5 Questions You MUST Ask Before Choosing A Rehab

Beyond the obvious concerns like cost and location, there are several much more subtle questions about rehab you MUST ask before you can be sure you’re paying for the right treatment:

1) How Many Are In The Clinic Right Now? (…And What’s The Maximum Occupancy?)

Short version: you want a lower occupancy clinic, not a big brand name.

Why? The larger the clinic size, the less personal attention you’re likely to receive. We need to maximise your therapeutic time for best long term results. We need a strong set of aftercare supports planned out for you, in detail. A smaller clinic environment affords you the higher levels of personal attention these require. Don’t compromise.


2) Do I Have A *Personal* Support Worker?

Not every clinic provides one-to-one help. Check this.

Ideally, you’ll have someone assigned to you personally, throughout the whole program from start to finish – helping you during detox, talking through therapy insights, working through the 12 steps, helping coordinate aftercare.

A support worker is someone who should stay with you throughout your stay, someone you can develop a recovery relationship with. Make sure you don’t get passed around from person to person. An accomplished support worker is there to help make the process easier, and more comfortable, from start to finish. Does your clinic provide this?


3) What’s Around The Clinic And Local Area?

Believe it or not, this is important. You don’t want a large rehab with huge occupancy, in the city centre, next door to the off-licence!

Just look for some basic reassurance here – rural, smaller clinics are typically more aligned with the emotional environment you’ll need to be able to focus fully on your recovery and get the best long term outcomes.

Is it in the countryside? How far to the nearest town or city?

It’s quick to ask but offers much reassurance for your stay.


4) Is Aftercare Planning Included?

What level of aftercare planning is included? What are the optional paid extras?

A good clinic will help you coordinate strong supports after graduation, like:
– connection with a personal sponsor
– local aftercare meetings in your area
– integration into a local mutual aid or 12 step meetings

Ask what’s included specifically. Does this come with all packages at the clinic, regardless of duration or cost? It’s good to know up front.

Quick tip – Don’t let anyone convince you to plump for paid aftercare services until *after* you’re through the initial rehab program – how could you know how you’ll feel then? Once you’re fully detoxed and have completed a comprehensive therapy program – things will look quite different.


5) How Long Do I Need To Stay? 

Since residential stays can vary anywhere between 7-28 days+, the key here is to ask about how long you personally need to stay. This will vary, depending on
– your current usage level
– for how long you’ve been using at this level
– pre-existing conditions and medication

…and other specifics. Best here to be as honest and forthright as possible when enquiring.

If finances don’t allow for a longer stay, make sure your chosen duration will allow for an alcohol detox that’s as comfortable as possible.

Author: Dr Khan

Consultant, General and Forensic Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead, Abbeycare Scotland Dr Khan is Abbeycare Scotland’s clinical lead, and oversees the delivery of the medical and detox elements of the Abbeycare program at our Scottish clinic. Read more about Dr Khan on LinkedIn

One thought on “5 Questions You MUST Ask Before Choosing A Rehab”

  1. Hi I’m looking for a methadone detox I was down to 14ml and was in hospital for a week and they had me on 8 DH118 30mg a day they told me I would have to get stable and start reducing again from 70ml the GPS in Glasgow and social workers haven’t a clue I want off this poison it’s as if they want to keep you on it and I don’t even take herion or drink I was put on it 15 years ago as I couldn’t get myself off 4 dihydrocodeine a day and the GP wasn’t interested usual attitude make me sick the lot of them.

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