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Sunday, 13 January, 2002, 02:39 GMT
Harry's 'harrowing' rehab lesson
Featherstone Lodge, the rehabilitation centre which Prince Harry visited
Featherstone Lodge: Takes up to 31 residents
The head of the drug rehab clinic visited by Prince Harry said the young royal would have "learnt a lot" from his visit.

Featherstone Lodge is run by Phoenix House Treatment Service For Drug Dependency, a national charity for drug and alcohol users.

Bill Puddicombe, chief executive of the charity, said: "As we understood, it was an opportunity for the Prince of Wales to teach Prince Harry about our work and the consequences of taking drugs.

He came for a couple of hours on a day in late summer and talked to several people in recovery - heroin and cocaine addicts mostly

Bill Puddicombe

"He came for a couple of hours on a day in late summer and talked to several people in recovery - heroin and cocaine addicts mostly.

"They told him what had happened in their lives, which must have been quite harrowing for him."

Mr Puddicombe said the young prince had been friendly and relaxed, and the residents had responded well to him.

He added: "I spoke to the prince in November and was pleased to hear that Harry had enjoyed his visit and learnt a lot.

"We are very proud of the work we do at our rehabilitation centres and Featherstone Lodge was one of the first of its kind in the country.

"It has helped an enormous amount of people, and we are pleased if the visit helped Prince Harry too."

The rehab process

The clinic - a converted house set in its own extensive grounds in south-east London - takes up to 31 clients at any one time.

Residential rehabilitation can be a lengthy process, with lodge stays usually lasting about six months.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry: Chatted to recovering addicts
Clients must first go through detoxification and deal with withdrawal symptoms.

They then embark on a staged programme to learn how to be self-reliant and responsible for themselves without drugs, using both group and one-to-one therapy, and practical training.

Early work focuses upon building practical life-skills, such as cooking, cleaning and budgeting, and getting used to a routine.

Clients are encouraged to pursue hobbies and interests, with a wide range of activities on offer.

Later stages push clients towards independent living, by for instance giving them responsibilities within the centre, and sending them out on work placements and college courses.

In the final months service users begin the move back into the community, via halfway houses, housing schemes and aftercare service.

Phoenix House says its services are open to any drug and alcohol user. People can either refer themselves, or be referred by a professional.

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