Rehab 4 Addiction

Those going to drug and alcohol rehab for the first time often struggle to select a rehab clinic that’s right for their needs.  What to avoid is often just as important as what to look for when selecting a rehab clinic. However, we seldom read sound advice when it comes to either of these considerations.

In this post, we shall provide a varied discussion that shall serve to help you avoid common pitfalls that may occur when you are selecting a drug and alcohol rehab clinic.

Avoiding these common mistakes does not guarantee to secure your recovery’s long-term success, but avoiding these mistakes does make success much more likely.

Below, we review common DO’s and DON’TS when it comes to selecting drug and alcohol rehab clinics in the UK. Whilst many of these tips may be common sense, it’s equally true that common sense is often not common practice.

The below tips are particularly useful if you are entirely new to the concept of ‘going to rehab’.  If you have been to rehab before, the below tips may nevertheless educate you in how to select a rehab clinic in ways you were before unaware of, so please do keep an open mind as you review the below advice.

Getting your expectations in order when selecting drug and alcohol rehab clinics

Recovering from addiction merely by attending a drug or alcohol rehab clinic is unarguably a ‘pie in the sky’ proposition. If you believe the single act of completing a rehab programme will allow you to secure lasting recovery, think again!

Rehab clinics figuratively teach you how to fish, as opposed ‘giving you a fish’ to eat. This means you must utilise and build upon the skill set your elected rehab clinic implants upon you for the rest of your life.

Make no mistake about it: achieving your long-term recovery goal is one of the most difficult tasks you will ever aim to achieve.

If you understand and acknowledge this fact, your chances of achieving your recovery goal become ever more realistic.

Some positive tips to help you select an effective rehab clinic in the UK

As stated above, recovery from an addiction is much easier said than done. To make sure you select a rehab clinic that offers you the best possible chance of making a full recovery, please take particular note of the tips we offer below:

  1. Select a clinic that offers family therapy: addiction is often described as a family disorder. It follows from this that the provision of family therapy during and after your rehab programme will greatly assist you in attaining your recovery goals. The importance of family therapy will be more important for some than others. The need for family therapy is typically flagged up when you complete an initial assessment. If you feel your recovery could be greatly assisted by family therapy, insist on only attending a rehab clinic that offers an element of family therapy as part of its core therapy offering
  2. Attend a rehab clinic with a dedicated sober network: many rehab clinics now offer extended aftercare. These aftercare sessions are attended by people who are at various stages of their recovery. If a rehab clinic does not take its aftercare responsibilities seriously, we advise you to keep looking for a rehab clinic that does
  3. Consider whether you would prefer a spiritual or a more scientific approach to recovery: if you value a spiritual approach to recovery, we advise you to attend a rehab clinic that follows the ’12-step’ framework. This framework asks you to reach out to a ‘high power’. If spirituality is not appealing to you, consider selecting a rehab clinic that’s more in tune with your preferences and beliefs. Fortunately, many rehab clinics offer a much more scientific approach to addiction recovery, choosing to utilise advanced therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and dialectical behaviour therapy, amongst others

Tips for avoiding poorly suited rehab clinics in the UK

We now offer tips to help you avoid selecting a rehab clinic that’s poorly suited or one that fails to manage expectations when it comes to the success of your treatment.

Please note that when you contact Rehab 4 Addiction, rehab clinics we recommend have been fully vetted by us, meaning we do not recommend any clinic that falls foul of the below factors.

Here are our tips for avoiding poorly suited drug and alcohol rehab clinics in the UK:

1. Avoid rehab clinics that tell you their treatment has a 50%+ success rate

Recovery is difficult and the relapse rate is high for people who have never sought out professional treatment in the past. It’s believed less than 10% of people attending rehab for the first time will never return to either drugs and alcohol again. Be wary of rehab clinics that claim to have a 50%+ success rate.

One rehab clinic who shall remain nameless claims to have a 90%+ success rate. We know from experience that this is fundamentally untrue and akin to false advertising.

Inflated and false treatment success rates were depicted in the 2018 film “Beautiful Boy”, a film we highly recommend to anyone seeking recovery services.

We believe overhyping treatment success rates actually robs these clinic’s ability to teach their clients about the true nature of addiction. Addiction is a chronic disease and relapse is actually part of the recovery process. If clients are informed of this fact, they will be better able to plan for relapse.

If these people are told 90%+ of people undertaking treatment do not relapse, how will these people possibly feel when they do inevitably relapse? Perhaps not very good about themselves.

It’s possible these people may conclude their recovery attempts are futile and forever destined for failure. This is certainly not the most productive belief set for drug and alcohol rehab clinics to be encouraging.

We thus encourage you to avoid rehab clinics that claim to offer any form of ‘magic pill’ when it comes to addiction treatment.

2. Avoid rehab clinics with an overly negative Care Quality Commission report

Each rehab clinic in England and Wales must legally undertake an annual Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection. From this inspection, a detailed report is made publicly available on the CQC’s website. You can read individual clinics’ CQC report by clicking here and search for their name on the CQC’s website.

It’s true the CQC has in recent years significantly increased the standard of care expected by rehab clinics. Before 2017, rehab clinics were judged by the same standards as care homes.

Now, the CQC uses a separate criterion that’s designed specifically for rehab clinics. This revised framework took many rehab clinics by surprise and unfairly meant some rehab clinics’ CQC inspection judged their services against criteria they were not aware they were being judged against.

Thus, read CQC reports with a somewhat critical eye, and attempt to weigh up the positives against the negatives. Always give clinics the right to respond to negative claims presented in their CQC report, because many of the issues are procedural in nature and do not reflect the quality or success of treatment on offer.

3. Avoid clinics with extortionate fees

Some clinics will charge extortionate fees that are way above industry averages. If a clinic is charging 50% more than what’s considered average, enquire what you are really receiving that makes this fee good value for money.

Some mid-range clinics may offer services and amenities that justify the higher price but make sure these benefits are clearly listed and then made available to you or your loved one once the treatment programme commences.

4. Clinics that are located in bad neighbourhoods

When it comes to addiction treatment, staying away from bad influences and other forms of temptation is key. Always enquire where a particular rehab clinic is physically located.

Type the address into Google maps and attempt to activate the ‘street view’ option. This will give you an idea of the area where the rehab clinic is located. Of course, always visit the rehab clinic in person before you sign up for their treatment.  You can view the crime statistics for a particular postcode by clicking here.

5. Avoid rehab clinics that are not willing to offer free aftercare

Note we use the word ‘free’ fairly liberally here, given the initial cost of attending rehab will surely be funding aftercare. However, avoid rehab clinics who ask for additional ‘aftercare’ fees that are not included in the upfront cost of attending rehab.

Aftercare sessions are typically 12-step style meetings that take place for an hour or two each week at the same rehab clinic where you underwent your residential treatment programme.

Aftercare is an effective means of helping you meet the various challenges you will meet during your early recovery. If you are expected to pay additional aftercare fees, this may deter you from signing up. Instead, attend a rehab clinic that’s serious about aftercare by including this fee in the upfront payment for residential rehab.

Getting help now

If you are physically addicted to drugs such as opiates or alcohol, then you will require the services of a drug and alcohol detox clinic. When you suddenly stop using these drugs, you will begin to experience potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms.

These symptoms require professional medical treatment. To locate a suitable drug and alcohol detox clinic, contact Rehab 4 Addiction today on 0800 140 4690.


Jamie is a writer for several addiction and recovery publications. Jamie is in recovery himself.  He particularly enjoys writing about his experiences with meditation, religion and holistic therapies.