People who misuse alcohol are often addicted to the act of drinking, as much as the alcohol itself. For that reason, you may need to learn skills and coping mechanisms to help you avoid alcohol once you leave a treatment center or return to familiar environments where the urge to drink may be stronger. Your doctor may refer you to a counselor or other treatment program to help you learn those skills and coping strategies.

Note: These PET scans compare the brain of an individual with a history of cocaine use disorder (middle and right) to the brain of an individual without a history of cocaine use (left). The person who has had a cocaine use disorder has lower levels of the D2 dopamine receptor (depicted in red) in the striatum one month (middle) and four months (right) after stopping cocaine use compared to the non-user. The level of dopamine receptors in the brain of the cocaine user are higher at the 4-month mark (right), but have not returned to the levels observed in the non-user (left).
Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.
Our priority is to offer individual support and attention to residents in a welcoming and comfortable environment in which they are not overwhelmed by a large crowd of people. This allows residents to engage with therapy more easily and get to know us and each other better. In a larger centre, a group therapy session can mean 25 or 30 people listening to a speaker, which essentially makes you a member of an audience. At Searidge a group session is much more of an interactive discussion. This enables residents to better express themselves and have their concerns and opinions be heard. A more open and deeper engagement with group therapy results.
Recovery rates are higher for patients who have access to aftercare support after they are discharged from treatment. Aftercare services include case management, alumni groups, community referrals, counseling services, sober housing, medication management, and more. These services provide a source of stability and support for recovering addicts during the vulnerable transitional period from drug treatment back to the community.
Patients who have tried AA may have had a bad past experience. Patients should try at least 5-10 different meetings before giving up on the AA approach because each meeting is different. For example, women often do better at meetings for women only because the issues for female patients with alcoholism are different from the issues for male patients with alcoholism. A meeting in the suburbs might not be appropriate for someone from the inner city and vice versa.
Alcohol addiction treatment at Priory is delivered as part of a comprehensive Addiction Treatment Programme. Our Addiction Treatment Programmes typically last for 28 days, and consist of you staying at one of our nationwide hospital sites on a residential basis, for the duration of this time. During treatment, you will have the opportunity to undergo a medically assisted withdrawal detoxification process if this is required, before undergoing intensive individual and group addiction therapy in order to address the source of your addictive behaviours, increase your self-awareness and take steps towards recovery. Whilst 28 days is the recommended treatment time for alcohol addiction, treatment lengths at Priory can be flexible according to your unique needs, requirements and commitments. The agony of opioid withdrawal — and what doctors should tell patients about it | Travis Rieder
Environment. Environmental factors, such as your access to healthcare, exposure to a peer group that tolerates or encourages drug abuse, your educational opportunities, the presence of drugs in your home, your beliefs and attitudes, and your family’s use of drugs are factors in the first use of drugs for most people, and whether that use escalates into addiction.

As you discharge from inpatient treatment, you will receive recommendations for follow-up care and ongoing recovery support to strengthen your sobriety and reduce the risk of relapse. Like diabetes or hypertension, addiction is a chronic disease. Regaining your health means learning to manage your symptoms, first within the structure of an inpatient rehab program and eventually in your home environment where you are in charge of maintaining and strengthening your recovery.


Alcohol addiction treatment at Priory is delivered as part of a comprehensive Addiction Treatment Programme. Our Addiction Treatment Programmes typically last for 28 days, and consist of you staying at one of our nationwide hospital sites on a residential basis, for the duration of this time. During treatment, you will have the opportunity to undergo a medically assisted withdrawal detoxification process if this is required, before undergoing intensive individual and group addiction therapy in order to address the source of your addictive behaviours, increase your self-awareness and take steps towards recovery. Whilst 28 days is the recommended treatment time for alcohol addiction, treatment lengths at Priory can be flexible according to your unique needs, requirements and commitments. How to Quit Drugs Without Rehab - Are Drug Addiction Rehab Facilities Even Effective Long Term?
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