Rehab FAQ

Posted on by Melany Heger

What Does A Rehab Do?

A rehab facility tries to help individuals who have problems with alcohol and/or drug use manage their addiction.

Most rehab clinics aim to ultimately lead clients to live sober lives.

The activities in a rehab clinic aim to:

Educate clients about alcohol and/or substance abuse

Help enlighten clients about the origins of their addictive behaviour

Remove the stigma of seeking help for addiction

Promote new ways to live without alcohol and/or drugs


A reputable rehab centre in the UK such as Abbeycare Scotland conforms to Care Quality Commission standards (CQC).

CQC Certification guarantees that : [1]

  • >> The clinic makes sure the clients are safe before they enter rehab.
  • >> National clinical guidance/rules are followed.
  • >> Employees of the clinic are professionally trained and up to par with current standards
  • >> The clinic employs adequate support staff
  • >> The centre has facilities to support treatments offered


After attending rehab, most rehab centres link with Mutual Support Groups, so clients so that recovery efforts can be sustained.

Examples of Mutual Support Groups are:

  • >> Alcoholics Anonymous
  • >> Narcotics Anonymous
  • >> Cocaine Anonymous
  • >> Women for Sobriety
  • >> SMART Recovery
  • >> Secular Organization for Sobriety/Save Our Selves
  • >> LifeRing Secular Recovery


In order to ensure success in treatment, a rehab clinic should provide : [2]

  • >> Professionally supervised detoxification
  • >> Behavioural counseling (12 Step Programme, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and so on)
  • >> Evaluation of other mental health problems
  • >> Follow-up for long-term recovery


A person seeking treatment for addiction issues would be better serviced by a rehab clinic that aims for long-term recovery rather than quick fixes.

To promote a sober living lifestyle, behavioural therapies in a rehab clinic should emphasise:

  • >> changing attitudes about alcohol and/or drug use
  • >> learning new ways to cope with stress and triggers
  • >> seeking out help through social support
  • >> improve the ability to cope with the daily demands of life
  • >> establish a sense of emotional stability and calm


In addition, clients can benefit from rehab clinics like Abbeycare Gloucester that use a holistic approach treatment.

Holistic care can help clients regain physical, social, nutritional and spiritual balance.

Holistically oriented rehab clinics can incorporate exercise, massage, and aromatherapy into their care repertoire.

Ultimately, a rehab clinic should be able to:

  • >> Influence a client to maximise his/her quality of life
  • >> Address the individual’s multi-faceted needs
  • >> Help individuals adjust to living a lifestyle without substance abuse
  • >> Direct individuals towards wellness and health
  • >> Assist the individual to return to home and community as a renewed person


What Does Rehab Consist Of?

Rehab consists of detox, behavioural therapies, and aftercare services.

Expect a rehab clinic to provide:

  • >> Conducive accommodation
  • >> Professionally Supervised Detox
  • >> A regular schedule to follow
  • >> Counseling for emotional support and behavioural change
  • >> Education about health and addiction issues
  • >> Recreation (gym facilities and fitness classes for example)
  • >> Family Participation
  • >> Relapse prevention strategy planning sessions
  • >> Continuing Care or rehab aftercare


In the morning, rehab begins with a healthy breakfast, followed by the first group meeting.

Mid-morning, therapy sessions are held (individual or group)

Depending on the clinic, there may be another afternoon therapy session or a group meeting after lunch

Time is usually allotted for breaks in-between sessions.

Some rehab facilities hold sessions in the evening.


The type of programme an individual has can depend on a personalised treatment plan.

For individual therapy sessions utilising Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, sessions last 30 to 60 minutes.

Group therapy sessions can last from 1 to 2 hours.

A private rehab clinic differs from public rehab clinics offered by the NHS.

Reasons why clients choose private rehabs are:[3].

  • >> Accessibility – no need to wait for weeks for an admission
  • >> Continuation of care provider – the professional assigned to the client sees through the whole process of treatment
  • >> In-patient care availability is limited in public rehab
  • >> Overall, the quality of services by private rehab clinics is seen as superior


However, due to financial constraints, some individuals are limited to using NHS rehab clinics.

Private rehab can be covered by insurance, while public rehab is offered free by the NHS to UK citizens.


What Is The Process Of Rehabilitation?

The process of alcohol or drug rehabilitation involves assessment, detox, rehabilitation (proper) and aftercare [4].

Specifically, alcohol or drug rehabilitation these phases are:

Phase One: Assessment

Interviews and checks are done so that the centre will have an idea of how to formulate a personalised treatment plan.

Questionnaires can be given asking the client about the history of alcohol and/or drug use.

Paperwork about insurance and other formal matters can be finalised


During this phase, clients will be interviewed about:

  • >> What substances are they currently using
  • >> When was substance use initiated? (How did it begin?)
  • >> Previous history of joining a rehab programme
  • >> His or her goals about rehab
  • >> In addition, the centre may ask about:
  • >> The client’s overall health
  • >> Education and/or work history
  • >> Details about social life
  • >> Quality of relationships with family/friends/supporting individuals


The last step of Phase One will usually be a Rehab centre orientation


Phase Two: Detoxification

The first two to three days of detox are the most challenging, physically, emotionally and mentally  [5].

But with professional guidance, the hardship can be overcome.

Emotional and physical support is crucial during detox, as individuals who go through relapse alone can be less-equipped to handle the demands of the withdrawal process.

Individuals who are well-supported during detox tend to follow-through with the rehabilitation process, assuring a better chance of life-long recovery. [2]

After one week in detox, a person is better able to handle the regular therapy sessions available in rehab.

Phase Three: Rehabilitation

During this stage, individual and/or group psychotherapy is offered

Clients learn about their motives, feelings, and hopes about addiction.

This part of rehab is where clients do the hard work of learning about themselves in a deeper level, so that they can learn new ways to cope.

Rehab clinics differ in therapy methods chosen.

A private clinic like Abbeycare offers 12 Step facilitation, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Holistic therapy.


Other basic facilities only outpatient programmes or in-patient programmes with limited capacity.

Usually, therapies are composed of:

  • >> Assessment – determines where the person is in terms of the addiction and recovery process
  • >> Formulation of goals – what the client wishes to achieve after therapy
  • >> Treatment – where homework and behavioural monitoring occur


Individual Therapy in particular helps individuals to:

  • >> learn to monitor and control their thinking
  • >> discover their thinking patterns and how these lead to addiction
  • >> maintain a sense of self-control over drug cravings
  • >> learn coping skills to live alcohol or drug-free
  • >> break the cycle of substance abuse
  • >> gain an understanding of how thoughts, behaviours, and emotions relate to each other
  • >> utilise rational planning skills to cope with life’s daily challenges


Phase Four: Maintenance or Aftercare

In rehab, this phase involves strategic planning to know how to proceed after the client exits rehab.

Outside rehab, this phase can involve

Peer support groups or Mutual Support Groups (Alcohol Anonymous SMART Recovery, etc.)

Peer providers – such as certified peer specialists, peer support specialist, recovery coaches, sponsors or mentors

The rehab clinic usually connects the client to these after-care groups, as it is of utmost importance that the client is supported after rehab.

Evidence shows that clients who have continuing personalised care have better chances at recovery than persons who do not have after-care support.  [4]

How Long Is Rehab For?

The shortest stay will be for seven days, the typical stay will be 28 days, and some clients can stay up to 90 days in rehab.

Most rehab programmes in the UK last 28 to 30 days.

Some clients, however, choose longer treatment programmes.

The longest length of stay can be up to 12 weeks.

The length of stay in rehab depends on the following factors:

  • >> What substance is used
  • >> For how long has the person been using the substance
  • >> How motivated the person is to change
  • >> The amount of emotional, social, and financial support the client has


The NHS recommends individuals who need more than just detox to continue with a drug rehab programme or an alcohol rehab programme.

In a private rehab clinic, clients are not forced to stay for the duration of the rehab process.

However, leaving before the programme concludes is not recommended.

Usually, rehab facilities employ motivational techniques to keep clients to focus on the end-goal: successful sober living.  [5].

Out-patient programmes are better suited to individuals who have a moderate level of alcohol and/or substance abuse.

Recent developments in research have led experts to conclude that addiction is a treatable disorder [6].


Like some chronic conditions, relapse does occur in treatment.

But relapse does not mean failure, rather, it is a sign that change has happened, treatment is resuming, or there is a need to modify some treatment approaches.

Rehab clinics the best treatment programs address the needs of the person as a whole.

By treating addiction as a lifestyle disease much like diabetes or asthma, clients can approach their problem in a positive manner.

By removing negative self-judgment and treating addiction as a health problem, clients can move away from self-blame towards self-empowerment.




  1.   Care Quality Commission. (2019). Briefing: Substance misuse services. Available at:
  2.   National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. Available at:
  3.   The Conversation. (2018). Drug rehab: what works and what to keep in mind when choosing a private treatment provider. Available at:
  4.   The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Available at:
  5.   NHS. (2018). Treatment Alcohol Misuse. Available at:
  6.   National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2013). Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Available at:

Intervention FAQ

Posted on by Melany Heger

How Do You Do An Intervention?

To stage an intervention, set an appropriate time and place, prepare the right mindset and most importantly, get the help of an Intervention Specialist.

First, in order to set the tone, an initial intervention should be done at a conducive place.

It is useful to remember that the end goal of this initial intervention goal is to get the concerned person professional help.


Second, in order to motivate a person with alcohol and/or substance use disorder to seek professional intervention, family members and/or loved ones must have the right mind-set.

Alcohol and/or drug addiction is a health condition requiring professional attention.

Highly-regarded evidence has shown that alcohol and/or substance use disorders can be effectively treated with comprehensive continuing care [1].

Like other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, alcohol and/or drug addiction should be approached as a disease with a strong behavioural component.


The third step in staging an intervention is to invite the presence of an Intervention Specialist.

Having an Intervention Specialist or another helping professional can communicate to the concerned person that:

  • >> Nobody is “out to get them”
  • >> Family members and/or loved ones have the concerned person’s well-being in mind
  • >> Support is available/ there is adequate and professional help


Individuals with alcohol and/or substance abuse disorder tend not to be receptive if they feel harshly judged.

An intervention staged solely by family members and/or loved ones can be perceived as threatening.


There is a tendency for the concerned person to think:

“They are ganging up on me.”


Whilst, the presence of a third-party, with an objective, professional stance can communicate to the person that:

  • >> “We are here to help.”
  • >> “It is a problem we will solve together.”
  • >> “You are not alone in this.”


In addition, an Intervention Specialist can help family members and/or loved ones put together:

  • >> Well-thought-out plans about what to do next
  • >> Ideas about a possible alcohol and/or drug treatment program
  • >> A helpful and sympathetic tone to carry out the message


Because the initial intervention may be the first time the concerned person is made aware of the problems brought about by addiction, an emotional scene is almost unavoidable.

An Intervention Specialist can mediate between loved ones and the person concerned so that both parties do not feel aggravated or antagonized.

It must be remembered that this initial intervention is just a run-up to the longer process of change that the concerned person and his/her supports will face.

What Happens In An Intervention?

In an intervention, a person with substance abuse problems is approached by his or her significant others and an Intervention Consultant to talk about the difficulties caused by the addictive behaviour.

Significant others pertain to:

  • >> Adult family members – spouse/partners, siblings, parents
  • >> Adult children of the concerned individual
  • >> Community members – neighbors, members of the clergy, etc.
  • >> Friends
  • >> Colleagues at work


Working together, the significant others and the Intervention Consultant try to convince the concerned individual to go to a rehab clinic.

The particular steps taken for successful intervention are:

  1. Contacting the Intervention Consultant
  2. Family members and/or loved ones formulate a strategic Intervention Plan with the consultant; they also check in with each other
  3. The significant others write down in advance what they want to say to the concerned person
  4. A specific time and place is prepared for the event.
  5. The concerned person is gently nudged towards attending the intervention in the appointed date
  6. The significant others take turns talking about the impact of the addictive behaviours in their respective lives.
  7. The Intervention Consultant mediates between the significant others and the concerned person
  8. The most positive outcome would be for the concerned person to agree to enter treatment in a rehab clinic or a similar facility as soon as possible.


To take advantage of the opportunity as soon as it exists, it can be helpful to ensure that a slot is available for the concerned person to go to if he or she agrees to seek treatment.

In addition the following elements can lead to a successful outcome:

  • Empathic communication
  • A non-judgmental stance
  • A plan that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely (SMART)
  • And a tone that the concerned person is not condemned or judged


Even if the concerned person does not take action immediately, an intervention is not considered an utter failure.

Some individuals may take longer than others to seek help.

Often times, bringing up the issues about the concerned person’s addictive behaviour is already a powerful move.

Chances are, the concerned person would respond to the message.

Hopefully, he or she finds the motivation to change.

What Is The Purpose Of An Intervention?

The main purpose of an intervention is to help a person with health problems find ways to cope better with life.

According to health experts [2], the term “intervention” means activities aimed to improve a person’s life by:

  • preventing a disease
  • curing a disease
  • lessening the number of symptoms of a disease
  • reducing the negative impacts of the disease
  • shortening the time the disease is felt
  • restoring functions lost because of disease
  • helping the person recover or adapt to new ways of doing things after an injury


Because alcoholism and substance abuse are both considered diseases, they can be treated with interventions.

The formal term for alcoholism as a disease is “Alcohol Use Disorder”.

Meanwhile, persons who have problems with drugs have “substance use disorder”.

For these problems, an alcohol rehab facility such as Abbeycare Gloucester can help by offering interventions such as:

  • >> 12 Step Facilitation
  • >> Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • >> Family-therapy
  • >> Dialectic Based Therapy
  • >> Animal-Assisted Therapy


In a rehab clinic, an intervention can be classified according to how many people participate in the activity.

Some individuals prefer to participate in Group Therapy.

Some individuals Individual rely on Individual Therapy.

Usually, both group and individual interventions are offered side-by-side.

The logic is they complement each other.

Lessons learned from Individual Therapy can be explored in Group Therapy before being applied outside the rehab facility.

Interventions can also be classified according to the problem targeted. This is why some programs are named:

  • >> Alcohol Abuse Intervention
  • >> Drug Abuse Intervention
  • >> Substance Abuse Intervention (for simultaneous addiction to many substances, called poly-addiction)
  • >> Behavioural Addiction Intervention (for addiction to sex, gambling and pornography)


Also, there are preventive interventions geared towards changing behaviours target specific groups of people.

For example, some interventions target:

  • >> Overweight individuals to encourage exercise
  • >> Teenagers to help raise awareness of problems associated with drug use
  • >> Pregnant women to explain the benefits of breastfeeding


With these programmes, education is paramount.

However, it is not enough to merely educate the target population.

If individuals are not motivated to change, or if they lack the resources, no new skills will be learnt.

Whatever goal an intervention has, a structured environment provides much-needed support [3].

In a safe place such as a rehab clinic, a hospital, or a community centre, individuals can be adequately supported while learning essential new skills.

Specifically, structured environments help by: [4]

  • >> Reducing anxiety about unpredictable events – a person in rehab is already dealing with a lot of changes
  • >> Maintaining and monitoring group dynamics, so everybody plays fair
  • >> Providing dedicated and professional help when clients ask for it
  • >> Continuous supervision and guidance


How Long Does An Intervention Last?

An intervention can last 1.5 hours to 2 hours.

This time frame applies to initial interventions such as those intended to motivate individuals with substance alcohol and/or substance abuse issues to seek professional help.

Taken from guidelines used in time-limited group therapy [5], 1 to 2 hours would be enough time for a group of people to discuss a tough issue such as substance abuse without causing fatigue.

As for interventions that happen inside a rehab clinic or an outpatient program, the duration of an intervention depends on the specific type of intervention.

  • >> For individual therapy sessions –  45 to 50 minutes [6]
  • >> For group therapy sessions –  75-120 minutes [7].


Recent research says that 15 to 20 sessions can be good enough for 50% of individuals to say the treatment done was effective.  [8]:

Some psychological conditions can take 12 to 16 weekly sessions for significant changes to occur.

Mostly, therapists and their clients prefer to continue treatment over longer periods of time in order to reap the positive benefits.

Some therapists and clients use up 20 to 30 sessions, lasting a period of six months.

The amount of time spent in therapy or intervention depends on the problem tackled.

With alcohol and/or substance abuse, inpatient treatment in a rehab clinic lasts approximately 28 days.

Therapeutic interventions that happen within the rehab facility are generally conducted twice a day, lasting form one hour to two hours.

In a structured environment typical of a rehab clinic, interventions are expected to:

  • >> Foster independence and feelings of competence
  • >> Encourage self-efficacy
  • >> Help restore planning and decision-making skills
  • >> Decrease challenging and/or aggressive behavior
  • >> Promote engagement in community
  • >> Facilitate friendly social interactions with others
  • >> Provide predictability in day-to-day functions


After the duration of the rehab stay, clients are encouraged to keep in touch with therapists and to seek further help if needed.


  1.   US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Available at:
  2.   Smith. P., Morrow, R.H., & Ross D.A. (eds.) (2015). Field Trials of Health Interventions: A Toolbox. 3rd edition. Available at:
  3.   Yen, I. Syme, S. (1999). The Social Environment and Health: A discussion of the Epidemiologic Literature. Available at:
  4.   The Conversation. (2019). How rehab helps heavy drug and alcohol users think differently. Available at:
  5.   Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (1999). Brief Interventions and Brief Therapies for Substance Abuse. Available at:
  6.   American Psychological Association. (2019). Understanding psychotherapy and how it works. Available at:
  7.   Group Therapy. Available at:
  8.   American Psychological Association. (2019). How Long Will It Take for Treatment to Work? Available at: