Frequently Asked Questions

When can I come to Betel?

Betel receives new residents at any time as long as we have the space available. Occasionally, following your telephone interview there may be other agencies that we need further information from, like a GP or probation officer, but we try to process your application as quickly as possible. Under normal circumstances we are able to take the majority of people within a few days of their initial application, however during the COVID-19 pandemic this may take longer – please contact our office for current timescales.

Do I have to be a Christian to come to Betel?

No. It is not a requirement for you to be a Christian to come to Betel. We welcome residents from all backgrounds and faiths. However, as we operate on a Christian ethos, attendance at daily Christian services is a required part of the community life and the practice of other religious beliefs would not be permitted within our centres. In choosing to enter Betel rather than seeking an alternative source of help, you would be agreeing to come on this basis.

Do I need to detox before coming into Betel?

For the majority of people, it is not a requirement to detox beforehand. For those who are still physically dependent upon entry, withdrawal is supervised around the clock by trained peer mentors and is unmedicated. Should you require any medical attention, this will be arranged. The unmedicated withdrawal, together with your current health and medical history, will be discussed during your telephone interview. Where there are specific areas of concern regarding an unmedicated withdrawal, we may request contact with your GP or substance abuse worker. Under these circumstances, we may advise you to seek a medicated detox prior to arriving at Betel.

How long do I have to stay?

The recommendation is 12 – 18 months.

How much do I pay?

You pay nothing! Betel is completely free! For more information about how this works, see the next question.

How are you funded?/Where does the money go?

We are funded by generous donations and through our own non-profit businesses. We don’t receive any government funding and you will not be permitted to claim any benefits while you are here. As we will discuss with you in your telephone interview, once you are settled at Betel you will be trained and working in our charitable businesses. No-one within the Betel community is salaried, including our leadership team. Instead, all of the money received goes back into the charity to pay for the living costs of all residents.

Are you a registered charity?

Yes. Our charity number is 1081462, and SC045808 in Scotland.

Can I smoke?

No. Abstaining from all forms of addictive substances is essential. This includes vaping and all nicotine products such as patches, nicotine gum, etc.

Can I take methadone (Physeptone), buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone, Espranor) or other opiate substitutes?

No. If you wish to take methadone, buprenorphine or other substitutes as a way of reducing heroin use, you would need to do so before coming to Betel as we do not allow any drugs on site. For those on higher levels of these, we would recommend a gradual reduction before coming into us. We will be happy to liaise with your prescriber where necessary regarding this. You would need to have taken your last dose before coming to us.

Can I take medication at Betel?

During your telephone interview, we will discuss with you which medications you are currently (or have recently) been prescribed. There are many prescribed medications that will be fine to take here. However, there are a few exceptions to this. You would not be permitted to take opiate-based or other very strong pain medication here. Neither do we allow mental health or mood-altering medication. Our experience is that many of those who come to us having previously been prescribed mental health medication find that their mental health improves drastically once they are abstinent from drugs and alcohol and are living in our stable, safe and supportive environment. We recognise though that for some people, this is unlikely to be the case and will therefore never ask you to stop any type of medication without speaking with your GP to get their advice first. Our liaising with them will be part of your application process. Should your GP advise us that you need to continue on your medication we would not be able to offer you a place. However, we will try to offer suggestions of organisations that may be suitable, and that have greater medical or mental health specialism for you than our peer-mentoring environment is able to provide.

Are there doctors or other healthcare professionals onsite at Betel?

No. We are not a medical facility or clinic. Residents at all our centres are able to register with local GP surgeries if they wish. In the case of any healthcare emergency, immediate medical attention would be arranged.

Can I bring my mobile phone/tablet/games console?

There would not be any access to mobile phones, laptops or tablets and you will not have access to the internet. You can bring MP3 players which are monitored for content. Some of the residences have games consoles already.

Can I bring my children with me?

We do not generally have facilities to care for children. But each case is managed on an individual basis, so for further clarification on personal matters  and extenuating circumstances please call the office.

Can my family visit when they want?

Family visits are encouraged. After the initial four weeks, family can visit once a month on weekends. The specifics of time and date needs to be decided with the house leader once you are in the community.

Last updated: January 2016

Disclaimer: The information provided in the FAQs were accurate at the time of posting – please always check information first by contacting the Betel UK Headquarters on 01564 822 356