Drug & Alcohol Rehab in Exeter

Around 11.7% of those in the South-West have reported having used illicit drugs in the past year, with the highest rates of drug use compared to any other region in England and Wales.

The drug market is worth over £9.4 billion in the UK, resulting in a cost of £20 billion to society.


Drug use in the area of the South-West is common for both adults and children, cannabis being the most used illegal substance.

The proportion of people using illegal drugs in the South-West from 2018 to 2019 (16-59yrs) break down as:

  • 1% use amphetamines
  • 1% use hallucinogens
  • 4% use ecstasy
  • 5% use class A drugs
  • 9% use cannabis
  • 12% use all and any drugs

The DSM-5 is a test designed for diagnosing people with addiction, and assesses you under several criteria.


Despite illegal drug use being the most underreported statistic, the estimated use of drugs in the South-West is 2.3% higher than the national average.

Further statistics:

  • 4% of people in the South-West have used cannabis in the last year, meaning cannabis is the most used drug in the area.
  • Over 3.8% of the South-West population have used powdered cocaine, but it is advised that this is higher in reality due to a lack of reports.

What Is Addiction?

Symptoms of addiction

There are numerous definitions of addiction that may come in handy to you if you use drugs regularly, or have become worried about a loved one in Exeter.

The DMS-5 have characterised addiction as the compulsion to use or seek drugs or alcohol constantly.

When using drugs or consuming alcohol, the user has little control when it comes to reducing or stopping.

Once the administration is cut down or stopped, the user will experience withdrawals of both a physical and mental nature.

Woman exhausted

Substance dependency can result in significant impairment and distress.

Dependency is defined as a constant pattern of tolerance increase.

When you use a substance more than you should, your body and brain become accustomed to it.

You will adjust to the new levels of euphoria and chemicals, so you will need more of the substance and more often to get the same effects it once had.

Once the substance has left your system, which varies according to the nature of the drug or alcohol, you will experience withdrawal symptoms.

The substance is being abused when you cannot fulfil any regular requirements, such as work or education, and fail to maintain commitments, such as seeing family and friends.

Man with pen

To know where your addiction is placed, along with its nature, at-home questionnaires are helpful in identifying what type of help you may need.

The most popular questionnaires are the CAGE questionnaire and the AUDIT.

Alcohol addiction causes a physical dependence as well as a behavioural addiction.

Frequent alcohol use, or ‘binge drinking’ a lot can lead you to develop wernicke encephalopathy or alcoholic hepatitis, which can can lead to very unpleasant health complications.

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test can assess whether you have an addiction, and how severe it is.

Alcohol chemically alters the brain and body, so we strongly advise you to seek a medical opinion before trying to quit on your own.

Alcohol detox will rid your body of alcohol safely, and can be completed at rehab.

Without a medically-assisted detox, you could develop delirium tremens alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Benzodiazapines like chlordiazepoxide, (Librium), can help you to lessen the effects of stopping drinking.

AlateenThe National Association for Children of Alcoholics and Al-Anon offer charity-funded help for alcohol use in a wide range of towns and cities.

CAGE Questions for Alcohol Use:

  1. Have you ever felt you should CUT down your drinking?
  2. Have people ever ANNOYED you by critiquing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or GUILTY about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady nerves or in order to get rid of a hangover (An EYE-opening experience)?

Woman with laptop

CAGE Questions Adapted to Include Drug Use (CAGE-AID)

  1. Have you ever felt you ought to cut down on your drinking or drug use?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking or drug use?
  3. Have you felt bad or guilty about your drinking or drug use?
  4. Have you ever had a drink or used drugs first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (eye-opener)?

The CAGE questionnaire is scored on a yes or no basis – if you answer yes, you are awarded 1 point, whereas a no will score you 0.

The more points you score, the more damaging your substance behaviour may be.

A score of 2 or more is deemed clinically significant, so get in touch with us if you have any concerns.


The more developed and scientific questionnaire for alcoholism is coined an AUDIT, – an Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.

This alcohol screening programme consists of 10 questions, split into 2 sub-sets.

The first set of 4 might score you ‘fast+’, in which case you will be asked to complete the next 6 questions:

  1. How often have you had 6 or more units if female, or 8 or more if male, on a single occasion in the last year?
  2. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of your drinking?
  3. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?
  4. Has a relative or friend, doctor or other health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested that you cut down?

Doctor with clipboard

Are you FAST+?

  1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
  2. How many units of alcohol do you drink on a typical day when you are drinking?
  3. How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?
  4. How often during the last year have you needed an alcoholic drink in the morning to get going after a heavy drinking session?
  5. How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?
  6. Have you or somebody else been injured as a result of your drinking?

Following the AUDIT and CAGE questionnaires, you will have a clear picture about the nature of your addiction, and how damaging your substance behaviour and habits may be.

This has also been linked to mental health concerns, where the link between addiction and mental health has been proven time and time again.

This information can help your rehab centre build your person-centered care plan.

Mental Health: Dual Diagnosis


Co-occurring substance use disorders and mental health disorders have common ground.

It is also noted that this link goes two ways – substance use leads to mental health conditions, and mental health conditions lead to substance use.

In the UK, over 9 million individuals are struggling with co-occurring disorders.

Co-occurring disorders are defined as the co-existence between mental illness and substance abuse, where an individual suffers from both at the same time.

These include anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Following a psychiatric assessment that will measure you against set criteria, you could receive an official dual diagnosis.

Psychiatrists at rehab can then offer you mental health support.

Addiction brain

Of these 9 million people, over 60% are not receiving treatment, while only 7% are receiving treatment for both disorders.

This leaves us with three main hypotheses for addiction and its causes:

  1. Addiction and mental illness share common factors and causes
  2. Mental illness causes addiction
  3. Addiction causes mental illness

Most evidence purports that both addiction and mental illness have their origins firmly placed in genetic.

Over 50% of someone’s vulnerability to addiction comes from genetics.

A further shared factor is early exposure to trauma.

Those that are traumatised early in life tend to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, putting themselves at a high risk of addiction.

Man exhausted

Over 50% of military veterans that have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) go on to be diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder.

This is because, when users self-medicate, they believe the drugs and alcohol are easing their mental health issues.

This is not the case.

It may help short-term, decreasing stress and easing levels of agitation, but long-term substance use exacerbates and causes mental health problems.

A woman looking nervous

All intake of drugs and alcohol have negative side effects, both mental and physical.

For example, alcohol is a depressant, leaving many feeling low and anxious.

To self-medicate this, people tend to drink or use drugs more for their sedative effects.

This in turn makes their mental health worse and they are trapped in a vicious cycle.

To combat substance use and addiction, intervention is the first step before rehabilitation in Exeter.

Drug And Alcohol Intervention

Group Therapy

Drug and alcohol users remain the most unmotivated users that require help.

This is mainly attributed to the fact that many will not acknowledge that they have a substance abuse problem in the first place.

Over 80% of those that are addicted to drugs or alcohol are currently contemplating reaching out for help, but either do not feel ready to do so or do not know how.

Adventure Therapy

Those that seek help early tend to have the most successful outcomes in rehabilitation and their prevention of relapse.

Intervention in this sense changes the course of the user’s addictive habits, with an aim to get them into rehabilitation in Exeter.

There are 4 main types of intervention:

  1. Simple Intervention
  2. Classical Intervention
  3. Family System Intervention
  4. Crisis Intervention

Simple Intervention consists of one-to-one conversations, between either loved ones and/or professionals, with the user.

This stands in place of the old confrontation style.


Classical Intervention, also known as the Johnson Model of Intervention, involves everyone but the user in its discussion.

Specialist counselling and education are provided for all ‘concerned others’, where their role and their attribution towards the user’s behaviour are discussed.

There are 7 elements to the Johnson Model of Intervention:

  1. Mediation
  2. Planning
  3. Care
  4. Notes and proof
  5. Addiction
  6. Therapy for intervention
  7. Options for treatment

Family in field

The Family System Intervention is based on the ‘family framework’ methodology, focusing on the family bonds that have been broken by addiction.

The concerned others are asked to take part in family training, and also what is called ‘family guiding’.

Support network

CRAFT intervention is a form of family intervention, coined the Community Reinforcement And Family Training approach.

CRAFT was specifically designed to help family members educate themselves on addiction and change the user’s behaviour using positive reinforcement.

Both family and friends gather together to discuss the effects of addiction and the impact it has had on them personally, speaking collectively as a family.

Concerned others are asked to positively reward anti-using and pro-social behaviour, in order to change the reward pathways of the user’s brain.

Over 72% of those that enter CRAFT end up in treatment, remaining one of the most effective forms of intervention.

Holding hands

Crisis Intervention is impromptu, where professionals and others only get immediately involved when the user becomes an extreme danger to themselves or harm to the public.

Once any form of intervention is successful, and the user wants to try rehabilitation, it is important to know what form of rehabilitation is available to you in Exeter.

Rehabilitation In Exeter


A criterion was created by The American Society of Addiction Medicine to help make sure that treatment for substance abuse could be tailored toward the needs of each user.

There are 6 dimensions, all based on risk.

A clinician will grade the user’s answers from 1 to 4, with 1 being low risk and 4 being the highest risk.

The more risk the dimension has, the more focus and treatment that will be placed on that area of treatment.

  • Dimension 1 – Acute Intoxication / Withdrawal: Will the patient suffer from withdrawals concerning the addicted substance? Or are they vulnerable to withdrawal symptoms?
  • Dimension 2 – Biomedical Conditions And Complications: Will any outstanding medical conditions intervene or interrupt addiction treatment?
  • Dimension 3 – Emotional, Behavioural Or Cognitive Conditions And Complications: What is the emotional state of the user? Is it stable?
  • Dimension 4 – Readiness to change: Does the user seem sufficiently motivated to change?
  • Dimension 5 – Relapse, continued use, or continued problem potential: Is it possible that the user will relapse, or do they seem vulnerable to relapse?
  • Dimension 6 – Recovery/living environment: Does the user seem very social? Possibly to the point that certain people or places will interrupt treatment.


You will then be graded on the type of treatment you need, in accordance with the nature of your addiction.

There are 2 main types of treatment available in Exeter for addiction, inpatient and outpatient.

Coffee and book

Outpatient treatment, which can be accessed through the NHS, consists of you continuing to live at home.

You will be able to attend an outpatient rehab facility in Exeter to receive therapy, monitored medication, and a range of different support mechanisms.

Living room

Inpatient rehabilitation treatment in Exeter is not usually funded through the NHS, and you are normally required to pay for it through private treatment.

The price can range from £1,000 a week to £80,000 a week, where the deluxe prices and lack of availability are usually fuelled by inconsistent and untrue posts on social media.

The time you are asked to spend in rehab in Exeter will vary according to the nature of your addiction.

How long rehab

The advised time ranges from around 28 to 30 days, with a minimum of 7 days required for a detox.

You will only need to complete a detox at a rehab facility in Exeter if you suffer from a physical addiction.

For drugs such as cocaine and cannabis, you will not require a detox, but substances such as alcohol and heroin are physically addictive, so you will spend at least 7 days in the rehab centre in Exeter.

Several free treatments services operate in and near to Exeter, some of them provided through the National Health Service or an associated NHS Foundation Trust, including:

1. CoLab Exeter

Address: Unity House, 10 Cannon Street, Taunton, TA1 1SN

Telephone: 01392 202 055

Website: https://www.colabexeter.org.uk/

2. EDP Drug & Alcohol Services

Address: Basepoint Business Centre, Yeoford Way, Marsh Barton, Exeter EX2 8LB

Telephone: 08002 335 444

Website: http://www.edp.org.uk/

3. Rock 2 Recovery

Address:  Third Floor Office, 23 Southernhay Way, Exeter, EX1 1PR

Telephone: 01392 642 960

Website: https://www.rock2recovery.co.uk/

4. Exeter Community Mental Health Team

Address: Wonford House, Dryden Road, Exeter, EX2 5AF

Telephone: 01392 208 900

Website: https://www.dpt.nhs.uk/locations/community-mental-health-team-exeter

5. Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service – HMP Exeter

Address: HMP Exeter, 34 New North Road, Exeter, EX4 4EX

Telephone: 01392 415 650

Website: https://www.changegrowlive.org/drug-and-alcohol-recovery-service-hmp-exeter

You can also reach out to a number of free helplines, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Mind UK, Young Minds. Rethink Mental Illness, Papyrus, Change Grow Live, Samaritans, We Are With You and Turning Point.


Support groups

Once intervention, detox and rehabilitation have started in Exeter, continuing or starting therapy can be a key step towards full recovery.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence aims to keep healthcare treatments including psychiatric treatment in line with expected standards.

CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is is one of many talking therapies, designed to help you manage and correct the problems created through negative thought patterns.

The way we think shapes our behaviour – if we can alter the irrational thoughts, we can change our irrational behaviour.

Despite CBT being designed originally for those suffering from mental health conditions, it has now been adapted to suit different types of addiction and co-occurring disorders.

Women talking

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT, specifically designed to cater for those that feel overwhelmed.

There are 6 parts to a DBT cycle, all tailored towards users that feel emotions intensely:

  1. 6 weeks of emotional regulation
  2. 2 weeks of mindfulness
  3. 6 weeks of distress tolerance
  4. 2 weeks of mindfulness
  5. 6 weeks of interpersonal effectiveness
  6. 2 weeks of mindfulness


Motivational interviewing and motivational therapy is grounded in an individual’s motivation to change their behaviour.

Motivational Interviewing as a ‘guiding style’ form of counselling, where users identify their strengths in order to exert more autonomy in decision making.

This is founded on 4 principles:

  1. What we say and how we say it are both equally as important.
  2. Both listening and understanding are critical to the process of change.
  3. People will change when they want to, not when they are told to.
  4. When solutions are found by the users, they are the most effective.

Recovery Groups

Holistic therapy focuses on general wellbeing and stress relief, aiming to unite the patient in mind, body and spirit.

This is done through a variety of activities, including:

  • Adventure therapy
  • Reflexology and acupuncture
  • Music and art therapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Drama therapy
  • Music therapy

Group psychotherapy (group therapy), unlike individual therapy is completed with others, and gives you a chance to share and hear the experiences of others.

Family therapy is a way to work through familial problems, and resolve the harm that addiction can do to your household and extended members.

A person doing pottery

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy offers helpful counter-arguments to unhelpful thoughts.

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy focuses on the present and helps you to be more mindful of your actions.

Contingency management hinges on rewards and positive reinforcement to help you achieve one small goal at a time.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a new therapy that uses an experimental pattern of eye movements to work through trauma.

Codependency therapy aims to ensure relationships between people living with addiction and their friends and family are healthy. This includes removing any enabling behaviour.

Brief interventions offer short, structured forms of support to facilitate manageable stages of change.

SMART Recovery Groups: Here, you’ll be supported to develop practical ideas around your recovery. How can you get through the day in a healthy way? What can you do this morning? For the next hour, how will you keep yourself occupied? The goal is to break things down.

Aftercare And Relapse Prevention

Support Group

Once you have found a form of therapy that works for you, aftercare becomes a primary concern.

With a member of staff at rehab, you’ll develop a relapse prevention plan that will serve as your safety net when you leave.

Sober living houses are dedicated recovery homes you can live in, with other people who are also newly sober.

Aftercare is important as it prevents drug or alcohol relapse, and the ultimate success of recovery is often determined by the support, motivation and availability of these services.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and SMART Recovery are four primary examples of the aftercare support that has proven to be extremely effective.

Group with notes

In AA meetings, past and present alcoholics gather together to share and explain private experiences they have had with alcohol, along with their triggers and coping mechanisms.

The AA work on the 12 Step Principles, focusing on a ‘higher power’:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.

Holding Hands

The most commonly noted relapse causes are:

  • Money struggles and financial issues.
  • Relationship breakdown and broken bonds.
  • Places you used to use drugs or drink alcohol.
  • People you used to use drugs or drink alcohol with.
  • Intense emotions such as sadness or extreme anger.

Get Help Today

Person with phone

For those that feel at risk, or know someone in Exeter struggling with addiction, we can help.

Call us today or chat with someone on our website for a free and easy consultation.

Every rehab in England and Wales that we work with is vetted by the Care Quality Commission.

Get help for addiction wherever you are in Devon, including in Plymouth, Torquay, Paignton, Exmouth, Barnstaple, Newton Abbot, Tiverton, Brixham, Bideford, Teignmouth, Sidmouth, Dawlish, Tavistock and many more.

Featured Drug and Alcohol Rehabs in Drug & Alcohol Rehab in Exeter

There are various types of rehab centres available in Drug & Alcohol Rehab in Exeter, including inpatient alcohol rehab, luxury alcohol rehab, and private drug rehabs.

Inpatient Rehab


Medical Detox