Finding the right alcohol or drug rehab options for you or a loved one can be overwhelming - at a time of greatest need. Many aren't aware of the right questions to ask, and how to compare more than one centre.
Our guide includes advice on how to weigh providers against each other, and a printable Q&A for when you speak with treatment clinics direct. Let's get started.
Step 1 - Needs .v. Wants
At the bottom of another binge it can feel all too easy to quickly commit to the nearest clinic offering a fast detox. But considering first, what your treatment needs truly are, can help you pay for rehab just once, and not twice.
Detox Only, Or A Complete Recovery Programme?
A stay for alcohol or drug rehab normally follows the sequence Detox > Rehab > Aftercare, but do you need all three?
- Unsure if you need detox, rehab, aftercare, or all 3?
Be honest with yourself here, as going the detox-only route initially, when underlying work is truly needed, often ends in paying for treatment twice, not once.
When Is Close To Home, Too Close To Home?
The convenience of a nearby clinic can seem appealing when feeling in need of detox.
But there's more to consider, in your long term sobriety journey, than the clinic next door.
Most clinics provide standard detox protocols and some form of therapy. But will they still be supporting you after you leave the clinic? We're getting to the real questions here about standard of care delivered, instead of just the bare minimum.
See all the locations Abbeycare serve, here.
More Than One Previous Detox?
Making sure you're getting the right support, can have a serious impact on long term results.
Multiple previous detoxes, or challenging liver issues, should mean you're extra careful that the clinic can accommodate your needs, both safely, and comfortably.
Specific detoxes that may need more specialist intervention include high dose methadone transfers, multi-substance detoxes, or cases with previous hospital admission for addiction.
Likewise for therapeutic help, what specialist qualifications in addiction do the team have? Ask here about issues that have been sticking points for you in the past, and their suitability to help.
- Do you foresee any complications with my detox?
- What addiction experience do your prescribing professionals have?
- Are there suitable staff in the clinic who are equipped to handle detox complications?
Step 2 - How Does Rehab Work?
Tell me about how treatment works.
You'll stay full time in a clinic, normally with a dedicated room and your own space, complete detox, and attend therapeutic sessions several times a week. Towards the end of your stay, the clinic should set up supports for the future. More about that later.
The provider you're working with should ask you some questions over the phone to make sure you're a good match - it's important to give honest answers, to avoid complications later.
How Do I Monitor Progress?
Whilst all clinics operate a group environment generally, most should look to help you keep track of your progress, and monitor treatment goals reached.
In the best clinics, where personal attention is high, you'll work with an assigned case manager, throughout your stay, who should help you draw up a care plan, in this way.
Together you'll map out key milestones, while accounting for past addictive patterns and behaviours. This part is important and can determine your progress later, so don't skip it.
- What sort of care planning takes place when I enter the clinic?
- How do I make sure I stay on track during treatment?
- Is care planning done for me, or is it collaborative?
- How is care planning done?
What Do I Do In The Clinic, Each Day?
What actually happens in a clinic, every day?
It can be tricky to discern exactly what happens each day in treatment, as the routine can vary.
In treatment, you should receive some form of agenda for each day of the week. This will give a clear indication of what activities happen when, where, and what's expected of you.
Factors such as previous detoxes, history of relapse, amount and duration of intake, and others, will determine how long the detox stage of treatment takes. Some will be ready to start therapeutic work after just a few days. Others may take much longer than this to progress. This level of variance between individuals is very normal.
Call the clinic's admissions team to arrange to look around the inside of the centre before completing any paperwork. This can give you a real feel for how the day to day looks and feels.
- Is it possible to see internal photos of the centre, before admitting?
- Can you send me an example of what the daily schedule is like, in the clinic?
- Do you offer the opportunity to look around the clinic before admitting?
- How quickly after detoxing can I get started on the remainder of the programme elements?
How Does Covid-19 Affect Rehab Centres?
Recovering from addiction is a group-oriented exercise.
In fact, a big part of recovering in the longer term, is re-learning to interact with others, and break the old patterns of isolation.
Making long term recovery gains today, means being careful to check on some basics re covid-19 preparedness and preventative measures.
Step 3 - What Budget Is Available For Treatment?
Public health services are usually free, but rarely provide detox, or speedy access to treatment. Private providers are more specialist, with a joined up approach, but come at a cost.
The ability of third sector or voluntary organisations to deal with more complex detox needs is usually slim - it's worth looking into this though.
Your mental health matters, and because of the costs involved, it's easy to opt for a very low end provider, with minimal support. Not always a great idea.
Working with minimalist care, in a clinic with spartan conditions is not conducive to personal breakthroughs. Instead, look for alternative providers with smaller programmes, headcount, and overheads, to strike the right balance.
Use this step to get a clear idea of what rough budget you can commit to treatment, ringing round a few providers for initial pricing if needed.
Other Ways To Get Help
Most locations hold local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings which can assist in the mutual aid and social elements of recovery.
For most at the start of the recovery journey though, detox options are a very real need, and not something that can be obtained without more specialist help.
AA, NA, and the big book groups have millions of followers and attendees, and have been very successful over the years. But initially, it's important to get professional help to detox safely, and comfortably.
Public Healthcare For Addiction
Requesting a referral to your local CAT (Community Addictions Team) from your GP normally means being assigned to a local keyworker who will help you keep track of intake, effects it has, etc, but obtaining short-term rehab help via public healthcare, is unlikely.
Hospital or clinic based detox places strain on resources and funding, and is usually only available for extreme cases.
In reality, where the need for detox is urgent, we often see families and groups of friends pooling funds together, to help a loved one access treatment faster, from a private provider.
Step 4 - Get Independent Reviews
Reviews on websites are easy to pass off as genuine, but how do you really know they are?
Arm yourself from the outset, with the *only* truly impartial consumer report available for private clinics - the Care Quality Commission (England & Wales) and/or Care Inspectorate (Scotland) inspection reports.
These two regulators ensure clinics are up to scratch, and send written reports to clinics with their findings, on how they can improve their service, and potential penalties, if they don't comply.
Treatment providers are graded against standardised performance measures like environment, care standards, and support provided to clients.
How Clinic Inspections Work
There are 2 types of clinic inspections you need to know about - "Unannounced" and "Announced". "Unannounced" means the inspection team arrived at the provider with no forewarning; "Announced" means the clinic were aware of the visit in advance; therefore, always seek out reports detailing "Unannounced" inspections, to get the clearest picture possible, of day-to-day standards, inside the clinic.
Step 5 - Complete The Initial Assessment
It's now time to decide on one of the clinics you've looked at.
The clinic team will ask you to complete a telephone questionnaire, to make sure they can meet your needs.
You can normally complete the necessary steps over the phone in 20 minutes or less, and then make an initial deposit towards treatment, that's used to hold the room in your name, until you arrive at the clinic.
If you’re paying via an insurance policy, this is the time that will get sorted out also.
Step 6 - Deposits & Paying For Treatment
As mentioned, an initial deposit payment is usually expected.
The deposit could be anywhere from £500 - £3,000, depending on specifics. Most clinics accept payment over the phone by card.
It's less common nowadays to see treatment clinics themselves offering payment plan options.
You should expect some kind of booking confirmation from the provider, usually by email, after any deposit or balance payment is made.
Paying For The Rest Of Treatment
Clinics will normally expect payment of the remaining balance of treatment, upon arrival and admission to the clinic, so be prepared to make a payment at this time.
Interest on late payment for a significant sum like this can be significant, so it's worth getting this done on time.
Step 7 - Admission
If you don't already have it, contact the admissions team and confirm your date and time of arrival.
Most clinics will expect you to pack these basics:
Rules re mobile phone and device usage varies from clinic to clinic - it's worth checking before you set off - how many devices are allowed, and what the internet usage policy is. Many clinics have a restricted use policy, to keep clients on track.
It's also worth ensuring travel arrangement ahead of schedule - as some providers with have surcharges for late arrival.
From this point on, your recovery journey has begun!
Are You Asking The Right Questions?
You've reached the end of our ultimate guide on finding the right rehab!
You've completed our guide on finding the right rehab near Alway!
Help for addiction is available at Abbeycare's UK clinics.
We've helped thousands overcome their addiction to alcohol or drugs.
All these years we've stuck to the basics that work - structured detox, therapy, and aftercare solutions that help get folks back on track.
Our team can even get transport organised too, if needed, from your location (with an extra charge).
Our inspection reports from the regulators, are available on our clinic pages, here: Abbeycare Scotland, Abbeycare Gloucester.
Our admissions team are ready to listen to your needs.
Detox is possible, safely and comfortably, with the help of our medical team.
Our therapy team are available, to help you identify triggers, patterns, and start truly overcoming them.
The Abbeycare clinic team are ready to help you co-ordinate everything.
The only thing left is - are you ready?
To get your questions answered, or to get started in recovery, our team can help, on 01603 513 091.