"Addiction treatment - the 12 step way"

About: Priory Hospital Hove

I went in for treatment for alcoholism (heavy drinking) and compulsive gambling on a 28 day residential program. The people are all very nice at the hospital but it's the same old stuff; come to 12 step rehab then go to AA. If you don't go to AA after the treatment then you are given the impression that you will not recover, to the extent that it will be impossible to recover without AA. This involves believing a lot of things that quite a few people struggle with and once you get to AA you have to believe them, or at least pretend to, or else become ostracised.

I did cover, albeit a very small amount of time, some of the issues and patterns that have come from my childhood (having been abstinent in AA and worked the steps for 5 years previous my experience is that most of the people in AA have had less than good starts in life) but then it is straight back to the theory of AA again; that you are powerless over alcohol/gambling/sex/money/drugs etc, God can relive you of the obsessions for such things (but you can choose your own God?), you have to attend AA meetings or you will drink again for sure, and lots of other things you have to believe or you will die.

Where is the treatment if you want to start making healthy choices, empowering yourself, anything other than AA? It is not advertised as a 12 step/AA hospital yet does not offer any other treatment program for addiction other than AA/NA orientated.

I had an awful experience at the hospital in a vulnerable state by beginning to take a drug that clearly was not one i should have started on and took me three months of hell to get off after only taking it for a month so i would advise that you do not make any rush decisions on medication if you attend.

I was allowed to go on a 2 hour group outing once a week, other than that i did not leave the hospital unless it was to go to the mandatory AA/NA meetings that were four times a week.

If i could go back in time i would have chosen a more real world treatment that would rely more on my own resources than having to believe that something else was going to recover me.

I would recommend addiction counsellors that are not aligned with any one treatment program and also exploring CAT or CBT for help with the issues that, in my opinion and experience, make one turn to substances or behaviour as coping mechanisms.

If you are drinking daily and alcohol dependant there is a good detox program at the hospital though.

Making an informed choice for residential treatment will mean the difference between success and failure; even if you are not able to consider options it would have been beneficial to me to at least run through ideas with someone else before committing. In hindsight I would have realised how vulnerable i was whilst attending the treatment and not have just said yes to any and all suggestions.

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Response from Priory Hospital Hove

We are sorry to hear that you had a negative experience at The Priory Hospital Brighton and Hove.

We do offer a 12 step treatment programme, however we work with the individual to devise a personalised treatment plan in agreement with the patient. As an organisation we are committed to providing the highest quality of care, to make a real and lasting difference for everyone we support. Our Consultants are highly experienced and discuss medication recommendations with patients and work to provide as much information as possible in relation to prescribed medication. This is reviewed with the Consultant as a minimum on a weekly basis.

Nurses have a daily 1:1 with patients to discuss any issues, including medication. We understand that all our patients can be particularly vulnerable, so we make sure all our interactions are assisting the individual to make an informed choice. If an individual presents with addiction alongside other issues, our programme can provide a combination of CBT and addiction treatment.

If you would like to raise your concerns directly with us, please contact our team on 020 7605 0923 or davidwatts@priorygroup.com. Please be assured that we take any concerns seriously and always seek to address any issues raised to us.

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