Make An Enquiry
Call Us @ 0800 118 2892
or +44 (0)203 151 1280


Committing to a rehab programme is perhaps the hardest step in the journey towards recovery from addiction. For many, it is simply the unknown which is most daunting.

Here, we’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions about our addiction rehab programmes in order that you feel more informed about the process. The more knowledge you have about rehab, such as what to expect, how long it might take, and the costs associated with it, the simpler your recovery journey will be.

Addictions General FAQs (2)

As well as being directly related to many serious diseases, drinking large amounts of alcohol can also lead to poor sexual performance, and it can harm an unborn baby. If you have an alcohol related problem, there are many ways in which you can get help to reduce your drinking, and there are also many services that you can use that will help you stop altogether. Definition The problems associated with alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, are wide ranging, and can be physical, psychological, and social.

There is no definitive cure for addiction. However, rehab can provide patients with the skills needed to successfully manage their addiction and remain sober. Recovery from addiction is never over and patients will need to work on their ability to avoid relapse for the rest of their lives. A high quality addiction rehab programme sets patients up for this process.

Admissions and Pre Admissions FAQs (17)

Each patient can receive a meal plan determined by our ED focused therapists. Meals are varied and balanced, and for our ED patients, we will offer one to one support to reduce anxiety, panic and trauma.

Serenity Health offer an innovative private treatment synergistic community. Each patient on a Serenity Health treatment programme has a customised treatment plan to include individual and group therapies on a daily basis. Residents will have the opportunity for reflective time during activities such as journaling and reading.

The multi-disciplinary teams across our clinics consist of highly skilled professionals including: Psychiatrists, Doctors, Therapists, Dieticians, Nurses, an acupuncturist, an herbalist, equine specialist and trauma reduction therapists.

Studies indicate that a person’s success rate directly correlates with the amount of time spent in treatment. The longer the length of stay in treatment the higher the likelihood of long term recovery. One40 recommends that you consider the value of a 60-day stay. Success is also greatest when patients follow the step down care plan co-designed by the patient with their lead therapist. This is strongly advised by our Admissions staff. Serenity Health will carefully coordinate aftercare with each patient, and we stress the importance of following the discharge plan.

Serenity Health clinics offer detox programmes and therapeutic treatment programmes that are approved by the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. We are proud to offer 24/7 nursing care supervised by Psychiatrists, Doctors, Nurses and therapists in conjunction with our multiple treatment and therapeutic modalities.

Serenity Health firmly believes that family/friends involvement is essential to a successful recovery. Therefore, we incorporate a bespoke family program, which includes educational sessions, therapy sessions as well as experiential/expressive therapies.

Serenity Health will help you obtain information about your insurance’s benefits and their policies. An insurance plan may or may not cover the cost of your stay. Serenity Health has no control over the ultimate outcome of insurance reviews and your insurance provider may not guarantee payment.

The minimum length of stay we would advise for one of our therapeutic treatment programmes is 4 wks. However patients do stay longer. Research shows that a 60 -90-day stay produces the greatest long-lasting benefits and offers the best chance of long term recovery.

The Serenity Health multi-disciplinary staff team treats individuals with co-occurring process addictions as well as alcohol and drugs, such as sex, co-dependency, trauma and gambling. If you think you might have coexisting issues please speak with one of our admissions counsellors and together we will determine how we can best meet your needs and create the most effective program for you.

Serenity Health offers each patient time for visits from friends and family. Throughout your personalised treatment plan we will help you assess your interpersonal connections and communications.

The treatment team recognises that appropriate exercise is a functional part of an overall plan for optimal recovery. Exercise under supervision is integrated into each resident’s care plan schedule.

Predominantly the age of our patients starts from 18, please contact our admission specialists should you be under the age of 18 and we will try to help you.

Yes. Every patient is given the option of which clinic they wish to stay at. The Admissions counsellors will go through each clinics treatment programme, its facilities complete with all the services it provides.

Patients have many opportunities for supervised offsite experiences. Including; equine therapy, exercise, swimming and day to day basic life skills trips.

Rehab programmes vary a great deal in price, depending on the length of the programme, the facilities provided, and various other factors. Inpatient treatments are understandably more expensive due to the costs involved in providing meals and lodgings as well as therapy and activities. Outpatient programmes can cost less, but prices vary greatly depending on the level of intensity provided and the number of counselling and support sessions or activities provided each week.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors which affect the cost of rehab.


There are a wide range of amenities which could increase the cost of a rehab programme, but which may aid recovery, such as:

– High quality or gourmet food
– Private rooms
– Acupuncture
– Massage
– Yoga
– Additional activities, such as art classes

Length of programme

The longer a programme is, the more expensive it will be. The length of the programme will depend on your individual needs which will be assessed by a counsellor before the rehab begins.


Rehab facilities in particularly scenic or luxurious locations can be more expensive. Plus, patients must factor in their travel costs when choosing a facility far away from their home.

Type of programme

Inpatient facilities, which provide food, board, and access to medical professionals and treatment professionals at all times, are more expensive than outpatient facilities.

Our inpatient programmes can vary between £1500 and £18,000 depending on the length of stay and the clinic chosen. Outpatient programmes start from £995, with the price increasing with additional treatment or relapse support. The cost of rehab can be daunting, but compared to the cost of ongoing drug addiction, they are a worthwhile investment.

There is no simple way to compare the cost of addiction against the cost of rehab, because addiction can cause a huge amount of financial loss in various different ways.

The first factor to consider is the cost of the drugs, which may increase exponentially the longer the addiction goes on for. If the addiction affects your ability to work, you may have to factor in loss of earnings which may occur if you lose your employment. Plus, you could incur legal costs if your addiction results in you being prosecuted.

Aside from financial costs, there are many other costs to addiction. You could sacrifice your physical or mental health, your happiness, your relationships with others, and your ability to pursue hobbies or career aspirations. When you consider all of these factors, the cost of addiction rehab is nothing in comparison.

It depends on the individual. Overcoming addiction from drugs or alcohol is often a long and complex process and exactly how long the treatment lasts will depend on the needs of the person. We offer a range of different treatment methods that enable both abstinence and recovery from addiction. All the facilities have been designed with helping sufferers break free of their addiction, but the length of treatment varies from person to person.

Alcohol Addiction FAQs (16)

As well as being directly related to many serious diseases, drinking large amounts of alcohol can also lead to poor sexual performance, and it can harm an unborn baby. If you have an alcohol related problem, there are many ways in which you can get help to reduce your drinking, and there are also many services that you can use that will help you stop altogether. Definition The problems associated with alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, are wide ranging, and can be physical, psychological, and social.

Heavy drinking is linked to suicide, murder, fatal accidents, and many fatal diseases. It can increase your chances of developing cirrhosis of the liver, and it has been associated with many different types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, mouth, larynx (voicebox) and liver.

Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol will not do you any physical or psychological harm. However, for some people, social drinking can lead to heavier drinking, which can cause serious health problems. It is estimated that 1 in 13 people in the UK are dependent on alcohol (an alcoholic), with several million drinking excessively, to the extent where they are putting their health at risk.

Just because someone is a “heavy drinker” or a “problem drinker” doesn’t mean that they are automatically an alcoholic. You could say that this type of person “abuses” alcohol, but rather alcoholism itself is an addiction with a variety of different definitions. There is often controversy over how the actual diagnosis should be made.

We often suggest that alcoholism is an addiction due to the following factors: compulsive use, preoccupation with the acquisition of alcohol, narrowing of interests, relapse and often denial. These various factors are also seen in addictions in all other variations of drug dependence.

There isn’t a single “correct” definition that we should and can use for alcoholism due to the subtle nature of the disease in its progression. The line in which people cross to become an alcoholic from heavy drinking is unclear. However, if we apply an overall definition of addiction, then “continued use and abuse in spite of severe consequences” is a smart place to start.

For those whose alcohol use has continued to the point of addiction as defined above, then we can conclude that they are an alcoholic and they need professional help immediately.

It is very important to note that many of those people who only consider themselves “moderate drinkers”, experience some of the early symptoms that alcoholism permits. This includes interpersonal problems, medical issues and hangovers that cause absence from work.

There is no single kind of an addictive personality that appears to predict alcoholism. Rather, the addictive personality doesn’t appear to be present before the onset of alcohol dependence, nor does it seem to be inherited.

However, it has been shown that antisocial behaviour in childhood often leads to alcohol drinking and eventual problem drinking alcohol. It’s estimated that somewhere between 50% and 90% of prisoners suffer from alcoholism, and many of these people have antisocial personalities.

Typically, people who are considered “moderate” drinkers will report that, when they consume small doses of alcohol, it has a pleasant effect on their communication skills. Alternatively, they may say it brings about a state of relaxation or creates a stimulant effect on their appetite.

A person who consumes alcohol in low-doses can experience a number of mental effects. Ranging from anxiety to sadness, or from hyperactivity to irritability. It also includes a wider range of interpersonal issues. Those who drink higher quantities of alcohol within a more frequent period of time can suffer from psychiatric symptoms including auditory hallucinations, paranoia and intense and prolonged insomnia. The effects on their mental processes are as limited or severe as the quantity of alcohol consumed and the period of time in which it is consumed.

We all know that some people will naturally get drunk more quickly. Especially if they drink too much alcohol in a short period of time with no food in their stomach, or if they are of low weight. Some people have the ability to drink more than others due to different genetic factors or simply because, over time, they have increased their tolerance. This is similar to other drug users. The irony is though, that being able to “hold your alcohol” is an indication that you may actually have a drinking problem.

We all know that some people will naturally get drunk more quickly. Especially if they drink too much alcohol in a short period of time with no food in their stomach, or if they are of low weight. Some people have the ability to drink more than others due to different genetic factors or simply because, over time, they have increased their tolerance. This is similar to other drug users. The irony is though, that being able to “hold your alcohol” is an indication that you may actually have a drinking problem.

The answer, unfortunately, is that alcoholism is a severe mental illness caused by a chemical imbalance within the brain. Just like anyone else with any kind of mental illness, such as anyone suffering from depression, stress or an eating disorder, an alcoholic is completely unable to simply ‘shake it off’ and stop drinking.

That’s the simple explanation, but for a more scientific answer, see below:

In a normally functioning brain, chemicals called neurotransmitters help the brain to communicate efficiently with every other area of the body.

Once someone starts drinking, this interferes with the balance of the brain and affects the neurotransmitter pathways. The ethanol in an alcoholic drink suppresses glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, causing slurred speech and lack of co-ordination. The main inhibitory neurotransmitter, Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is also affected by ethanol and is responsible for that feeling of wanting to drop off to sleep. Dopamine and serotonin release is also stimulated by drinking alcohol, and these neurotransmitters are what creates those feelings of being happy, excited and euphoric that the drinker can begin to crave.

Over time, less dopamine is released, and it takes more alcohol to get the same feelings of excitement and euphoria, and this can lead to alcohol addiction, with the accompanying withdrawal symptoms as the brain gets used to having alcohol present.

There are as many different reasons why alcoholics drink as there are alcoholics. Each story is individual and has different factors involved, purely because each person is an individual with their own complex background, history and personal experiences.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is part of the US National Institute of Health and works with both US and international organisations to study the effects of alcohol and alcohol addiction and find new treatments. While alcoholism isn’t fully understood yet, according to their research, the brain of a heavy drinker may start to respond to drinking alcohol quite differently than the brain of someone who doesn’t drink a lot, as the human brain can begin to adapt to the presence of alcohol.

These changes in the brain could be responsible for withdrawal symptoms, alcohol tolerance and ultimately alcohol dependence. The changes in the brain could also be why alcoholics continue to drink in an effort to avoid any withdrawal symptoms, and to hit that high they crave until they get to the point of hitting rock bottom and deciding to stop for good.


It’s a sad fact that trying to stop drinking is incredibly hard and some alcohol addicts can’t manage to quit for good. The changes in the brain explain why people find it so easy to fall back into the same old ways and continue to drink. The brain’s craving for alcohol will be quickly reactivated, especially if the addict has been used to drinking heavily for a very long time, or if it hasn’t been very long since their last drink.

After that first drink, with the cravings reawakened, it is all too easy to go back to their old lifestyle and find themselves living through the exact same problems and issues as before.

Family and friends can unfortunately suffer a great deal if they are close to an addict, not just with dealing with the fact that a loved one is an alcoholic and can’t seem to help themselves despite all the problems they are causing for themselves and for their close friends and family, but also with having to deal with someone they previously trusted telling outright lies.

When you’re close to a situation like this, it can be incomprehensible. Why on earth would someone continue to lie to you when it’s obvious what they are doing, and when you’ve told them you know they are lying?

• A big part of this behaviour isn’t lying to you, it’s lying to themselves. The alcoholic doesn’t want to face their addiction or acknowledge where they are and what situation they’re in. They don’t want to tell themselves the hard truth that they can’t stop drinking, or that they’re homeless because they lost their job and their partner left them due to their addiction. It’s much more palatable to tell themselves that they can stop drinking whenever they like, and that they are leaving their old job to get something that’s much better. It’s denial and avoidance.

• An addict will also lie to enable and preserve their addiction. Again, in part, it’s lying to themselves about how they are making their loved ones feel and about their behaviour, but it’s also lying to their close friends and family to keep them in the dark and allow the drinking to continue.

• Alcoholics will also look to avoid arguments and confrontation. They’ll hide how much they drink, lie about their problems and their debts, and do their best to present a normal façade while they carry on drinking. Addicts don’t always have good coping skills in general, and avoiding confrontation means they don’t have to fully deal with their addiction.

Lying is only a part of the problem of addiction, and alcoholics need help to uncover the underlying problems that have caused their addiction so that they can move forward with their lives and live addiction free.

The blame game is all bundled in with lying, and alcoholics blame everyone else but themselves and their drinking for their problems so that they can deny that there is a problem and avoid having to do anything about it.

• Alcoholics will often blame other people or situations in order to avoid admitting that they are the one with the problem and that they do have to get treatment and help in order to recover.

• The idea of never having a drink again can be an incredibly hard thing to face, and putting the blame elsewhere can be so much easier, and allows the addict to keep on drinking. For the addict, alcohol isn’t a problem, it’s a solution to get them through the day and to allow them to face any emotional problems, and the idea that this simply isn’t true can be a terrifying and intolerable thing to cope with.

• Change can be frightening and facing their problems and going to alcohol rehab to start on the road to recovery can be a change too far for many alcoholics. It’s easier to carry on down the same path and place blame on anyone and anything else.

• The out of character way that an addict can behave when they are drinking heavily isn’t necessarily something that they won’t remember in the morning. All too often, an alcoholic knows exactly how badly they’ve behaved, they know how much they’ve hurt people and made a fool of themselves, and they feel shame and embarrassment at what they’ve done. The chance to blame outside situations and other people can be extremely tempting when the addict can tell themselves a comforting story that it wasn’t really their fault.

The alcoholic has to get to the point where they face up to and admit that they have a problem and they need help. They can then move past blaming everyone and everything but themselves and start to work on recovery and taking back control of their own lives.

Of course it’s upsetting and can be incredibly hurtful when a loved one lies to you and flings blame around rather than looking to themselves, so you do have to challenge them about what they are doing, but try not to get personal with insults or be very defensive.

It’s very hard but do your best to be supportive and calm, and be someone that the addict in your life feels they can talk to and open up with. You have more chance of them telling you that they have a problem and asking for your help to do something about it, if you can offer support and a listening ear.

Most people will have heard of cirrhosis of the liver and understand that the condition is caused by long-term damage of the liver through heavy drinking, but other organs in the body can be seriously affected by alcohol, and the heart is one of them.

Abuse of alcohol can bring about a condition called alcoholic cardiomyopathy, where the heart muscle is weakened and it can no longer pump blood as effectively. Not only does this have an effect on other organs in the body that are not getting the blood they need, but the heart itself can begin to expand to hold the excess blood that is not being pumped correctly. The heart can enlarge and become thinner, to the point that the vessels and muscles cannot function properly.

If untreated, alcoholic cardiomyopathy can lead to congestive heart failure.

From the CHEST Journal “In the United States, in both sexes and all races, long-term heavy alcohol consumption (of any beverage type) is the leading cause of a nonischemic, dilated cardiomyopathy, herein referred to as alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM). ACM is a specific heart muscle disease of a known cause that occurs in two stages: an asymptomatic stage and a symptomatic stage. In general, alcoholic patients consuming over 90g of alcohol a day (approximately seven to eight standard drinks per day) for longer than 5 years are at risk for the development of asymptomatic ACM.”

Unfortunately, some people don’t show any symptoms at all until the condition has already developed and progressed to the point where heart failure could happen. If you do show any of the symptoms listed below, please contact a doctor urgently:

• Lack of appetite
• Fainting or dizziness
• Shortness of breath
• Swelling of feet, ankles and legs
• Feeling weak
• Fatigue
• Rapid, irregular pulse
• A change in how often you pass urine
• Coughing up of pink-coloured mucus

Drug Detox FAQs (2)

Category: Drug Detox FAQs

Some individuals will recover from drug dependency successfully without the assistance of professionals, but this is very rare. In certain circumstances, trying drug detox alone can be extremely dangerous.

Category: Drug Detox FAQs

Undergoing any medically supervised detox at treatment centres or at home allows individuals to access medical professionals and nursing staff who will ensure client comfort and stability, while making sure you remain safe at all times. It’s also possible that medications or treatments could be prescribed to help ease the discomfort of the withdrawal process.
Rehab centres offer a variety of activities and benefits for anyone going through the detox procedure. Some of the different services that tend to be available include:
• 12-step recovery programmes
• Self-help programmes and talking therapies
• Medical supervision and treatments
• Help with relapse prevention
• Individual and group therapies
• Family well being, information and counselling
• Follow up care services

Drug Rehab FAQs (6)

Category: Drug Rehab FAQs

Rehab centres are part of the drug addiction recovery process. Every rehab centre will have a different programme of treatments, therapies and activities and they will provide a unique environment which can operate utilising different philosophies and approaches to treatment, so it is very difficult to try to describe a typical rehab treatment facility. For example, a specific drug rehab facility could offer long-term treatments in exclusive and luxurious accommodation, while providing an overriding approach to address clients’ overall sense of happiness and health. An alternative rehab centre could be located in a simple, countryside setting and might put more focus on healing the family members of the client with the drug addiction.

Category: Drug Rehab FAQs

All rehab centres have some treatment facilities in common, including being drug-free environments, providing counselling services and offering a treatment approach that is personalised to each individual.

The provision of a drug-free environment is a basic requirement for all rehab centres as it gives all clients a safe zone for recovery. It’s possible to set aside any thoughts or fears about accessing your drug of preference while staying in rehab.

Category: Drug Rehab FAQs

Recovering from drug addiction will be an ongoing process that takes place for a long while after treatment has ended. Indeed, many people consider drug addiction to be a condition that lasts a lifetime. It’s very difficult to give an accurate answer about the length of the recovery process, as every individual is different.

This may seem a daunting prospect, but the good news is that strategies and support networks and systems are in place for recovering addicts once rehab has been completed.

Although you can consider recovery as a life-long process, it doesn’t have to be depressing, it’s true that many people have re-built successful lives and remained free of drugs for several years or decades.

Category: Drug Rehab FAQs

Most people think that drug addiction recovery will mean cutting contact with family and friends for a long period of time, but there are plenty of treatment centres that provide detox and rehab facilities for clients needing to keep in constant contact with family and friends throughout their stay.

Most people think of inpatient rehab centres that require guests to stay on site, but there are a range of outpatient treatment programmes that just require attendance for the day, offering the ability for clients to return home in the evening to spend time with family and friends.

Category: Drug Rehab FAQs

Addicts and their close friends and family often enquire about the length of the recovery process. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to answer this question. Different treatment programmes will take varying amounts of time, although, if you were to register for a short-term treatment programme option, you could probably expect it to take between one and three months.

Category: Drug Rehab FAQs

The counselling services provided in drug treatment centres will be an important component of the treatment and help aid successful recovery. It’s important to take advantage of the counselling service offered by professional therapists in rehab, even if you don’t want to participate in individual or group counselling sessions that are available. The counselling given by professional therapists aims to help you address the causes of your addiction and prepare yourself for leading a drug-free existence.

You can expect your drug rehab facility to provide personalised treatment geared to your needs. Everyone’s experience of issues in addiction is different, so rehab centres work with you to customise the treatment to suit your needs.

Eating Disorders FAQs (17)

An eating disorder is a disturbance in accepted norms for eating behaviours. These are usually due to an overvalued desire to be seen as being thin, although there are other possible causes. These include a biological vulnerability, and a range of both social and environmental factors. Then, once such a disorder develops, psychological changes strengthen the behaviours and help sustain irrational thought patterns. As an example of this: if an individual is starving themselves, this then increases their preoccupation with food and increases the risk of their binge eating.

There are two disorders that most people will instantly recognise by name. Anorexia nervosa is a form of self-starvation. Bulimia nervosa occurs when a person engages in repeated cycles of binge-eating followed by harmful actions such as starvation, self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse or excessive exercising. These are psychiatric illnesses centred on the consumption of food.

Two more common eating disorders are binge-eating disorder and atypical eating disorders. Binge-eating disorder resembles bulimia but sufferers don’t undertake the compensatory behaviours to prevent weight gain. An atypical eating disorder occurs when individuals are controlled by fears when eating, such as that of choking; or undertake unusual behaviours, such as chewing and then spitting out their food. 

Those suffering from eating disorders have an excessive preoccupation with their food, matched to a dissatisfaction with either their weight or body shape, or both. This is usually shown by their need to engage in extreme eating behaviours, such as fasting or binge eating. This is then matched with self-induced vomiting, the use of diuretics or laxatives, abuse of diet pills, chewing, spitting or regurgitating their food, and excessive exercise. Such behaviours develop into a ruling passion which then adversely affects the individual’s well being: physically, psychologically, and in social interactions.

There are many other conditions that might form part of the problem. Psychologically, these can include anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive behaviour, and substance abuse. Medically, these might include gastrointestinal complaints, osteoporosis, chronic pain, and infertility problems or irregular menstruation. 

Although there is often a perception that these mainly affect young women, one in ten sufferers of such disorders are male. In terms of age, the most common onset age range is between 12-25, but these disorders can occur at any time of life. Anorexia nervosa affects 0.5%, and bulimia nervosa 2-3%, of women in their lifetime.

It has been found that women suffering such disorders can tend to be perfectionists, are often eager to please others, can be victims of self-doubt, and are sensitive to the criticisms of others. They may be future-oriented yet have difficulty in adapting to change. Another, smaller group are more extroverted, impulsive, novelty-seekers, who can struggle to maintain stable relationships.

Such pressures, such as to be seen as being thin, are known to influence the dieting behaviours of individuals. Yet, taking the US as an example, although the majority of girls and women will diet at some point in their lives, less than 5% will develop a full-blown eating disorder in their lifetime. Therefore, a range of other factors must come into play for those who are vulnerable to developing such conditions. 

It is thought that abnormalities in the brain’s serotonergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems can play a role in both the cause and the continuation of eating disorders. Studies of both families and twins have suggested that genes predispose (make someone more liable to catch illnesses or undertake certain behaviours) to an eating disorder. Further genetic studies are currently taking place to attempt to identify the genes involved in the development of key eating disorders. Taking these studies in combination, they suggest that it’s possible that there is an inborn genetic vulnerability in at-risk individuals. Further, once such behaviours are in place, this can lead to biological changes that help sustain the behaviours of the eating disorder.

Underweight individuals suffering from anorexia can also engage in bulimic behaviours, such as binge-eating and purging; in such cases the primary diagnosis would be of anorexia rather than bulimia. 

For underweight individuals, the achievement of a low normal weight is a priority for further treatment to be successful. Such treatments involve both behavioural monitoring and nutritional rehabilitation with the aim to normalise the individual’s weight. Psychotherapy treatment will focus on correcting the irrational preoccupations with both weight and body shape, and in preventing any relapse to previous damaging behaviours.

Practical interventions would involve careful monitoring of weight gain, and prescribing an adequate diet. Failure to achieve these might lead to inpatient hospitalisation (see question: Might inpatient treatment be necessary?).

The fear of being considered fat, and body dissatisfaction, key characteristics of this disorder, tend to extinguish gradually, usually over a period of a few months, providing the individual’s target weight is maintained. Between one half and three quarters of patients eventually make a recovery from this condition.

It has been recognised that, with patients under the age of 18, a family therapy approach, rather than just treating the individual themselves, has been found to be more effective.

No medications have been shown to facilitate weight gain in such cases.

The most effective treatment is cognitive behavioural therapy. This involves the individual self-monitoring their thoughts, feelings and behaviours related to this eating disorder. Therapy is then focused on identifying those environmental triggers or irrational thoughts, feelings and states that lead to either bingeing or purging. Actions are taken to help with normalising eating behaviour, including showing individuals how to challenge any beliefs they have regarding their weight or self-esteem.

Anti-depressants have been found to be effective in decreasing bingeing and purging behaviours.

Bulimia nervosa in most cases, can be treated on an outpatient basis. With anorexia, speciality inpatient programmes which combine close monitoring of an individual’s behaviour matched with psychological therapy, are generally very effective in achieving weight gain when this has not occurred in an outpatient environment. 

When an individual, or those concerned for their welfare, believe someone may have an eating disorder, this may be due to a preoccupation with food or weight. When this persists, or symptoms have worsened, then we recommend a comprehensive evaluation in one of our Consultation Clinics.

Here, the individual, preferably accompanied by a family member or significant other, will be seen by an experienced psychiatrist who will undertake that comprehensive review of their history and symptoms. Any necessary medical tests will also be completed, and other medical or psychiatric problems will also be fully discussed. 

After all diagnoses have been made and impressions analysed, our consultant will offer clear treatment recommendations. These could include further testing, medication or psychotherapy. It’s also possible that a further consultation with another of our medical specialist team might be suggested. 

Guard Against Relapse FAQs (3)

Relapse is when individuals start using drugs once again, following on from a period of being clean. Relapse rates for former addict’s range between 40% and 60%, so it could be said that about half the people who experience drug detox and maintain a clean lifestyle for a while will go through a period of relapse at some point. There are a variety of factors which can trigger relapse, including:
• Increased availability of substance
• Isolation
• Losing your job or unemployment
• Extreme levels of stress
• Reduced or lack of support from family and friends
There are proven techniques to assist recovering drug abusers with remaining clean and avoiding any relapse. It’s important for former drug abusers and family members to take full advantage of any aftercare services which are provided by treatment centres. Many rehab centres offer targeted relapse prevention sessions that will teach techniques for handling some of the most common relapse triggers.

Alongside taking full advantage of the professional methods offered for relapse prevention, individuals in the drug addiction recovery cycle often find it’s helpful to get involved in activities that promote a substance-free lifestyle. These could include things like sporting activities or athletics, taking up art or artistic pursuits, or offering time to volunteering causes and charities. These activities will be fulfilling and help create a successful lifestyle, but they will also occupy time and prevent you getting into the type of situations that could trigger a relapse.

Unfortunately, relapse is a reality for many rehab patients because recovery from addiction is a lifelong process. Relapse is not failure; it is a simply an obstacle in the path to sobriety. Individuals who relapse often return to a rehab programme to reassess their motivations for getting sober and reaffirm the skills learned during their first rehab programme.

Other Co-Occurring Disorders FAQs (5)

When a mental health disorder occurs at the same time as a substance use disorder, it is referred to as a co-occurring disorder. Individuals with co-occurring disorders have one or more mental health disorders and one or more substance use disorders at the same time, which can have a significant impact on their lives.

Mental health disorders may vary in severity and might include:

– Anxiety
– Depression
– Bipolar disorder
– Schizophrenia
– Borderline personality disorder

Substance use disorders may include:

– Alcohol abuse
– Use of illegal drugs such as marijuana, methamphetamine, or heroin
– Abuse of prescription medicines

Only qualified professionals can determine whether someone is suffering from co-occurring disorders. Such professionals might include:

– Psychologists
– Psychiatrists
– Mental health counsellors
– Social workers
– Substance use counsellors

Before a diagnosis is made, one or more of these professionals may want to talk to you about your history of mental health and substance use. They may monitor you for a period of time to assess your health and make an accurate dual diagnosis.

If you think you could have co-occurring disorders, you could look for online resources to learn about symptoms of mental health problems or substance use disorders. However, you should then take your concerns to a qualified professional for a proper diagnosis.

Sometimes mental health disorders and substance use disorders simply occur independently of one another, and they happen to occur at the same time. However, in many instances, the disorders are tied together and one disorder may lead to another, or be exacerbated by another.

For example, an individual who suffers from depression may turn to alcohol to alleviate the symptoms. However, once the alcohol leaves the body, depression symptoms will return and they may be worsened. The individual may therefore find themselves drinking alcohol more and more regularly in an attempt to manage the symptoms of depression, which could result in alcohol addiction or abuse.

Similarly, substance abuse might cause mental health problems. This might be because drugs or alcohol can generate anxiety or depression, or it may be because some drugs can trigger mental illness in those who are already genetically predisposed to it.

Often, both mental illness and substance abuse can be worsened by circumstances influenced by the mental disorder or substance use. For example, drug abuse could cause loss of employment, financial difficulties, and problems with family and relationships, and these difficulties can all contribute to mental health problems, particularly depression or anxiety. Co-occurring disorders are therefore often cyclical and influenced by a range of factors.

It is possible for any mental health disorder to occur at the same time as substance use disorders. However, there is evidence of substance use problems being more common with certain mental health conditions. 

Below is the percentage of people with certain mental health disorders who also have a substance abuse problem:

– PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder): 85 – 90%
– Antisocial behaviour disorder: 82%
– Bipolar disorder: 71%
– Schizophrenia: 50%

Adolescents with certain mental health disorders are also more likely to have problems with substance use than those without the disorders. Those with attention deficit disorder, conduct disorder, or oppositional defiant disorder are seven times more likely to use substances. Those with depression are four times more likely to use substances, and those with anxiety are twice as likely to have problems with substance abuse.

Usually, patients will be treated for all co-occurring disorders at the same time. This is known as integrated treatment.

Essentially, integrated treatment works to treat all disorders as though they are simply different aspects of a single disorder. It assesses the interaction between all the disorders which are present in order to find the most appropriate treatment methods. This works to break the cycle which is common with co-occurring disorders, in which one disorder contributes or exacerbates others.

Sometimes, co-occurring disorders are treated individually, either parallel or sequentially. Parallel treatments mean that an individual has each disorder treated at the same time, but with different treatment methods and sometimes by different treatment providers. Sequential treatment is similar, but it focuses on treating one disorder at a time.

The problem with both parallel and sequential treatments for co-occurring disorders is that it can result in conflicting treatment methods or messages from treatment providers. This can make it less effective than the integrated treatment method, which is favoured here at Serenity.

Prescription Drugs FAQs (6)

Stimulants, opioids and depressants of the central nervous system are among the most common drugs which are abused. Included in the list of stimulants which are seen to be abused commonly are methylphenidate and amphetamines, as well as some drugs which are used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Opiods on the list of prescription drugs which commonly see misuse are morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone. Abused central nervous system depressants which are prescribed to reduce anxiety and encourage sleep include diazepam and mephobarbital. Then there are cough medications such as codeine and dextromethorphan which have been seen to be abused by some prescription drugs misusers.

Common ways of changing the form of a prescription drug in order to produce a more intense effect include dissolving the drug so it can be injected, or alternatively crushing it. This can speed up the time it takes the drug to enter the system because it enters the blood stream faster; producing a sedated feeling or in some cases, a heightened euphoria.

Prescription drug abuse refers to the problem of individuals using medical drugs which have not been specifically prescribed for them, or taking the drug in a way other than the means which are recommended. Typically, a person who misuses prescription drugs will take more than the dose which is normally recommended for medical purposes. In this way, prescription drug abusers are able to build up a tolerance to the drug which means that they require larger quantities in order to achieve the same ‘high’.

In the prescription drugs abuse hotbed of the United States, the issue is especially harmful within groups of young people, with around 2,000 days misusing a prescription drug for the first time. Around the world, as many as 20 million 12 to 17-year-olds per year are believed to abuse prescription drugs. Only alcohol and marijuana are recognised as substances which are more commonly abused than prescription drugs.

Prescription drug abuse is a problem which is rife all over the world. The growth of the problem is said to have mirrored the decrease of heroin abuse, with prescription opiates becoming more of an issue than illegal narcotics – possibly due in part to availability – in many parts of North America. Australia is a country which has faced its own issues where prescription opioids such as oxycodone, buprenorphine and morphine are concerned, with its population of prescription opioid abusers far outnumbering the amount of heroin abusers. In South America, too, prescription opioid abuse is more common than heroin abuse.

Reports from the United Nations show that Germany is home to as many as 1.9 million abusers of prescription drugs, while prescription drug use problems of some form have been witnessed in African countries such as Madagascar and Namibia. In short – this is a global problem which does not show any signs of going away soon.

Prescription drug abuse can develop from permitted use that began to treat a condition which needed medication. Once the mind and body develops a tolerance, more of the drugs can be needed in order to prevent pain from returning. Doctors are trained to detect the emergence of this kind of problem, usually when a patient has been requesting higher doses, and can then exercise their authority to take a prescription away, or alternatively limit the doses. In order to find the drugs which they need, users have then been seen to go from doctor to doctor in order to acquire the drugs which they need. Prescription forgery is another problem which is recognised as being a consequent problem of prescription drugs abuse.

Young people who become caught up in the issue of prescription drug abuse often acquire the drugs through friends who have access to pills, or from the medicine chests of friends and family members. There is also a black market for prescription drugs which involves ‘dealers’ acquiring large amounts of the drugs from doctors who are operating outside of the law.

Rehab Programmes and Treatment FAQs (13)

Rehab is simply a structured treatment programme which helps people to overcome addiction and move towards a sober, healthier, and happier lifestyle. The nature of a rehab programme tends to vary depending on the type of addiction it is designed to treat, and the individual needs of each patient.

While the exact nature of a rehab programme will vary from individual to individual, most are made up of a combination of three key elements: detoxification, substance abuse therapy, and aftercare planning. Let’s take a look at each element in more detail.


Detox tends to be the initial step of any rehab programme, with the aim being to remove all toxic substances (i.e. drugs or alcohol) from the body. Detox should be medically supervised in order that participants can be made to feel as comfortable as possible throughout the process, and to manage risks associated with withdrawing from substances.

Sometimes withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even dangerous, but the level of discomfort each individual experiences depends on the type of substances they take, the frequency of use, and the doses usually taken. Each individual’s detox process is different.

Substance abuse therapy

After detoxing from a substance, participants can then focus on the behaviours and emotions surrounding their addiction in order to learn how to prevent future relapse. Therapy tends to occur in both group and individual sessions, and focuses on helping individuals to identify the cause of their addiction and address it.

In time, therapy will then turn towards education in relapse prevention. At this stage, participants will learn how to identify their triggers and the situations in which they would be at a high risk of relapse. Then, they will develop skills to prevent relapse and remain sober, in spite of risky situations or triggers.


Once the addiction rehab programme reaches its close, participants will work to develop an aftercare plan. This will be a strategy that is very personal to them to help them remain sober long after leaving the rehabilitation centre. Ongoing therapy and support groups commonly feature in aftercare plans, and in some instances individuals may be provided with sober living arrangements if it is deemed appropriate.

The length of a rehabilitation varies from patient to patient, depending on the nature of their addiction and other circumstances affecting them, such as co-occurring conditions.

Most facilities offer 30-day rehab programmes, but many patients benefit from 60 or 90-day programmes. Sometimes long-term residential rehabilitation is necessary to provide patients with a steady path to recovery.

Research has found that rehab programmes that last three months or longer offer better rates of sobriety in the long term. This is because they tend to allow more time for patients to work on the root cause of the addiction, and to practice sober living in a low-risk environment.

Professionals in the rehab facility will determine an appropriate treatment length based on a range of factors, such as:

– Addiction history
– Severity of addiction
– Substances used
– Co-occurring mental health problems
– Co-occurring physical health problems
– Co-occurring behavioural health problems
– Social, cultural, and spiritual needs of the participant

Rehab focuses on the earliest stages of recovery from addiction, in which people tend to have the strongest substance cravings and the temptation to relapse is particularly strong. It can allow patients to detox and withdraw from a substance safely and with minimal distractions or triggers, and then provides them with the skills they will need to recover from addiction in the long term.

Drug recovery is a far longer process, and it continues long after a patient leaves a rehab centre. It may involve ongoing individual or group therapies and support meetings. Some may also take part in additional hobbies or activities to support recovery, such as exercise, meditation, or art or other creative pursuits.

This long term recovery process is usually started within the rehab process, when patients establish an aftercare programme ready for when they leave the treatment facility. Research has found that these types of aftercare programmes make relapse less likely.

Yes. At Serenity Health Treatment Centre, anyone undergoing the treatment will receive full support. From the early stages such as intervention and detox, right through to relapse prevention as well as aftercare support. At Serenity, we pride ourselves on not just helping you through your addiction, but also addressing the emotional and psychological impact addiction can have.

Yes, at Serenity we are a fully accredited and licensed treatment facility with board-certified nurses, doctors, psychiatrists and doctors at your disposal – all of which are on hand to oversee the detox process and provide you with the support you need to tackle your addiction.

The detox and inpatient treatment programmes have been designed with any individual who is suffering from a dependency on alcohol or chemical in mind. The programme starts by ensuring patients go through a thoroughly safe medical detoxification by monitoring and stabilising any risks that may come about as a result of withdrawal. We also take any bio-medical conditions and complications into consideration before moving forward with the programme. Our detox programme focuses on ensuring a healthy recovery from any dependencies the patients may have, providing them with therapeutic interventions to give everyone the best possible chance of a successful outcome.

We tailor our treatments to best match the needs of the individual. That means no-matter if you have a dependency on alcohol, prescription medication or an illegal drug, the team at Serenity Health Treatment will get to work on providing you with a carefully designed programme. By designing our programmes around the individual, we are best placed to successfully facilitate your recovery. There’s no blanket treatments, instead each patient receives a treatment programme that takes all their individual considerations into account. 

A lot of our patients undergo a detoxification period when they first arrive. This involves gradually reducing the dosage of the drug over time. A common misconception is that patients are best placed to recover from their addiction if they go ‘cold turkey’. Whilst going cold turkey may have an immediate impact, it often leads to a relapse, which could potentially be life threatening. By undergoing a detoxification period, patients see their dosage decrease gradually, helping to increase the chances of a life free of drugs or alcohol once their time at the treatment centre comes to an end.

A medical detox is often suitable for common addictions including alcohol and cocaine. Addictions to drugs such as opiate, MDMA and crystal meth can also be combated by starting with a medical detox. Throughout our experience, we’ve seen patients with a reliance on everything from painkillers to barbiturates have their chances of recovery dramatically increased thanks to their choice to consent to an inpatient detox. Every detox undertaken at Serenity is done under the close supervision of medical experts.

The detox process is overseen by experienced and fully certified medical professionals. At Serenity Health, patients have access to doctors and nurses as well as psychiatrists and counsellors for the duration of their stay. All of the patient treatment programmes are designed by medical professionals who are also on hand to offer constant support throughout the treatment.

Your detox treatment will begin with a thorough and careful assessment of your dependence. On top of that patients will undergo a physical examination so that we can accurately assess the extent of your addiction. Once the assessment and examination has been completed, you’ll sit down with a medical professional who will discuss their findings with you. Based on those findings, you will receive a recommendation on the best treatment plan for your individual needs. Your comfort and dignity are highly valued, and that’s why you can be sure that you will know exactly what to expect from your treatment. All of the team are extremely experienced when it comes to dealing with a dependence on drugs and alcohol and know exactly how to guide you through your treatment in a gentle and compassionate way.

Those who undergo an inpatient medical detox have a far higher chance of overcoming their dependency on drugs and alcohol. With help from experienced medical professionals, you’ll have access to a fully safe medical detoxification programme that both monitors and stabilises your withdrawal risks. Ideally suited to those suffering from a dependency on chemicals and/or alcohol, the inpatient medical detox will take your own unique needs into consideration and design a programme around them, giving you the best possible chance of achieving a successful outcome.


3 Reasons To Choose Holistic Drug or Alcohol Rehab

Any kind of drug or alcohol addiction can affect every aspect of your life, especially whe Read More

Addiction Research at Serenity Health

Modified on March 10, 2018, by Daniel Santano A key element of the treatment which we are Read More

Get Connected Follow Us

Get connected with us on social networks!