Action on Addiction helps people achieve recovery from addiction and live their lives free from this life-stopping condition.

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What we do

Our experts provide high quality and effective treatment for individuals and families suffering from all kinds of addiction, including alcohol, drugs (prescribed and non-prescribed), gambling, gaming, sex and love, and some food related disorders. We teach addictions counselling to degree level at our Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies, with our courses accredited by The University of Bath.


Our ambition is to build thriving communities of recovery for individuals and families, by developing the best quality and most effective residential and community-based addiction treatment services in the UK and promoting self-help, peer-to-peer support and community cohesion. We also campaign to raise the standard of professional education within and across the addictions field, to fund ground-breaking research into different facets of addiction, to increase access to treatment for all those who need it, and to remove the stigma surrounding addiction and associated issues.


Our Services


Clouds House


Clouds House has been a vital sanctuary offering life-saving treatment for people effected by addiction since 1983. Our Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports are among the best in the country, and our team is connected to the world’s leading addictions experts and research institutions. 


Unlike many other treatment centres, we don’t just treat the symptoms; we help address the underlying causes of addiction. Our tried and tested interpersonal group therapy model provides a rich and safe environment in which people are able to gain valuable insights into their relationships with themselves, other people and the substances or behaviours of their addiction. The services we provide at Clouds House also include medically supervised withdrawal from alcohol and other substances, round-the-clock medical care, access to our specialist GP and consultant psychiatrist, interpersonal group therapy, relapse prevention training, family counselling, and facilitated aftercare.


There is strong evidence that peer-to-peer support, which forms the bedrock of our treatment programme, makes recovery more likely and more secure. Clouds House is a place where new friendships and meaningful connections are made. Bedrooms are shared so that experience, hope and solidarity can be shared. Ninety per cent of clients are drug and alcohol free on discharge, and 95% of our clients tell us that their treatment at Clouds House was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’.


Clouds in the Community


Not everyone requires a period of residential treatment to move from active addiction into recovery. We provide Self-Help Addiction Recovery Programmes (SHARP) in Liverpool and Essex for people addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. These intensive, post-detox, abstinence-based programmes are delivered at our treatment centres on weekdays for a period of at least eight weeks.


As well as using interpersonal group therapy which is the mainstay of our programme at Clouds House, the SHARP model also provides peer-to-peer support and access to 12 step fellowships and other forms of mutual aid that are readily available in clients’ own neighbourhoods. There is strong evidence that our SHARP model is the starting point for long-term recovery and abstinence, and that it also leads to improvements in participants’ physical and psychological health, self-efficacy and overall quality of life. Independent evaluation of our community recovery programme in Essex shows that 79% of our clients do not return to any treatment service following completion of our programme.


Pre-abstinence support before entry into treatment and carefully tailored aftercare which follows completion of SHARP, ensures our clients receive a fully integrated treatment service which supports them on their journey from active addiction to stable abstinence-based recovery. There is no better example of this than at The Brink, our award-winning dry bar in Liverpool – the first of its type in the UK – where people who are in the grip of addiction receive vital support from members of our recovering community before, during and after treatment.


Professional education and research


Action on Addiction is known for providing high-quality professional training and education to the most talented managers and practitioners working in the addictions treatment field. Some of the students who pass through the doors of our Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies are themselves in recovery from addiction, and our degree programme and continuing professional development courses, which are accredited by The University of Bath, offer a powerful way of helping people who have suffered from addiction to move their lives on in recovery.


Working closely with Professor Sir John Strang and his team at The National Addiction Centre, Kings College, London, Action on Addiction has been involved in or helped fund some of the most important addictions research in the last decade, including: ground-breaking work to develop Naloxone as an emergency life-saving response to opiate overdoses; a study of the effectiveness of adaptive addiction treatment for opioid use disorder; research into the safety and acceptability of intravenous buprenorphine as maintenance treatment for injecting drug users who persist in injecting opioids during buprenorphine treatment; the development of a patient reported outcome measure for sleep in residential rehabilitation and the development and pilot testing of a substance use a recovery tracker for people recovering from alcohol and other drug problems.


Moving Parents and Children Together


Using psychosocial, educational and systematic approaches, which put children at their heart, Action on Addiction’s Moving Parents and Children Together Programme (M-PACT) improves the well-being of children and families affected by addiction.


Each M-PACT programme brings together a small number of families who work together over 10 sessions. M-PACT programmes have been delivered to over 2,500 individual participants, representing 700 families in around 50 locations across the UK, including at community, prison and school-based sites.


Many of the families who have participated in M-PACT have been living with substance use problems for many years. In addition to suffering the effects of addiction, many of the families have also experienced other difficulties such as offending, violence, abuse and/or mental health difficulties. It is therefore noteworthy that this relatively brief intervention is able to produce material positive changes for many families, even those with multiple and complex needs. M-PACT can facilitate wide-ranging positive outcomes for families, which is significant given the complexity and long-standing nature of the problems of many participating families.