choosing the right rehab

With so many choices, how does one choose the right alcohol rehab? This article will briefly address some of the basics around questions you should ask, and the warning signs of potential trouble ahead. At Quit Alcohol we are here to take the stress out of finding treatment. Our rehab advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help.

The Basics to Choosing the Right Rehab

First and foremost, we must determine what your personal needs are. Factors that are essential to consider are your medical history, alcohol use patterns, age, gender/gender identity, financial situation and more. Additionally, we all have varying needs and belief systems. We do not believe that there is one answer to all of the topics we will discuss; we simply want you to ponder and consider each before you decide. There are other factors, but for brevity, in no specific order, we will look at these first.

Medical History

Prior to receiving treatment, you will be given an assessment to diagnose your condition. Understanding your medical history is part of this assessment as it allows treatment professionals to personalize a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. Your medical history will give shed light on any pre-existing conditions, co-occurring diagnoses, and more. These variables are important as they will impact how your addiction and any associated disorders are treated.

Alcohol Use Patterns

Medical professionals who conduct alcohol abuse evaluations will want to understand your alcohol use habits, as treatment should be customized to address your unique alcohol use patterns.

Age Appropriateness

While addiction can affect anyone at any age, age generally plays a role in recovery. For individuals who did not receive treatment in the early stages of their addiction, underlying issues become more challenging to deal with as they become more severe over time. Additionally, attitude regarding addiction and addiction treatment tends to differ based on age. For example, the baby boomer generation has a completely different viewpoint on alcohol use than millennials do. Moreover, studies show that older people tend to be more private and discrete about their alcohol use, and tend to have more deep-rooted issues than those in their younger years.

When considering where to attend treatment, it’s important to consider your age. Oftentimes, an excuse to leave Against Medical Advice (AMA) can be avoided when thinking through this in advance. For example, if you are an Alcohol only user (drinker) and in middle age, it can be difficult to tolerate the young heroin user for several reasons. It’s not uncommon for the middle age individuals to take on a parental or grandparent role and lose focus on themselves.

Gender and Gender Identity

Gender Responsive or gender-specific facilities may be a good choice for you to keep your focus on yourself and your recovery. You are seeking help to overcome addiction and not begin a romantic relationship with others struggling with addiction. Many young people fall into the trap of seeking co-ed treatment facilities for the wrong reasons. It is essential that your motives are right when choosing the type of facility to admit to.

Relationship Status

It’s challenging to separate addiction and family as they are generally interconnected. That said, it’s common for relationships and family life to take a turn for the worse when struggling with addiction. In most cases, sustainable recovery will depend on treating the family as well through family counseling and family programs.

Financial Situation

When someone decides to attend addiction treatment, there can be concerns about how to pay. The cost of care varies depending on the level of care needed, location, and more. It’s important to consider how you plan to pay for treatment in advance. If you have health insurance, there is a surplus of options available to you that will help cover costs associated with treatment. 

Most health insurance plans cover at least a portion of addiction treatment, and some cover treatment entirely. To gain clarity on your plan’s benefits, you can call your carrier directly, or reach out to our rehab advisors, who will speak directly with you and your insurance provider to help you get the most out of your benefits.

Treatment is based upon medical necessity, typically utilizing the ASAM criteria. Treatment facilities bill by the day; they often have a self-pay rate that considers the fact that you will pay in advance for a fixed period. Refunds are very rare, so do not expect to admit and leave in a week and get ¾ of your money returned. Most facilities utilize an initial assessment fee coupled with their full daily rate and any other ancillaries, for instance, a daily room and board rate, bloodwork, or lab work.

Levels of Care

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has specific criteria for what type of care you may need or qualify for. Most states utilize this or similar processes to determine your needs. If you are utilizing your health insurance to pay for or supplement your care, it’s important to note that insurance carriers utilize even more stringent guidelines than ASAM. Generally, treatment facilities evaluate you with simple questions to determine what level of care you require or qualify for. It is a common misbelief that treatment stays must be in 30, 60, or 90-day intervals. While it was true at one point, it is not the case today.  This is not to minimize your commitment to a fixed period; in fact, research indicates a 90-day stay is met with the best results.

Treatment Protocols

You may see “evidence-based, ”measurement-based,” and “outcome-based” therapies or treatment protocols on websites across the treatment industry. These are nothing to be taken lightly. Outside of this, there are things you want to look or listen for in your research. Read the “about us” page of the facility. What is their focus? You may want to see a comprehensive, flexible, but structured system. If you see a complete focus on one protocol, ask why. Additionally, just the opposite if it looks like they have no focus and are simply appealing to your likes or dislikes that may not be in your best interest for the long-term. There is a difference between personalized treatment and advertising and marketing toward your likes or dislikes to get you through the door.

Theme-based therapies can be extremely helpful to engage you in the process, but if you are simply being lured into a “resort-style” atmosphere with no rue therapeutic process shipping you off to mutual support groups each evening, you may want to rethink your choice. This is not a slight at those programs, simply a buyer beware. Alcoholism is a serious condition, do not take this lightly.


Deciding to seek treatment can be a daunting task. If you have never addressed alcoholism or addiction before beyond the fear of doing so, it is a major endeavor. You can change your life in a positive manner by finding the right alcohol rehab, so take the next right step and do your research. However, do not allow yourself to utilize your desire to research to distract you or keep you from seeking medical help immediately. Ask your family to help, ask for references when you call a facility, and look for reviews online. Our rehab advisors can also help you. Don’t wait. Get the help you need now.