New to addiction treatment? Clinic programmes and options for private addiction help can be confusing. It's easy to sign up too quickly for treatment, without a proper understanding what to look for.
Our guide includes advice on how to weigh providers against each other, and a printable Q&A for when you speak with treatment clinics direct. Let's get started.
Step 1 - Detox .v. Rehab
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 spending just a little time getting clear on what you truly need, can save a costly mistake.
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?
- Unsure if you need detox, rehab, aftercare, or all 3? (Be truthful).
You could go for a detox-only programme, but run greater risk of future relapse if other supports are not in place.
When Is Close To Home, Too Close To Home?
Caught up in the need for detox, many will commit too early to a clinic as close as possible to home, without thinking ahead.
But the provider on your doorstep doesn't necessarily provide the best overall value, in the context of your entire recovery journey.
Detox beds can be found in hospitals, and virtually any clinic. But does their long term support match your needs in the longer term? Asking a few basics like these upfront can save a lot of headache later.
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.
This can be especially important where you have complex drug or alcohol detox needs.
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 around to find a clinic with professionals who have experience in detoxing your substance type specifically, e.g. a high dose methadone detox is complex, and should be undertaken only by professionals with substantial experience.
- Are you a rehab clinic, or a hospital?
- What addiction experience do your prescribing professionals have?
- Are there suitable staff in the clinic who are equipped to handle detox complications?
Step 2 - Get The Low Down On What Happens Inside The Clinic
What should I expect, inside an addiction clinic?
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.
Expect to complete a pre-admissions screening process over the phone - this is quite normal.
Mapping Out Needs And Treatment Goals
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. Any input at this stage will likely pay dividends later.
- Do you provide a written plan for me to follow, during treatment?
- How do clinic staff know they're doing a good job at helping clients achieve recovery?
- What will my care plan include?
- How is my treatment regimen communicated between staff members?
What Actually Happens Inside A Clinic?
What is it like being in a rehab clinic?
The structure of each day will vary of course, from one provider to the next.
Since residential rehab is a group environment, most clinics provide each client with a daily agenda, every night for the following day. 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. 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. Sometimes, detox will last much longer. There is no fixed timescale for each individual.
Also, make sure to ask to arrange a visit to look around the clinic, first.
- Do you have a virtual online tour I can take?
- Can you send me an example of what the daily schedule is like, in the clinic?
- How do I arrange to see inside the clinic, before admitting?
- When would I be expected to move from detox into therapy in the clinic?
Addiction Treatment & 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
Whilst private clinics offer fast access to specialist help, financing the stay in treatment needs planning.
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.
Automatically choosing the lowest price provider can lead to poor care levels inside the clinic, detrimental to your recovery progress.
Instead, to keep costs reasonable but standards high, consider providers further afield, or smaller clinics with a lower headcount and rural location.
Call round a few providers, using our cheatsheet if needed - and get a feel for pricing, and whether they can meet your needs comfortably. Don't commit to anything just yet.
Mutual Aid Support
12 step support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are usually available in most locations, although meetings have largely shifted towards online now, in the wake of covid issues.
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.
Thousands benefit from local community groups every week. But the first stage of help - physically detoxing - will need more specialist care.
NHS Addiction 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.
Eligibility for short term detox is slim, and is usually restricted to only a handful of cases.
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 - Get Impartial Consumer Reports
While many providers will claim to show many positive reviews, their legitimacy is not always clear.
Arm yourself from the outset, with the *only* truly impartial consumer report available for private clinics - the Care Quality Commission (England & Wales) and/or Care Inspectorate (Scotland) inspection reports.
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.
How Clinic Inspections Work
On paper, a visit by regulators to a clinic can be "Announced", or "Unannounced" - the former means the clinic knew about the inspection in advance, the latter means they didn't. Hence, "Unannounced" inspection reports are more likely to provide a real-world picture of clinic conditions and service levels.
Step 5 - Complete The Initial Assessment
With the homework all done, it's time to get serious about arranging treatment at one of the providers you've shortlisted.
Expect to go through a few questions initially, when you call the provider you've chosen - this is normal.
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.
If you’re paying via an insurance policy, this is the time that will get sorted out also.
Step 6 - Funding Your Stay
As mentioned above, paying a deposit means the clinic can prepare for your arrival, and allocate your room booking.
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.
A few offer payment plans to help spread the cost of rehab, although nowadays this is less common.
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.
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.
Pay this on time to avoid surcharges that could quickly mount up later.
Step 7 - Admit to treatment
Make note of the day and time you're due to admit to treatment.
Bring along a few supplies with you, like those below. You should be able to arrange for anything else, after arrival.
Check your booking confirmation for advice about mobile phone usage, internet access, visits, leisure facilities, and any special arrangements for covid-19.
Do you have transport to the clinic organised? Making sure of this will help avoid any potential extra charges levied for late arrival.
At this point, congratulations! Your recovery journey has already begun.
Are You Asking The Right Questions?
You've reached the end of our ultimate guide on finding the right rehab!
You'll find all the right questions to ask a treatment provider in our printable checklist.
Download it on our main guide page here (direct download - no sign up required). You can download it here.
Thanks so much for reading our buyer's guide.
Abbeycare have central UK locations, and serve the Wrexham 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.
Even if you need transport arranged to get here, we can probably help with that too.
Our admissions team are ready to help.
Our medical team are ready to help you detox, comfortably.
The Abbeycare therapy team are specialists in helping you identify and work through the underlying triggers behind addiction.
The Abbeycare clinic team are ready to help you co-ordinate everything.
The only question is - are you ready?
To get your questions answered, or to get started in recovery, our team can help, on 01603 513 091.