Drug Addiction Treatment

Quasi Residential Drug Addiction Treatment UK


Quasi residential drug treatment is a treatment option that was designed to make residential rehab more affordable. It works by emulating a real life environment where the drug addicts will live in sober living housing. Sober living housing is generally situated away actual addiction treatment centre. Addicts make their way into the centre on a daily basis in supported groups and return in the evening after the days addiction treatment. Sober housing is generally overseen by a supervisor and clients remain in supported groups.

It is normal in this environment for the drug addicts to attend other self help groups in the evening such as cocaine anonymous, alcoholics anonymous and narcotics anonymous. (Please see below for some links to these resources). To all intensive purposes the addict will assume ‘normal life’ whilst in treatment. They will develop and maintain everyday life skills such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and ironing etc.

For some drug addicts this will be a new experience and these life skills will support them when they leave treatment. For others it acts as a platform to regain normal life with a seamless integration back into society. As with the large majority of residential treatment centres, quasi residential drug treatment centres mostly operate a 12 step disease model approach. They will work to a programme which was originally laid down by Alcoholics Anonymous in June 10, 1935.

The steps that members are required to follow: Following the success of Alcoholics Anonymous many other self support groups utilised the 12 step approach. The 12 step treatment will remain the same even if the addiction or drug changes. Here is an example of the 12 steps of narcotics anonymous 12 steps:


The 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous


Some drug users will not adapt well to a 12 step model as they have difficulty with a steps 2 and 3 as they struggle to develop a concept of a power greater than themselves or a belief in God. Although there are some facets of both psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural and person centred aspects in these programmes the spiritual belief can be difficult for agnostics and atheists. Behavioural conditioning would state that addiction is learned behaviour and can be unlearned by breaking the link between stimulus and response. i.e. drugs help me to relax = drug using behaviour.  The 12 step model seeks to prove that addiction is so because of an allergy to the drug. They state that in order to have success the drug addict must continue to go to treatment meetings. At these meetings the message that an addict can never safely use drugs again is repeated thereby breaking the link between stimulus and response. i.e. drugs are bad = extinguished behaviour. There is empirical evidence to support both the 12 step disease model and the behavioural therapy model.

Therapists that work within a 12 step treatment centre will often be trained in all aspects of addiction and drug counselling and will be able to demonstrate the ability to use multiple counselling interventions to deliver a 12 step treatment programme.

The quasi residential model would also often seek teach their recovering addicts to look out for each other. Responsibilities such as Senior Peer and Buddy will become available as the treatment episode progresses. A Senior Peer would be considered to be someone close to completing the programme, they would be given increased privileges and increased responsibilities. For instance; they may be given permission to come and go from the treatment centre on their own. They also might be given the responsibility of escorting a new member to the pharmacy or the dentist for instance. A buddy would be a client that is responsible for helping a new comer to settle in by introducing them to other clients, showing them around the treatment centre and holding their money etc. Buddy’s and Senior Peers would be chosen by the counsellors and revoked if not seen to be going well. The psychology behind it is to build self efficacy by showing trust to the drug addict and to help them to be responsible for other people as well as themselves.


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