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How to choose a Rehab facility

How to Choose a Rehab Facility That Will Work For You


There’s no cut and dry manual when it comes to choosing a rehab facility. Every addiction is different because of the person or people involved. Several factors come into play: socioeconomic status, physiology, medical history, family dynamics, cultural nuances, and of course the type of substance.

It can be a scary task trying to decide where to invest your time and money, especially when it’s a matter of health. Starting the road to sobriety can be overwhelming and that in itself can be a trigger to relapse and start using again. You are not alone though, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2012 in the United States, approximately 2.5 million people received addiction treatment in a rehab facility.

The purpose of this article is to make the selection process a lot clearer. We’ll give you a better idea of what to expect with all the different types of treatment facilities and how to ask the right questions for your specific case.

Types of Rehab Facilities

Detoxification – This is the first step in the recovery process. It involves expunging the substance and toxins from your body. Depending on the type of drug being abused, withdrawal symptoms can be very severe, which is why most detoxes are done in a medically controlled environment. Patients who are addicted to downers such as alcohol, opiates like heroin, painkillers like Vicodin, or benzodiazepines, will most likely need medical detox to assist with the harsh side effects. Here are the different types of detox:

  • Clinically managed residential medical detox: Patients have the support of other patients in the facilitates 24/7. However, medical staff are sometimes not involved.  
  • Medically monitored inpatient medical detox: Round the clock, 24/7 medically supervised detox. Pharmaceuticals are usually incorporated to increase comfortability through the process.
  • Medically managed intensive inpatient detox: If the patient suffers from concurrent physical or psychological conditions, they are provided with acute care from medical physicians.
  • Ambulatory medical detox, without onsite monitoring: Requires visitation to a doctor’s office for guidance and medication, but will not be monitored on a consistent basis.
  • Ambulatory medical detox, with onsite monitoring: A patient will stick to a regimen of health care physician visits for regular management and monitoring.

Inpatient Treatment Programs – The main feature of inpatient treatment centers is that patients are required to stay at a clinic or medical facility for the duration of their treatment plan. The strongest benefit of staying at a treatment center is that patients are able to isolate themselves and avoid triggers or high-risk situations which lead to drug use.

These facilities are specifically designed to put patients in a comfortable and anxiety-free environment. There is no shortage of support either, because not only are patients surrounded by trained rehab professionals, therapists and staff, but the other patients are all individuals going through the same problems they are. This is a good solution for people who are involved in unavoidable social circles or environments that foster their drug use.

Outpatient Treatment – This form of treatment is relatively similar in that it’s conducted at a clinic or medical facility, and in terms of battling the actual addiction, the programs are alike. However, the main difference is that you don’t stay overnight. Once you’ve completed your treatment for the day you can head home.

This way, people who have responsibilities that don’t allow them to enter a 24/7 program have the option to schedule treatment around their career and/or families. While each program varies in intensity, it’s typically considered a great option for people who have either already gone through an inpatient treatment course, or their abuse is not severe enough to warrant around the clock supervision. The downside is that because it’s not immersive, relapse rates are higher.

Luxury Centers – These facilitates have been made famous by celebrities because they offer a resort style experience. They will typically be located in a destination with nice weather and the amenities will be extensive. They have a top of the line healthcare staff, however, you can get a similar caliber of treatment from other facilities, the main thing you are paying for is the above and beyond luxury. The downside is they are extremely expensive: upwards of $80,000 per month.

The Cost of Treatment

There’s no question that finances become a big issue with addiction. Drug and alcohol abusers often have a tough time keeping up with all of their regular life expenses whilst also budgeting for a substance. When addiction really begins to take over, careers can suffer, and along with that goes income. Once damage has been done to one’s career they may have trouble holding down a job, and they will turn to more unconventional methods of income (i.e., credit cards, loans, taking out line of credit, selling personal property and assets, stealing, lying, borrowing money, etc.)

The majority of addicts who are ready to seek professional help are broke. Therefore choosing a treatment facility is extra challenging because it feels like their options are limited. Plus, unless they have been able to keep up with insurance payments, chances are they’re going to be paying out-of-pocket.

While different facilities and treatment companies will vary in price, to give you a general idea, here are some average cost breakdowns from The American Addiction Centers for the various types of common treatment facilities (out-of-pocket):

  • Intervention: $2500 plus additional expenses
  • Supervised medical detox: $750-1400 per day
  • Inpatient care: $650-1300 per day
  • Intensive outpatient care: $400-800 per day
  • Partial hospitalization: $250-500 per day

Guidelines for Choosing a Rehab Facility

Licensing and accreditation

A good place to start with choosing a quality rehabilitation center is by checking to see whether or not it’s accredited and licensed. The criteria vary from state to state, so doing a little research on your state government websites is recommended. It’s not uncommon behavior to ask a facility for their credentials or to see their third-party evaluations. Inquiring about the specific credentials of physicians and staff or other testimonials is also recommended.

Customizable treatment

Every person suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction has different variables to consider (i.e., family, career, triggers, social factors, cultural factors, or medical history). So it’s important to find a treatment facility that offers flexible programs to meet your needs. For instance, if you have an underlying medical condition and you plan to enter an inpatient program, you’ll want to be sure that they have the resources and staff to manage your health.

Insurance coverage

As previously mentioned, finances are a huge factor for addicts, so be sure to inquire about whether or not they allow insurance coverage. Most facilities do but some do not. In addition, once you’ve decided on a course of action, check with your insurance provider to see how much they can cover, because as of 2008 the Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity act made it mandatory for insurance companies to provide drug abuse treatment at the same level that they provide benefits for other medical conditions. In other words, substance addiction is considered a real and recognized medical condition.

Family involvement

It’s important to know that the rehab facility is a big advocate for family involvement throughout the recovery process. Research shows that patients who have family support are much more likely to get sober and stay sober. Also, once your treatment is completed, if your family has been educated and given proper resources from your rehab facility, they will be your best weapon in the battle against addiction. Ask specifically about family counseling and their participation in therapy session and activities. The more your family knows how to battle your addiction, the better.

Determine their mission statement

Identifying the treatment center’s primary methodology and principles can help you determine if it’s right for you. For instance, some programs favor a 12-step process and others may be more spiritual. Ask yourself what type of environment you operate best in and what is most in line with your beliefs. This gives you the most personally conducive atmosphere to foster sobriety.


Some facilities are located in very isolated destinations way out in the countryside, while some are planted right in the middle of a busy city center. It is very important to be within 30 minutes of an acute care facility while going through the detox process. Other than that, the location you choose is mostly personal preference, but it’s important to consider what factors are triggering your abuse — perhaps a major change of scenery far away from your regular environment might be the change you need.

Therapy options

The more therapy options the better. Each addiction is different, and therefore a solution that works for someone, may not work for the next person. These are all forms of therapy which have proven very successful: cognitive behavioral therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, animal-assisted therapy, art therapy, exercise classes, yoga, acupuncture, gardening, cooking and more. Upon entering a rehab center, your initial assessment will help you determine which of these treatments should be incorporated into your recovery.

Medical staff

Make sure that medical professionals are available 24/7 if your addiction is very severe. Especially if you’re concerned about going through the symptoms of withdrawal. With around the clock medical attention, you can receive medication to minimize the symptoms. Also, you never know when major cravings are going to manifest — with 24/7 support, you will be able to contact them on a whim to help protect your sobriety.

Outside contact

As a part of some programs, they limit contact with the outside world so that you can double down and focus on recovery. If you need to maintain ties with work, or friends this may be an important deciding factor.

Single Gender vs Co-ed

Drugs and alcohol work by suppressing the flow of neurotransmitters in the brain, so when patients get clean they often experience a rush of emotions and hormones that they haven’t felt in a while. Therefore romance can enter the picture, especially when housed up in a treatment facility with the same people for an extended period of time. Ultimately, this can end up complicating the recovery process and cause people to lose focus on why they are there in the first place.

Duration of Program

Again, options are very important to have during treatment. Choosing a care facility that has too short or too long of a program length can hinder recovery. If there are multiple options available, an assessment physician can place you in the right program length, based on the severity of your addiction.


Perhaps, the biggest factor to consider with a treatment facility is whether or not they offer comprehensive post-treatment care. When treatment centers are big advocates for follow up and aftercare, this is usually a good sign that they have their patient’s best interest at heart. Aftercare is also a big contributor to maintaining an addict’s sobriety. Scheduled visitation (i.e., once a month to check in) will maintain the structure and discipline necessary to combat addiction.

Once you leave a treatment program, you are going to be faced with many different situations that may tempt you into relapsing. Having an ongoing support group or counselor to check in with, can help you work through the challenges of high-risk situations and triggers. Some programs can also help you set up your new life. They can help you re-enter society, by establishing ties in the community and building a favorable environment for sobriety.

Choosing a rehab center may seem overwhelming, but by calling around and doing some research you’ll be able to build a better idea of the different options. Once things are a little clearer to you, the best decision you can make is picking a facility that best matches your needs, beliefs and personal preferences.

Being comfortable is a very important success factor for rehabilitation. For many people it’s a good idea to select a facility that is far away from your usual environment — it will help you avoid old habits by giving you a fresh perspective and an invigorated start to your sober life.

If you are looking for a rehab Orange County center, contact Luminance Recovery today.

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