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5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Rehab

To get the best out of rehab, you need to know what to ask of a facility.

Key points

  • Asking about the affordability of a particular rehab is an important conversation to have with any facility.
  • Choosing a rehab that fits with your worldview will give you a better chance of long-term success.
  • Recovery doesn't end with rehab; find out about a program's aftercare support.
  • Assess your willingness to fully participate in rehab.
Rehab can give you the freedom to live a new life.
Source: minanfotos/Pixabay

What should a person look for when choosing an addiction treatment facility for themselves or a loved one? Here are five questions to ask as a starting point.

Do you take my insurance?

The cost of treatment is often cited as a limiting factor when choosing a treatment facility. You want to use whatever insurance you have to the fullest extent possible. Let the treatment facility call your insurance carrier and negotiate on your behalf. If some or all of the treatment is not covered by your insurance, you can discuss payment plan options with the facility.

What is your clinical philosophy?

It’s important to choose a treatment facility that aligns with your personal point of view. Do you want an abstinence-based program, or is harm-reduction your goal? Do you have a specific religious affiliation or prefer a program that uses evidence-based practices? Do you have a co-occurring disorder and need a facility that specializes in dual-diagnosis or trauma treatment? Would you like a program that emphasizes complementary or alternative therapies? Is a gender-specific or LGBTQ emphasis the right choice for you? By inquiring about the facility’s treatment philosophy, you can discern whether or not a particular center is going to be a good fit for you.

Are there various levels of care to work through?

It can be challenging to move from one treatment facility to another. There are some facilities that offer only detox, residential, outpatient, or sober-living services. Other facilities have a range of services that an individual can work through. If you specifically want a single type of service—for example, detox services alone—then it is irrelevant whether a facility offers anything other than detox. However, if you’re looking for long-term support, it can create a more seamless transition through different types of services to find them all through a single provider, or provider group.

How involved are you with aftercare?

Some treatment facilities consider an aftercare plan outside their purview. They may give a client a list of therapists or the number for a 12-step program and wish them well as they leave the facility. Others will set up appointments with a local therapist, psychiatrist, and assist with finding other services. The more aftercare support the program gives, the more opportunities the client has to find good resources and stay involved with treatment after leaving a treatment facility.

Do you track clients after treatment?

Related to the previous question, it’s important to find out whether or not clients are tracked and supported after they leave treatment. Do people who complete the program remain sober after? For how long? Are aftercare support services utilized? Does the treatment facility have an alumni program? More interaction by the facility with clients after treatment indicates a real commitment to helping people achieve long-term recovery.

My questions are answered. Now what?

Once you have answers to these questions, there’s an important question to ask yourself or the person for whom you are making arrangements. “Are you willing to do what’s suggested?” In whatever treatment program you choose, you’ll get the best results if you are willing to do what is suggested while at that treatment center, and beyond.

Rehab is uncomfortable. When we’re going into rehab, we’re at a low point in our lives, physically and emotionally. Ask good questions of yourself and the facility, so that an appropriate pairing will help you to have good results. Choose the best facility you can afford—and where you’re willing to do the psychological work that is asked of you.