Updated on February 6, 2024
7 min read

How to Choose the Right Rehab for You

Key Takeaways

People suffering from alcohol addiction often experience life-altering consequences.1,2,3 Fortunately, it’s possible to treat drug or alcohol addiction at a dedicated facility. 

This article will provide tips on how you can consider the right treatment program and facility, as well as identify the possibility of substance misuse with its common symptoms.

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Tips on Finding the Right Treatment

Here are some helpful tips when looking for a substance abuse treatment facility: 


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1. Identify Your Goals

The first step is identifying your treatment goals. Some questions to ask yourself include: 

  • What is the type of addiction that needs to be addressed? Is it addiction to alcohol, opioids, or several substances? 
  • Do you have a dual diagnosis that should be treated alongside substance use disorder? Do you have other underlying medical conditions? 
  • What are your long-term recovery goals? Do you want to become sober after a month or a year? 

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2. Talk to an Addiction Specialist

Not everyone will require inpatient treatment. Less intensive treatments (like outpatient programs) may be a better fit for some people.

These are the types of rehab programs you can talk to an addiction specialist about:5,6,7

  • Inpatient or residential treatment: Provides intensive care and requires people to live in the facility for a time
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs): Less intensive than inpatient rehab but more intensive than outpatient treatment
  • Outpatient treatment: Allows people to go home after treatment and best for people who can still manage their everyday responsibilities
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): Healthcare professionals administer certain medications to prevent relapse, decrease cravings, and manage withdrawal

Consult a medical professional or an addiction expert to find the treatment option that will suit you. They’ll do an assessment, discuss available options, and refer you to a suitable, evidence-based treatment center.4

3. Research the Rehab Facilities

Research will help you choose the right treatment center for your recovery journey. You can find some information online, usually on each facility’s website. 

You may also call each facility and ask for more information like:4,10

  • Specialization: Does the center offer the right rehab program for your specific substance use disorder?
  • Availability: When does the treatment start? Do they begin with an assessment? Are they active on nights, weekends, or holidays?
  • Credentials: Are the treatment centers licensed and accredited? How long have they been operating? What qualifications do the doctors, therapists, and staff have? 
  • Treatment approach: What treatment options do they offer? Will the facility customize the treatment plan based on specific needs?
  • Therapy offerings: Consider whether the facility offers individualized and/or family therapy sessions. Would you prefer support groups? How often will you have therapy?
  • Medication-assisted treatment: Does the treatment center use medications to treat addiction? If yes, what are the medications?
  • Support for co-occurring conditions: Does the facility have the necessary resources for people with dual diagnoses or other co-occurring conditions?  
  • Location: Is the site of the rehab center for outpatient treatment convenient for you? Are the rehab centers for inpatient treatment free of addiction triggers? 
  • Duration of treatment: Does the center offer 30, 60, or 90-day treatment programs? Does it allow extended stays for people who need longer rehab? Are the treatments individualized for each person to meet their specific needs?
  • Expectations: What are the facility’s expectations during the treatment (with family visits, phone use, and personal belongings)? 
  • Managing relapse: How do the treatment centers respond to people who relapse during treatment?
  • Recovery support: What happens after rehab? Do the treatment centers provide aftercare and sober living options? 
  • Amenities: Is the facility the luxury rehab type? Are the amenities basic but fully functional? 
  • Costs and insurance: How much does addiction treatment cost? What are the payment options?   

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4. Check for Payment Options

Cost is among the most significant factors for several people seeking addiction treatment. It will vary depending on the:

  • Rehab center
  • Treatment duration
  • Programs
  • Amenities    

Fortunately, you have lots of options to help you pay for rehab, including: 

  • Private health insurance
  • Medicaid and Medicare
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Fundraising
  • Loans
  • Private financing

Some treatment centers receive state funding and local grants. Alternatively, some organizations offer scholarships to help uninsured people go to rehab. There are also non-profit addiction treatment programs for little to no cost. 

Remember: The financial burden of long-term addiction is greater than rehab. Moreover, opting for more luxurious facilities doesn’t guarantee treatment success.

5. Check Your Insurance Coverage and Other Resources

Call your insurance provider to help you find a center. You may also check the directories of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).11,12

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5 Tips for Finding the Right Rehab Center for You
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Identifying Substance Misuse

Finding the most suitable alcohol treatment facility for substance use disorder (SUD) can be challenging. Before considering your options for drug and alcohol rehab, it’s essential to learn how to identify the warning signs of substance misuse. 

Common symptoms of alcohol and substance misuse may include the following:

  • Being unable to stop drinking or taking the substance, even when an individual wants to quit
  • Continuing to use the substance even after experiencing harmful consequences, such as exacerbated symptoms of mental illness or strained relationships
  • Denying the existence of any substance use disorders
  • Participating in risky behaviors when on the substance, such as driving or operating heavy machinery
  • Taking more of the substance than required to experience the desired effects
  • Craving the substance constantly
  • Avoiding enjoyable activities and neglecting responsibilities to take the substance
  • Allowing drug or alcohol use to interfere with daily activities and basic needs

Common Questions on Treatment Programs

What Is the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab?

There are pros and cons to both treatment approaches. However, the right choice depends on the person’s situation. 

Inpatient treatment offers round-the-clock treatment for people addicted to drugs or alcohol. It usually has a higher success rate than outpatient treatment. However, it’s more expensive and disruptive to people’s lives.5,6,7,8,9

Outpatient services don’t require overnight accommodations, hospital admission, or a hospital stay.

When Is It Time for Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab may be recommended if the person:4,5,6,7

  • Has severe addiction
  • Has an unstable living environment (is homeless or living with people who actively use drugs and/or alcohol)
  • Has unstable recovery
  • Can't perform regular activities due to alcohol or drug addiction
  • Needs help in managing withdrawal symptoms
  • Can’t get sober with 12-step programs, behavioral therapies, or outpatient rehab

Can You Force Someone to Go to Rehab?

Court-ordered involuntary commitment is legal in many U.S. states, allowing parents to force their minor children into rehab. 

For a parent to successfully place their child in involuntary rehab, the person must meet the following criteria:

  • They pose a threat to themselves and those around them.
  • Their substance use disorder has rendered them physically or mentally disabled.
  • They cannot make rational decisions.
  • They cannot fulfill their basic needs.
  • They’ve experienced a total loss of control.

Are There Involuntary Commitment Laws Regarding Treatment?

The Involuntary Treatment Act encompasses various laws, including the following:

  • Marchman Act: This Florida law provides temporary detention for individuals needing emergency substance abuse evaluation and substance abuse treatment.
  • Ricky’s Law: In 2018, the state of Washington enabled the involuntary detainment of minors and adults who pose dangers to themselves, others, and properties due to substance abuse.
  • Casey’s Law: In 2002, the parents of Matthew Casey Wethington, who died of a heroin overdose, petitioned to allow parents to seek treatment on behalf of their impaired loved one.
  • Substance Use Emergency Commitment or Substance Use Involuntary Commitment: This Colorado law enables family members to commit individuals with a substance use disorder to treatment facilities through civil commitment orders. Family members must prove that their loved one poses a risk to others, is mentally stable, and has refused all forms of voluntary treatment.
  • Massachusetts General Law Chapter 123, Section 35: This law allows individuals to file a petition to check someone into rehab involuntarily if they have a substance abuse problem.

The time spent in involuntary commitment varies across states. In Florida, a family member can keep their loved one in addiction recovery for up to 60 days, whereas Connecticut can provide temporary detention between 30 and 180 days. In Colorado, courts can order treatment for up to 270 days.

If an individual fails to stay sober after the initial intervention plan and remains an imminent risk to themselves and others, some states allow recommitment.

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Updated on February 6, 2024
12 sources cited
Updated on February 6, 2024
  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Substance use disorder.MedlinePlus. 
  2. Hasin et al. “DSM-5 criteria for substance use disorders: recommendations and rationale.” The American Journal of Psychiatry, 2013. 
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics.” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2023.  
  4. Castaneda, R. “6 Tips for Finding a Good Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center.” U.S. News, 2017.
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2018. 
  6. Edens et al. “Novel Pharmacological Approaches to Drug Abuse Treatment.” Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 2009.
  7. Overview of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Care Clinical Guidelines: A Resource for States Developing SUD Delivery System Reforms.” Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP), 2017. 
  8. Miori et al. “Forecasting Treatment Outcomes for the Futures Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center.” Emerald Insight, 2017.
  9. Hopson, D. “Heroin Addiction Treatment: Heroin Addiction Treatment Success Rates and Statistics.” GuideDoc.
  10. The NIAAA ALCOHOL TREATMENT NAVIGATOR. “Step 2 - Ask 10 Recommended Questions.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
  11. Find Help and Treatment.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 2022.
  12. The NIAAA ALCOHOL TREATMENT NAVIGATOR. “Step 1 - Search Trusted Sources to Find Providers.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

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