How to Choose a Drug and Alcohol Rehab That Works


These days it is important that we all know how to choose drug and alcohol rehab whether it is for ourselves or for someone dear to us. An estimated twenty million American adults are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Roughly one in eight are dealing with both a drug and alcohol addiction simultaneously, whether it is pain pills and alcohol or diet drugs and sleeping pills.  Substance abuse may be the result of attempts to self-medicate and manage a mental health problem, and it compounds treatment for the nine million adults who have both a mental health issue and addiction. Then there’s the fact that treatment for addiction needs to take social and personal factors into account, if it is to be successful. This is why it is essential to choose a drug and alcohol rehab program that works. Let’s look at how to find the right program for you.

How to Choose Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Identify Every Facet of the Addiction

Suppose your loved one has admitted that they’re addicted to alcohol. That is a good first step. Are they also using stimulants like diet drugs to get them going in the morning? Are they drinking alcohol to wind down at the end of the day after abusing ADHD drugs for a high? Are they abusing both alcohol and pain pills? Identify every aspect of the addiction, because every addiction needs to be addressed simultaneously. And if you don’t address issues like misuse of prescription drugs, you might leave the person vulnerable to continuing problems when they get home. Furthermore, the drug interactions can increase their risk of serious health problems while affecting the potential detox treatments that can be safely used.

In a worst-case scenario, they require a medically supervised detox with prescription meds to minimize the potential harm of getting off the drugs they’re misusing. That is separate from any actions necessary to manage ongoing health conditions.

There are drug and alcohol rehab programs that can treat everything from opiate addiction to alcoholism to prescription pain pill addiction. They are a good starting point for anyone who is considering rehab.

Identify Concurrent Disorders

Many drug and alcohol rehab facilities can handle one form of addiction, but relatively few can handle it when combined with issues like severe mental illness. And know that teenagers with mental health disorders are particularly prone to drug addiction relative to the general population.

Furthermore, few can handle drug and alcohol addiction in conjunction with serious issues like anorexia, active TB and other health problems. You can’t afford to take the risk that comes with putting someone in rehab while health problems are overlooked. For example, detox and rehab is different from someone on Xanax for anxiety than it would be for someone taking it plus lithium for bipolar disorder.  And simply weaning them off the Xanax doesn’t treat the underlying problem.

Identify all comorbidities so that you can identify programs that can truly treat the person holistically.  If in doubt, discuss concerns with the rehab facility prior to admission. Your loved one may need to be tested for everything from hormonal imbalances to mental illness to infectious diseases.

Determine What Factors Might Affect Their Eligibility for a Given Program

While many rehab centers cater to young adults, some will avoid children. While many senior citizens struggle with addiction, not every rehab program is willing and able to take in a patient with limited mobility, diabetes and thyroid medication.  For relatively young and old patients, you might need to seek out programs that specialize in treating these groups. Pregnancy may result in rejection from a variety of programs, too, until after the woman has had the baby.

Once you have a list of potential rehab facilities, you can ask them what conditions may preclude someone from treatment. If they aren’t a match, strike them off your list.

 Consider What Factors Will Impact the Odds of Success

Spending a weekend in rehab may get someone sober, but it won’t break the habits and routines that contributed to the addiction. Nor will spending a week in rehab solve the toxic relationships that may have driven someone to addiction. While an overbearing parent, abusive boss, enabling spouse or overwhelming caregiving relationship is not an excuse for addiction, it can contribute to it. And returning to the same environment without addressing these issues significantly increases the odds of a relapse.

This is why the best drug rehab center for your loved one will offer counseling for the entire family. How can you take steps to improve your life rather than dulling the pain with drugs and alcohol? How can you change your social sphere so that it doesn’t demand you drink to participate in the party? How can you spend time with lovers without getting drunk? How can you resolve fights rather than doping yourself until it no longer hurts?

Prioritize rehab programs that can change entire families instead of treating the patient by themselves. Then you can address addictive behaviors emerging in your children, enabling behavior by family members, stereotypes and excuses that contributed to the addiction, and the emotional aftermath of abuse.

Compare the Nature of the Program Relative to Your Responsibilities

If you’re struggling to deal with family responsibilities, the stress of spending a week away from home may only lead to things getting worse at home while you’re gone. This is where a daytime program that you can attend while the kids are at school may be a better choice than a 24-hour residential program. An evenings and weekend program is a good option if you have to work to pay for treatment and/or support your family. After all, not everyone can take two weeks off from work.  However, the ideal detox and rehab program is a two week or longer residential program that addresses the medical and psychological aspects of addiction. These programs are recommended if you’re dealing with drug courts or probation officers.

Because travel time and travel costs make it that much harder to get treatment, choose local programs wherever possible. Only opt for a rehab facility a long way from home if they are the only option for dealing with a complex set of health problems or a compound addiction that few others will treat.

Understand the Payment Options

If you need to go through detox and rehab, the first priority is getting treatment. These medical facilities work with a wide range of insurance companies, and they may offer financing. Don’t let the fear of the cost prevent you from getting treatment. Once you identify the best treatment facilities given your situation, talk to them about treatment options. They may be able to offer discounts or connect you with charities to help pay for treatment. Or they may recommend a combination of outpatient treatment and weekend in-patient treatment to get you the treatment you need. You might learn that intensive outpatient programs may be sufficient, and these programs meet your needs while you continue living at home.

Begin Planning for the Rest of Your Life

After-care refers to care you receive after initial treatment. For someone going through surgery to treat a major injury, aftercare would take the form of pain management and physical therapy. For someone who has gone through detox and rehab, after-care includes counseling for the individual and their family. It can also include membership in a 12-step program or support group.

Planning for after-care has several benefits. First, it reduces the odds of a relapse. Second, it keeps someone on the right track, reducing the odds they replace one addiction with another. Third, it gets them back into treatment quickly when they relapse. A relapse doesn’t mean someone has failed in their recovery any more than pigging out at a party means you’ve ruined your diet. The person has fallen for the temptation, but you’re probably correcting a problem that they’ve been dealing with for years.

For example, roughly a fifth of alcoholism patients are alcohol free for an entire year. The first year is the hardest. If they remain sober for two years, forty percent remain alcohol free. Think of rehab as a first step in the rest of their life, recognizing that people may make mistakes. Treating relapse as part of the recovery process and returning to rehab to address it can strengthen their dedication to sobriety. However, treating their first relapse as proof it didn’t work will solidify their identity as an addict and make it harder to treat them in the future. Get them help. Analyze what went wrong. Take corrective action. And start the clock over. Once they’re clean again, resume after-care. And as more time passes, the mental patterns associated with addiction should be corrected. Once they’re five years sober, they’re very unlikely to return to drugs and alcohol.

This is one reason why you should prefer to work with a local rehab facility over one on the other side of the country. If your loved one relapses, you can get them help almost immediately, and you can resume counseling with a familiar face just as quickly.


1 Comment
  1. […] %%focuskw%% | How to Choose a Drug and Alcohol Rehab That Works […]

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.