Addiction Treatment: Private VS NHS Local Services Explained

depressed man

Acknowledgement of one’s addiction issues and gathering the will to seek help and assistance to recover is a daunting task. But many would consider deciding whether to seek NHS or go private for rehabilitation as much more confusing. 

The NHS provides free rehab services, which might be inadequate. Whereas, private rehabilitation services are extensive and meticulous, but also expensive. Here, we will break down the details of both to help you choose which one would suit you the best. 

What to Remember before Choosing Rehab

The most important things to remember while you look for a private facility are as follows:

  1. First, one needs the acknowledgement and acceptance that they need assistance from trained professionals who are experienced in helping those who want to lead an addiction-free lifestyle.
  2. NHS options are available, but the budget is tight, and waiting lists are extensive. Not to mention the recovery rate is much lower.
  3. Research is of utmost importance. Discuss with people who have experience and with your GP.

Services Available in NHS Rehabilitation Facilities 

Not everyone can afford expensive treatment facilities to recover from alcohol or substance abuse. Some free services available on NHS are:

Anonymous support groups 

There are confidential helplines and an array of support groups you can join that offer an empathic outlet for anyone who wants to recover from an addiction. For example, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous.

Rehab Program

Talking therapy services

These are to work through the root of your mental health concerns and allow you to talk about whatever is weighing you down with a licensed practitioner in complete confidentiality.

Addiction treatment

Treatment appointments are available. The downside to this is that they are hard to access. The waiting lists are too long and may discourage you even further.

Funding for private treatment

Funding is available through pages such as GoFundMe, if you are not afraid of repercussions (as you shouldn’t be). Additionally, most private health insurance providers offer coverage for parts or the whole of the addiction treatment process.

Disadvantages of NHS 

While the NHS does have some pros, it also has some cons that can make it tough for individuals suffering from addiction to get the help that they need to get better:

  • Extensive waiting lists
  • Inadequate treatment options
  • No in-patient options

Private Rehabilitation Facilities

Private rehabilitation is the recommended option for substance rehabilitation. There are many reasons, the most important being that there you can receive 24/7 assistance also for severe cases of addiction. Unavailable on the NHS. 

More Accessibility

Private residential rehab treatment is instantly and readily available. You can choose your caregivers, and the best kinds of professionals will be available to help you choose the most suitable treatment – tailored to suit your needs.

Results and Outcomes

It has been statistically proven that more people who choose private rehabilitation successfully recover from addiction than those who choose to go for lighter treatment options like support groups or NHS outpatient services. You will lead a better sober life at a reduced chance of relapse. 

Residential facilities

Private rehabilitation centres keep you under observation and provide you with a private room where care is available 24/7. 


Structured Support

Treatment is organised and thorough. Interventions, psychological guidance, therapy and group sessions are involved throughout your stay. For withdrawals from severe addictions, substitute medication can be administered. Both high-end and affordable residential options are also available. Complete confidentiality and trust are guaranteed. You also get time to be visited by your family, and there are many activities like art therapy, sports, and fitness sessions to ease your mind.

Which One Is Better?

The quality of care in private treatment facilities overpowers everything else. The issue is cost, as not everyone can afford the luxury facilities. Many funding options exist, including private insurance coverage.

In the end, the choice of facilities matters the most. Check outcome reviews from people who have attended the facilities you are interested in, contact advisors, and look into inspection reports. 


Everyone responds to treatment at their own pace. Finding someone who is dedicated to providing tailored care is the most important thing. Here is a summary of the points made within the article, which you can print out or save on your phone, to look at when you begin your recovery journey:

  1. Choose a facility that will cater to your needs and always prioritise the quality of treatment.
  2. While the NHS provides free treatment options, they can be hard to get a hold of and may not always cater to severe cases of addiction. 
  3. Private rehab will allow you to recover in a confidential facility environment.
  4. A private rehabilitation facility offers inpatient treatment.
  5. While more expensive, private rehabilitation services offer a better shot at recovery.
  6. Before picking a rehab facility, check around for reviews and experiences from other individuals.