FAQs

Some of the common questions answered. If you can't find what you're looking for here, use the Search or give us a call.

What is our approach?

Carlisle House aims to help people find constructive ways of finding solutions to the challenges that lead to, and the difficulties created by, substance misuse. At the centre of this approach is a focus on your strengths and expertise, and your ability to discover solutions. We will work in ways that acknowledge the importance of different perspectives, beliefs, cultures, contexts and life experiences, and will adapt how we work according to your needs, resources and preferences. Our aim is not to, take sides, blame, or provide simple answers. Rather, we aim to help people engage with others in sharing understandings and exploring ways forward that work for them. We not only support change with individuals but also in their relationships with their family and community; so family, friends or those important to you will be supported in the changes everyone may need to adapt to. We not only support change taking place within individuals, but also within their relationships with their family and community. Family and those who are important to you will be supported in the changes everyone may need to adapt to. Our approach is called a 'Relational Approach'.

How can I get into Carlisle House?

If you are within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area you need to contact the Community Addiction Teams, either at Parkmore Avenue Ballymena, or Railway St Ballymena who can refer you to us. If you are from the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust area you can either request an application form from us directly or contact the Community Addiction Team in your local area who can refer you to us. When you contact your local community addiction teams you will need a referral from your GP. Outside of these Health Care Trust areas you can self refer privately. You will need to fill in the application form available online and send it to us. If you want more information please contact us and ask to speak with one of the admission team.

What does Carlisle House offer?

Carlisle House offers a safe and structured environment for people who find it difficult to make the changes they want to make to their substance use, while living at home or in their community. We offer the opportunity for you to join with 11 other people, both male and female, to explore and discover solutions to the difficulties you face.

You will also have an individual worker who will support you through Carlisle House and help you prepare for when you leave. Counselling is optional and will be facilitated by an experienced counsellor offering you up to 12 sessions. Family therapy, relaxation therapies and a range of creative therapies are also available. The residential programme is six weeks duration, though a shorter programme can be discussed with you, and those you feel are important to you.

What about my Medication

When you are admitted to Carlisle House you will remain as a patient with your own GP to make sure your health needs are best met. We will work closely with your GP, Community Addiction Team Practitioner and any other health professional should your medication be reviewed. As part of your admission we will assess with you whether or not you can administer your own medication. Some medicines we will administer to make sure Carlisle House stays a safe place for you and other Service Users. The Regulation, Quality and Improvement Authority carry out regular inspections to enusre all are medicines policies and procedures are robust and meet the required standards.  

What will a typical day look like?

Part of a Residential Treatment Programme is to create and encourage a structure that will be helpful for you when you leave. Breakfast is between 7am and 8.30am, after which there will be a cleaning task. This is followed by the morning group therapy session. You may also have an individual session before lunch. The afternoon begins with a group session followed by free time before the evening meal. Time is set aside in the evenings for visits and relaxation.

Will my family be involved?

It will be your decision whether or not your family is involved, and to what extent. However, we recognise that substance misuse, both alcohol and drug, can have a big impact on all aspects of a person's life including their family. Substance misuse can be a response to difficulties within a family and therefore it may be helpful to involve your family in treatment. We offer both family therapy facilitated by a qualified family therapist and a Family and Friends Support Group. It is our experience that for those who have engaged in these, they have found it very beneficial and supportive

What happens in Group Therapy?

The group therapy programme is organised into two cycles. Each cycle runs for three weeks. This means that you would be with a group of 6-8 people who have begun the programme around the same time as yourself. Groups are facilitated in ways that will encourage and help you to share at your own pace. There is no expectation that you must share, however the groups are facilitated in ways that will encourage and help you to share at your own pace. The emphasis is put on the collective expertise of all of those in the group exploring what solutions may be available to meet the challenges you face. As you go through the programme the groups may become more challenging, and will encourage you to explore not only your substance misuse but also other aspects of your life.

Will I have to attend Religious activities?

No. Carlisle House does not promote or run any religious activities. We do acknowledge that religion or faith can be important to people, and if you request religious information or pastoral care we will help you access these in the local community. We welcome clients from all religious backgrounds or none.

What can I bring with me?

You will have your own room. All bedding is provided, however you can bring with you your own duvet cover, sheets and pillowcase if you prefer. Please bring with you toiletries, alarm clock and dressing gown. Laundry facilities are available for you to use. You may keep your mobile phone. However, if you feel it would be more beneficial not to have your phone, Carlisle House can keep it securely locked until such times as you need it. Phones are not permitted in any of the group or individual therapy sessions.

Will I have any free time?

Part of a Residential Treatment Programme is to create and encourage a structure that will be helpful for you when you leave. Breakfast is between 7am and 8.30am, after which there will be a cleaning task. This is followed by the morning group therapy session. You may also have an individual session before lunch. The afternoon begins with a group session followed by free time before the evening meal. Time is set aside in the evenings for visits and relaxation.

Can I have visitors?

Yes. We have set aside time each evening for you to have visitors. If you have children, we can make arrangements for you to have visits during the day if this is more suitable. We can also arrange visits from other Professionals or Religious Clergy during the day if this is requested.

What about External Appointments?

Our approach at Carlisle House is to collaborate with other professionals that you may be working with. You will be facilitated to attend any appointments you may have. For any new appointments, you will be asked to try and arrange these outside of Group Therapy times if possible. Your Individual Worker will guide you in this.

Are all meals provided?

Yes. Both the lunch and evening meal are prepared by the Cook and are viewed as an integral part of the programme. We see this as helping to provide a healthy daily structure. Food is available for breakfast and supper which you can prepare yourself. You will be requested not to bring hot food into Carlisle House. Snack food is permitted and a fridge is available for yogurts etc. Each meal will have a vegetarian option. High energy drinks are discouraged.

What happens when you leave?

Carlisle House offers a range of post programme support groups. You can still take part in some of the relaxation and creative therapies. If you have chosen individual or family therapy, you can continue this up to 12 sessions. We will discuss your post programme support with you in collaboration with you and any professionals you may be working with.

Call us on 028 9032 8308 or email

Service user group logo Presbyterian church in ireland logo Health and Social Care Trust Public Health Agency Oaklee Housing Association Habinteg Housing Association Supporting People NI