Do you or a loved one need addiction treatment for alcohol or drugs? It's easy to sign up too quickly for treatment, without a proper understanding what to look for.
Our comprehensive guide will walk you through finding the right help, at the right price. In a hurry? Download our printable Q&A guide to have handy when you speak with providers.
Step 1 - What Do You Need?
There are a wealth of treatment options available for those fresh to the journey of recovery. But use your needs, and past experience, first and foremost, as your guide to what treatment will work best.
Detox .v. Rehab
Whilst most follow the conventional programme of detox, then rehab, then aftercare, it's possible to do only one of these. But is it right for you?
- Have you tried treatment previously, without success? Or even, tried going it alone without professional help? Think about this carefully.
If you've completed previous treatment and have a good understanding of self already, the full programme may not be required. But if you don't have supports in place, the detox-only option may not be enough.
Rehab In The Right Place
Caught up in the need for detox, many will commit too early to a clinic as close as possible to home, without thinking ahead.
Looking farther afield can potentially mean finding a higher standard of care, for less cost.
Therapy levels vary wildly from clinic to clinic, and therapist to therapist. What feedback do you have on the clinic you plan to attend? We're getting to the real questions here about standard of care delivered, instead of just the bare minimum.
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.
The clinic team over the phone should be able to give a rough indication of how they'll approach your treatment.
Getting reassurance that the provider is not only ready to detox you based on your needs, but has done so many times for others in the past, is important.
- How long should detox take, for me?
- What addiction experience do your prescribing professionals have?
- If there are unexpected issues during my detox, what happens?
Step 2 - What Does A Stay In Rehab Actually Involve?
What should I expect, inside an addiction clinic?
Rehab clinics are not hospitals with shared wards - you'd normally have your own room in the clinic for the length of your stay. Some clinics also offer shared rooms - although this has become less common since the advent of coronavirus.
The clinic you enquire with, have to make sure they can look after you and your needs for detox and rehab. They'll ask some standard questions about your usage, and history with addiction. This is normal, and it's important for them to rule out extreme cases where their environment may not be safe, or provide a comfortable detox experience.
What Is A Care Plan?
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.
This document will be used as your yardstick to measure progress and keep track. Don't miss this bit out.
- Do you provide a written plan for me to follow, during treatment?
- How do clinic staff know they're doing a good job at helping clients achieve recovery?
- Does care planning account for my detox needs, therapy needs, or both?
- Am I passed from one staff member to another, as shifts change?
What Do I Do In The Clinic, Each Day?
Tell me about the daily routine in treatment?
The structure of each day will vary of course, from one provider to the next.
In treatment, you should receive some form of agenda for each day of the week. This lays out the timetable of events, and what's expected.
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. Detox could last just a few days. Others may take much longer than this to progress. This is normal.
Arranging a visit to the clinic, before committing any funding, can help reassure you of standards of care, and avoid a costly mistake. Ask about this.
- What see inside photos do you have, of the clinic, online?
- Can you send me an example of what the daily schedule is like, in the clinic?
- Can I arrange a visit to the clinic, to look around, without obligation, before committing?
- When do I get to start taking part in the therapeutic help inside the clinic?
Does Covid-19 Affect My Rehab Treatment?
Rehab is almost always a group exercise, even at higher end clinics.
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 - Managing The Budget For Treatment
Decide firstly, are you going down the public or private route?
Public services are accountable to the tax payer, and seldom offer more specialist interventions.
As you can imagine, the cheapest provider is not always the best.
Cheap providers often involve minimal rooms or living conditions, and poor therapy. Look instead for smaller providers, with more personal attention.
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.
Looking Beyond Clinic Treatment
Support In The Community
Even since covid-19, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups are still available, although most have now adopted online platforms to hold meetings, these can still be a rich source of support.
If you're just starting out in recovery though, detoxing comfortably first, will undoubtedly be the priority.
Community support is invaluable, at the right stage in the process. But initially, it's important to get professional help to detox safely, and comfortably.
In the first instance, it's possible to present to your GP and discuss the possibility of referral to your local addictions team, in the NHS. They will usually help you monitor the effects of addiction in your life, but are unable to refer or provide funding for immediate detox, in most cases.
Usually, only the more complex cases with a long history of addiction are considered for placement into specialist detox units.
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 - Find Objective 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.
The CQC and The Care Inspectorate are the industry regulators, and complete routine inspections of private rehabs, which are often classified under the 'Care Homes' category, in their records.
This includes feedback on staffing, care and support levels, management, and environment.
Important - Regulator Inspections
On paper, a visit by regulators to a clinic can be "Announced", or "Unannounced" - the former means the clinic knew about the inspection in advance, the latter means they didn't. Hence, "Unannounced" inspection reports are more likely to provide a real-world picture of clinic conditions and service levels.
Step 5 - Choose A Clinic
Now that you've read up, and compared a few clinics, it's time to arrange admission.
Expect to go through a few questions initially, when you call the provider you've chosen - this is normal.
An assessment shouldn’t normally take more than 20 minutes, after which you can pay any required financial deposit over the phone and expect some form of booking confirmation and receipt of payment.
It's a good time at this point to also sort out any payment by insurance policy, or other means.
Step 6 - Deposits & Paying For Treatment
As mentioned, an initial deposit payment is usually expected.
Because the total booking value is high, even a small percentage deposit could work out anywhere from £2,000 - £4,000 for the higher end providers.
It's less common nowadays to see treatment clinics themselves offering payment plan options.
An email confirmation of your booking is usually sent to you, confirming the next steps.
The remaining balance is normally paid for on arrival at the clinic, at the point of admission.
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 Into Treatment
By now, you should have an agreed time and date of arrival at a clinic.
Bring along a few supplies with you, like those below. You should be able to arrange for anything else, after arrival.
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.
Do you have transport to the clinic organised? Making sure of this will help avoid any potential extra charges levied for late arrival.
Take a well-deserved rest, as the road to recovery opens up before you.
Easy Rehab Q&A Cheatsheet
Thanks for reading our guide.
You'll find all the right questions to ask a treatment provider in our printable checklist.
You can download the cheatsheet, here.
Abbeycare have provided this guide free of charge, to help you make the right decision when considering addiction rehab treatment options.
Abbeycare have central UK locations, and serve the Bragdy area.
Since 2005, we've been helping thousands to overcome addiction, comfortably, and safely.
In our 15 years, we've worked with even the most complex detoxes, needs, and issues.
Even if you need transport arranged to get here, we can probably help with that too.
Our admissions team will help you navigate the treatment options.
Our medical team can assist you to detox, safely, and comfortably.
Our addiction specialist therapists can help you overcome the underlying issues of addiction.
Our clinic team are ready to help you get started.
The only thing left is - are you ready?
If you're ready for help, call our admissions team direct, on 01603 513 091.