5 Star Guide to Drug Addiction and Alcohol Treatment Centers

The Straight Truth about Rehab from the Straight Source

5 Star Rehab Guide

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction

2. Choosing the Proper Rehab

3. Paying for Addiction Treatment

Part I

Introduction to the 5 Star Guide to Centers for Treatment of Chemical Dependency Disorders, AKA - Rehab

Each year more than 1 million North Americans seek inpatient residential or outpatient treatment for drug or alcohol abuse. The number worldwide is even larger. Furthermore when rehab centers focused on behavioral compulsions such as sexual addiction, eating disorders and complusive gamblings are included then the numbers reach considerably higher. Simply put, there are literally millions of people affected by addiction.

Not all of them will seek treatment.

Getting professional treatment for a drug or alcohol issue is a very complicated matter. In some cases, an employer can compel an employee to attend rehab. In other cases a dependent young adult, a college student for instance, can be 'forced' to enter a 28 day program by his/her parents. But, by and large, the decision to seek help is an individual one.

No one can force and addict or alcoholic to clean up or get sober. Even the alcoholic can not force himself to abandon his vice of drink. If an alcoholic could stop drinking on his own then there would be no multi-billion dollar industry dedicated to helping alcoholics achieve sobriety.

The first question that an addict or alcoholic must face is whether they are prepared to ask for help. Some alcoholics simply do not have the capacity to make a plea for help. Like a stranded fisherman, they will rather die than take assistance. Alcoholism plays tricks on the brain of everyone it affects -- including the alcoholics family members which we will discuss in another chapter -- and induces the thought that the addict can overcome their issues without outside help, that they can do it on their own.

The fact of the matter is that most alcoholics can not recover on their own. Their is no one right way to get sober, but there is one wrong way and that is to isolate with only an iron will to guide a person.

If there is a drug problem affecting you life or if substance abuse affects the life of someone that you love, you must know that the chances of them kicking the habit all by themselves are remarkably slim.

That is not to say that Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous or any other 12 step program is the only solution. It is not. But all successful programs share several characteristics with AA and share the reasons for its working, when it works.

It is important to make the decision if you (or your loved one) can continue to endure life as you currently live. Can you? Because you will not be able to cure yourself. You are too sick and the things that you have tried to get a grip on your problem, and the promises to 'never use again' -- those things are going to continue to fail until you accept help from other individuals.

While alcoholism is a very private problem, very individual, the solution is in large part communal. Rehab centers, of all traditions, teach addicts how to retrain their own diseased brain and live a life free from chemical dependency.

Part II - All Rehabs Are Not Alike, Finding the Right Fit

Once you have decided to attend rehab, you have only taken the first step. Psychologically it is the most important step, especially if you have to return to rehab at some time in the future. (And yes you read that right. Truth is most people do not achieve sobriety on their first pass through a rehab center.)

If you've come to the end of your rope then it's time to seek help. However there are many options available to you.

Most people probably assume that all treatment centers are more or less the same, minus some luxuries. This is not the case. Every rehab center focusing on addiction is its own creature with its own customs and culture. More importantly, different rehabs offer different levels of treatment.

The best way to find a rehab that meets your needs is to consider a couple of factors. First, what is your primary drug of abuse or behavioral issue. Then, how long has this problem been a major issue and how much treatment for it have you had. Finally, what other issues are complicating issues that require care.

The first question is the easiest. If you are an alcoholic then going to a treatment center that is familiar with alcoholism is important. However, it is not as important as you might think. The treatment for cocaine dependecy is not particularly distinct from that of painkiller addiction of whiskey abuse. However, knowing your problem allows you to check the first box. That is, does the rehab address the issue. Since many addicts are polyaddicted (they may not realize this) or are dual diagnosis cases (they may not realize this either), it is critical that you find a rehab that will address your primary issues. Some rehabs for instance will offer no assistance in eating disorders or sexual compulsion.

It is not particularly important how you currently view AA. If you think alcoholics anonymous doesn't work for you, that's because you haven't let it work for you. If you do not want to let it work for you, then there are other rehabs that focus on other approaches such as those touted by cognitive behavioral therapy, the Church of Scientology and Rational Recovery. However, most treatment centers with reasonable success rates are based in the 12-step tradition, so that's probably a good place to start.

The next question is your history. How long has alcoholism had a negative impact on your life? Five years of consequences? Fifty? This question matters because the more advancede your addictive tendancies the longer a stay of treatment is likely required. Some rehab centers are like factories; they'll pump you out in 28 days. Many of these are corporate owned and have low success rates. Other rehab centers may expect a stay of 60-100 days. These rehabs tend to have more success than the shorter stay versions.

For individuals in the later stage, or a very severe stage of addiction, long term inpatient care is the person's best chance of making a recovery. Nobody wants to think of going away to rehab for 6 months plus, but for some it will take more than a year.

The last issue looks at the confounding factors in your case. What is your medical status? Do you require special dietary, religious, sexual, or medical considerations? You will need to find out several things. First, what level of medical assistance is available onsite? Is there a staff psychiatrist? Are the counselors LCDCs or are they more likely PhD psychologists? Can provisions be made for you to see outside caregivers such as eye doctors, cardiologists or dentist?

You'd be surprised at how much diversity exists between capabilities across various rehabs. At some places, once you are there, you are there and there is not much you can do (except leave) if they are unable to provide for your individual needs.

Part III - Funding the Expenses to Treat Addiction

For most people, money is the main consideration when deciding on a treatment center. This is perfectly understandable as treatment can vary significantly in costs. Most people's first question, in fact, is how much does rehab cost?

A typical rehab will run between $100 and $1000 a day. That's a huge range and even that doesn't cover all of them. There are many rehabs that are state funded, charitable or offer their services through an agency such as the VA and this can make treatment costs almost zero. Also, if an alcoholic is from a high risk group, such as a pregnant woman, it may be easier to find less expensive treatment.

On the other end of the spectrum, luxury rehabs frequently exceed $30,000 a month for inpatient treatment.

Much of this question will depend on your needs. For many people, the thought of paying thousands of dollars makes them want to immediately rule out rehab as an option. Most people considering attending rehab are ususally towards the end of their respective ropes, and don't have thousands of dollars burning a hole in their pocket.

However, for these individuals there are alternative methods of financing. Outside funding companies can finance your treatment or you can find a treatment center that will work with you on payment. You'll be surprised how flexible rehab centers are. They know that the population of alcoholics and addicts seeking treatment tend to have financial issues so they are familiar with finding ways to make treatment viable.

Finally, if the idea of spending $500 a day to stay in a center for 30 days ($15,000) out of pocket if you are uninsured or have no provisions in your insurance for substance abuse treatment, consider this. How much money have you spent in your pursuit of your addictive lifestyle. Not just in buying alcohol or drugs or engaging in a complusive behavior but the costs of the consequences as well. Think of all the legal, medical and opportunity costs your addiction has wrought upon you.

When any true alcoholic goes back and looks at their past, they quickly realize that the hypothetical $15,000 expense will actually save them much, much than that over the course of their life if the treatment allows them to achieve their sobriety goals. Every addict, when looking at the bigger picture, realizes that rehab costs pale in comparion to the costs of active addiction.

In conclusion, 5 Star Guides will be adding more information to this resource over time. If you are interested in dealing with your addiction and are considering rehab, please bookmark this page.

We can help you make the decision to go to treatment and how to make that decision will the best available information for your particular case. Therefore, check back as more information, links and resources are added to the guide.