Before I went to Castle Craig in Scotland I stayed in the treatment facility Brijder Den Haag (The Hague) in order to bridge the time between my own family home and what eventually turned out to be purgatory's very own manifestation on Earth: Castle Craig.
A sense of home
I stayed here for only a week and unlike the detox in Scotland I wasn't allowed to do a fast detox in Brijder (meaning I could not even start the detox since I only stayed a week). Their main focus in my case was stabilizing me on methadone substitution so I wouldn't suffer unnecessary withdrawals being there. This was done very professionally by taking the COWS twice a day, without exception, even if I hadn't complained subjectively that day. The emphasis really was placed on 'are you comfortable?'
Because I didn't feel locked up in such a way I felt locked up in my own house during the last few months at the peak (read: the low) of my addiction, I started to feel at home. No matter how awkward the circumstances, I guess us humans need to have a place we can call 'home', even if it's a rehab...
The staff were very friendly and were always available for a midnight talk if you felt like talking to someone because you were feeling so depressed. Never have I seen anyone being declined by a staff member if that person expressed serious concerns. It was like I've known all of the staff members for years as soon as I walked in, that's how open and sincere they were.
Moreover, my fellow peers were all nice and friendly too which I was very content with because I'm this person who just can't stand these over-the-top casu quo look-at-me Alpha males.
There was an abundance of sporting options; from tennis to football (no, not soccer ) and from volleyball to fitness. Every evening there were lectures given about addiction by recovering addicts which were really eye-opening and interesting. There was also an abundance of time you could fill in for yourself although there was an official curfew. We had some very nice deep conversations about life until deep in the night; some of them will always stay with me.
Of course not everything was perfect; filling in your own time also meant some people isolated themselves and became withdrawn from the rest of the group.
The food was literally microwave quality but the biggest miss in my opinion had to be the lack of one-on-one therapy sessions. Aside a few group sessions I missed a more personal approach to addiction, especially since every unique addict had its own unique background, past and current problems and unique addiction. Every addiction is different.
Overall it could be a very good place when you're not too deep in your addiction yet, although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for people who have really, REALLY hit rock bottom.
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