Finding the right alcohol or drug rehab options for you or a loved one can be overwhelming - at a time of greatest need. Many simply don't know how to compare treatment providers and end up settling for less.
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 - Understand What You Need
At the bottom of another binge it can feel all too easy to quickly commit to the nearest clinic offering a fast detox. But use your needs, and past experience, first and foremost, as your guide to what treatment will work best.
Detox, Rehab, Or Both?
- Have you tried treatment previously, without success? Or even, tried going it alone without professional help? (Be honest).
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.
Location, Location, Location?
Thinking of treatment nearby? It's a natural response when feeling low.
But there's more to consider, in your long term sobriety journey, than the clinic next door.
Clinics have to pass muster with regulators re the basics of detox and rehab, but how supportive is their team? What is the staff:client numbers ratio? What happens if you struggle in future? Just a few minutes work here, can pay off down the line.
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.
Multiple previous detoxes, or challenging liver issues, should mean you're extra careful that the clinic can accommodate your needs, both safely, and comfortably.
Most clinics have standardised approaches for routine detoxes for alcohol etc, but anything more complex will need specialist input from suitably qualified professionals.
Ask around to find a clinic with professionals who have experience in detoxing your substance type specifically, e.g. a high dose methadone detox is complex, and should be undertaken only by professionals with substantial experience.
- In your experience, would someone with my detox needs be better suited for hospital detox?
- Do you have specialist addiction medics prescribing detox?
- If I have questions about my specific detox needs, who would I speak to?
Step 2 - The Day To Day Inside A Clinic
What is the typical admission process?
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.
Mapping Out Needs And Treatment Goals
After admission to a clinic, staff will usually look to plan out your care in the clinic, and how that will work, for you personally.
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.
Whilst not the most exciting part of the journey, this is a necessary means to help you monitor progress toward your long term vision. This part is important and can determine your progress later, so don't skip it.
- Do you provide a written plan for me to follow, during treatment?
- How do I know if I'm on the right track, during treatment?
- What input do I have in planning my care?
- How is my treatment regimen communicated between staff members?
A Day In The Life
What's the daily routine, inside a rehab, during treatment?
Without actually being in the clinic, the closest you can get is to ask questions about the daily experience of life in the clinic.
Private clinics are normally group oriented. Consistency can be maintained by everyone sharing in the same day structure, usually in the form of an agenda. This lays out the timetable of events, and what's expected.
The duration of detox each individual needs, will vary, based on multiple factors, including frequency and recency of usage, history of addiction, previous detoxes, etc. The pace of your treatment can vary. For example, for those with lighter intake levels, progression beyond the detox phase of clinic work can happen in just a few days. Sometimes it will take longer than this to get a clear head again. This level of variance between individuals is very normal.
Visiting the clinic before committing to treatment will also help you gauge just what the everyday is like, inside a centre, before committing financially.
- Is it possible to see internal photos of the centre, before admitting?
- Do you have sample daily agendas for treatment I can look at?
- 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?
A Word About Covid-19
Few people successfully make it into long term recovery without the help of the bigger group around them.
Those in long term recovery achieved it, only by accepting help from others, and helping them, in return.
Achieving recovery in a covid-19 world, however, means making some accommodations along the way.
Step 3 - Planning The Financials Of Rehab
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.
There are few half way house providers that exist generally, between public providers, and private treatment, so get clear from the start on which you need.
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.
Looking Beyond Clinic Treatment
Community-Led Support Channels
Most locations hold local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings which can assist in the mutual aid and social elements of recovery.
Whilst mutual aid plays a big part for many, later in their recovery journey, those at the start will need professional help to detox safely.
AA, NA, and the big book groups have millions of followers and attendees, and have been very successful over the years. But at the early stages, it's important to get safe and comfortable professional help to detox.
Community Healthcare 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.
Usually, only the more complex cases with a long history of addiction are considered for placement into specialist detox units.
Families and friends often agree to jointly finance private treatment, in cases where no publicly funded options are available.
Step 4 - Get Independent Reviews
While many providers will claim to show many positive reviews, their legitimacy is not always clear.
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.
Service providers receive a full report on the watchdog's findings.
Regulatory Inspections - Keynotes
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
It's now time to decide on one of the clinics you've looked at.
It's not uncommon at this point, for the provider to take you a through a number of pre-admission questions, as they have to ensure your suitable for the clinic and its environment.
After the assessment is complete, the clinic will start making preparations for your stay - to do this, they'll need some commitment from you, in the form of a deposit payment - this holds the room in your name, and allows the team to start making arrangements.
Any additional financial issues, such as paying via insurance policy, would normally also be sorted out at this stage.
Step 6 - Funding Your Stay
As mentioned above, paying a deposit means the clinic can prepare for your arrival, and allocate your room booking.
Depending on total costs, your deposit could be anywhere from £500 - £3,000 or more.
Not many clinics remain, who offer finance payment plans, directly.
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 balance is normally paid for on arrival at the clinic, at the point of admission.
It’s worth making the effort to settle this on time, as some providers can levy surcharges for late payment, and this quickly adds up, on larger balances.
Step 7 - Admit to treatment
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:
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!
Are You Asking The Right Questions?
You've reached the end of our ultimate guide on finding the right rehab!
We’ve compiled the top questions to ask a provider, in one easy to print PDF to have handy when you ring clinics.
Thanks so much for reading our buyer's guide.
Abbeycare's UK clinics have been helping those in Cyncoed.
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.
We can even arrange to assist with transport to the clinic (some extra charges do apply).
Our admissions team are ready to help.
Our medical team are ready to help you detox, comfortably.
Our therapists are ready to help you get the insights you need, to stop the pattern of addiction, and reclaim your life.
Our clinic team - many of them in recovery personally - are ready to get you started.
The only thing left is - are you ready?
Ready to get started? All calls are confidential. Ring direct on 01603 513 091.