Drug and alcohol detox at Nightingale Hospital

We offer a detoxification inpatient admission (detox) for patients who are substance dependent. The purpose of this medically supervised detox is to remove toxic substances from your body, whilst helping to manage withdrawal symptoms that can occur.

A detox programme can be the first step taken before engaging in an intensive rehab programme where you can start a therapeutic journey to begin addressing your addiction.

Once you are medically stable then you begin to address the underlying factors that led to your addiction. It is through such therapeutic work that you may begin your recovery journey. 

A detox admission at Nightingale Hospital requires a minimum of a seven-night inpatient then patients can transfer to the 28-day addiction rehabilitation programme. 

Patients from 18 years plus can be admitted for detox and the programme is suitable for those who have a dependency on alcohol or drugs (including amphetamine, benzodiazepine, cannabis, cocaine, codeine, ecstasy, heroin, ketamine, inhalant, opiates, and prescription drugs).

Withdrawing from alcohol and drugs 

If you have developed a substance dependency there could be physical and mental withdrawal symptoms if you try and abstain without support.

This can be an uncomfortable process, which can include various symptoms as the body begins to adjust to change. Factors influencing these symptoms can vary depending on the length of use, and the type of substance (including the type of drug).

Common withdrawal symptoms from drugs and alcohol include:

  • Changes in mood and appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Muscle pain 
  • Nausea 
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Sweating

How long do drugs and alcohol stay in the body?

The length of time that substances stay within the body depends on several factors. These include the type of substance, amount and frequency of use, the presence of other substances in your body, as well as tolerance, metabolism, body mass and other genetic factors.

The below figures can be used as a general guide:

  • Alcohol: 3-5 days in urine, 10-12 hours in blood
  • Amphetamines: 1-3 days in urine and around 12 hours in blood
  • Barbiturates: 2-4 days in urine and 1-2 days in blood
  • Benzodiazepines: 3-6 weeks in urine and 2-3 days in blood
  • Cannabis: 7-30 days in urine and up to 2 weeks in blood
  • Cocaine: 3-4 days in urine and 1-2 days in blood
  • Codeine: 1 day in urine and up to 12 hours in blood
  • Heroin: 3-4 days in urine and up to 12 hours in blood
  • Ketamine: Up to 14 days in urine and up to 3 days in blood
  • LSD: 1-3 days in urine and up to 2-3 hours in blood
  • MDMA (ecstasy): 3-4 days in urine and 1-2 days in blood
  • Methamphetamine (crystal meth): 3-6 days in urine and 24 – 72 hours in blood
  • Methadone: 3-4 days in urine and 24-36 hours in blood
  • Morphine: 2-3 days in urine and 6-8 hours in blood

What you can expect from a drug and alcohol detox at Nightingale Hospital

You will be admitted to our specialist addiction treatment ward at the hospital, by a Nightingale Hospital consultant psychiatrist. Here, you will receive 24-hour care from specialist nurses, doctors and therapists who are experienced in supporting patients withdrawing from substances.

You may be given appropriately controlled medication throughout this process to help you manage any withdrawal symptoms.

Once stabilised through the detox process, you will have the option to participate in therapeutic group sessions with a supportive peer group.

All inpatients on the addiction treatment programme agree to random alcohol and drug tests alongside other treatment guidelines. These guidelines are implemented with the sole intention of keeping all patients and hospital staff safe. 

Addiction treatment at Nightingale Hosptial

Our approach to treating all addictions combines individualised addiction treatment programmes, with therapies that are based on current clinical evidence. Patients can seek help for their addiction at Nightingale Hospital in an inpatient, day patient or outpatient setting.

Our addiction treatment multidisciplinary team (MDT) consists of leading consultant psychiatrists, nurses and therapists who are all specially trained in addiction. They are supported by clinical psychologists, trauma therapists, counselling psychologists and psychotherapists ensuring that we deliver specialised, evidence-based treatments.

Our expert team is highly skilled in treating all addictions, such as alcohol addictiondrug addiction (including amphetamine, benzodiazepine, cannabis, cocaine, codeine, ecstasy, heroin, inhalants, ketamine, opiates and prescription drug addictions) and behavioural addictions (such as technology, gambling, sex and love, co-dependency).

Numerous factors are known to contribute to sustained recovery. Some people do recover from addiction with no professional treatment, and there is not only one path. However, the evidence is clear, professional treatment works and makes it more likely that people begin recovery and continue in recovery.

Our inpatient addiction treatment is provided via two separate modalities:

We are an accredited service by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

counselling and therapy london nightingale hospital




Addictions treatment telephone consultation

We offer a free telephone consultation to determine if addictions treatment would be right for you, or a loved one. Complete the form below and a member of our expert addictions team will be in touch to arrange an appointment.

What is an addiction?

Addiction is a complex condition, characterised by an uncontrollable urge to use a particular substance (drugs or alcohol), or engage in a behaviour (gamblingtechnology, sex and love), despite many harmful consequences.  

When someone develops an addiction to a substance or a behaviour, use will overstimulate the reward pathways in the brain resulting in pleasure. Use of the substance and behaviour can be used as a coping mechanism to avoid unpleasant feelings, thoughts or emotions.  Over time, the brain function of self-regulation is diminished and control becomes almost impossible, resulting in an addiction.

An addiction can rapidly impact an individual’s mental and physical health, relationships, and finances and cause social and legal problems. 

Professional addiction treatment is shown to be the most effective way to tackle addiction and support the individual in long-term recovery. 


Enquire about this treatment

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“When you have a problem and you drink, take drugs or gamble, the problem won’t go away. Stay and tackle the problem”