If you are considering rehabilitation services for yourself or someone else, there are some key concerns that you should be asking before you commit to a particular hospital, clinic, or program. You will certainly want to know about the costs of the program and whether your insurance will cover any of the bills. You will want to know what types of treatment are used by the clinic. You will want to know about visiting hours, the staff’s credentials, and what are the chances of success.

You may find, also that you need help interpreting the answers to these questions. If a rehabilitation agency says their success rate of patients who have completed the program is 50 percent, you will need to know if that is good, bad, or somewhere in the middle.

Detoxification is generally the first step in rehabilitation treatment

Here are some key questions and a short discussion on each to put them into perspective.

What kind of treatment approaches are available?


There are many varieties of treatment options. The answers to this could be in-patient, long-term residential treatment, short-term residential treatment, outpatient services, detoxification, and medical treatment.

Detoxification is generally the first step in rehabilitation treatment. It is usually accompanied by 24-hour medical attention and could last from 24 hours to five or more days. This involves medical management of withdrawal symptoms until stabilization and attention to outstanding medical issues that require immediate attention.

Long-term residential treatment lasts from 28 days to three months or more. This involves intensive daily therapy and group support to manage the first month of sobriety. Group therapy involves sharing thoughts and feelings and discussing behaviors that contribute to the patient’s addiction. 12-Step support groups are open-meeting formats available to anyone seeking to stop their addiction. These are group-lead meetings that do not allow “cross-talk,” which refers to commenting on what someone else has said. This prevents people in the meeting from being overly judgmental about someone else in the meeting.

Outpatient services refer to therapy and group support meetings that do not involve living at the facility. Patients in outpatient treatment return to their homes every night.

What are the chances of success?

The answers to this question are very dependent on how the data is viewed. Often, surveys look only at data from people who have completed the program because people who leave early are not giving the program a true test.

Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. And don’t expect the numbers to be very encouraging. Returning to a life of sobriety is very possible, but often it includes several “slips” or relapses before sobriety is mastered. If someone tries three times before committing to sobriety, then it just means their recovery process was longer than expected. Slips happen. Don’t look at them as a failure. Look at them as part of a process.

Will Insurance Cover The Bill

Luckily, advances in rehabilitation therapy and increased levels of success have convinced many insurance companies to help their clients pay for rehabilitation services. The entire bill is not always covered, however, so it is wise to check with your insurance provider to know what to expect in terms of coverage.

Furthermore, increased social awareness about behavioral addictions that were often dismissed in the past as not a medical issue are now being considered or covered by insurance policies. This includes issues like gambling Internet gaming addictions and sex addictions.