Do you or a loved one need addiction treatment for alcohol or drugs? It's easy to end up paying too much for a treatment clinic that underdelivers.
Here's everything you need to know when buying rehab - including how to ask the right questions and weed out weaker options.
Step 1 - What Do You Need?
Having newly made the life changing decision to get help can feel rejuvenating....as well as more than a little vulnerable. But spending just a little time getting clear on what you truly need, can save a costly mistake.
Detox & Rehab: Short Term .v. Long Term
A stay for alcohol or drug rehab normally follows the sequence Detox > Rehab > Aftercare, but do you need all three?
- Do you need all three stages of treatment, detox > rehab > aftercare? Think about this carefully.
Opting for the full package will provide more support, but think about if it's necessary.
Location, Location, Location?
Thinking of treatment nearby? It's a natural response when feeling low.
But the provider on your doorstep doesn't necessarily provide the best overall value, in the context of your entire recovery journey.
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.
Multi-Substance Detox, Or Previous Attempts At Rehab
Like many things in life, the quality of your experience in a rehab clinic can come down to the breadth and depth of experience of the staff you're working with.
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.
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?
- What addiction experience do your prescribing professionals have?
- If there are unexpected issues during my detox, what happens?
Step 2 - The Day To Day Inside A Clinic
Tell me about how treatment works.
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 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.
Keeping Track Of Getting Better
If your clinic provides strong personal attention in the programme, they should help you map out what you want from treatment, exactly.
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. Make sure to take an active part in this stage.
- Is the care planning the same for every client, or is it personalised to me?
- Do you have a one size fits all approach to treatment, or do you work with each individual's needs?
- Does care planning account for my detox needs, therapy needs, or both?
- Is there a member of staff assigned to me personally?
What Do I Do In The Clinic, Each Day?
What is it like being in a rehab clinic?
Short of actually admitting to treatment, we need to ask questions here that let us know what we should expect to see, hear, and feel, once admitted to a clinic.
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 will give a clear indication of what activities happen when, where, and what's expected of you.
The normal first stage of treatment is detox. 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. Others may take 7 days or longer. This variation is natural.
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.
- How can I see what's inside the clinic, online?
- Do I take part in daily activities even during detox?
- Is it possible to arrange a pre-admission visit, to look around? Is there any charge attached?
- When would I be expected to move from detox into therapy in the clinic?
A Word About Covid-19
Rehab is almost always a group exercise, even at higher end clinics.
Those in long term recovery achieved it, only by accepting help from others, and helping them, in return.
Making long term recovery gains today, means being careful to check on some basics re covid-19 preparedness and preventative measures.
Step 3 - Planning A Budget For Rehab
Naturally, funding private rehab treatment in Llanrumney is a concern for many.
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.
By calling and comparing a few treatment providers against each other, this step should give you a sense of what rehab will cost.
Other Ways To Get Help
Local Mutual Aid Meetings
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.
Mutual aid meetings have earned their place in everyone's recovery. But starting out - you'll need more specialist help for detox.
Public Healthcare For Addiction
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.
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.
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 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.
This includes feedback on staffing, care and support levels, management, and environment.
How Clinic Inspections Work
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 - Finalise The Details
Now that you've read up, and compared a few clinics, it's time to arrange admission.
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.
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.
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 above, expect to pay a deposit prior to admission.
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.
Not many clinics remain, who offer finance payment plans, directly.
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
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.
Pay this on time to avoid surcharges that could quickly mount up later.
Step 7 - Admitting To A Clinic
If you don't already have it, contact the admissions team and confirm your date and time of arrival.
Bring along a few supplies with you, like those below. You should be able to arrange for anything else, after arrival.
Make sure to check paperwork for any restrictions on device usage (not all clinics allow this), internet access, and visits from family.
Do you have transport to the clinic organised? Making sure of this will help avoid any potential extra charges levied for late arrival.
And of course, enjoy your recovery!
The Top Questions To Ask
Thanks for reading our guide.
Thanks for reading our free guide.
Abbeycare have central UK locations, and serve the Llanrumney area.
We've worked with thousands from all over the world, and we can probably help you too.
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 clinic inspection reports are available on the relevent service pages: Abbeycare Scotland, Abbeycare Gloucester.
Our admissions team will help you navigate the treatment options.
The Abbeycare medical team can help you detox comfortably.
The Abbeycare therapy team are specialists in helping you identify and work through the underlying triggers behind addiction.
Our clinic team - many of them in recovery personally - are ready to get you started.
Are you ready for recovery?
Ready to get started? All calls are confidential. Ring direct on 01603 513 091.