Drug & Alcohol Rehabs in the West Midlands

The UK is struggling to combat drug and alcohol addiction, and the West Midlands is sadly included.

Addiction isn’t a problem exclusive to those who suffer directly from it, addiction impacts an entire community.

Addiction can cause relationships to break down, inflict serious emotional trauma, place a burden on public services and worsen crime rates.

However, although substance abuse has worsened in the UK over recent years, rehabilitation practises have grown as well.

Addiction And Substance Misuse In The West Midlands


There were over 40,000 people hospitalised in 2019 due to alcohol-related health problems in the West Midlands.

This was a record number, with nearly 2,000 instances higher than the previous year.

In 2018, approximately 2,176 people died from alcohol-related causes which was the highest number since 2006.

These figures are higher than the national average and suggest a worrying trend in and around the major towns and cities such as Birmingham, Coventry, and Wolverhampton.

A substance misuse report by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in 2017 estimated that 150,000 people in the area used an illicit drug in the previous year, with the majority of people taking cannabis.

The report added that nearly half of all burglary, theft, robbery and shoplifting cases in the area tend to be carried out by individuals who use heroin and crack cocaine at least once a week.

The Disease Model Of Addiction

Addiction disease

Substance misuse practitioners working in rehab treatment centres follow the ethos of the disease model when treating people with addiction.

The disease model views addiction as a medical condition, the same as any physical illness.

Anyone who becomes addicted is not mentally weak, neither are they morally inferior, they have just become physically unwell.

People who develop an addiction should therefore be treated with compassion rather than criticised.

They need support and treatment from qualified medical professionals and understanding from people in their close circle and the wider community.

Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis

Addiction is a mental illness and many substance users entering rehab are also diagnosed with another mental health condition alongside their substance use disorder (SUD).

Clients who have two co-occurring mental health conditions are referred to as dual diagnosis patients.

The main mental health conditions that people with a SUD tend to be diagnosed with include:

Which Diagnosis Was Present First?

It is not always clear whether a client’s SUD or mental health condition appeared first.

This is because addiction can both trigger a mental health condition and also be caused by one.

Each person has their own unique set of circumstances, which makes it hard to untangle all of the factors that lead to their SUD.

All the rehab centres in the West Midlands have plenty of experience in working with dual diagnosis patients.

They are fully aware of how mental health conditions and addiction interact with each other, so they will show great care and skill in implementing your treatment plan.

Evidence-Based Treatments

Staff at rehab centres will use evidence-based treatments to help deliver clients’ recovery plans.

These are treatments that have been proven by research to be effective in tackling the symptoms of mental health conditions.

For example, CBT is used frequently in psychological therapy sessions with substance users, as it has been demonstrated in research trials to be successful in helping patients with mild to moderate anxiety or depression.

Rehab Goals And Objectives


Anyone deciding to enter residential rehab will follow a treatment programme that will encourage abstinence from taking substances.

The AA also believes that abstinence is the only way towards recovery from addiction.

Some policies follow the harm reduction approach, which is designed to curb excessive use and minimise the negative effects.

Whilst this may be effective for heavy drinkers, this is not suitable for those clients who have become alcohol dependent.

Abstinence is seen as the only option, as even just drinking a small amount of alcohol can lead to a serious relapse after making significant progress.

It is far more beneficial for people to set clear, firm boundaries and take control of their lives.

Abstaining from alcohol entirely is the only way to achieve for sure.

The Benefits Of Residential Rehab In The West Midlands


Attending a residential rehab centre in the West Midlands has many benefits.

All centres strictly reinforce a no drugs or alcohol policy, so you will be able to work on your recovery without any substances to tempt you.

All temptations from your usual family and social environment will be removed, so there will be no danger of triggers.

Any rehab centre you choose to attend will utilise a range of safe, proven and effective treatments.

All the staff are well qualified and experienced drug and alcohol practitioners.

Attending a rehab centre means you will receive 24/7 care, support and monitoring throughout your time there.

Anyone who has become addicted has likely ignored several areas of their life, such as their sleep, diet or any neglected hobbies.

Rehab provides the opportunity to refocus on these areas and improve their general quality of life.

Private Rehab vs. Council Funded Rehab Treatment

Private vs Public

Rehab treatment for substance misuse can be funded in two ways.

There is the private financing option, which is dependent on how much money people have.

There is also the option of applying for NHS or local government funding to cover the cost of treatment.

Private Rehab – Pros

Having access to your own funds means that you can be admitted into a rehab centre to begin treatment within days.

Private financing means you will be able to receive a wider range of treatment options should your budget allow.

Those with a greater budget can pay for various holistic treatments and for the services of medical specialists to complete biochemical and nutritional analyses on them.

You will be able to pay for comprehensive aftercare services for longer after your rehab programme has finished.

Dual diagnosis patients who are privately funded will be able to afford high-quality services without any delays to treat either of their conditions.

Private Rehab – Cons

Treatment can be very expensive, so it is important to prioritise your treatment needs and stick to what is essential rather than spend money on non-essential luxury services.

There may be a tendency to think that money can buy recovery and there is very little effort needed on the part of the individual.

This is not true.

Everyone attending rehab needs to put in substantial effort to overcome an addiction, regardless of their situation.

Council-Funded Rehab – Pros

Clients with a strong desire to change can be comforted to know that there is funding available to pay for treatment.

So, if you are prepared to put in the effort, there is always an opportunity to gain access to treatment.

Regardless of who pays for treatment all rehab centres these days have perfected their treatment practices for substance misuse and utilise therapies and techniques that have proven to be reliable and effective in treating SUDs.

Council-Funded Rehab – Cons

It is more than likely that you will experience delays- potentially up to several months- in accessing treatment while you wait for your funding to be approved.

The application process is also time-consuming and complicated, so make sure you have someone you can turn to for advice on how to complete the forms and respond to any queries you have.

The funding may not cover the treatments you had hoped for.

It is not uncommon for people who apply for inpatient rehab to be informed they only have funding approved for outpatient services.

Treatment may not run smoothly and delays and disruptions may occur when you are following your treatment programme.

Residential Rehab IS NOT For Everyone

Rehab suitability

Whilst undeniably effective, residential rehab is simply not suitable for everyone.

Some people may find that their treatment needs are not compatible with the services provided by rehab centres.

These include:

Anyone Who Consumes Less Than 30 Units A Day

Potential rehab clients who drink less than 30 units of alcohol a day may be advised to receive treatment as an outpatient.

At this rate, they are drinking at levels that are not considered high enough to warrant the constant care and monitoring that residential rehab provides.

Anyone drinking over 30 units a day needs urgent support to ensure their health does not deteriorate further.

Those drinking less than 30 units a day can engage in home detox treatment and psychological therapies as outpatients whilst still living at home.

Patients With Severe Mental Health Conditions

It is very common for people with a SUD to have a co-occurring mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression.

Most rehab centres will have the resources to treat these clients.

However, some clients applying for rehab may have severe psychiatric conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia.

These conditions are associated with symptoms that may interfere with their ability to fully engage with treatment, and they would therefore probably benefit from specialist treatment elsewhere.

Those In Extremely Poor Ill-Health

Prolonged, excessive substance use can have a devastating effect on a person’s physical health.

Their body and brain can be so damaged that they may have developed complex medical needs that may prevent them from participating in treatment.

They may also not have the psychological capacity to meet the challenges of rehab.

Conditions like Delirium Tremens and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are examples of such conditions that occur as a result of excessive alcohol intake.

These are long-term conditions with a poor prognosis and people with such conditions will likely require regular, specialist care.

Clients Judged As High Risk

The physical and psychological safety of staff and patients is the overriding concern of those responsible for managing rehab centres.

So if there are any clients that may be classified as high-risk then it is likely a thorough risk assessment will be carried out on them before they are accepted into rehab.

High-risk patients include those who have a history of aggressive and violent tendencies, particularly towards loved ones.

It also includes individuals who have severe mental health disorders that have previously been categorised by psychiatrists as a suicide risk.

The Alternatives Of Going To Rehab

Support groups

Should you not wish to or not be able to attend residential rehab in the West Midlands, there many are other means of accessing the necessary treatment.

Support Groups (AA / NA)

Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous can play a huge role in fostering a person’s recovery from addiction.

There are numerous support groups available for people to attend in the West Midlands.

These groups can offer emotional support, encouragement, and a platform for members to make connections with people who have been through similar experiences.

All of these groups warmly welcome new members into their weekly sessions.


Al-anon follows the same principles as the AA and NA, but these meetings focus on the family members of substance users who are struggling to make sense of their situation.

The meeting provides a means of connecting to other families whose lives have been blighted by addiction.

Outpatient Treatment

Because of the increased prevalence of substance abuse, there are many local drug and alcohol services in the West Midlands offering outpatient treatment for addiction.

These outpatient services tend to be operated by local charities or NHS services, and they all tend to work well together to provide a range of proven and effective treatments for substance misuse.

Being an outpatient means you can access proven treatments for substance misuse whilst staying in the comfort of your own home, continuing with your daily life instead of spending several weeks in rehab.

You will be designated a support worker and offered various psychological therapies and workshops to help with your recovery.

Outpatient services also offer home detox treatment should service users require it.

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery is a well-respected and established national charity that offers support and guidance for anyone seeking to recover from substance misuse.

They have many trained volunteers on their database who help them guide clients through their recovery programme.

Most of SMART recovery’s support is online and their programme consists of helping clients improve their cognitive skills to ensure they can deal with cravings and difficult emotions.

Similar to AA, SMART recovery also helps clients with their personal development, and in their quest to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

The Admissions Process In The West Midlands


Substance misuse professionals will conduct a comprehensive assessment on all clients admitted into treatment.

This assessment is important in helping them devise an individual treatment plan.

To help them complete the assessment rehab staff will consult with the 6 dimensions of the highly respected ASAM criteria.

The six dimensions seek to explore several areas of a person’s life that may impact their ability to engage with treatment.

The dimensions relate to:

  • The client’s current level of substance consumption
  • Their health history
  • The state of their physical and mental health
  • Their readiness to start treatment
  • Their potential for relapse
  • Whether other areas of their lives may affect their response to treatment

Each dimension will be awarded a risk rating by the assessor and any dimension with a high-risk score will need to be addressed in the treatment plan.

Severity Of SUD

The assessor will also categorise the severity of your addiction and will refer to the DSM5 criteria to help them.

This consists of 11 distinct criteria.

If the client meets over 6 of the 11 criteria then they will be judged as having a severe SUD.

Meeting 4/5 of the criteria will lead to them being assessed as having a moderate SUD, whilst 2/3 criteria indicates a mild SUD.

Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDITs)


To assess the severity of a person’s alcohol consumption alcohol practitioners use the AUDIT tool.

This consists of 10 questions that seek to scrutinise how much alcohol the subject consumes, along with the associated physical, psychological and social consequences of their drinking.

The outcome from the AUDIT plays a key role in forming the basis of clients’ treatment plans.

Any individual who records a score of 8 on the AUDIT would be categorised as needing advice and guidance on how to reduce their drinking, before it becomes a significant cause for concern.

Anyone scoring over 13 would be strongly encouraged to engage with treatment immediately.

Professional Interventions


There are professional intervention services available for family members to turn to should they require expert help to convince a love one to consider treatment.

An intervention is a specifically designed course of action implemented to persuade someone into treatment.

Skilled professionals use psychological principles to train concerned family members into adopting new behaviours into their interactions with the substance user.

CRAFT, standing for Community Reinforcement And Family Training, has proven to be a successful intervention method.

It is based on positive reinforcement approaches where family members respond to the substance-related behaviour of the targeted person in specific ways.

These reactions are designed to encourage positive change and discourage substance use.

Family members will learn to apply certain sanctions in response to the behaviour of the substance misuser.

For example, they will reward the user when they have refrained from taking substances, and punish them when they have relapsed.

CRAFT also focuses on encouraging clear and non-aggressive communication with the substance user.

Physical And Psychological Dependence

Anyone who has become addicted will be physically and psychologically dependent on a substance.

Detox treatment will reduce the level of a person’s physical dependence as it will slowly reduce the level of the drug in the body.

A person can also become psychologically dependent on a substance when they use the drug to experience a particular feeling, such as pleasure or calmness.

Because these are such powerful feelings for them they will possess a strong desire to keep experiencing these feelings time after time.

This is because certain substances activate the dopamine pathway in the brain which is where all our feelings of pleasure are generated.

The substitute drugs used in detox do NOT tend to produce any feelings of pleasure, so they will not lead to psychological dependence.

Rehab For Cocaine In The West Midlands


Rehab treatment centres in the West Midlands have years of experience in treating cocaine addiction, and there are now safe, established practices for treating cocaine dependence.

Cocaine itself is a dangerous substance, particularly when mixed with alcohol.

There is no detox treatment available for cocaine, so clients will receive emotional therapy and conventional medication to help them manage the unpleasant symptoms they will experience.

The staff will explain why you are experiencing such symptoms and talk you through multiple strategies to cope with them.

As soon as your physical dependence is under control then you can begin to engage with a wide range of psychological therapies and education programmes.

These will help you deal with the emotional reasons behind your addiction and to learn effective cognitive skills to manage cravings and emotions.

Rehab For Heroin Rehab In The West Midlands


Heroin is an opioid drug, and cases of opioid addiction are on the rise across the world.

Heroin itself is an extremely dangerous substance, particularly when used alongside others.

Luckily, rehab treatment centres in the West Midlands use the most up-to-date methods to treat heroin addiction, so there are proven and reliable treatments in abundance.

The treatment for heroin addiction is split into two phases.

Firstly, a large majority of clients will undergo a detox procedure to help reduce the level of heroin in their system.

This will be achieved by prescribing substitute drugs such as Methadone which to prevent unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Detox treatment can last from 1 – 4 weeks, although anyone who has been diagnosed with a severe heroin addiction may find they need to continue taking the drug for several months.

However, most clients’ physical dependence will be stabilised after three weeks, after which they can begin their programme of psychological therapies.

Rehab For Cannabis In The West Midlands


Cannabis is the second most-consumed drug in the UK, running just behind alcohol.

It is not considered as harmful as opioid drugs or alcohol, but heavy cannabis use can still adversely affect several aspects of our cognition and emotional behaviour.

Fortunately, as cannabis addiction is so common, staff can draw on a wealth of expert knowledge to provide the best support.

There is no detox treatment available for cannabis addiction, so the main focus of the treatment will be to offer support and provide guidance on handling withdrawal symptoms.

This may involve advising clients on the best way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and providing advice on symptom management.

You will also engage in a range of psychological therapies (as shown below) to help deal with the social and emotional reasons for your cannabis addiction.

Psychological Therapies For Substance Misuse Available In The West Midlands


All rehab treatment centres use a range of psychological therapies when devising treatment programmes for their clients.

These therapies provide many benefits for clients seeking to understand the emotional factors that led to their SUD.

Therapies often include:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT can be very helpful in changing clients’ inaccurate beliefs which may have led to low self-esteem and a tendency to engage in irrational thinking.

This can lead to people believing that they are to blame for negative circumstances that are not their fault, or they do not take enough credit for positive outcomes they have achieved.

Working with a CBT therapist will help people obtain a more realistic understanding of events and let go of rigid, limiting thought patterns.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

DBT is primarily used in treating people with Borderline Personality Disorder, however over recent years it has also been successfully used in treating people with substance misuse.

The main areas of focus for therapists delivering DBT sessions are to train clients on how to become present in the “here and now”.

This helps develop their ability to tolerate and manage feelings of distress and to improve their interpersonal skills.

Brief Interventions

Brief interventions are motivation-based sessions designed to elicit maximum effect within a short time frame.

Sessions can last from as little as several minutes up to 4 or 5 sessions.

The role of substance misuse practitioners is to educate clients about the nature of their substance use, and the potential consequences that this may have for them.

Once this is completed the therapist will discuss the options open to them should they wish to change their behaviour.

The information provided by the practitioner may be about the harmful effects that substances can have on the client’s health.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

The main goal of MI sessions is to help clients overcome any ambivalence they may be showing towards engaging with treatment.

MI uses a person-centred approach with the therapist seeking to show empathy and build a good working relationship with the client to help them work through their resistance.

It is normal for people to lose motivation or have doubts and many clients may not be fully aware of these doubts in their minds.

Experienced therapists will be able to ask the right questions and explore relevant issues to get to the heart of the client’s psychological barriers.

Evidence from experimental trials has shown that MI is a highly effective strategy for helping clients overcome resistance.

Holistic Therapies

As well as the traditional psychological therapies such as CBT and psychoanalysis, there are now a wide range of holistic therapies available at rehab centres in the West Midlands.

These include:

Art Therapy

Attending art therapy sessions enables people to channel the unresolved negative feelings they have been unable to process.

The traditional talking therapies are based on the assumption that everyone can find the words to articulate how they are feeling

However, this is not always the case.

Art therapy allows clients to access a different part of the brain to express their feelings about the traumatic events they have experienced.

It is has been reported that art therapists have had successful outcomes in working with substance misusers.

This is because they have been able to design activities that can help clients symbolise their feelings around denial and shame which are common themes in the area of substance use.

Music Therapy

Music, just like art, provides an opportunity for people to work through unconscious negative emotions.

The idea is to experiment with music under the supervision of a qualified music therapist, who will be able to facilitate your ability to express feelings through the medium of music to enhance your social skills and mental health.

The therapist will use several music concepts such as tonality, rhythm, and melody to help the client communicate their emotional state.

This will enhance their ability to access their inner feelings and to relate to the world around them in a way they have been previously been unable to.

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy involves interacting with a horse in a series of exercises under the expert eye of an equine therapist.

By observing how you interact with the horse the therapist will be able to provide you with invaluable feedback on your communication style which may explain why people tend to react to you the way they do.

Horses are very skilled at reading the non-verbal communication of humans.

Equine therapists fully understand what the behaviour of the horse in the interaction represents, and can pass this information on to the participant.

Equine therapy has been reported to improve participants’ self-esteem, communication style and also help them manage stress and anger more effectively.

Adventure Therapy

Psychologists have known for some time about the therapeutic benefits of spending time in natural surroundings.

Adventure therapy combines team and skill-building exercises with natural surroundings to provide clients with an invigorating experience.

Engaging in adventure therapy will boost participants’ psychological resilience, self-esteem, communication skills and ensure they become competent in a wide range of practical activities such as rock climbing and map reading.

Group Therapy

Engaging in group therapy with 8-10 other people can be enormously beneficial for people receiving addiction treatment.

The group dynamic provides an important context for people to learn about themselves and how they interact with others.

Group therapy helps people understand the unhelpful behaviour patterns that they may have tended to exhibit over the years (e.g a tendency to avoid confrontation) that they may not be aware of.

These behaviours may have prevented them from reaching their life goals, and always tend to surface in a group scenario.

The group scenario also means you can receive feedback and advice from other group members about any emotional and relational difficulties you are experiencing.

The group ultimately is a supportive environment in which all members can feel a sense of belonging as all members come to realise that they have all been through similar experiences, which can be very cathartic.

Individual Therapy And Counselling

All clients accepted into rehab treatment will receive individual counselling to help them process the emotional factors in their lives that contributed to their substance use.

There are several reasons why people become addicted, many relating to traumatic experiences during childhood and adolescence.

This could be down to family discord, a lack of emotional support or being bullied.

As people move into adulthood they can experience many events that cause them distress, such as:

  • Serious accidents
  • Ill health
  • Work redundancy
  • Relationship breakdown

All of these unresolved negative emotions can lead to people turning to substances to soothe their psychological pain and working with a therapist will help clients process these feelings in a safe place.

Family Therapy

Many substance misusers have experienced difficulties in their early family life and this has been identified as a contributory to addictive behaviour.

This form of therapy takes a systemic approach and adopts the view that the family is a system.

The behaviour of individuals in that system has an effect on others within it.

Family therapists examine the perspectives of all family members and how all the family members relate to each other, by observing such interactions they will be able to help the family communicate better and resolve any conflicts or unhealthy dynamics that may be apparent.

Family therapy has been effective in helping families who have experienced substance use difficulties.

Co-Dependency Treatment

A co-dependent person tends to be too emotionally reliant on another person, usually a partner or family member.

It is thought that co-dependent people have difficulty understanding what their own psychological needs are, and therefore focus too much on the needs and problems of others.

Co-dependent people tend to need to gain approval from others to make themselves feel good.

They tend to feel the opinions and beliefs of others are more important than their own, and feel that their happiness is dependent on the happiness of another person.

Treatment for co-dependency tends to focus on encouraging the client to understand their own needs.

This helps them to become more assertive and changing the thoughts and assumptions that they have about themselves and the world around them.

Twelve-Step Facilitation Therapy (TSF)

The 12 steps are a central concept of the AA movement, providing the psychological challenges necessary to help people maintain their sobriety.

Clients can work on these steps in group and individual therapy sessions, and in discussions with their contemporaries in rehab.

The first step involves clients accepting that they have become powerless over their ability to control their substance use and that their lives have become unmanageable.

This is a key step as only acceptance of their situation can allow people to move forward.

Other key steps require people to deeply reflect on their shortcomings and character defects, and, list all the people that they harmed, and if possible make amends.

Relapse Prevention Education In Rehab

Prevention Plan

All clients entering drug and alcohol rehab need to understand the importance that relapse prevention (RP) education plays in their recovery plan.

These are important reflective qualities that clients will need to utilise when they leave rehab.

The premise behind RP education is to develop the client’s ability to pinpoint specific situations in which they are more prone to taking substances, these are referred to as “high-risk” situations.

Once the client and therapist have identified these high-risk situations, they can begin to discuss potential strategies that the client could implement when these situations arise.

High-Risk Situations

Every client will have their own unique set of high-risk situations.

However, there have been several scenarios identified by researchers that make people more vulnerable to relapsing.

These situations include:

  • Being in the company of certain people: there may be social pressures to participate to take substances.
  • Situations that generate conflict.
  • Any situation in which physical pain or negative emotions are apparent.
  • Celebratory events, both for your own success and that of others.
  • Any situation, person or place which has a personal association with substance.

It’s important for both the client and the therapist to carefully analyse the potential impact of these various scenarios.

The HALT Approach

The HALT approach has been used to summarise the four body states that may influence our tendency to relapse.

Halt stands for Hungry, Angry Lonely and Tired.

When we feel this way, our bodies are in a biological state that can make us vulnerable to relapse.

This can be difficult to assess sometimes as the reasons for relapsing may be outside of our conscious awareness.

However, keeping a diary can be a vital tool in helping clients understand the specific situations going on in their lives that may make them vulnerable to taking substances.

This can help prevent relapse as, once these have been identified, strategies can be put in place to stop this from occurring.

Call Rehab 4 Alcoholism Today

Call us today

Rehab 4 Alcoholism offers the chance to link you with safe and secure alcohol detoxification treatment throughout the United Kingdom.

The centres we recommend are typically residential in nature and offer a diverse range of treatment plans, all of them flexibly adapted to the severity of addiction and personal wishes of patients.

To take that first step on the road to recovery, call Rehab 4 Alcoholism today by dialling 0800 111 4108.

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