Do you or a loved one need addiction treatment for alcohol or drugs? Many simply don't know how to compare treatment providers and end up settling for less.
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?
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 .v. Rehab
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 all three stages of treatment, detox > rehab > aftercare? (Be honest).
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.
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? Just a few minutes work here, can pay off down the line.
See all the locations Abbeycare serve, here.
More Than One Previous Detox?
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.
If you've had detoxes in the past, or complications like liver or other issues, you'll want to be extra careful here.
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.
Likewise for therapeutic help, what specialist qualifications in addiction do the team have? Ask here about issues that have been sticking points for you in the past, and their suitability to help.
- Do you foresee any complications with my detox?
- Is dealing with someone with my intake level and addiction history, a normal everyday client for your clinic?
- My case is complex- what happens in the event of complications?
Step 2 - Understand How Rehab Works
How does admitting to rehab work?
Private rehab clinics are centres where all the normal addiction treatment options like detox, therapy, and relapse prevention, are provided in a private setting, all under one roof, with specialists in the field. With your own room, and seclusion away from the addiction triggers in normal life, you have a chance to truly recover.
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.
How Do I Monitor Progress?
Reputable clinics will try to personalise the care you receive, as far as possible.
This means a 'care plan' is drawn up, and agreed by you and your assigned care manager.
This document will be used as your yardstick to measure progress and keep track. Make sure to take an active part in this stage.
- Do I get an individualised care plan that I have input into?
- How do clinic staff know they're doing a good job at helping clients achieve recovery?
- Is care planning done for me, or is it collaborative?
- Is there continuity whilst in treatment, of who I deal with, each day?
What's Rehab Treatment Like, Day To Day?
What actually happens in a clinic, every day?
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.
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 will give a clear indication of what activities happen when, where, and what's expected of you.
Detox from alcohol or substance misuse in a clinic can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on multiple factors. 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. Other times, it takes longer for the body to process the left-over substances. This is normal.
Also, make sure to ask to arrange a visit to look around the clinic, first.
- 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 you expect me to start taking part in the therapy process?
Does Covid-19 Affect My Rehab Treatment?
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 doing so safely, in the age of Covid-19, means ensuring the clinic you choose has provisions in place to guard against risk of infection.
Step 3 - Planning The Financials Of Rehab
Getting funds together for rehab in Sketty takes planning, for most families.
Public services are accountable to the tax payer, and seldom offer more specialist interventions.
If you're tempted to opt for the cheapest clinic straight away, think twice.
Cheap providers often involve minimal rooms or living conditions, and poor therapy. Look instead for smaller providers, with more personal attention.
Without committing yet, get in touch with at least 3 potential treatment centres and ask about costs and your needs. You'll also get some insight here as to how much attention each provider pays and their levels of care.
Community-Led Support Channels
Even since covid-19, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups are still available, although most have now adopted online platforms to hold meetings, these can still be a rich source of support.
However, specialist medical help will be required to kick start the journey with detox, which cannot be obtained via such community groups.
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 Addiction Options
In the first instance, it's possible to present to your GP and discuss the possibility of referral to your local addictions team, in the NHS. They will usually help you monitor the effects of addiction in your life, but are unable to refer or provide funding for immediate detox, in most cases.
This is not a question of lack of intention to help, but more of resources and strain the healthcare system experiences, under heavy demand.
Where no public healthcare short term options are viable, or where the individual doesn't have enough funding in place for treatment, we often see families and friends pooling together to finance detox for a loved one.
Step 4 - Read The Only Impartial Reports
Review platforms are widespread nowadays and some reviews are not always trustworthy.
Enter The Care Quality Commission (E&W) and The Care Inspectorate (Scotland).
These regulatory bodies complete inspections to ensure a minimum level of service is met.
Service providers receive a full report on the watchdog's findings.
Clinic Inspections - What You Need to Know
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 - Choose A Clinic
At this point, you've got enough info to decide on one of the clinics you've seen.
Expect to go through a few questions initially, when you call the provider you've chosen - this is normal.
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.
Any additional financial issues, such as paying via insurance policy, would normally also be sorted out at this stage.
Step 6 - Arranging Payment
As above, expect to pay a deposit prior to admission.
Most clinics will expect a deposit of £2,000 or more.
You won't find many clinics offering payment options directly, unfortunately.
Ask for an email confirmation of booking, and get clarity on when the admission details will be finalised, and your date of admission confirmed.
Paying For The Rest Of Treatment
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 - Admit to treatment
Make note of the day and time you're due to admit to treatment.
Most clinics will expect you to pack these basics:
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.
From this point on, your recovery journey has begun!
Print Our Cheatsheet To Easily Compare Providers
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Help for addiction is available at Abbeycare's UK clinics.
We've helped hundreds (thousands probably) move beyond addiction, and start a new life.
In our 15 years, we've worked with even the most complex detoxes, needs, and issues.
Even if you're not local, we can still help with transport into treatment (full transparency - some costs do apply).
Check our independent inspection reports, available on our clinic pages for Scotland, and Abbeycare Gloucester.
Our admissions team can advise on what options are available.
Detox is possible, safely and comfortably, with the help of our medical team.
Our addiction specialist therapists can help you overcome the underlying issues of addiction.
Our clinical team are ready to help you start the journey.
The only thing left is - are you ready?
We'll help get things moving. Ring us direct, on 01603 513 091.