What Should I Look For in a Rehab?
When people are addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can take a toll on them, their family, their friends, and anyone else who is around them. Depending on what the substance is, addiction can have profound effects on a person's physical, mental, and emotional state of being. There are a variety of reasons why someone gets hooked on drugs and alcohol. For example, problematic drinking can stem from a stressful or traumatic life event, such as a divorce or the death of a loved one. There are also many instances when a person grows up seeing substance abuse in the home and perpetuates that maladaptive behavior in their own life. In other instances, people may develop an addiction because they frequently use more than the amount they were prescribed by a physician or because they often engage in the recreational use of a prescription drug. Whatever the reason for addiction, those suffering from a substance abuse problem need to know how to choose the best rehabs for their particular situations. Every rehab is different and varies in philosophy, interventions used, amenities and services offered, specializations, populations served, cost, location, insurance accepted, and more.
There are many different types of treatment programs, but the two main settings include inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient requires that you live at the facility for the duration of the program. You receive 24-hour support, treatment, and monitoring in a highly structured environment free of drugs and alcohol. Many people benefit from this type of setting because it allows them to better separate themselves from their using environment and drug-using triggers. In this way, they are able to focus solely on their work towards recovery.
Outpatient treatment allows you to live at home while attending treatment sessions at the facility on a regular schedule. The intensiveness and time commitment varies depending on the level of the specific outpatient program. Outpatient treatment can range from 2-30 hours per week. Many people choose this option because they are able to continue working, attending school, or fulfilling home and relationship responsibilities while recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction.
Whichever one you choose depends on your individual needs, preferences, responsibilities, situation, and finances.
Types of Rehab Programs
There are many different types of rehab programs to choose from. Besides standard inpatient treatment, there are several specialized types of inpatient programs that utilize different treatment modalities and outlooks. These include:
- Holistic programs, which aim to heal the mind, body, and spirit by incorporating several complementary and alternative methods, such as acupuncture, yoga, meditation, etc.
- Faith-based programs, which offer a spiritual approach to recovery and may include 12-step programs, prayer, and other religious services.
- Luxury programs, which offer upscale and top-rated amenities in services in desirable locations, such as by the beach.
- Executive programs, which cater to CEOs and other working professionals who want to continue working while recovering from an addiction. They have access to high-speed internet as well as private work rooms.
- Population-specific programs, which strive to meet the unique needs of specific populations, such as LGTBQ, gender-specific, veterans, pregnant women, teens, etc.
Many programs vary in length. Common treatment durations include 30-day programs, 60-day, and 90-day, although some programs, such as long-term residential programs can last up to a year.1 Again, the length you choose depends on your needs, the severity of your addiction, outside support system, finances, and more.
Qualities of an Effective Program
When you're looking for the rehab that's best for you, you'll want to do your research and ask questions. When you call various treatment centers to learn about their programs, you'll want to ensure that you'll receive the highest quality of care possible. Some qualities of an effective rehab include:
- Credentialed staff members.
- Appropriate accreditations for the program.
- Individualized treatment plans.
- Ongoing evaluation of treatment plan effectiveness.
- Compassionate and culturally sensitive staff members.
- Evidence-based treatment practices.
- Low patient-to-staff ratio.
- Aftercare plans & ongoing support.
- Accepts your insurance.
Other considerations will depend on your own treatment priorities and preferences, such as having a private room, the visitor policy, the types of amenities, and more.
Statistics show that there is a real need for addiction treatment in youth communities across America. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), middle school and high school students account for a significant number of the cases of recreational drug abuse in the United States. In 2017, nearly 50% of 12th graders reported engaging in illicit drug abuse at some point in their lives.6 That same year, about 62% of high school seniors said that they'd used alcohol.6 These figures are alarming and could be indicative of a significant prevalence of existing or nascent substance use disorders in this same population. These numbers underscore the need to find the best rehabs with programs geared especially toward youths and young adults.
Here are some common warning signs that a student may be already be struggling with drug or alcohol abuse:
- Skipping class and experiencing lower grades
- Ceasing to socialize with a group of friends or hanging out with another group
- Being secretive about new friends
- Experiencing dilated pupils or bloodshot eyes
- Using eye drops to get rid of bloodshot eyes
- Stealing from friends and loved ones
- Experiencing mood swings and emotional ups and downs
- Losing interest in hobbies and activities
Dealing with withdrawal symptoms can be hard to do if a person is trying to kick an addiction on his or her own. Especially with specific substance types (e.g., alcohol and sedatives), it could be risky to attempt to suddenly quit drinking or using drugs without professional help. The best rehabs have doctors, counselors, and psychiatrists to help patients work through a detox period and manage withdrawal symptoms that can occur. Without the help of professionals, it could be more likely that a person will relapse and begin abusing drugs or alcohol again merely to deal with the onset of withdrawal. In medical detox programs, doctors are there to administer specific medications to manage withdrawal and promote recovery, and psychiatrists and counselors are present to conduct treatment sessions and mental health evaluations. Top-rated rehab centers have group, individual, and family counseling services, and there are also addiction education classes and other services that promote recovery that patients can partake in.
There are some drugs that are more commonly abused than others. This is often due to the fact that these drugs are easier to acquire and more affordable than others. Here is a list of the most commonly used drugs and warning signs:
Red, glassy eyes, sleepiness, loud laughter, weight loss or weight gain, and loss of motivation
Euphoria, hyperactivity, dilated pupils, anxiety, irritability, depression preceded by excessive talking, dry nose and mouth, and excessive sleeping
Difficulty concentrating, memory loss, sleepiness, poor judgment, slurred speech and clumsiness
Needle marks, runny nose, skin itching, small or contracted pupils that do not react to light, vomiting, sweating, loss of appetite and coughing
Paranoia, bizarre behavior, mood swings, hallucinations, slurred speech and confusion
Choosing the best rehabs means a person will have to get in contact with a facility representative and discuss the details of his or her addiction. A facility intake counselor will need to know things like what substance is being abused and how long the addiction has been present. This will help the treatment team come up with a plan of attack and allow them to prescribe the best treatment for recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse of any kind, it is important to seek help right away. Professional facilities are waiting to take on patients that need their help. For some, reaching out for assistance with a drug addiction problem may be hard to do. Some people may feel embarrassed, and others may just not have the courage to put their addictions out in the open. Treatment staff members are prepared to handle the complex emotions that arise in the addiction and recovery process.
Cost of Rehab
Every rehab has a different price. The price of addiction treatment can range from no cost to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the length of your program, the type of program, the location, the amenities and services, and other factors. Generally, inpatient treatment is more expensive than outpatient due to the price of room and board. Luxury and executive treatment programs are more expensive than standard inpatient due to upscale amenities and services, such as gourmet meals, swimming pools, spa treatment, massage therapy, equine therapy, yoga, golf, and more. Standard outpatient treatment, which involves therapy for about 2-4 hours per week, is less costly than partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), which are more intensive and involve a commitment of several hours per day.
Some examples of treatment costs include:2
- 30-day inpatient: $14,000-$27,000
- 60-day inpatient: $24,000-$45,000
- 90-day inpatient: $33,000-$58,000
- Intensive outpatient: $100-$500 per day
Financing Your Treatment
If you have insurance, make sure to call your insurance company to learn more about what your specific plan covers. It's important to have your insurance card in front of you when you call so you can provide them with your policy number. If you don't have insurance, don't worry; there are plenty of financing options to help you pay for your treatment.
For instance, some programs offer sliding scale fees, which are reduced prices according to your income level. Other rehabs may offer payment plans in which they allow you to pay off your treatment costs over time in affordable installments. You may also want to look for rehabs that offer grants or scholarships for those who can't reasonably pay for treatment.
Considerations for Specific Populations
All treatment plans should be individualized to address the considerations of each of client, but certain populations may have unique needs when it comes to drug addiction treatment. For instance, teens or adolescents may benefit from different types of interventions than adults. Drug rehab for young adults may emphasize family-based approaches.3 Family-based approaches engage the addicted teen’s parents, siblings, and peers. It’s important to include the family, especially the parents, since the young adult will more than likely be living with at least one parent. This type of therapy addresses various problems within the family, such as communication breakdowns and conflicts. Unhealthy family relationships are rectified so that substance abuse and other problem behaviors can be reduced or eradicated altogether. Goals are often set and positive behaviors are rewarded. Sometimes if the young adult or teen has conduct disorder or delinquency, then the therapy will help improve family collaboration with the juvenile justice system or school.3
Rehab programs for young adults will also use a variety of behavioral interventions, such as group therapy, which can provide social reinforcement and help teens learn to resist drug use. Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach encourages teens to replace their negative, substance-abusing influences (such as drug-using friends, activities, locations, etc.) with healthier influences.4 Other behavioral therapies may resemble those used in adult rehabs, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, and 12-step facilitation therapy.4 Once a teen has completed a rehab program, they may benefit from recovery support services to help keep them on track and better maintain abstinence. Assertive Continuing Care is delivered by trained clinicians to maintain abstinence and avoid relapse. The clinician works to improve the young adult’s communication and problem-solving skills and utilizes positive and negative reinforcement to promote positive and healthy behaviors. There are recovery high schools, which are created for students who are in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction. This environment is helpful since all of the students are sober and can support one another.5
Other populations that may require more-specialized treatment include:
- LGBTQ individuals, who may feel more comfortable in an environment with others who identify as LGBTQ. The staff members are typically sensitive to the needs of these people in recovery.
- Women, who may feel more at ease in an environment comprised of only women. Some victims of sexual assault or trauma particularly prefer this option.
- Veterans, who may struggle with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and require comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment.
- Pregnant women, who require specialized medical treatment and may also need day-care services once the baby is born.
1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Types of Treatment Programs.
2. American Addiction Centers. (2017).
3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Family-Based Approaches.
4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Behavioral Approaches.
5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Recovery Support Services.
6. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs.