Primrose Lodge

If a person with a drink or drug addiction wants help with breaking their addiction, Primrose Lodge near Guildford provides a residential setting for recovery. After completing a detailed form, supplying their gp’s notes, and undergoing assessment, following admission their stay will usually be for 28 days, but it may be shorter or longer. During that time their health and well-being are closely monitored. Residential treatment can be intense and challenging. Residents sign a Treatment Contract which contains the rules and boundaries which are aimed at maximising their potential during their stay. They must not use drugs or alcohol, gamble and accept that for the first week they cannot use their mobile phone, or electronic devices, or have visitors. They agree to participate in fellowship meetings, group therapy, one-to-one counselling, mindful health, daily walks and written assignments. They will also take medicine prescribed by staff, though they can refuse it.

Most rooms are for a single person. All ages will mix together, with communal dining, relaxation in common rooms, and group sessions every day. Those in residence on 7th February, the day the High Sheriff visited, openly spoke to him about their addictions and what they thought of the programmes they underwent. They are candid among themselves, and trust and support one another. They promise confidentiality with regard to their peers. Any information presented to or heard within the premises is strictly confidential and the identities of peers and group members must not be disclosed to anybody outside the Lodge.

Each week a Schedule is drawn up which will each day will include morning meditation, group tgerapy, step group, mindful health, goals group, workshop, and maybe a community group, yoga, art therapy, recovery movie and the daily walk. Phone use happens after dinner for two hours. There is an evening fellowship meeting or a reflections group.

They have to have the means to pay for 28 days of treatment and residence, and it is costly. But all said it was worth it, because the treatment is effective. There is a high success rate, and their progress after their stay is followed. If anyone, doesn’t manage the course, then they can return later if they wish, to complete their period of treatment.

The High Sheriff and his wife thank the team at Primrose Lodge ( for their warm welcome, and especially Claire Havey and the Centre Manager Johnny Beggache for their organisation of the visit and the time they spent explaining the work they are doing. It was a most uplifting visit.