The decision to check yourself or a loved one into a rehabilitation facility is not easy. Alcoholics often get many second chances, make a thousand promises, and yet might still end up in jail or suffering from alcohol poisoning or an overdose. Yet, their loved ones might still think next time will be different. However, after enough has become enough, it’s time to seek help.

Rehab may seem like a punishment, and the judicial system makes it seem punitive. But rehab may be the greatest gift a suffering alcoholic can receive. Their drug has enslaved them and often made them miserable to themselves and others. When an alcohol-addicted person is then able to find a reprieve and a solution, they are often full of gratitude when they are finally able to leave all that behind.

Alcohol Statistics in the US

Alcohol is one of the biggest threats to the public health. It has no medical or therapeutic use and is a danger to every system in the human body, not to mention every system in society. In fact, some states spend up to $18 billion per year on issues related to excessive or binge drinking.

Binge drinking is defined as imbibing enough alcohol in a sitting to raise one's blood alcohol content (BAC) to or above .08%, the legal definition for drunkenness. Binge drinking is most prevalent between the age of 18 and 34 and it tends to peak for people between the ages of 25-34, as a full 25% are known to drink to excess.

Given the overall cost to society when weighed against the benefits, alcohol would seem to have no redeeming qualities. Thankfully, addiction rates for alcohol are not out of control and there are solutions available for those who are brave enough to change their lives.

How to Choose an Alcohol Rehabilitation Center for You

When you're looking to choose a drug rehab center, you should consider a number of variables. Perhaps the first on everyone's list is the cost, but you should also consider things like location, religious affiliation, and medical detox facilities. To help sort through the list, which can be quite daunting, you can also consult with an addiction counselor in your town. If you are conducting an intervention, the interventionist should be able to facilitate a treatment plan for your loved one, provided that they choose sobriety after listening to what you have to say.

Most rehabs will accept insurance, so if you're covered for mental health you should be able to use insurance, which can help defray out-of-pocket costs. There is also a wide price range in the rehab world. You can pay big dollars for massage therapists and a spa-resort atmosphere or you could stay in a halfway-house style apartment and remain in the wider community for a drastic cost reduction.

Location is, of course, a huge issue. Some prefer to find a rehab out of town, where they will be far from their old playgrounds and playmates. See what works best for you, but always put sobriety first. A superior facility in a less-than-desirable location may be best in the long run.

If you are an alcoholic, or addicted to benzodiazepines or other drugs, and you haven’t been through an overdose or a medical stay recently, you may need a medical detox. If you have a question, consult medical literature or try a dry period at home and see how you do. Regardless, make sure this type of facility is accessible because your life could be on the line.

Rehab Center Locations


Rehab Center Factors to Consider

  • Rehabilitation Approaches

    Each rehabilitation facility has its own approach and philosophy and it's important to familiarize yourself with the sorts of options you might face. Some take a more medical approach that starts with detox and then proceeds with a focus on psychotherapy and pharmaceutical drugs.

    On the other hand, some may rely on detoxification where necessary but then promote a spiritual, 12-step approach thereafter. These centers also have counselors on staff, so find out what sort of approach they favor. In particular, if you have a strong religious background, you may want to find a rehab that aligns with that belief system.

    Then there are rehabs that look like spas and feature treatments including meditation, equine therapy, nutritional treatments, and a range of psychotherapeutic approaches. It should be noted that many of these treatments and practices are often found in the wider community and you might be able to pursue them on your own.

    You might want to focus on things like the feasible duration of your stay, custom treatment plans, and post-treatment support. The duration of your stay is considered one of the most important factors in long-term sobriety. Shoot for a program that supports a 90-day program, if not longer. An outpatient program can be a part of that plan, but there are many other ways to remain connected to the facility and the recovery community.

  • Accreditation, Licensing, and Certifications of Location and Staff

    When you seek out a treatment facility for yourself or a loved one, the choices may seem baffling, especially when there is so much chaos in your life. However, accreditation can help simplify the process.

    Accredited drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers all must meet certain standards of care. Even if they may seem wildly different, you can be assured that each accredited rehabilitation center is competent and accountable to an independent accrediting agency. That is, all of their staff is sure to not only be state licensed but have also proven that they provide a certain level of care to every patient. Furthermore, the center will support the types of providers that are deemed reliable. There may be a psychiatrist on staff, a medical team, and licensed addictions counselors.

    There are two accrediting bodies in the United States for rehab, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission, formerly known as JCAHO. When you screen for centers certified by these agencies you will find programs that rely on science-based approaches, meets a standard of best-practices, are HIPAA compliant, and which have necessarily undergone the rigors of a site visit and audit by accrediting professionals.

    Unfortunately, only 41% of all addiction treatment centers are accredited. If you are having trouble finding a suitable facility, you might consult with either an addiction counselor or your insurance provider. Insurance companies prefer to work with accredited rehabilitation centers, as they know that their dollars are spent on verified, professional care, but they might have a separate list of facilities they cover in your area.

  • Amenities, Location, and Cost

    Rehabilitation programs are all unique but three general features will probably stand out to you: amenities, location, and cost. A facility's amenities can include lavish features such as on-call massage therapists, horses, hiking trails, and gourmet meals. Others may be more bare-bones, allowing you to work within a limited budget.

    The location can vary, too. There are some rehabilitation facilities in tropical locations or desert spas. Others may be fully integrated into the community and your counseling sessions may be in an office park while you live in an apartment down the street. Here, you should consider how your family might be able to reach you for therapy sessions or whether the facility is too close to home and your favorite bar or drug dealers.

    Finally, cost is always an issue. You should keep in mind that paying more doesn't always equate to better results. Ultimately whether or not you get and stay sober is up to you. However, the longer you stay in rehab, the better your chances are. Thus, you can spend a short time in an expensive spa rehab and be drunk in two weeks or spend three months in a bare-bones, big-hearted facility and stay sober for a lifetime.

  • Treatment Success Rates and Outcomes

    Rehabilitation success rates are very difficult to come by. Addiction is a pernicious disease that can remain dormant for years. Some who are discharged feeling strong in sobriety may end up drinking in a week. Thus, it's advised to view any success rate provided with skepticism.

    However, it has been shown that the longer you stay in rehab, the longer you are likely to stay sober. Studies have shown that a 30-day stay is barely sufficient, and few remain sober long after discharge. However, your odds of grasping and maintaining a long-term sobriety improve with each day you spend after 30. Ideally, try to spend 90 days either as an inpatient or working a diligent outpatient program.

  • Inpatient vs Outpatient

    Rehabilitation breaks down to two large camps: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient treatment involves a total isolation from society. Facilities can range from a sterile hospital to a lush resort spa. The chief benefit of this type of rehabilitation is the fact that you can focus solely on yourself and your sobriety.

    Outpatient treatment is less formal and focused. It can take place in the offices of a drug rehab, or you might work with an addiction counselor and then pursue additional recovery options, such as a 12-step group. A more formal outpatient program might be more inclusive and feature family therapy, group therapy, and drug testing. If you are facing a court date, a record of clean drug screenings will be helpful.

    There is no clear-cut answer as to which is more effective, however. What does seem to impact long-term sobriety the most is your dedication to a new way of life and the duration of your stay in the program. With both, you will need to establish a recovery community and other support systems so that you can transition back to normal life with a firm grounding in sobriety.

How Does Your Healthcare Insurance Work with Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers?

Most drug and alcohol rehab centers take insurance. In fact, under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover any mental health or addiction treatments the same as if they were a medical or surgical treatment. This is terrific news for the vast numbers now affected by the opioid epidemic, not to mention methamphetamine and alcohol.

Before you check-in to a rehab facility, make sure you understand exactly what sort of coverage you have. Though your plan will cover some of your costs, every plan is different, and you might end up with more or less out-of-pocket expenses than you originally planned for.

Luxury Vs. Regular Rehab

Our culture tends to send messages that say that if it costs more then it must be of better quality. While this may be true of blue jeans or automobiles, this standard is not true for drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. After all, the product is not a commodity, nor is it in any way quantifiable. Thus, while a luxury rehab might have much to offer in terms of on-site services and treatments, they don't necessarily deliver long-term sobriety.

While an expensive equine therapy might help you uncover some deep trauma that is instrumental in your sobriety, there is no guarantee of that. Many have similar breakthroughs while working the 12 steps or in a group therapy session. Further, what's more important is that you learn how to integrate your breakthroughs into your daily life.

This integration piece could be why the duration of your stay in rehab matters so much. As more time passes, you gain more practice dealing with life as a sober person. With more practice comes more expertise and longer sobriety.

Therefore, while a luxury rehab might be comfortable and even highly effective, you can attain the same long-term results in a far less expensive rehab. Ultimately, external pressures doesn't necessarily lead to addiction and external circumstances won't solve it. Further, a key part of achieving sobriety can be a degree of discomfort and challenge. After all, as they say, "There's only one thing that needs to change, and that's everything."