What type of care is rehab?

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Rehab is a special healthcare service designed to help patients struggling with addiction regain the physical or mental, or cognitive ability that has been lost due to substance or alcohol use. 

The type of care offered is extensive and mainly includes detox, therapy, and aftercare services. In an inpatient setting (inpatient rehab) or outpatient (outpatient rehab), the care can be provided. 

Rehab care is for individuals struggling with alcohol or substance abuse. The latest report from the NHS shows a 6% increase in the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions [1].

A total of 7,423 alcohol-specific deaths were registered in England and Wales [2]. This is a 19.6% increase from 2019 (6,209 deaths).  

The study also shows that men have a higher prevalence of alcohol dependence compared to women. This dependence puts a significant proportion of the population at risk of developing alcohol addiction [2].  

Rehab offers treatment for those who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. It aims to treat drug dependence and alcoholism by first helping the individual get rid of the toxins in the body from the addiction (detox).

After that, the patient undergoes various forms of therapy, including the 12-step facilitation programme. The therapy helps the individual identify the underlying cause of the addiction.

It also equips them with coping skills that will help them maintain long-term sobriety. 

Abbeycare's alcohol treatment service overview is available here.

The different types of rehabilitation services available are: 

Inpatient rehabilitation 

Inpatient rehabilitation takes place in a safe, controlled environment such as a hospital or rehab facility. The patient is admitted to a care facility where they get 24/7 medical supervision.

Since the treatment takes place is a safe environment, the patient is free from the distractions or triggers of daily life that would lead them to alcohol or substance use.  

Inpatient care is for patients who suffer from moderate to severe addiction.  

Most inpatient rehabilitation facilities offer flexible payment options. If you or your loved one require inpatient rehab, you can contact your desired facility and discuss a payment plan that's suitable for you.  

Outpatient rehabilitation 

Outpatient rehabilitation takes place either at a local treatment centre or a rehab facility. This rehab approach involves attending treatment sessions for about 10 to 12 hours a week. 

Outpatient offers similar services as inpatient treatment. The only difference is that there are no overnight stays in outpatient rehabilitation.

This rehab approach is flexible and effective for those looking to recover from alcohol addiction. There are centres that offer intensive outpatient rehabilitation.  

The sessions in outpatient rehab differ depending on the treatment facility. Generally, patients go through sessions that focus on alcohol or drug abuse education.

They also attend individual and group counselling and learn coping skills that will them avoid triggers. This rehab approach is a good option for those struggling with mild addiction.  


What type of rehabilitation is very intensive? 

They type of rehabilitation that is intensive is a comprehensive and highly coordinated. This type of care is provided by a multidisciplinary team of rehabilitation professionals.

This team includes case managers or social workers, physicians, nurses, and a licensed therapist from every discipline required for treatment.  

Intensive rehabilitation provides more treatment and more depth in rehabilitation unlike a typical addiction treatment programme.  

This type of rehab care is designed to assist patients struggling with moderate to severe alcohol or drug addiction.

People who have tried to quit drinking or attended a rehab programme before but relapsed can benefit from intensive rehabilitation.  

Intensive rehabilitation can either be: 

1. Intensive outpatient rehab  

2. Intensive inpatient rehabilitation 

Intensive outpatient rehabilitation services are for patients who are not at risk of severe or acute withdrawal.

Individuals who have a less severe substance abuse problem or have recently completed residential (inpatient) treatment can continue with intensive outpatient care.  

Intensive outpatient offers services such as: 

  • Medication management  
  • Group therapy  
  • Individual therapy  
  • Educational classes  
  • Family therapy  
  • And much more.  

The outpatient care is intensive because the patients spend a longer time in treatment. They still get to continue with their work or school obligations. But, they may have to visit the treatment centre every day.  

Most intensive care approaches are individualized and based on the latest evidence-based research on effective treatment interventions for alcohol and substance use problems.

The educational classes that the patients attend covers a wide range of topics such as:

  • Co-dependency  
  • 12 steps programme  
  • Relapse prevention skills  
  • Anger and stress management  
  • Understanding the brain and addiction  
  • Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) Awareness 
  • How to manage triggers, cravings, and urges  
  • And so on.  

Be it inpatient or outpatient, the rehabilitation is intensive as it provides a comprehensive treatment approach that addresses the needs of the individual.

The treatment programme is extensive and includes services that are not found in a basic rehabilitation service.

For instance, you may find a facility that offers morning meditation and mindfulness training, art and music therapy, recreational therapy (leisure alternatives to alcohol and drugs), and so much more.

Other facilities may call a programme intensive because they offer specialized amenities, such as individual rooms and private baths, access to wireless internet, cell phone use, extensive extracurricular activities, and so much more.

What is the difference between acute and emergency rehab 

Acute rehab provides addiction treatment in a medical setting. This type of rehab care is the strictest approach to treatment. Acute rehab is for people who may not experience relief in a less comprehensive form of care.  

When a patient enters acute rehab, they spend most of the day, and at times night, engaging in therapies that will help combat the addiction. The programme is also designed to address co-occurring mental health issues.  

Acute rehab is offered on an inpatient or outpatient basis. During inpatient, the patient moves into the facility for addiction care, and they do not go home until the programme ends.

In acute outpatient, the individual goes home at night. However, they are in the facility almost every day.  

Emergency rehab is different from acute rehab in that it is designed for people who need immediate/urgent care. Emergency rehab is about immediate admissions based on the individual needs. 

Factors that may lead to an emergency admission include medical or psychological emergencies. For example, a medical event such as alcohol will require emergency rehab.  

How long can you stay in alcohol rehab? 

The duration of an alcohol rehab depends on the type of programme and your individual needs. There are short-term rehab programmes that last between 20 to 30 days.

Long-term rehab can last between 60 to 120 days. Some programmes can last up to a year. The average length of rehab is usually 30 days. 

Alcohol rehab can take various approaches, including inpatient treatment, outpatient care, and aftercare programmes such as sober living.

The basic programmes available are: 

  • 30-day programme 
  • 60-day programme 
  • 90-day programme

A person can stay up to a year in a long-term care facility building up on their coping mechanism. The long-term care rehab facilities also help the patient work on their physical and mental health.  

The duration of the programme depends on the severity of your addiction plus the duration of alcohol use. Most individuals require at least three months in treatment before engaging in a plan for continued recovery.

Research supports long-term care in overcoming alcohol addiction for the best outcomes to occur. 

What is rehabilitation care 

Rehabilitation care offers a structured approach to alcohol addiction treatment. This type of care is obtained at a rehab centre where the patient receives a variety of services.

There's extensive research that identify alcohol as a chronic illness. Therefore, the rehab options available seek to help the patient achieve abstinence.  

Addiction is an illness that cannot be cured. However, by achieving abstinence, a person can manage the addiction. The care provided at a rehabilitation centre is designed to address all aspects of an addiction.

Since addiction is complex, the aim of treatment is to address the psychological and behavioural factors contributing to the addiction.  

A typical rehabilitation facility provides medical care (especially during the detox phase).

The rehabilitation process also provides patients with a structured daily routine designed to help them develop habits and skills that will aid them in the recovery process.  

Most rehabilitation facilities are not covered by the NHS. Therefore, most people seek treatment using private insurance. Alternatively, family members can help you cover the cost for rehab.  


Rehabilitation offers services that aid the person to achieve abstinence. Anyone struggling with alcohol or drug use can benefit from the treatment programmes as most facilities design their treatment plans depending on the needs of the individual.  

During rehabilitation therapy, a person engages with a multidisciplinary team that includes addiction therapists, nutritionists, psychiatrist, nurses, and many more. Family caregivers can also engage with the team to help their loved one.  

There are different rehabilitation services available, each with its unique approach to rehabilitation therapy. Yet, the core therapies include detox and rehabilitation.

The care provided can take place at a community setting, hospital or clinic setting. Most treatment services take place in a rehab facility.  

It's important to note that you can get rehab through NHS or private means. The most popular approach is using private means, and there are various payment options to get the best care possible. 

Abbeycare Pricing Bot

Last Updated: February 3, 2022

About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Peter has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for Abbeycare Gloucester and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire. Peter also co-authored the new 6th edition of Drugs In Use by Linda Dodds, writing Chapter 15 on Alcohol Related Liver Disease. Find Peter on Respiratory Academy, Aston University graduates, University of Birmingham, Q, Pharmaceutical Journal, the Dudley Pharmaceutical Committee, Dudley Council, Twitter, and LinkedIn.