rehab slightly lower because of shared accommodation. In short, for rehab in England, Wales and Ireland, it depends on the rehab and client funding on whether clients can book a single room.

Having access to your phone is rehab-specific. Some allow clients to have their phone 24/7 whilst others believe having a mobile when you are trying to focus on recovery is simply a distraction – and can also be upsetting. Especially if there are any family or relationship issues going on in client lives. A level of access will be provided in most clinics, such as access to phones for an hour a day.

Completing alcohol rehab is an important milestone, but recovery is an ongoing process. After rehab, individuals are encouraged to engage in continuing care programs, such as outpatient treatment, support groups, and individual counseling. Continuing care helps individuals maintain their sobriety, address any challenges that arise, and build a fulfilling life in recovery.

Alcohol rehab has been proven to be effective in helping individuals overcome alcoholism and achieve long-term sobriety. Research shows that individuals who participate in comprehensive alcohol rehab programs have higher rates of success in maintaining sobriety compared to those who attempt to quit on their own. The effectiveness of alcohol rehab is enhanced when individuals actively engage in therapy, support groups, and follow the recommendations of treatment professionals.

Seek Professional Help

Alcohol rehab offers individuals struggling with alcohol addiction a comprehensive and structured approach to recovery. Inpatient alcohol rehab, in particular, provides the highest level of care, ensuring the safety, comfort, and support needed during the detoxification process and beyond. Through a combination of medical supervision, counseling, therapy, and behavioral interventions, individuals can develop the skills and strategies necessary to overcome alcohol addiction and maintain long-term sobriety. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, seeking professional help through an alcohol rehab program can be the first step towards a healthier and sober life.

Written by James McInally

This article was written by James McInally,
James is an addiction specialist and counsellor, mindfulness teacher, NLP practitioner, fitness instructor and well-being coach. He has helped hundreds of people overcome alcohol misuse.

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