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we're here to help people whose lives are affected by drugs


Residential rehabilitation is a Tier 4 service. Tier 4 services are specialist drug and alcohol services offering intensive and structured programmes delivered in controlled residential unit or other controlled environments. It is recognised that people with complex problems related to drug use may require respite and an intense residential programme of support and care, which cannot realistically be delivered in a community or outpatient setting.

Before beginning and during a residential rehabilitation:

  • Clients are comprehensively assessed
  • Client choice is respected
  • Care is planned and reviewed frequently
  • Departure and aftercare are planned   

Residential rehabilitation programmes are quite diverse in the way they operate but most provide a structured programme of treatment, which shares the following basic features:

  • Maintenance of abstinence from illicit drugs, and some prescription drugs
  • Communal living with other drug users in recovery
  • Emphasis on group counselling and shared responsibility by residents
  • Relapse prevention – orientated counselling and support
  • Improve skills and activities for daily living
  • Residents are willing to accept restrictions to their liberty for the duration or for some of the residential programme
  • Residential rehabilitation programmes are averagely 3-6 months long
  • Service users may have to make a financial contribution towards their placement. (FACS criteria)
  • Provision of aftercare and support


Residential rehabilitation services are based around the country and there are many different types of treatment programmes. The choice of unit relevant to service users needs will be highlighted and discussed in the assessment of need carried out by a care manager from the Substance Team in your area.

Models of rehabilitation

Generally Rehabilitation Programmes are based on differing combinations of the following models

 Minnesota Model of treatment  

These programmes involve an intensive rehabilitation programme involving the 12 steps of recovery followed by extended participation in 12 –step, self-help groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous or the newly formed Methamphetamine Anonymous.

Cognitive Behavioural Model

One frequently used drug rehab treatment is cognitive behavioural and relapse prevention.
In drug rehab service users are taught new ways of acting and thinking that will help them stay off drugs. Counselling sessions are mandatory. Any drug using lapses are viewed as ‘slips’ rather than a failure.

Social Education Model

This model is based on opening new ways of using time, such as college courses and voluntary work. Service users are encouraged to use nutrition and supplements to aid their diets in an effort to avoid drug taking.

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