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Alcohol and drug treatment services types


Counselling is based on creating a safe place and developing a clinical relationship. This will guide you through the issues you are facing.

A counsellor can help you to understand your alcohol or drug use. They can also support you to deal with the difficulties you have.

The counsellor will create a safe environment for you to reflect calmly on your concerns. This is in preparation to make changes outside of your sessions.

Look for a counsellor with experience of working with people with alcohol or drug issues.

When counselling might be useful

Counselling can help if you feel that your use of alcohol and drug has become part of you or part of your daily life.

Counselling can help you if you are ready to take a deeper look at:

  • the development of the issue
  • the implications of making a change

What the counsellor will do

The counsellor will help you to look at how you use alcohol and drugs and how this fits into your life, including your:

  • personality
  • ways of thinking
  • emotional experiences
  • sense of wellbeing

Counselling can help you to explore how you feel about your circumstances. This can include looking back on your life to see how the issue developed.

Counselling is a structured way of exploring:

  • what has been happening
  • how you feel about it
  • what you can do about it

Types of counselling

There are many different types of counselling:

For example:

  • person-centred
  • behaviourist
  • humanistic
  • psychodynamic
  • cognitive behavioural

Related topic

Therapies: talking and self-help

Community-based treatment

Community-based treatment is support you can get in the community.

As part of community-based treatment you can also benefit from:

  • support groups
  • education
  • individual and group therapy

Residential treatment

With a residential programme you stay in a treatment centre during your treatment.

Residential programmes can last from 28 days to 12 months.

Residential programs can help with detox and withdrawal. They are good if you need more support than a community-based programme.

It allows you take a break from your daily routine to focus on this issue in your life. It is also useful to help break habits associated with problematic alcohol or drug use.

Types of residential treatment programmes

Different treatment programmes have different ways of providing treatment. There are a wide variety of programs available to help with your alcohol or drug use and the harms caused by it.

You should be able to find a treatment programme for your situation. One that suits how you think about your issues and how to resolve them.

Take time to research your options.


Detoxification (detox) is medical support to help you stop using alcohol or drugs.

You may need medicine if you have physical withdrawal symptoms from alcohol or drugs.

For example:

  • tremors (shaking)
  • seizures (fits)
  • hallucinations

If you are worried about your alcohol use, take our alcohol test to find out what type of drinker you are.

Related topics

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms

page last reviewed: 08/11/2019
next review due: 08/11/2022