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Why Abstinence is Key for Recovery


Abstinence is The Only Way to Treat Addiction

At Smarmore Castle, our programme helps patients to achieve long-term sobriety from drugs or alcohol. We believe that abstinence is the only way for a person to truly recover from addiction. It is very unlikely that after being addicted, the person will be able to use drugs or alcohol in a recreational, non-abusive manner. This is why long-term sobriety is the only way to free themselves from addictive behaviour.

An addicted person sometimes surrounds themselves with other drug or alcohol abusers. Alternatively, they could be isolated and lonely because of their habit. In the former situation, the person is surrounded by triggers to negative, drug or alcohol abusing behaviour. If all of their friends also partake in heavy drinking or drug use, then they will find it very hard to maintain contact with these people after leaving rehab without relapsing.

People start drinking or using drugs for various different reasons. They could have initially been seeking a method of controlling stress at work or due to family circumstances. Whatever the reasons, our treatment programme at Smarmore Castle effectively helps patients to achieve long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol. 

Abstinence is Proven to Work

At Smarmore Castle, our rehab programme has been developed over 30 years of experience in treating addiction. Thousands of patients with drug and alcohol abuse problems have successfully recovered as a result of our residential treatment. Our rehab centre is a new one, but our treatment programme is based on the clinically proven model of Castle Craig, our partner facility based in Scotland. Studies of patient outcomes from this addiction facility have proven that this treatment programme is effective. We achieve impressive results, helping people every day to find health and happiness in sobriety.

We incorporate the 12-Step ethos into our programme, which is also the model employed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). It is responsible for the effective treatment of countless people across the globe.

Achieving Long-Term Recovery

Prolonged drug and alcohol abuse can take a toll on the body, leaving the brain and the liver in a damaged state. However, the body is capable of healing itself to some extent if treated with respect and care. Abstinence is the only way to create the conditions necessary for healing to take place.

Although it can be incredibly challenging, abstinence is the only way for an addicted person to get better, and to live the life that they deserve.

Abstinence-Based Addiction Treatment Programme

An abstinence-based programme like Smarmore Castle’s is the only way for patients to find long-term sobriety and achieve their full potential. Our programme equips them with the skills necessary to resist the temptation of alcohol and drugs and to lead a fulfilling life. Our specialised programme is made up of individual therapygroup therapycognitive behavioural therapy, and complementary therapies, in combination with our exercise programme and healthy diet plan.


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Smarmore Castle is located near Ardee, County Louth, about 45 minutes north of Dublin, Republic of Ireland and 1.5 hours south of Belfast, Northern Ireland.