A quick summary of my experience. I was in alcohol addiction for over a decade, progressively deteriorating until I was drinking from 8am (when I could purchase alcohol at my local shop) until late into the night when I passed out. My life was an appalling mess, I was severely depressed and the only way out I felt was suicide. I had 2 failed suicide attempts. After the second I went into a UK rehab.
About this rehab, looking back it wasn't very structured and seemed to be more about its celebrity status - who was in there. I could also wander out of the clinic and buy cigarettes at the local shop - which also sold alcohol. Not smart looking back! The best way I can describe it is that the approach seemed 'soft'. I left this rehab and went to Stepping Stones, South Africa- it was recommended by my Psychiatrist - and it seems many people go there having had unsuccessful in-patient treatment at other rehabs.
Stepping Stones quite simply saved my life. I would be dead now had I not gone.
The initial month really confronted me with the reality of what being an addict was doing to myself and particularly those around me - the damage I was causing and how I was completely powerless to stop. There were on-going therapy sessions to dig deep- and find the reasons I was turning to alcohol in the first place. I did 'primary care' - the month-long rehab. - and then stayed for another month for 'secondary care'- which involved more therapy.
This was advantageous I believe. I was out of my normal environment for a good period of time and had sobriety under my belt before returning to the UK. The clinic is in beautiful natural surroundings which helped I am sure. Although it wasn't easy. Looking back, I really needed the Stepping Stones direct approach, I was stuck in all kinds of excuses and self-pitying behaviour. But I began to appreciate being challenged, I absolutely needed that.
Hope this gives you a good sense of the place. For me- and I don't say this lightly - it saved my life and gave me a life I never imagined was possible.