Castle Craig Hospital Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Castle Craig Hospital


Castle Craig HospitalCastle Craig Hospital Review

Founded in 1988 by Peter and Dr. Margaret McCann in West Linton, south of Edinburgh in Scotland, Castle Craig Hospital provides detox and residential treatment for men and women suffering from chemical dependency. Most recently, the McCanns, along with their son, Dominic McCann, founded Smarmore Castle, Castle Craig’s sister facility, in Ireland. A holistic approach towards treatment is utilized. Additionally, clients with co-occurring and eating disorders, as well as those with gambling addictions are provided with comprehensive care.

Accommodations and Food

The castle, which was built over 200 years ago, sits on acres of lush greenery, which includes trees and landscaped gardens. Castle Craig Hospital is coed and has a total of 120 beds on the entire campus. There are 44 beds inside the castle, and 70 beds in the adjacent extended care area. Inside the castle, clients are paired or share triple-occupancy gender-specific rooms, which include twin beds, dressers, closets and adjoining bathrooms. Private rooms are also available. The common area includes red vintage armchairs, and matching red walls with wood trim. There are antique coffee tables and oriental rugs. Ornate curtains cover large windows. The extended care area includes cottages, and a separate dining room.

Clients are served three healthy meals a day, along with nutritious snacks. All of the food is fresh, and prepared in house. The continental breakfast includes fresh fruit, eggs, porridge and oatcakes. During the first six weeks, coffee is restricted, but decaf and tea are served. Lunch and dinner includes an extensive salad bar that has cold meats, fish, fresh leafy greens and veggies. Favorite dinner entrees include fish and chips (served on Fridays), shepherd’s pie and stir fry.

Treatment and Staff

Prior to treatment, clients undergo comprehensive assessments, and receive individualized treatment plans. Upon arrival cell phones and laptops are checked in. Clients have limited phone privileges, and access to house computers. Detox is provided. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), including Suboxone and Librium, is available, but only used when necessary, as Castle Craig utilizes the Minnesota Model which aims for an abstinence-based approach. Length of detox varies, but typically is between four and ten days. Clients are monitored around the clock.

Treatment length is between six and ten weeks. Weekly treatment includes group and individual therapy, psychiatric consultations (if appropriate), workshops, lectures and attendance at 12-step meetings during the evenings. During the first stage of care, there are between four and five clients assigned to a team of ten therapists. Clients participate in three daily groups. Topics include 12 steps, trauma, grief, body image and relapse prevention. There is also a women’s group which deals with gender-specific issues.

At Castle Craig Hospital, evidence-based practices, including CBT and DBT, along with a 12-step recovery protocol, are incorporated during treatment. Dual diagnosis support is provided for clients with co-occurring, as well as those with eating disorders and gambling addictions. There are over 34 members on staff, including highly credentialed therapists, senior therapists, consulting psychiatrists and a post-traumatic stress disorder specialist.


After six weeks, residents requiring extended care are moved to the cottages. Ongoing treatment includes group and individual therapy. Aftercare is provided in locations in London and in Amsterdam, Holland. Clients can also participate in videoconferencing sessions with therapists.

At Castle Craig Hospital, residents also participate in hyperbaric oxygen therapy inside an oxygen chamber, which looks like a submarine. The chamber accommodates 18 people. Clients breathe in pure oxygen under pressure. Additional alternative therapies include art, drumming and equine therapy. There is also a gym available, as exercise is also an important part of the program.

In Summary

Castle Craig Hospital offers comprehensive and high-end primary care to clients suffering from chemical dependency and co-occurring disorders. Castle Craig Hospital is the largest and most established drug rehab in the United Kingdom, and the hyperbaric oxygen therapy is definitely an added bonus, as that kind of therapy is not typically offered for addiction in the United States. Besides comprehensive treatment and a highly credentialed staff, clients are able to work on a 12-step based program, inside an old storybook-style Castle that is nestled among forests and lush greenery.

Castle Craig Hospital Location

Blyth Bridge, West Linton
Peeblesshire, Scotland, UK EH46 7DH

Castle Craig Hospital Cost

$18,214 (30 days). Reach Castle Craig Hospital by phone at 0808-231-5885 (UK only), +44-1721-788-006 (International) and by email at [email protected]. Find Castle Craig Hospital at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google+

Do you have a complaint or review of Castle Craig Hospital to add? Use the comments area below to add your Castle Craig Hospital review. 



  1. Castle Craig saved my life. Pure and simple. Nobody wants to be stuck in a rehabilitation centre for weeks on end with 40 people they don’t know battling an illness that tells you you don’t have it. Who would?
    That’s the point though. If you want recovery then you have to be willing to go to ANY lengths to beat this horrible disease. Unless you give yourself completely to the treatment on offer you may as well not bother.
    I am one very grateful customer of Castle Craig. The food was awful and the buildings plumbing is a bit rickety but I didn’t go there for a 5 star experience, I went to get my life back and that’s exactly what I have.
    Thankyou to all the amazing people who contribute to this incredible organisation.

  2. After 30 of drinking alcoholicly and using other drugs addictively I arrived at CC in 2004, I’m 15 years clean n sober in May, at the end of this month I’m also 14 years nicotine free as well, CC didn’t save my life, it showed me how to get a life…
    I now have one beyond my wildest dreams..

  3. I understand your point of view but I’m not sure I completely agree – Yes, Castle Craig is a beautiful but tough place – however, addiction treatment is not meant to be an easy journey and requires a lot of help, patience, will, determination, hope and belief in order to succeed.

    These types of places are not for everyone and generally speaking, residential rehab is a very tough undertaking to complete.
    The 12-Step programme does require you to sign yourself over to a higher power but that higher-power can be anything you wish it to be and can even coincide with your own personal beliefs – that can be God, Allah, Buddha, Zeus, Janus, Tyche, it can be a Tamagotchi, a Pokemon or even a goat. During addiction, your higher power IS the addiction itself which ultimately leads you down a dark rabbit hole.

    Leaving treatment before it has run its course is unwise and can often cause more harm than good _ I’m glad to hear that you are no longer suffering with Addiction and that you have had no difficulty staying off benzodiazepines since you left.

    I agree that going through rehab treatment can sometimes feel traumatic and dehumanising, however, I would urge you to consider that a person who is suffering from addiction may have close friends and families who also feel this way due to their loved one’s addiction.

    Addiction affects everyone; treatment affects one person until they are treated – and when the treated person get their life back, the treatment positively affects everyone.

    I would say that (from what I’ve seen) Castle Craig has a high success rate and there are many people who publicly thank and support the process and staff at Castle Craig.

    • Anyway, this is my personal opinion, based on my perceptions while I was an inpatient admitted suffering from PTSD, recent physical injury and iatragenic harm from benzodiazapine use.

      If you really, really like AA then I guess it could be for you. I just can’t say.

  4. I very much agree with Howard Tait, above. I’d add that I don’t think it’s really suitable for people who need a gentler approach, perhaps because they have been prescribed benzodiazepines for anxiety. Castle Craig can be a frightening and unforgiving environment. There is little privacy or dignity. The primary ethos is “alcoholics anonymous” in which you have to emphasise that you are an addict, powerless over it, and sign yourself over to a higher power. There are constant group prayer meetings. They say they are secular. But they are not, it is about instilling a quasi-religion in a high pressure social environment. I left as soon as I took the last dose of benzodiazepines. It was a horrible experience. I felt degraded. I have had no difficulty at all staying off benzodiazepines since I left. I’m not prescribed them. I never think about them. But I do think about how traumatic and dehumanising castle Craig was.

  5. Castle Craig works well for alcohol and most drug detoxification but doesn’t have the timescale required for safe withdrawal from benzodiazepines which takes months or years to execute correctly, without causing unacceptable suffering and long term or permanent physical and mental health damage

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