How We Treat

What is involved in the treatment process?

The entire treatment process consists of the following:


Person seriously ill
Person fully immersed in addiction
Addiction and behaviour worse than ever
Person refuses help
Addiction worsens
behaviour destructive
Person asks for help
Treatment too short



Initial assessments are carried out over the phone, or during a pre-determined appointment prior to admission. This is to ensure that you are physically and mentally able to engage in the treatment programme and you are of no danger to yourself or others.


On arrival at the clinic – to ensure the most relevant treatment programme is followed – further assessments involving doctors and key members of staff will also take place.


For those covered by Private Medical Insurance (PMI), the insurance company and chosen treatment facility will require a referral from the GP and an assessment from a certified psychologist, which will need to follow a set procedure.



The process of detoxification removes unwanted substances from the body and is a purely physical process. Detox by itself will not offer recovery because in order for an addict to recover, the psychological reasons behind an addiction must first be discovered, otherwise the abuse will return soon after the detox is finished.


Most programmes require a detoxification process before treatment can begin. On removal of substances often the body will go into shock, which creates the withdrawal symptoms you may be all too familiar with.


The intensity level of this part of the detox process depends on the drug or drugs taken and the amount. Maintenance medication is often provided to help you during this process and make it as comfortable as possible – exactly what will be prescribed depends on what drugs have been taken. For example, a cocaine addict may not require any additional medication, but an alcohol or heroin addict will usually require medication to counteract the abused substances.

In terms of how intense your detox could be, it all comes down to the type of drug or drugs that has been taken and the amount.


Detox should always be supervised by medical professionals. Never go through detox on your own, even if your family or friends are trying to persuade you otherwise, as the outcome could be fatal.


At Red Umbrella we have made sure that all of the clinic and rehab facilities we represent provide a detox (when necessary) as part of their addiction treatment programmes.

Primary Treatment – Residential Care


Once over the detox period and at the primary treatment stage, your rehabilitation can start and the reasons behind your addiction can start to be identified.


Through individual therapy sessions the reasons behind your abusive behaviour will emerge, and behavioural therapy will arm you with a plan on how to successfully manage any tempting situations in everyday life.


You will also learn about many other tried and tested strategies that help to prevent relapse, such as time management skills. Feeling more organised and in control of your day, week and life in general, minimises chances of relapse.


Overall, the way you think about your addiction and your habitual reactions will be reshaped, allowing you to take different action in the future and steer clear of relapse.


Group therapy is also highly recommended, particularly at this stage of the rehabilitation process. The camaraderie, sharing of stories and experiences, and the friendships discovered through these group sessions are important to the recovery process.

Addicts often feel alone in the world and overwhelmed by their addiction or disorder. Group therapy provides you with a community, one with empathy, similar experiences and shared goals.


Family therapy is not usually offered by treatment centres. However, when supervised correctly by an addiction counsellor, it can help clear the air of past issues so that you have the support of your family network during recovery.


Red Umbrella represents clinics that offer family therapy, so that you can receive the best support possible during your recovery.


Addiction can cause families to break apart, shut down and fragment – they can become dysfunctional and painful to live in. Interrupted routines, frightening experiences and a stressful living environment take their toll on partners, parents, siblings, children and other family members.


Talking is key to the repair of an emotionally disconnected family. Processing the pain, the feelings of alienation and trauma felt is therapy for the family as well as the addict. Children who have been affected by trauma and addiction may need additional, specialist support.

Primary Treatment – Day Care


Day-care programmes offer the same range of treatment as residential care programmes, but you can return home each night if you have obligations to attend to, such as looking after children or dependents, or a job to go to.


While this affords you more flexibility, and is less disruptive to your daily life, the most successful recoveries are usually arrived at when those in treatment are subjected to the least amount of stress. Better outcomes usually result when patients can focus entirely on themselves and their recovery.


This kind of care is also most effective in treating those with short-term addictions and we would not recommend it to those with long-term addictions or dual-diagnosis conditions (those with a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem).

Secondary Treatment


It can be difficult to know what to do next after going through primary treatment, especially for those who have needed primary residential care. Many patients have lost their job, are not in contact with family and friends and have forgotten how to live without an addiction. This combination of factors can make a challenging time overwhelmingly stressful, and ultimately old triggers become too difficult to resist.


Secondary treatment programmes offer a more gradual way of returning to everyday life without an addiction. The length can vary, depending on individual needs, but you can continue to stay in residential care – while being supported by therapy sessions, counselling and fresh activities (such as sport or volunteer work) that aid personal development – through this transitional phase.

Step Down


Step down extends the transition period that you will have been supported by during secondary treatment. The exact programme can be customised according to your needs, but generally means that you can receive therapy from the same treatment centre, for, say, three days a week, then two, then one, reducing gradually as your confidence and ability to cope with everyday life increases.

After Care


The main goal of after care is to prevent relapse. Once treatment has finished – and whether you opted for step-down care or not – after care programmes will further help you deal with the pressures of life after completing primary and secondary treatment.


Drug and alcohol abuse are recognised as “relapse-prone” addictions and studies show that between 25% and 50% of users resume use within two years of treatment. The risk of relapse has been proved to be considerably less for those who can stay clean for at least five years.


Basically, the more treatment you have the greater chance you have of avoiding a relapse and staying sober. Therapy (group, family and individual), support for 12-step meetings, or non-12-step alternatives and medication monitoring are some of the options that can make up your personalised after-care programme and help you maintain a successful life in recovery.

Sober-living homes are also known as halfway houses because they fill the space between living in residential care and the old life you knew back home. It is offered as part of your after-care treatment, helps you to reconnect with the community and eases the difficulties and frustrations involved with facing the world. While halfway houses are less successful with behavioural addictions, such as gambling, for drug and alcohol addicts they can be highly effective.


A safe environment with rules, they provide structure and supportive surroundings with others who have similar struggles – and, most importantly, they are away from old stomping grounds that can cause relapse triggers.


Time-management support to make job applications, help arranging new housing in a different location and building bridges with family, friends and colleagues who have been affected by addiction, are all key ways in which halfway houses can support you.

Life in Recovery


Recovery after rehab is a lifelong process. After-care programmes and sober-living homes can form part of your recovery strategy, but you will be able to organise follow-up sessions with the treatment centre to help keep you on track.


Once out of rehab, some weeks will be easy, and some will be more challenging and stressful, making old temptations harder to resist. Weekend stays at the treatment centre when some extra support is needed, and regular attendance at support groups, can greatly impact the success of your recovery programme.


Group therapy is often a popular choice, with reason, because you are able to build a supportive network in your community with people who understand what you are going through.


The 12-step programme offered by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) supports millions of people worldwide and a diverse range of different versions has been created to support other addictions, such as Cocaine Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous.

However, many are put off by the belief that the principles are religious in nature and require the recognition that a higher power or God can give strength, and, as a result, do not ever commit to the programme fully.


If you are seeking non-12-step recovery options, you will be more interested in the non-12-step groups that are now widely available across the UK. For example, SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is a four-point programme that helps to teach self-empowerment and self-reliance. Building and maintaining motivation, coping with urges and managing behaviour are all areas that it treats. SMART Recovery helps people with all kinds of addiction and addictive behaviours, such as drug and alcohol abuse and sexual addiction.


We have experienced AA’s 12 steps and the SMART Recovery programme and we are knowledgeable about all the various kinds of support groups that are available for a large range of addictions.


Planning the entire treatment programme with us, not only guarantees the right choice, but also reduces stress, and, in some cases, the cost of treatment as well.


Ultimately, we can help you create a support system during recovery, which is personalised according to your needs, and that will keep you strong and in control of your life in recovery.


Talk to us on the phone or leave us a message and we can explain these options to you, so that you can make the right recovery choice.