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The true value of rehab

In the last few months on the Helpline, we’ve noticed that quite a lot of callers, either clients themselves or, perhaps more often, their loved ones, are interested in detox and rehab. That’s completely understandable.

It sounds like an easy way to get someone else to ‘fix’ your ‘problem’. If you could be taken away from an environment where whatever you are becoming more and more reliant on – alcohol, cannabis, cocaine or almost any other drug – is very freely available, clear the toxins out of your system and live without them in a safe place until you’d changed your habits – wouldn’t you? It’s certainly a great start. But one day you have to return to the ‘real world’ and the pressures which led you to use in the first place are likely to be waiting for you.

Srdja Randjelovic/

We’ve certainly had clients who’ve been taken into hospital after an incident and spent weeks on a ward without a drink only to start again not long after they’ve been discharged. And other clients who have managed to get themselves substance-free for weeks or months at a time before being triggered by something back into even higher levels of use, because they never quite developed the tools or coping strategies they needed to manage life without their particular substance.

Detox is only the first step on a path that, properly done, has many stages: detox, physical and mental rehabilitation, behavioural change, group/peer recovery support, social re-integration and so on.

And that second step, rehab, is expensive – or perceived to be expensive.

But as Phil Caine, one of our recovery support workers in Barrow, says: ‘A month at an international rehab centre, which is usually the cheapest option, costs £5000. If I’m working with a cocaine addict who uses 1 gram a day, that’s £100 a day, £700 a week and, roughly, £3000 a month. For an extra £2000 they could spend a month becoming free from addiction (and £3000 a month richer) for ever.’

So if you do decide that rehab is the way to go there are lots of private providers offering different kinds of rehab – inpatient, day-hab, outpatient, sober living and even digital day-hab. A quick Google search brings up a host of links – in Cumbria, nationally and internationally. A month in most will cost you at least £5000, as Phil says. Money well spent if it works for you.

Fortunately we’ve managed to find a great website which may help you work out what to do and how to choose, for your own individual circumstances.


Whatever you decide to do, it’s not a quick fix. It’s a long, hard road.

But if you want to get there, and you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you most definitely can.

Go gently and go well.

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