New to addiction treatment? Clinic programmes and options for private addiction help can be confusing. Choosing the wrong provider can mean serious consequences for future sobriety, relationships, and family life.
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 - 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 use your needs, and past experience, first and foremost, as your guide to what treatment will work best.
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.
Committing unnecessarily to all 3 stages of treatment may see you paying too much, but not having enough support down the line could also mean paying the cost of rehab again.
Rehab In The Right Place
The convenience of a nearby clinic can seem appealing when feeling in need of detox.
Unless you're extremely unwell, consider anything up to 100 mile radius and focus instead on quality of care.
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? Asking a few basics like these upfront can save a lot of headache later.
See all the locations Abbeycare serve, here.
If You Have Complex Needs
Making sure you're getting the right support, can have a serious impact on long term results.
If you've been detoxed in the past, and are looking for recovery afresh, it's a good idea to check on exactly what detox you'll get.
Most clinics have standardised approaches for routine detoxes for alcohol etc, but anything more complex will need specialist input from suitably qualified professionals.
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?
- Do you have specialist addiction medics prescribing detox?
- If I have questions about my specific detox needs, who would I speak to?
Step 2 - What Does A Stay In Rehab Actually Involve?
Tell me about how treatment works.
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).
Before admission, you should expect to complete an initial assessment over the phone with admissions staff, whose job it is to co-ordinate the information you provide with specialists inside the clinic, and ensure their facility can meet your needs.
The Plan For Treatment
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.
A care plan, lays out in detail, how your stay will proceed, what targets you have for treatment, and how you'll measure them. Clinic addiction specialists (ideally assigned only to you) should help you prepare this and use it as a tool throughout your stay.
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 you help clients measure goals and progress?
- What will my care plan include?
- Is there a member of staff assigned to me personally?
What's Rehab Treatment Like, Day To Day?
What is it like being in a rehab clinic?
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. The agenda lets you know what's happening when, and what activities you should participate in.
The time it takes to feel better at the initial stages of treatment is personal to each individual. Getting clear of the physical effects of alcohol or substance misuse in detox could take 3-6 days, for lighter use cases. Sometimes it will take longer than this to get a clear head again. Clinic staff understand this.
Always enquire about having a look around the clinic, by visiting first, before committing. Most clinics don't have an open-door policy, but will happily let you see inside, by arrangement.
- How can I see what's inside 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 you expect me to start taking part in the therapy process?
A Word About Covid-19
Rehab is almost always a group exercise, even at higher end clinics.
Overcoming old patterns of self-isolation is normally a big part of getting better.
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
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.
Automatically choosing the lowest price provider can lead to poor care levels inside the clinic, detrimental to your recovery progress.
Double check standards of care and therapy provided for lower cost providers - you may be surprised. Opt instead for a middle-tier clinic, with a better balance of cost to care levels provided.
By calling and comparing a few treatment providers against each other, this step should give you a sense of what rehab will cost.
Looking Beyond Clinic Treatment
Community-Led Support Channels
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.
If you're just starting out in recovery though, detoxing comfortably first, will undoubtedly be the priority.
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.
NHS/Public Funding Options
Whilst the NHS do have addiction keyworkers in different regions, they’re normally overrun with enquiries and demand on resources, meaning obtaining funding for a rehab stay is unlikely.
Eligibility for short term detox is slim, and is usually restricted to only a handful of cases.
Aggregating funds together, between friends and family, can be a good approach to securing private treatment instead, where the individual can't finance it themselves.
Step 4 - Get Impartial Consumer Reports
Assessing a provider's standard of care is important - but can be tricky for the layman.
In these situations we need an independent and impartial regulator's opinion - in this case, The Care Quality Commission (CQC) for England and Wales, and The Care Inspectorate, for 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.
Regulatory Inspections - Keynotes
Inspections can be "announced" (the clinic is aware in advance) or "unannounced" (inspection teams arrive without warning) - so for the best insight into everyday care levels, check for unannounced reports.
Step 5 - Decide On A Provider
With the homework all done, it's time to get serious about arranging treatment at one of the providers you've shortlisted.
The clinic team will ask you to complete a telephone questionnaire, to make sure they can meet your needs.
A telephone assessment might last up to 30 minutes, after which the provider will likely request you to pay a deposit towards treatment, so that they can progress further with your admission.
Take the opportunity at this point to arrange payment via insurance policy, if applicable.
Step 6 - Financing Treatment
Most clinics will expect payment of a deposit, toward the full balance of treatment, prior to admitting.
Most clinics will expect a deposit of £2,000 or more.
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.
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.
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 - Admission Into Treatment
By now, you should have an agreed time and date of arrival at a clinic.
You'll usually be asked to bring certain essentials with you:
Make sure to check paperwork for any restrictions on device usage (not all clinics allow this), internet access, and visits from family.
Make sure to finalise transport arrangements a few days in advance, to ensure you attend the clinic on time, and avoid any surcharges on delays on treatment.
At this point, congratulations! Your recovery journey has already begun.
Print Our Cheatsheet To Easily Compare Providers
Thanks for reading our guide.
Abbeycare have provided this guide free of charge, to help you make the right decision when considering addiction rehab treatment options.
Abbeycare's UK clinics are available to those in Johnstown.
Thousands have already joined Abbeycare to overcome addiction, from every corner of the globe.
All these years we've stuck to the basics that work - structured detox, therapy, and aftercare solutions that help get folks back on track.
Even if you're not local, we can still help with transport into treatment (full transparency - some costs do apply).
Our clinic inspection reports are available on the relevent service pages: Abbeycare Scotland, Abbeycare Gloucester.
Our admissions team are ready to help.
Detox is available, with comfort and safety, with the help of our medical team.
Our therapy team are available, to help you identify triggers, patterns, and start truly overcoming them.
Our clinic team are ready to help you make the progress you need.
The only thing left is - are you ready?
Ready to get started? All calls are confidential. Ring direct on 01603 513 091.