Private rehab treatment for alcohol or drug addiction can be expensive, and low-cost or free alternatives are seldom available. 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 - Get Clear On Your Needs
Having gone through months (years?) of denial, when we're ready for treatment, it's easy to rush ahead into the first detox provider you call. Get off to the right start by deciding first what you need - detox, rehab, or both?
Detox-Only, Versus Full Rehabilitation 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?
- Do you need detox, or rehab? It's important to be clear on this.
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.
When Is Close To Home, Too Close To Home?
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.
Detox can be found in many places, but a strong rehabilitation programme with excellent therapy can mean much greater progress in the long term. We're getting to the real questions here about standard of care delivered, instead of just the bare minimum.
See all the locations Abbeycare serve, here.
A Past History Of Addiction
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.
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.
Ask if the clinic you're dealing with has specialist professionals who've delivered your detox in the past, and with what results.
- Are you a rehab clinic, or a hospital?
- Do you have specialist addiction medics prescribing detox?
- Are there suitable staff in the clinic who are equipped to handle detox complications?
Step 2 - The Rehab Need-To-Knows
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).
Expect to complete a pre-admissions screening process over the phone - this is quite normal.
How Do I Monitor Progress?
Reputable clinics will try to personalise the care you receive, as far as possible.
Most providers, at the start of your stay, will help you visualise personal goals and progress targets, in a specifically designed care plan.
Be sure to take an active part in this, to avoid having standardised goals laid out, that don't match your preferences or personal situation. It's worth making the effort here.
- Do I get an individualised care plan that I have input into?
- How do I make sure I stay on track during treatment?
- Do you take account of my history of addiction when making treatment care plans?
- Is there continuity whilst in treatment, of who I deal with, each day?
What's Rehab Treatment Like, Day To Day?
Tell me about the daily routine in treatment?
The structure of each day will vary of course, from one provider to the next.
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 agenda is a good guide to what happens each day and what you'll be involved in.
The normal first stage of treatment is detox. Detox could last 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.
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.
- Do you have a virtual online tour I can take?
- Give me an idea of how each day is structured, whilst in treatment?
- Do you offer the opportunity to look around the clinic before admitting?
- When do I get to start taking part in the therapeutic help inside the clinic?
How Does Covid-19 Affect Rehab Centres?
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.
But making headway in your recovery, at the expense of other health factors, won't help anyone.
Step 3 - What Budget Is Available 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.
The differences between public and private options are vast.
Like most things in life, it's tempting to go for simply the cheapest cost provider.
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.
Other Avenues For Help
Mutual Aid Support
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.
Local mutual aid meetings *can* be a huge help, and can be a source of potential sponsors and sober mentors for the future. But for short term help for detox, you'll need professional assistance.
NHS/Public Funding Options
Immediate help to detox from NHS services is usually not possible. It's more common to receive a referral to a local Drug/Alcohol support team, and begin weekly meetings with a keyworker.
This is not a question of lack of intention to help, but more of resources and strain the healthcare system experiences, under heavy demand.
In reality, where the need for detox is urgent, we often see families and groups of friends pooling funds together, to help a loved one access treatment faster, from a private provider.
Step 4 - Read The Reviews
Reviews of your chosen provider are easy to find on the net, but are they real?
The industry regulators - the Care Quality Commission in England & Wales, and the Care Inspectorate in Scotland, publish the only independent reporting on standards available, for private rehab clinics.
These two regulatory bodies inspect rehab clinics on a regular basis (usually annually) and produce written reports on their findings.
Service providers receive a full report on the watchdog's findings.
Important - Regulator Inspections
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 - Finalise The Details
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.
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 - Arranging Payment
As mentioned, paying a deposit secures your room in the clinic, prior to arrival.
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.
The Remaining Funding
The remaining balance is normally paid for on arrival at the clinic, at the point of admission.
Interest on late payment for a significant sum like this can be significant, so it's worth getting this done 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:
Rules re mobile phone and device usage varies from clinic to clinic - it's worth checking before you set off - how many devices are allowed, and what the internet usage policy is. Many clinics have a restricted use policy, to keep clients on track.
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.
The Top Questions To Ask
You've reached the end of our ultimate guide on finding the right rehab!
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 have been helping those in Sketty.
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).
You can read our inspection reports from regulatory bodies, on our clinic pages, for: Abbeycare Scotland, and Abbeycare Gloucester.
Our admissions team can advise on what options are available.
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.
Are you ready for recovery?
We'll help get things moving. Ring us direct, on 01603 513 091.