Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the admission process?

A: We suggest that you visit our admissions webpage for more details. Our admissions secretary, Jillian Johnstone, is happy to answer any questions that you have. To speak to Jillian please call between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm, outside these hours the nurse on duty will answer your call.

Healthcare professionals wishing to make a referral may wish to speak to our Consultant or to the Medical Director. Because we are a hospital we prefer to consult with the general practitioner regarding the patient’s medical status. Pre-admission assessments are conducted by our doctors and consultants.

Q: What is the environment like and who are the staff?

A: Castle Craig has a unique location set amongst 50 acres of parkland in the stunning Scottish Borders countryside allowing patients plenty of space for outdoor relaxation in total privacy. There is an emphasis on the dignity of each patient and treatment takes place in a comfortable, relaxed setting. Our staff are experienced and qualified professionals, committed to helping people who are suffering from addiction recover their health, their sense of identity and dignity.

Q: What does the programme involve?

A: At Castle Craig patients follow the 12 step addiction treatment model.  Our programme involves a comprehensive assessment under the direction of the Consultant Psychiatrist and a combination of therapies designed to assist patients acquire insight and avoid relapse.

We employ a team of addiction professionals able to treat all aspects of the disease: physical, emotional spiritual and social. Our treatment programme is intensive and each day is structured to include lectures, group therapy and one to one therapy.

Components of our programme include:

Other therapies additionally available in the Extended Care Unit include complementary therapies, social skills training, vocational training, intensive relapse prevention therapy, relationships groups, therapy for children of alcoholics. 

Q: What is the average day like?

A: A typical day at Castle Craig includes two group therapy sessions, two daily lectures, individual therapy, therapeutic assignments from your therapist, recovery meetings, exercise and personal free time.

Q: Who will help me throughout my treatment at Castle Craig?

A: Our highly experienced and trained team of staff will guide you through your personal treatment programme.

  • On arrival you are greeted by a nurse who will show you around and help to get you settled,
  • Within an hour you will see a Consultant Psychiatrist and then you will be seen by the resident medical officer who will check your physical condition and decide on detoxification therapy with your consultant,
  • Nurses at the Medical Centre help you during your first few days and monitor your physical condition,
  • Your focal therapist will greet you within twenty four hours of arrival and begin your orientation and assessment. Your therapist co-ordinates your care, monitors your progress and supports you throughout treatment,
  • The administration department is available to help you with any insurance and financial issues.

Q: Is there always a doctor on duty?

A: Night and day there are nurses and a doctor continually on immediate call. We carry resuscitation and emergency equipment.

Q: What are the qualifications of the therapists?

A: All Castle Craig therapy staff have received thorough training. They are accredited with COSCA (Confederation of Scottish Counselling Agencies), university accredited diplomas or degrees in counselling and all have international accreditations in addiction counselling (IC & RC). The therapists are members of the clinical team and their practice is under the direction of the Consultant and Medical Director.

Q: Is Castle Craig committed to quality care?

A: Castle Craig Hospital is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and subject to regular inspections. We are ISO 9001 accredited for all medical, nursing, treatment, and administrative procedures. These procedures include the management, training and supervision of staff. Castle Craig is also a member of the Independent Health Care Association, the European Association for the Treatment of Addictions, of which our Chairman, Peter McCann is the founder and the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions. Our health care governance arrangements ensure an ongoing commitment to quality.

Q: What services are available for family members?

A: We involve family members all the way through treatment, often before admission. We provide therapy conducted by a specialist therapist for the patient and their family/spouse. 

We invite family members to visit Castle Craig on Sundays when we hold a family programme with educational lectures, family therapy sessions and self-help meetings such as Al Anon and Families Anonymous. 

For many years we have run a successful residential family programme. This programme explores the effects of addiction on the family members and the relationship issues that are common among families and friends of addicts. 

Q: How long will I be at Castle Craig?

A: The length of time you spend in treatment at Castle Craig depends upon your individual needs. Detoxification usually requires from five to ten days and the duration of your subsequent care in the Intensive Treatment Unit will be assessed with your consultant. If extended care is required transfer can be made to our secondary care unit in the grounds where treatment lasts on average three months.

Q: How do I arrange payment?

A: Payment arrangements vary with each patient. Our admissions team will be happy to give you advice.

Q: What clothes should I bring?

A: We advise you to bring ‘smart casual’, easily maintained clothes for everyday use. You may wish to wear something more formal for such times as Sunday visits. Casual wear and trainers are recommended for use during fitness sessions and sensible footwear is needed for walking in the grounds. We provide towels and bedlinen, and a full laundry service for patients in the Intensive Therapy Unit. A self-service personal laundry facility operates in the Extended Care Unit, with a minimal charge. Please bring night wear and toiletries for your stay.

Q: Can my family visit or call? Can I receive mail?

A: Visiting hours are usually on Sundays from 1.30pm to 6.00pm, although in exceptional circumstances other arrangements can be made.  

Patients may make and receive phone calls from 8.00am to 10.00pm and pay telephones are also available for outgoing calls.  We advise against telephone calls for the first week of treatment to allow patients time to settle into the programme without any outside pressures.

Enquiries can always be made to the nurse on duty or a patient’s therapist.
Patients may also send and receive mail; though for obvious reasons packages must be opened in the presence of a nurse.

Q: Can I smoke?

A: We provide sheltered smoking areas outside the main buildings. In common with all indoor public places and hospitals Castle Craig is smoke free. We offer smoking cessation therapy to those who wish to stop smoking.

Q: What happens at the end of my treatment ?

A: Castle Craig thoroughly prepares patients before departure and a personalised continuing care plan is developed by the focal therapist in conjunction with the medical and therapeutic team. We advise our patients on any professional follow-up that is needed, including our own aftercare groups which take place weekly at various venues in Scotland and the Netherlands. We hold regular reunions at Castle Craig for all our former patients.

Our doctors ensure that your G.P. and other relevant professionals already involved in your care receive discharge communication so that ongoing follow-up can be provided.

Before departure, we provide patients with information about their local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous groups. There is strong evidence that continued involvement in these groups improves your chances of continuing recovery.