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How Does a Rehab Centre Work: A First-Hand Account

If you’re reading this blog, the chances are that you are considering rehab for yourself or a loved one. It can be a daunting prospect but, with the correct help, you can return to a life away from addiction.

The aim of this blog is to make sure that you know what to expect from private alcohol and drug rehab clinics, in order to fully prepare you for what lies ahead.

Based in North Wales, 29-year-old Bryn had grown dependent on alcohol and contacted Port of Call to see how we could help.

So, how does a rehab centre work? Bryn reveals his journey.

Learn about alcohol and drug rehabilitation

Bryn’s story

I started drinking in my teens. A lot of my friends were sneaking booze onto the local park or trying their best to get into pubs. It was fun, and we didn’t give a second thought to drinking as much as we could to impress each other and others in our school.

By my early twenties, I developed an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Me and my friends all used to love going to watch our local football team. There was never any debate – Saturday afternoon was our footy day.

As time went on, Saturday afternoon at the footy had become sandwiched between a session in the pub in the morning and evening.

It was great. Win, lose or draw, we would all have a right laugh. Just a bunch of young lads enjoying each other’s company. If the team were away from home, even better! We would have to travel further afield which meant more time on the beer.

As a young lad, what could be better?

Over time, our large group had dwindled down to just a few of us. In fact, there have been times when I would find myself going to the pub and to the footy on my own when the others weren’t available.

I knew I had developed a drink problem when I found myself drinking on my own on a regular basis because a lot of the same friends have settled down with young families and their priorities have changed.

I’d often send a hopeful text out to a few of the lads asking me to meet them in the pub and, even though the answer was almost always a ‘no’, I’d go anyway.

One night after work, I text the lads asking if they fancied a few pints down at our local. I was really taken aback by some of the replies.

“I think you need to cut back on your drinking mate.”

“It’s a Tuesday pal. Take it easy, will you?”

It was then that I realised that I might have a problem with drink. All this time I thought my friends were in the wrong for turning down the opportunity to come out on the lash. In reality, I was the one doing it all wrong.

There was no way I’d be able to cut out drinking on my own. I’m no expert, but it seemed unrealistic to go from around eight pints a day to nothing.

I did a quick Google of “how does a rehab centre work” to get a better understanding of what to expect.

The first stage is about cleaning out your system, which is the detox part of treatment. Each person detoxes differently, so it’s good to have a medical expert on hand to monitor how your body reacts to the lack of alcohol as well as making sure your vital signs stay stable.

The next step is to understand addiction in the first place. Sometimes there are undiagnosed mental health issues that lead to self-medicating through drugs or alcohol. This step is managed with trained professionals who know how to determine if a pre-existing condition exists.

Alcoholism effects everyone, especially others in a family who may have helped enable the addiction in the hopes things would get better. I knew from my situation that my parents would overlook signs of my drinking problem or make excuses for me. They felt guilty about lying for me, and I was ashamed that I had put them in that situation. Instead of talking about it, we would argue and fight, usually ending up in me storming out and heading straight to the pub for a night of heavy drinking. So, rebuilding the family unit is a big part of rehab.

Learning how to reduce your risk of relapse is another key part of rehab. It’s important to be in an environment that doesn’t trigger someone to drink or do drugs. The more time an addict practices healthy behaviour and remains in a substance-free environment, the better the chances of remaining sober.

I knew my drinking was out of control and realised that the help I needed was available to start on my recovery. I got in touch with Port of Call to talk me through alcohol rehabilitation.

They made it clear on exactly what I could expect while in a treatment centre, and that it wasn’t a scary place at all. In fact, they are designed to make me as comfortable as possible.

Their advisors were so helpful. They put me at ease and assured me that I would be placed in one of the best private alcohol and drug rehab clinics in the area.

My time in rehab was nothing like how I imagined. Everyone was so friendly, and we enjoyed plenty of group activities to keep us occupied. It’s the best decision I have ever made.

I learned about ways I could cope with stress, boredom and loneliness so that I wouldn’t turn to drinking alcohol to fill the void like I had in the past. 

It’s great to have my friends back and not feel like the odd one out.

Thanks to everyone at Port of Call. You’re the best.


Disclaimer: Names and certain details have been changed to protect the identity of case study participants.

If you can relate to Bryn’s story, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of dedicated professionals on 08000029010. Alternatively, feel free to take a look around our site and see if you can find a rehab centre near you.

About the author: Alex Molyneux

Alex is our admissions team leader. Over the last 5 years he has spoken with more than 10,000 people via our helpline and has organised over 1,000 detox and rehabilitation placements.

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