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Choosing an Alcohol Rehab

Posted in Alcoholism Treatment

Choosing an alcohol rehab can be an anxiety-provoking experience. However, if you are one of the lucky few who have admitted to yourself you have a problem and want help, you have taken the first step. Here are some tips on how to choose an alcohol rehab.

Sometimes the best way to choose the right alcohol rehab for your needs is to work with a clinical professional (psychologist, therapist, or social worker) who has some experience with addiction treatment. Often these professionals have taken the time to research various alcohol rehabs and assess the quality of their clinical program. However, there is an enormous amount of information available on the Internet to help you research the different alcohol rehabs. You should take into consideration your own specific needs when researching these treatment programs:

1. Do I have a dual diagnosis? Or do I suspect I have a dual diagnosis? You might have clinical depression, an anxiety disorder, a past traumatic event that is still causing you problems – a dual diagnosis basically means there is something else going on besides the abuse of alcohol. It is critical that you address these other problems as they are the most common triggers for relapse.

2. Will I be comfortable enough at a particular facility that I will stick with it for 30 days? For example, if you feel lost in a crowd, or hate hospital-like environments, you might focus on smaller, more boutique types of alcohol rehabs. These tend to limit the number of patients to under 30 at a time. You get more one-on-one time with therapists in this type of environment, and it tends to feel less clinical and more home like. Such rehabs do tend to cost more because of the one-on-one focus.

3. Should I stay close to home, or is it actually better to go someplace out of town? This varies for each person, and there are good reasons for each choice. Some people feel being farther away from home protects their privacy more; some want family to be able to visit easily so they want to stay close by. Avoid staying close to home if you think you are doing it only to make it easy to leave if therapy becomes challenging.

You should also call an alcohol rehab directly and ask them specific questions about your treatment and about the rehab in general:

1. How long has the facility been treating alcoholism?

2. What are the qualifications of the staff?

3. What will a typical day be like – group therapy (generally the best type of recovery treatment), recreational activities?

4. What is their therapeutic philosophy?  Do they use cognitive behavioral therapy?

5. How much of a foundation of the alcohol rehab is built on 12-step philosophy (critical for long-term success)

6. Do they have a strong alumni network (this will be important in the months after treatment)

7. What sort of after care do they offer?

8. If you have any special needs, how will they help you (e.g., dietary restrictions; bipolar or other co-occurring disorder)

9. How will they assess you for any underlying issues such as depression, ADHD, chronic pain, or trauma? Once they have an assessment, what sort of treatment modalities do they offer to handle those issues?

Choosing an alcohol rehab is somewhat akin to choosing a doctor. You want a treatment program with the best clinical program, highly qualified staff, and one that is respected in the treatment community.