In the past 6 years, the number of residential drug and alcohol rehabs available in England has fallen by one third.

The dramatic fall comes at a time when more residential rehab places are required to help the thousands that are currently dying from drug and alcohol addiction in England and the rest of the UK.

In 2013, 195 residential detox and rehab centres were registered with the CQC (Care Quality Commission) in England. The CQC is the governing body that ensures rehab clinics are safe and run to a high standard of practice.

Latest statistics show that the number of treatment centres operating legally has fallen to 132 in 2019; meaning that a staggering 63 rehabs have now been closed.

With the British government slashing a shocking 30% of treatment funding, securing a government grant for residential rehab is now harder than ever before.

How Rehab Closures are Impacting on England’s Suffering Addicts

Addiction is a very complex disease of the brain that requires very specialist treatment. Currently, the vast majority of individuals who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction in England and Wales are not receiving anywhere near the correct treatment on the NHS.

The reason for this is two-fold:

  1. Lack of funding
  2. Lack of understanding

Sadly, despite more and more individuals dying as a result of drug and alcohol addiction, addiction still has a stigma attached to it. Some individuals and even health professionals still see addiction as a personal choice, rather than the chronic and progressive mental health disorder that it is.

Let’s look at it this way – Who in their right mind would CHOOSE to take drugs or drink alcohol at the cost of their physical health, mental health, finances, career, social life, personal relationships and relationships with their family?

By cutting funding for treatment for those suffering from a drug or alcohol problem, ultimately the government must be held accountable for the increasing number of avoidable deaths in this country.

Rehab centres and detox clinics partly rely on referrals and funding from local drug and alcohol services. As funding has been slashed, so have the number of referrals. Many rehabs have therefore been forced to close.

Meanwhile, vulnerable people are dying on the waiting lists. They are not receiving anywhere near the level of support they need to stabilise or treat them in the community.

Why Rehab Centres Matter

Rehab centres are an essential part of some individuals’ recovery from addiction. Not everyone needs drug and alcohol rehab, but for those who are physically and mentally addicted and on a downward spiral, there are very few effective alternative treatment options available, if any.

Drug and alcohol rehab is not a luxury but a necessity for some. It is the only residential treatment facility where a person can undergo a full medical detox AND undergo a full bespoke rehabilitation programme.

Rehab programmes consist of evidence-based treatments proven to be effective in successfully overcoming addiction on a long term/permanent basis.

Treatment centres for addiction treat the person on a very individual basis. Every patients treatment needs are different; the NHS sadly do not take this into account. What works for one person may be completely inappropriate and ineffective for another.

Alcohol and Drug Deaths are Spiralling out of Control

If you are still not convinced that rehab centres work, the latest statistics released by the Office of National Statistics and Public Health England may change your mind.

Here are the key points taken for their latest published reports:


  • In England, there are currently an estimated 589,101 individuals dependent on alcohol. 81.7% are NOT accessing treatment for their condition.
  • In 2017, the UK recorded the highest levels of alcohol-specific deaths since 2008 – 7,697 people died as a direct result of alcohol
  • The cost of alcohol has increased by 31% over the past decade, yet it is still 64% more affordable than it was in 1987
  • Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability in 15-49 year old in the UK


  • In 2017 there were 3,756 deaths relating to drug poisoning in England and Wales
  • Two-thirds of drug-related deaths were related to drug misuse.
  • Female drug-related death rates have increased for the eighth consecutive year.
  • Deaths involving cocaine and fentanyl continued to rise in 2017.
  • Prescription drug addiction, misuse and overdose is currently a huge concern

Since drug and alcohol funding has been cut in England and Wales, deaths associated with alcohol and drug misuse have continued to rise.

The Benefits of Residential Rehab Treatment

Residential rehab treatment is dramatically different from community drug and alcohol services treatment. Community drug and alcohol services are a low impact intervention and can only do so much for an individual suffering from addiction.

One of the main advantages of attending a residential rehab is that you are removed from temptation whilst you undergo intensive rehabilitation and medical detox.

Rehab treatments are designed to get to the root of the problem; naturally, this can be an emotional rollercoaster for an individual who has attempted to suppress their troubles with drugs and alcohol for most of their life.

Residential rehabs are purpose-built facilities, staffed by qualified addiction specialist and medical professionals. The environment is safe, supportive and nurturing – A far cry from local drug and alcohol services, where other still-using alcoholics and addicts frequent.

Further benefits of attending residential rehab include:

  • A full medical detox where a drug or alcohol dependence is identified
  • 24/7 medical and therapeutic support
  • Professional treatment for dual diagnosis and co-occurring illnesses
  • A bespoke rehabilitation programme tailored to individual treatment needs
  • Intensive evidence-based treatments including CBT, psychotherapy, counselling, 12 steps and person-centred therapy
  • Education and implementation of essential relapse prevention techniques
  • Opportunity to move into sober living accommodation
  • Family therapy programme
  • Holistic treatment programme
  • Aftercare and reintegration into the community programmes
  • No waiting times and emergency admissions available

Thankfully, the government cuts have not affected PCP who operate 4 established CQC registered residential rehabs in England. PCP accept both private paying patients and those with statutory government grants. By keeping our prices low and our standards of treatment high, we are able to continue to help those suffering from addiction in this somewhat rocky and frightening climate.

For more information on our residential rehab programmes and detoxes call us today.

Sources and references:

Office for National Statistics

Public Health England