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7 ways to choose a drug rehab. Choosing a drug or alcohol rehab.

Updated on June 30, 2008

How to choose a drug rehab


Once the decision is made to make a serious commitment to recovery, and to enroll in a residential drug or alcohol rehab program; a new set of problems emerges and at a time when people may not be well equipped to handle any additional stresses.

The drug and alcohol rehab business is big business,and a lot of money is made off of the recovery of addicts. 99% of drug and alcohol rehabs want to help you, and are often staffed with recovering addicts themselves, but it is important to remember that they are mostly for-profit entities, and they don’t make money unless you walk through that door.

A Google search on drug rehab brings hundreds of thousands of results, and knowing where to begin looking can feel overwhelming. Here is a short list of criteria that may help you to narrow down your search, and make the selection of a drug or alcohol rehab that's right for you just a little bit easier.

7 criteria for choosing a drug or alcohol rehab


In an ideal world price would never be a consideration, and all of us could get the same type of rehab treatment afforded to the very rich; but the realities of treatment mean that the costs are a very relevant criteria in the selection process.

It is very frustrating trying to get costs information out of drug and alcohol rehab treatment centers, and you can spend hours searching through web sites without ever finding real concrete information on costs.

Better private facilities will charge upwards of $20 000 per month, the vast majority of private and accredited facilities will range from $10 000 - $20 000 per month, and some affordable private options will be under $ 10 000.

If you have good private health insurance, your carrier will likely contribute a significant percentage of treatment costs, and as a good first step you should call your insurance company and find out what your treatment options and overages are. Always make sure to check with individual rehabs that they will work with your insurance provider before agreeing to a stay.

If you cannot afford private rehab, you need to get on a waiting list for a public or subsidized facility. Your local hospital or clinic will be able to provide you with a list of available options, and will inform you how to enroll for treatment.

The reality is that most private care is better, but any rehab care is better than nothing.


Although treatment centers may beckon from all corners of the Nation, and even the world, if you can find a good option close to home it is preferable.

Family support and family participation in the therapies of rehab can really help with ultimate recovery, and you should endeavor to choose a rehab that is close enough to home that family can participate without undue difficulty.

Since most states have many drug and alcohol rehabs available, you should in most cases be able to find a good choice within a couple of hours drive from home.

If the rehab recommends al anon when asked about family participation, this is not a good sign. Although al anon is beneficial, the rehab should incorporate some form of family therapy and involvement into the rehab experience.

3...The philosophy of care

No one type of drug treatment therapy will work for everyone, and better rehabs will offer recovering addicts a number of different therapies in the hopes of having one that really resonates and "sticks"; but at the core, many rehabs follow a basic philosophy of care.

If you do not agree with the philosophy of care from the outset, this may complicate treatment and make the therapies of rehab less valuable than they could otherwise be. Many rehabs are run on a 12 steps philosophy of care, and although non denomination, this is a spiritual or religious philosophy. If you are not a believer in any form of "higher power" this may not be a good place for you to recover.

4...The level of one-on-one therapy

Most private rehabs will offer some degree of individual counseling or therapy as a part of more comprehensive drug treatment programming, and this individual therapy with a psychologist can be very beneficial in the recovery process.

Obviously, it costs the drug rehab centers more to offer substantial one on one time with a psychologist, and as a cost savings some facilities may offer very limited or occasional sessions.

You should find out how many sessions with a psychologist are included in the treatment price.

5...The level of aftercare therapy

A rehab experience is really a two part process. The first part occurs within the walls of the rehab during the intensive phase, but there should be a second and very long lasting commitment to recovery aftercare programming.

Aftercare is simply a continuing participation in therapy, in group sessions, and in meetings, and this aftercare is crucial to long term recovery. Statistically, the greater the involvement in long term aftercare, the greater the probability of sobriety.

What types of aftercare are offered, and for how long?

6...Is the rehab comfortable?

There is no point in suffering through rehab. Drug or alcohol rehab is a tough and intensive experience, and it's nice to have a comfortable and private space to live in while participating. It is not ridiculous to want a comfortable and private place to stay for a month or more, and if you do not want to stay, this may add to the anxiety of the process.

7...Does it feel right?

This is a bit of an intangible, but it's still important. If you don’t feel comfortable with the place, with the location or with the staff, maybe you should consider a different facility. There are lots of great rehabs out there, so you shouldn't have to settle for one that strikes you as "wrong" even if you can’t exactly figure out what's wrong with it.

Choosing the right rehab

Think about what’s important to you in a rehab experience, and add this to the list of 7 criteria above, and start a process of eliminating rehabs that don’t fit.

By eliminating the majority, you’re left with a much smaller and more manageable list from which to decide from, and from there it's just a matter of picking the one that seems best.

If you take a little care and do your research you are far more likely to get a rehab that offers quality service, that fits your needs, and that offers good value for money.

I've done it myself, so I know that it's not easy.

Good luck with your recovery.


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    • profile image

      Anne 4 years ago

      You made a lot of great points here. I would add that you really need to start by doing research to discover more about the types of features that are available. Most people start looking before they really know what they're looking for.

      Once you find out what types of features are available, determine which ones are "must have's" for you. Once you know what features must be available, it's easier to narrow down the possibilities.

      It's also important to come up with a list of questions that you can use when you contact each facility you are considering.

    • profile image

      herry2 6 years ago

      It is a good and informative post for the people who are looking help to choose best drug rehab for their recovery. I have trough this post and came to know about several things to be kept in mind while evaluating best drug rehab for their correction. Features of drug rehab can differentiate with their price, location, staff, treatments and medical care.

    • veritasvilla profile image

      veritasvilla 7 years ago from kerhonkson, ny

      You definitely covered some good points in this hub. Unfortunately, #1 seems to be the determining factor for many who are looking for recovery. From your experience, when and how should someone research rehab facilities?

    • profile image

      anon 7 years ago

      thanks for the good advice