Most rehabilitation programs are residential and are for people who have already detoxed and are attempting to live without using drugs. Another name for rehabilitation programs is therapeutic or residential communities. They are medium to long term programs, are often in the country or in a semi-isolated spot and provide a regulated environment where individuals can build their skills and self confidence before returning to the real world. Some programs also include a halfway house stage which provides support after returning to the city.

Rehabilitation programs are usually quite strict and do not tolerate any drug use. Some people drop out because they find the rules a bit hard to take. Some people don’t choose to enter these programs as they have been sent by the judicial system as an alternative to prison. Just like detox, however, the best outcomes usually occur for people who undertake rehab voluntarily; who have taken their time to consider where and how they wish to do it and who have some experience with trying to get off drugs before.

Most rehabilitation programs are medium to long-term, ranging from a month to a year or more. Because of this they often have long waiting lists.

If you are a smoker find out if the rehab has a smoking area — many programs have become non-smoking and this can be a major barrier for some people. It seems counterproductive to make you quit nicotine on top of everything else, but there you go.

If you have children or dependents you will need to consider how they will be cared for in your absence as most rehabs do not allow kids (with the exceptions of Jarrah House and Phoebe House, both rehabs that cater for women and their children).

This website has a list of therapeutic communities Australia-wide, with information, contact details and links to websites for each service. It also hosts a number of relevant reports and resources.

The Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) has a database with over 1500 Drug and Alcohol related services across NSW. ADIS operates 24 hours, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential and anonymous. By phone: Sydney metropolitan  02 9361 8000 Regional and rural NSW Freecall 1800 422 599