Rehab is one of the most effective treatments for those suffering from an addiction - however, rehab may be a complex, daunting concept without the proper knowledge and information.

An addict who is attempting to break their substance addiction may go through withdrawal and have symptoms that may include cold sweats, seizures, insomnia, pain, hallucinations, anxiety and severe depression. A rehab facility can provide a safe and monitored environment for the addict to overcome their substance addiction.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Programs

One of the first choices to make when looking for a rehab center will be a decision between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment involves visiting a center at certain times to attend counseling, receive medical treatment, and check in with doctors and addiction specialists. Outpatient treatment allows the addicted individual to stay at home and keep attending work or school.

Inpatient treatment, on the other hand, is a more dedicated form of treatment where patients live at a specialized center for the full duration of treatment. Inpatient treatment, or residential rehab, is the most effective, successful method of treating addiction, as it changes the addict's entire environment to ensure a fuller system of care.

How Do I Select The Right Rehab Center?

Though different rehab centers usually offer similar treatment options, it's important to find the center that's most convenient and fits the unique needs of the individual afflicted by addiction.

The first step is to find a wide range of options.

You can talk to your doctor, health insurance company, or nearby health clinics and hospitals to learn about rehabilitation facilities in the area. First, narrow your options through factors like price range, insurance compatibility, or location. A local facility may work better for those with familial or work responsibilities, while a center outside the addict's area is beneficial because it takes the addict out of their home environment completely, cutting ties with the place where the addiction started or flourished.

Ask the right questions when touring and choosing between rehab centers.

The next step is to tour possible centers - the most important factor in recovery is making sure the patient feels comfortable and at home in their facility of choice. It's important to visit available centers and ask questions in order to compare the benefits of each center.

Questions about treatment styles:

  • What programs, addictions, or services does the facility specialize in?
  • What treatment methods and programs are available?
  • Does the center include nutritional, life skills, or exercise components?
  • Does the program include family services, visitations, or outings?

Questions about qualifications:

  • What kind of experience do the specialists and professionals have?
  • What are some statistics on treatment success and patient satisfaction, especially compared to other local rehab facilities?

Questions about post-rehab:

  • What is considered a successful treatment? What are the goals of this facility?
  • Do treatment methods tackle potential underlying problems which may have lead to the addiction?
  • How does the center prepare the patient for relapse and outside life?

Of course, ask any other questions relevant to the person receiving treatment, and take into consideration factors like location, amenities, insurance coverage, licenses and qualifications, and price range.

Why People May Avoid Rehab

Some reasons addicts give for avoiding rehab may be legitimate concerns, but addicts often have a variety of excuses for their family and friends. The cycle of addiction convinces the addict that they don't need treatment, or that they can stop by themselves.

Legitimate reasons for avoiding rehab include:

  • Financial difficulties: Though this is a legitimate concern for some, addictions will usually cost the patient more than what they would spend for rehab. Remember that addiction treatment concerns health and wellbeing - rehab is one of the most worthy investments for your money.
  • Time commitment: An addict may be afraid to lose their job or leave their family, especially if they're attending an inpatient treatment program. Once again, health and wellbeing should take priority over other factors. An addict will be at risk of losing their job, family, or both if they fail to manage their addiction. Consider sick leave from work and understand the negative effects of addiction on the family and loved ones of the addict.

An addict may also give less legitimate excuses - if you're a loved one trying to convince an addict to go to rehab, plan your responses to potential excuses beforehand. Common excuses can include:

  • Denial: "I'm not an addict," "I can stop on my own," "my addiction makes me happier."
  • Past experiences: "Treatment and rehab didn't work for me before."
  • Negative peer groups: "I'll lose my friends if I become sober."
  • Addiction stigma: "I don't want anybody to know I'm an addict."
  • Stalling: "I have to take care of X before I go," "I promised to attend Y event."

Types of Recovery Programs

Therapeutic Communities are more structured, longer treatment programs where an addict will stay at a facility for 6 to 12 months. These communities use the long periods of stay to fully change addict's behaviors and attitudes towards drug use. Therapeutic communities are often specialized for patients with long histories of addiction, or those with impaired social functioning.

Halfway houses, also known as sober living houses, are rehab facilities where the addict is given a greater amount of freedom - they can attend work, school, or even recreational outings while still staying at a facility under the supervision of professionals. Usually sober living houses are programs an addict attends after finishing a more intensive rehab program.

Holistic treatment centers are variations of inpatient or outpatient rehab programs that focus on full-body wellness. These types of centers utilize alternative therapies like yoga, meditation, outdoor therapy, or art therapy, and place a focus on nutrition and exercise as core aspects of recovery.

Group support is offered by many different organizations like churches, community centers, volunteers, and hospitals. Group therapy (like AA or Narcotics Anonymous) can provide support for addicts after they leave rehab in order to prevent relapse and ensure sober living. These programs are often centered around the 12-step program and are informal, social, community-based approaches to treatment and aftercare.

Counseling, whether it's individual therapy, family counseling, or group programs, is often used concurrently with another type of treatment or as a post-treatment support method. Therapy is critical to addressing underlying causes of addiction or mental health issues which may co-occur with addiction.

How Long Does Rehab Take?

The length of rehabilitation programs will depend on the individual, the level of addiction, and the type of program chosen. Some may choose a therapeutic community program which lasts as long as a year, while others may only need a 30-day treatment program. Inpatient rehab programs typically last from 30 to 90 days, and research has found that longer treatment programs are correlated with higher success rates and lower future relapse rates.

Though rehab itself may take under a month, addiction recovery is an ongoing lifelong process. Ongoing group therapy or individual counseling programs are recommended as a post-rehab support system, and the possibility of relapse is a consistent obstacle to sober living.

How Much Does Rehab Cost?

Price ranges will vary greatly depending on factors like the type of program and the amenities offered. Lower-end inpatient programs can cost around $7,500 a month, while the cost of luxury rehab programs with a long list of amenities can rise to over $100,000 a month. Standard programs will usually cost around $10,000 to $20,000 a month.

Rehab facilities that accept insurance can greatly reduce monthly cost and can even end up being free. Other facilities have payment plans to reduce financial strain, some offer services like detox or group therapy free-of-charge. If you qualify, Medicaid or Medicare can cover the cost of detox and medical withdrawal treatment.

Paying For Rehab

Dealing with addiction is stressful enough without the added complication of paying for a rehab facility. There are options for all different budgets, so don't let treatment cost be an obstacle - even if you find yourself struggling financially, it is a better investment in the long run to put money that is being used for addictive substances toward treatment.

  • Insurance: In 2008, Congress passed the Mental Health Parity Act, which requires insurance companies that cover mental health to treat mental and physical health claims equally – with equal limitations, co-pays, and other factors.
  • Call your insurance company to find out what types of treatment they cover and what kind of co-pay to expect. Also ask what treatment facilities are in your "network" and if they know of any discounts. Ask what the limitations are: for example, could you get 90 days of outpatient treatment instead of 30 days of inpatient treatment?
  • Government-funded: Certain groups may be eligible for government-funded programs. For example, veterans may have access to free rehab services through their local Veterans Administration. Pregnant women may also be eligible for government-funded treatment. Check with your local government agencies to see if funding is available for you.
  • Charity Care: Some churches and religious organizations offer financial assistance with rehab or offer care directly. Contact local church groups to see if there are programs in your area or if they are able to refer you to another group.
  • Payment Plans: Rehab facilities are businesses. They realize that most families do not anticipate addiction - ask the facility what types of financing they offer, and ask if there are any discounts available.
  • Care Based on Income: Facilities may provide discounted or free care to those whose income or employment status warrants assistance, as they may be able to write it off as a charitable donation. Many who work in these facilities have personal experience with addiction, and they will try to work around your situation and help out when possible.
  • Out-of-pocket: This option will give you the most flexibility in which treatment program you or your loved one can enter into. Some facilities may only accept this type of payment, so this should be one of the first questions to ask.