Finding the right alcohol or drug rehab options for you or a loved one can be overwhelming - at a time of greatest need. It's easy to end up paying too much for a treatment clinic that underdelivers.
If you're considering expensive rehab treatment - read our need-to-knows before taking the plunge.
Step 1 - Needs .v. Wants
When you or a loved one are finally ready for help, it can be tempting to pick up the phone and sign up for the first rehab clinic you can find. 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?
Some providers can try to sell Rehab, and even Aftercare, upfront, before you've even started treatment, but do you really need all these?
- Have you been detoxed before? Think about this carefully.
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?
Understandably, when feeling low and needing detox, most will opt for a clinic close to where they live.
Looking farther afield can potentially mean finding a higher standard of care, for less cost.
Most clinics provide standard detox protocols and some form of therapy. But will they still be supporting you after you leave the clinic? Researching the most appropriate option for you personally, can yield big long term results in your sobriety, later.
See all the locations Abbeycare serve, here.
If You Have Complex Needs
You should know: your progress in treatment can depend heavily on the strength of the clinic staff around you, and the support of your peers.
This can be especially important where you have complex drug or alcohol detox needs.
The medical team at a given clinic have the final say of course, but the admissions team for a provider should be well-versed enough to give you an idea of how your detox will proceed.
Does the medical team at a given clinic specialise in addiction? Or do they practice in more general matters, with addiction as a second interest?
- Do you foresee any complications with my detox?
- Is dealing with someone with my intake level and addiction history, a normal everyday client for your clinic?
- Are there suitable staff in the clinic who are equipped to handle detox complications?
Step 2 - Understand How Rehab Works
What should I expect, inside an addiction clinic?
For in-patient treatment stays, you'll have your own room in the clinic, where you stay, live and sleep, for anywhere from 7-84 days or more (28 days is the average stay).
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.
What Is A Care Plan?
Clients are normally encouraged to actively monitor their progress towards recovery treatment goals and outcomes.
This means a 'care plan' is drawn up, and agreed by you and your assigned care manager.
Together you'll map out key milestones, while accounting for past addictive patterns and behaviours. Make sure to take an active part in this stage.
- Do I get an individualised care plan that I have input into?
- Do you have a one size fits all approach to treatment, or do you work with each individual's needs?
- What input do I have in planning my care?
- How is my treatment regimen communicated between staff members?
Life Inside The Clinic
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.
Clinic operators must keep an entire group of clients on track every day. This can only be achieved when everyone works from the same daily schedule. This schedule will be your guide for day to day life in the clinic, as you move through the stages of treatment in your care plan.
The normal first stage of treatment is detox. Detox could last just a few days. Sometimes, detox will last much longer. This level of variance between individuals is very normal.
Also, make sure to ask to arrange a visit to look around the clinic, first.
- What see inside photos do you have, of the clinic, online?
- Give me an idea of how each day is structured, whilst in treatment?
- 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?
Addiction Treatment & Covid-19
Rehab is almost always a group exercise, even at higher end clinics.
Gains achieved during treatment can be amplified by the help of the peer group around you.
Making long term recovery gains today, means being careful to check on some basics re covid-19 preparedness and preventative measures.
Step 3 - Set A Budget
Whilst private clinics offer fast access to specialist help, financing the stay in treatment needs planning.
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.
If you're tempted to opt for the cheapest clinic straight away, think twice.
Instead, seeking out non-brand name providers, who spend less on business and more on care levels, can pay off.
Call round a few providers, using our cheatsheet if needed - and get a feel for pricing, and whether they can meet your needs comfortably. Don't commit to anything just yet.
Options Beyond Rehab
Most cities and towns across the world play host to mutual aid style meetings locally, like the 12 step driven groups of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
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.
Mutual aid meetings have earned their place in everyone's recovery. But initially, it's important to get professional help to detox safely, and comfortably.
NHS/Public Funding Options
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.
This is not a question of lack of intention to help, but more of resources and strain the healthcare system experiences, under heavy demand.
Families and friends often agree to jointly finance private treatment, in cases where no publicly funded options are available.
Step 4 - Read The Reviews
Assessing a provider's standard of care is important - but can be tricky for the layman.
Enter The Care Quality Commission (E&W) and The Care Inspectorate (Scotland).
These regulatory bodies complete inspections to ensure a minimum level of service is met.
Treatment providers are graded against standardised performance measures like environment, care standards, and support provided to clients.
How Clinic Inspections Work
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 - Complete The Initial Assessment
Now is the time to come to a decision about where you're completing treatment.
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.
Now is also the time to finalise any other arrangements re payment, like paying via insurance policy.
Step 6 - Arranging Payment
As mentioned above, paying a deposit means the clinic can prepare for your arrival, and allocate your room booking.
The deposit could be anywhere from £500 - £3,000, depending on specifics. Most clinics accept payment over the phone by card.
A few offer payment plans to help spread the cost of rehab, although nowadays this is less common.
Ask for an email confirmation of booking, and get clarity on when the admission details will be finalised, and your date of admission confirmed.
The Remaining Funding
The balance to pay for treatment, if not paying via insurance or a third party, is usually due when you arrive to admit to the clinic.
It's a good idea to pay this promptly, to avoid excess charges.
Step 7 - Admission
By now, you should have an agreed time and date of arrival at a clinic.
Most clinics will expect you to pack these basics:
It's worth checking usage policies re internet and wifi, and devices, as you may be disappointed if the clinic you've chosen asks you to hand them in, before your stay begins, without prior warning.
Treatment centres must co-ordinate their clinical and medical teams availability for your arrival - so being on time matters. Try to arrange your transport to the clinic, ahead of time, to make sure things run smoothly.
Now, enjoy your recovery!
Print Our Cheatsheet To Easily Compare Providers
You've reached the end of our ultimate guide on finding the right rehab!
Thanks so much for reading our buyer's guide.
Help for addiction is available at Abbeycare's UK clinics.
We've helped hundreds (thousands probably) move beyond addiction, and start a new life.
There's no substitute for the years of experience we've had, assisting with even the most complex cases.
Even if you're not local, we can still help with transport into treatment (full transparency - some costs do apply).
How did we do with inspections from regulators? Check our reports, available on our clinic pages, here: Abbeycare Scotland, and Abbeycare Gloucester.
Abbeycare admissions team can advise on options that suit your needs.
The Abbeycare medical team can help you detox comfortably.
Our therapy team are available, to help you identify triggers, patterns, and start truly overcoming them.
Our clinic team - many of them in recovery personally - are ready to get you started.
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.