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What to Look for in a Quality Alcohol Rehab

Changes in healthcare, insurance, and social stigma have allowed more alcoholics than ever before to get the help they need. With more alcoholics coming out of the woodwork for treatment, more alcohol rehab and treatment facilities have opened across the country. This is good and bad news for alcoholics. More rehab centers mean more options in treatment, but it also means there are more centers concerned with your money and not your rehab process.

Let’s find out what to look for in a quality alcohol rehab by exploring facilities to insurance needs. Choosing the right quality alcohol rehab is critical in long-term success and sobriety – here’s what you need to know.

The Facility

You shouldn’t expect a 5-star facility when you check into alcohol rehab, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re in a prison. You can be at alcohol rehab anywhere from a few days to several weeks so it’s best to be comfortable in your situation. Luckily you can look at pictures and tour most alcohol rehab facilities before you check in. What type of amenities and features depend on your needs but you should expect cleanliness and comfort. Alcohol rehabs know you’re going through the most difficult time of your life and design their facilities to keep you comfortable through the process.

The Medical Staff

The medical staff puts together your treatment plan and assists you during your medical detox. Their importance cannot be understated. All doctors and medical staff at your alcohol rehab should be certified and licensed in their respective disciplines. Aim for a multi-disciplined team of medical professionals for your highest chances at success and sobriety. It’s recommended to schedule an interview with medical staff before checking in.

The Staff

A rehab’s medical staff is important for your recovery, but they aren’t the only staff you’ll be dealing with during your stay. More often you’ll deal with other treatment professionals like counselors or therapists who do the grunt work of recovery plans.

When looking over a rehab’s staff look for a variety of professionals who utilize different techniques and approaches. Because everyone’s addiction is different, a multidisciplined team of recovery professionals is more likely to give you the best results.

patients in alcohol rehab

Certifications and Licenses

Any alcohol rehab you check into should be licensed, insured, and certified. Make no mistake, alcohol detox is a medical procedure, and must be formulated and executed by a professional medical team. You don’t have time for amateur hour when it comes to getting off the bottle.

You can check with your local state office on the standing of any rehab facilities before checking in. If the state hasn’t heard of them, you don’t want to go there. For alcohol rehab check that the rehab is certified by the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. All treatment staff should be certified in addiction counseling and hold a license as a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor, Certified Addiction Counselor, or Licensed Professional Counselor.


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows more people to use their health insurance for addiction treatment but all insurance companies have different policies. Talk to your insurance agent about addiction treatment before checking in to get the most effective treatment for your insurance dollars.

Therapies and Techniques

A rehab’s therapies and techniques can make or break your stay. Be certain that any potential rehab uses evidence-based approaches as their primary form of treatment. Established and proven forms of addiction treatment include one-on-one cognitive behavioral therapy, group counseling, medication-assisted treatment, and more.

Most rehabs now also offer non-traditional therapies and treatment techniques that might not be firmly established as effective treatment but have shown anecdotal benefits. Secondary treatments include outdoor therapy, animal therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and working the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Spend time looking at all techniques and therapies to match your recovery plan.

Family Support

It takes a village for lifetime recovery. Alcohol rehab will do most of its work on the alcoholic, but their family needs treatment too. Look to treatment centers or rehabs with family support systems and family counseling that gives both the alcoholic and their family’s the tools to fight alcoholism.

Other Mental Health Services

Several alcoholics bring other mental health issues like anxiety disorders, mood disorders, depression, and more. A patient diagnosed with alcoholism and a secondary mental health disorder is known as a dual diagnosis and will need more specialized care. If you carry a dual diagnosis you need a rehab that can address both issues or you’re not likely to beat either.

Success Rates

A rehab’s success and sobriety rate are the ultimate predictors of value. What’s the point if their patients keep revolving in and out? It’s difficult to keep tabs on every patient that comes in and out of a facility, but established rehabs use follow-up data collection to see how well they’re doing. The higher their success rate, the more likely you’ll stay sober too. If a rehab tells you they have a 100% success rate, move on to the next one – they’re full of it.

Relapse-Prevention and Follow-Up Support

Alcohol rehab is only the initial step in a lifelong battle against addiction. It’s easy to go a few days or a few weeks without touching the bottle but the trick is lasting a lifetime. That’s why a rehab’s follow-up and relapse prevention are arguably more important than their initial treatment. Ask potential rehabs about what aftercare and follow-up is provided and what they do to help their patients not fall off the wagon. A solid relapse prevention program and ample follow-up services should be near the top of your list during any rehab search.

Alcoholism is not the mysterious enemy it once was allowing more people to get help at certified and reputable detox facilities. If you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol use this list and more questions to get into a great alcohol rehab close to you. It only takes one phone call to start.

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