If you're looking for drug or alcohol addiction help - you'll have already realised the myriad of options on offer. Many simply don't know how to compare treatment providers and end up settling for less.
We've compiled this need-to-know guide, including questions to ask each clinic *before* you pay - including a printable cheatsheet.
Step 1 - Detox .v. Rehab
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-Only, Versus Full Rehabilitation Programme
A normal stay for alcohol or drug treatment would include the three stages of detoxification, rehabilitation, and aftercare planning. But there's no point in spending more than you have to.
- Have you been detoxed before? (Be truthful).
Opting for the full package will provide more support, but think about if it's necessary.
Rehab In The Right Place
The convenience of a nearby clinic can seem appealing when feeling in need of detox.
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? 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.
A Past History Of Addiction
The quality of support you receive from the clinic team, can make or break recovery 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.
Ask if the clinic you're dealing with has specialist professionals who've delivered your detox in the past, and with what results.
- In your experience, would someone with my detox needs be better suited for hospital detox?
- What addiction experience do your prescribing professionals have?
- 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).
Since every individual is different, and needs can vary widely, (even two people consuming the same amount of alcohol or drugs can need very different timescale and treatment) - a personal assessment is usually needed, before admission to a clinic can go ahead.
What Is A Care Plan?
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 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 will my care plan include?
- How is my treatment regimen communicated between staff members?
What Actually Happens Inside A Clinic?
What Is Day To Day Life Like, In Treatment?
Asking some key questions before admitting to a clinic can help you get a sense for what life is like in treatment, before committing.
Every day new clients enter treatment and previous ones leave. Although everyone is at different stages of treatment, providers must keep everyone on track. This means preparing and issuing a daily 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. Detox could last just a few days. Others may take much longer than this to progress. 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.
- Can I see a virtual tour of the clinic, before committing?
- What is the daily agenda of activities inside the clinic, and how soon after detox will I be expected to take part?
- Do you offer the opportunity to look around the clinic before admitting?
- How quickly after detoxing can I get started on the remainder of the programme elements?
Addiction Treatment & Covid-19
Recovering from addiction is a group-oriented exercise.
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 - What Budget Is Available For Treatment?
Whilst private clinics offer fast access to specialist help, financing the stay in treatment needs planning.
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.
As you can imagine, the cheapest provider is not always the best.
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.
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.
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.
Local mutual aid meetings *can* be a huge help, and can be a source of potential sponsors and sober mentors for the future. But the first stage of help - physically detoxing - will need more specialist care.
NHS Addiction Options
Obtaining short-term detox from NHS services is unlikely, due to demand on resources.
Hospital or clinic based detox places strain on resources and funding, and is usually only available for extreme cases.
More often, where a genuine need for short term detox exists, it's more common to see loved ones and family pulling funds together to help someone get help.
Step 4 - Get Independent Reviews
Opinions on different clinics' standards of care are ten a penny on the internet, but how do you know who to trust?
Our heroes here are the industry watchdogs - The Care Commission, and The Care Inspectorate.
These regulatory bodies complete inspections to ensure a minimum level of service is met.
Clinics are graded across multiple areas of care, including support standards, management, and clinical environment.
Clinic Inspections - What You Need to Know
In some visits, the provider is made aware in advance, that the inspection is occuring - these are what's known as "Announced" inspections. Other times, inspection teams show up without warning - these are "Unannounced" inspections - therefore, to get the most reliable information, look for reports which state the inspection was Unannounced.
Step 5 - Complete The Initial Assessment
Now that you've read up, and compared a few clinics, it's time to arrange admission.
The clinic team will ask you to complete a telephone questionnaire, to make sure they can meet your needs.
When the assessment is complete, you'll likely be asked to pay a deposit, to book a place in the clinic, and allow the provider to start preparing for your arrival.
Take the opportunity at this point to arrange payment via insurance policy, if applicable.
Step 6 - Financing Treatment
As above, expect to pay a deposit prior to admission.
Most clinics will expect a deposit of £2,000 or more.
The days of clinics offering finance facilities directly, are mostly gone, although a few do still offer in-house plans to pay for treatment.
Be sure to get a written confirmation of receipt for your deposit, and confirm with the provider any admin fees due, in the event of admission delays, or even cancellation, due to unforeseen circumstances.
Balance To Pay
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.
To avoid excess charges later, it's best to settle this on time.
Step 7 - Get Started
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:
Check your booking confirmation for advice about mobile phone usage, internet access, visits, leisure facilities, and any special arrangements for covid-19.
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.
And of course, enjoy your recovery!
Easy Rehab Q&A Cheatsheet
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 have central UK locations, and serve the Porthcawl area.
Since 2005, we've been helping thousands to overcome addiction, comfortably, and safely.
All these years we've stuck to the basics that work - structured detox, therapy, and aftercare solutions that help get folks back on track.
Our team can even get transport organised too, if needed, from your location (with an extra charge).
You can read our inspection reports from regulatory bodies, on our clinic pages, for: Abbeycare Scotland, and Abbeycare Gloucester.
Our admissions team are ready to listen to 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.
Are you ready?
To get your questions answered, or to get started in recovery, our team can help, on 01603 513 091.