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Updated on August 24, 2022

5 Tips for Finding the Right Rehab Center for You

Finding the right treatment facility for substance use disorder (SUD) is important yet challenging. People with such a condition continue to use a drug or alcohol to the point it causes adverse consequences.1, 2, 3

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

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 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 good fit for some people. 

Consult a doctor 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 rehab center.4

Types of Rehab Programs

Types of rehab programs include:5, 6, 7

  • Inpatient/residential treatment: People stay inside a rehab facility for weeks, or sometimes months, to receive intensive and highly structured care.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs): These programs are less intensive than inpatient rehab but more intensive than outpatient treatment. 
  • Outpatient treatment: People can go home after receiving regular treatments in a nearby facility. It’s usually recommended for people with mild to moderate addiction.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): Certain medications prevent relapse, decrease cravings, and manage withdrawal. Examples include naltrexone, methadone, and disulfiram.

Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab

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

Inpatient treatment 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

When is it Time for Inpatient Rehab?

This is a common question between treatment providers and people who seek treatment. Inpatient rehab may be recommended if the person:4, 5, 6, 7

  • Has severe addiction
  • Has an unstable living environment (homeless or live 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

3. Research the Rehab Facilities

Research will help you decide on the right treatment center. You can find some information online, usually on each facility’s website. 

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

  • Specialization: Does the treatment 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 are the treatment options they offer? Will the facility customize the treatment plan based on specific needs? 
  • 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 a dual diagnosis or other co-occurring conditions?  
  • Location: Are the rehab centers for outpatient treatment conveniently located? Are the rehab centers for inpatient treatment free of addiction triggers? 
  • Duration of treatment: Does the rehab center offer 30-, 60-, or 90-day treatment programs? Does it allow extended stay 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 treatment centers respond to people who relapse during treatment?
  • Recovery support: What happens after rehab? Do 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 one of the most significant factors for several people seeking addiction treatment. It will vary dramatically depending on the rehab center, treatment duration, treatment programs, and amenities.    

Fortunately, you have lots of options to help you pay for rehab. They include: 

  • Private health insurance
  • Medicaid and Medicare
  • 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 or 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 Insurance Coverage and Other Resources

Call your insurance provider to help you find a treatment center. 

You may also check the directories of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).11,12

Call to find out how much your insurance will cover
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Resources

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  1. Substance use disorder.MedlinePlus. 
  2. Hasin, Deborah S et al. “DSM-5 criteria for substance use disorders: recommendations and rationale.The American journal of psychiatry vol. 170,8 : 834-51. 
  3. The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics.National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).  
  4. Castaneda, Ruben. “6 Tips for Finding a Good Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center.U.S. News. Sept. 7, 2017.
  5. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). January 2018. 
  6. Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). January 2019.
  7. Overview of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Care Clinical Guidelines: A Resource for States Developing SUD Delivery System Reforms.Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP). April 2017. 
  8. Gossop, M et al. “Treatment retention and 1 year outcomes for residential programmes in England.Drug Alcohol Depend vol. 57,2 : 89-98.
  9. Hopson, Dennis. “Heroin Addiction Treatment: Heroin Addiction Treatment Success Rates, Types of Treatment, and Statistics.GuideDoc.
  10. Step 2 - Ask 10 Recommended Questions.National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
  11. Find Treatment.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). January 18, 2022.
  12. Step 1 - Search Trusted Sources to Find Providers.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

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