With hundreds of drug and alcohol treatment programs in the state of Florida alone, it can be overwhelming to choose a program that’s best for you or someone you love.
But it’s not a hopeless endeavor. At Transitions Recovery Program, we think it’s important that every individual in need of alcohol or drug rehab services finds a program that suits their needs. And while we’re here and ready to take your phone call 24 hours a day all year long, we also know that you have other options. To help you choose the right rehab for you, we’ve provided this comprehensive guide.
Learn more about the obstacles to finding the right drug treatment program and what to consider during your search. Then, reach out to the programs that seem right for you. And if you still aren’t sure which program is right for you, call us at 800-298-1783 or contact us online today. Our caring counselors can help you take the first steps to sobriety.
Obstacles to Finding the Right Alcohol or Drug Rehab
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, around 80 percent of all Americans with access to the internet have used their connection to research health information, including addiction. While the internet does provide access to information about substance abuse that was not always available years ago, the sheer number of rehab options available online can also be overwhelming.
Your search for a Florida rehab is different from a search for other types of goods or services. For one thing, you may not be able to rely as heavily on reviews or word-of-mouth. Unless you know someone who’s in recovery and willing to discuss it with you, you may not be able to get a recommendation from a friend. And most people aren’t going to post a status on Facebook asking for help in their rehab search.
Even online reviews, which are a resource many people turn to when researching potential services, aren’t always that helpful when selecting a rehab. Individuals are less likely to post details about their experience when leaving a review for such a personal service. Even if a facility does have reviews, they may only be star ratings without supporting comments. In some cases, the written reviews come from people who know the professionals running a facility or know their reputation, not from someone who was treated at the facility.
Other obstacles to finding an addiction treatment program that’s right for you include:
- Not knowing what to look for in a program or what questions to ask to find out more
- Being confused about the terminology that describes the program’s services
- Concentrating on important, but not necessarily the most important, considerations
- Not having a “game plan” when approaching research
- Believing myths about rehab that make it more difficult to make a good decision
While we can’t decrease the number of rehab options or organize the entire internet to better suit those who are searching for information, we can help you with some of these other challenges.
Myths about Rehab Programs
One of the biggest obstacles in finding a rehab program that can help you work toward recovery is getting past a lot of the myths about addiction treatment. When you can push through some of these common myths, you’re better able to look at the information about various rehabs and make a decision that supports your specific needs and preferences for recovery.
Myth: You can just quit on your own.
Many people avoid seeking rehab services because they tell themselves they’re in control of their alcohol or drug use and can quit on their own. It’s understandable that some people would stick with this line of thinking, especially given how confusing it can be to start the search for a rehab. However, addiction isn’t a bad habit you can break with a bit more willpower.
Addiction is a chronic disorder that involves a lot more than just the habit of using drugs or alcohol. It can involve physical, mental, emotional and social factors, and untangling those issues often requires professional intervention. The right rehab program helps you do this in a way that creates a strong foundation to support future sobriety.
Myth: Rehab is like quitting cold turkey.
Some people assume that entering rehab means going cold turkey. And while it’s true that you aren’t going to be able to abuse drugs or alcohol as part of your rehab, it’s not true that you’re stuck with the discomfort that cold turkey can bring.
In fact, professional intervention is safer and more effective than quitting on your own because it doesn’t rely on a cold turkey (simply stop using the substance) approach. Your rehab program may even include medically assisted detox, which relies on medications and the service of doctors and nurses to see you through withdrawal periods in the most comfortable way possible.
Myth: Addiction treatment is only for the wealthy.
Celebrities often end up in rehab in very public ways, which can lead to the false assumption that rehab is only for celebrities or the very wealthy. In fact, rehab is available to anyone who needs it, and there are many programs and options to address financial and other concerns that may keep you from seeking help. Contacting a rehab, local counselor or other provider for assistance can help you understand these options and how you can seek rehab no matter your financial, career or social situation.
Myth: Going to rehab means losing your job.
Given the length of inpatient stays (from a few weeks to a few months on average), it’s not surprising that individuals may worry about their existing obligations. Many people don’t seek the addiction treatment they need because they’re worried about their jobs. If you are a full-time employee who qualifies for protection under the Family Medical Leave Act, however, you don’t have to worry about this. Your company is required by law to allow you up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medically necessary treatment (and that includes rehab).
While companies are not required to pay someone while on FMLA, they are required to protect your job status and maintain your health insurance coverage. You may be able to use PTO or vacation time you’ve accrued to cover some of your pay during that time.
10 Things to Consider When Choosing an Addiction Treatment Program
Once you get past the myths that can keep you from finding the right rehab for you or a loved one, it’s time to narrow down the list of rehabs to those that might be the best choice. These 10 considerations offer a way to evaluate the options and filter through the information online. If you can’t easily find some answers to these questions or the rehab staff doesn’t seem keen on answering one of these questions, it’s probably not the right choice.
1. Should you seek addiction treatment in Florida or elsewhere?
Location can be a critical factor in whether a rehab is right for you or not. A first consideration should be whether you want to seek treatment locally or not.
Getting treatment in a local rehab has benefits. First, it cuts down on transportation expense and time. Second, local addiction treatment makes it easier for loved ones to take part in and support your rehab. This can be important if you want to involve your family in therapy sessions; involving loved ones lets them begin the healing process and learn how to support you through long-term recovery. In some cases, going local also allows you to tap into known networks for financial or other assistance in recovery.
Some people opt to seek inpatient alcohol treatment farther away from home and even out of state. One specific reason for this may be a need to change the environment substantially to support a greater likelihood of success with rehab. If the environment itself or social network you have built is a big trigger or part of your substance abuse, seeking treatment out of town may be the right choice for you.
2. Does the program offer medically assisted detox?
When you stop using certain substances, you can have serious and even painful withdrawal symptoms. This is because your body has become used to the substance, and it begins to consider the presence of those chemicals as normal. The sudden removal of the drugs or alcohol causes your body to react with physical symptoms that can include tremors, sweating, nausea, vomiting, nightmares, problems with sleep and even changes to heart rate.
The severity of withdrawal symptoms can range from slightly annoying to physically debilitating. When going through this period, which can last from a few days to two weeks, it can be difficult to concentrate on your recovery. Withdrawals can also be so severe that they drive someone back to abusing substances again.
Specifics about your withdrawal symptoms depend on which drugs you are abusing, your own health and body, how long you’ve been using and how much of the substance you take on a regular basis. If you’re worried about the impact of withdrawals on your recovery or afraid of facing the symptoms, then a rehab with medically assisted detox is important. The assistance can include medication and other interventions to reduce symptoms. It also usually involves 24-hour supervision by medical staff for peace of mind.
To find out if a rehab offers medically assisted detox, look for service or program menus and a page about medical detox on its website. You can also look for the words “medically assisted detox” on any of the program’s web pages, ask admissions counselors who answer the facility’s phone hotline or request information about detox options via the site’s online contact form.
3. Can family or other people be involved in your rehab?
Because of the confidential nature of rehab programs and the necessary security and precautions some may take, there’s a myth that rehabs are “locked down” and that once you go in, no one can come and go to visit you. That’s not true in many cases. In fact, many rehabs encourage visitors, and some make it possible for family to participate in your treatment.
Reasons you might want family or significant others to participate in your treatment can include:
- Comprehensive healing. Addiction takes its toll on everyone involved in your life. Working toward healing yourself can be difficult or feel fruitless if those you love most aren’t also doing the same. Family therapy, even when you’re in an inpatient program, can help set the stage for healing that can continue as you work through recovery steps.
- Education about addiction. Your family may not understand addiction, and that makes it hard for them to support you in recovery. Family therapy or just the ability to visit you during rehab can help your loved ones better understand your condition and what it involves — and how much you’re working toward sobriety.
- Creating a solid support structure. Family therapy can also help equip your loved ones with the right tools to support you on your recovery journey. Your loved ones may need to learn about triggers, stressors and coping mechanisms, for example, just as you are.
When researching rehab options, look at website pages on a facility’s site that talk about the type of therapy offered. If family therapy is listed, you’ll know the program makes an effort to include loved ones in your recovery. You can also ask specifically about how a program plans to incorporate your family into treatment when you talk to an admissions counselor. Remember that you can call a rehab to find out more about their program without committing to treatment at that particular facility.
4. Does the program take your insurance?
Federal legislation such as the Affordable Care Act requires employer-sponsored and marketplace insurance plans to include behavioral health benefits. That includes benefits for chemical dependency (or addiction) treatment. Parity acts from the past few decades also mean that insurance companies can’t stack the deck in their favor with behavioral health coverage. They can’t, for example, tack on an extra deductible or uncharacteristic co-pays related to behavioral health benefits that aren’t similar to the medical benefits they provide.
All of that means that addiction treatment is actually more affordable than ever for many people. Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies provide coverage for such treatment. And while you may legitimately owe deductibles or co-pays, your insurance company may also pick up a large portion of the cost associated with your treatment.
For that to happen, though, the facility you choose must accept your insurance. It’s best if the program is also in-network with your insurance company. That means the facility is on a list of preferred providers for addiction treatment services and that your insurance company may cover more of the total cost of those services.
Some rehab programs list insurances they accept on their site, but you can’t assume your plan is accepted even if the insurance name appears. Each insurance company typically offers many plans with different benefits.
The best way to know if a program accepts your insurance is to get it verified. This involves someone from the admissions staff of the rehab facility calling your insurance company to check on benefits and what services are covered. Look for an insurance verifications page on a rehab website you’re considering. You may be able to provide your name, contact number or email and insurance information via a confidential form. The rehab staff conduct a verification and call you back to let you know what services are covered and if they can accept your insurance.
Alternatively, you can call a prospective rehab to find out if they accept your insurance. Have your insurance card ready to provide the necessary information.
5. What are the out-of-pocket costs and options for arranging payment?
While we at Transitions Recovery Program never want anyone to avoid seeking drug or alcohol treatment because of financial worries, we do recognize that costs are a factor in deciding where to seek help.
First, know that there are many options for paying for rehab, and the professional admissions staff at addiction programs are trained to help you understand your options. You may also be helped by case workers or social workers who can help you understand available benefits and seek help paying for rehab.
Second, remember that a phone call asking for help is not a commitment to seek treatment immediately at the given facility. If you simply don’t know where to turn or are having a hard time understanding the costs of treatment, do call someone. Counselors can provide you with options so you know what your next steps are.
Most rehabs can’t tell you exactly how much rehab will cost because it depends on how long you stay in treatment and what type of services you receive. But they can give ballpark figures and can often let you know what types of out-of-pocket costs you may be dealing with given your individual insurance plan.
Here are some things to look for regarding cost when searching for the alcohol or drug rehab in Florida that’s right for you.
- Always look for a rehab that takes your insurance.
- If you don’t have insurance or believe you may have trouble paying out-of-pocket costs after insurance processes, look for rehabs that offer financial assistance or scholarship options or work with local programs that can assist in paying for rehab.
- Don’t be afraid to ask about payment options and arrangements; you as the patient have a right to know as much about costs as possible up front and work with your provider on a financial game plan that works for everyone.
Not every rehab can or will provide various financial arrangements, so ensure that you choose a program that has the ability to work with you in a way that you’re comfortable with.
6. Is the program part of an integrated, long-term approach to recovery?
It’s important to realize rehab isn’t a one-and-done solution to addiction. Addiction is a chronic disorder that is not cured so much as it’s put into remission. Keeping it there requires effort and help even after you leave an inpatient rehab program.
If you enter a program that can’t help you set up for long-term recovery, then you may find yourself unsure how to keep your new-found sobriety once you leave that program. Look for inpatient rehab programs that have outpatient counterparts so you can step down through recovery levels as necessary. You’ll find information about both inpatient and outpatient treatment (sometimes referred to as partial hospitalization) on the websites of these programs.
If you like everything an inpatient program has to offer but don’t see outpatient partnerships or offerings on their site, make sure you ask about follow-up programs and addiction aftercare. Does the rehab include discharge planning as a core service? That means the staff work with you to develop a plan and make recommendations and referrals so you know exactly what action to take after you leave inpatient rehab.
7. What type of services are offered by the program?
You shouldn’t just worry about the services you’ll need after inpatient treatment, though. Make sure the types of therapies and services offered by a rehab facility match your personality and needs. In addition to medically assisted detox, family therapy and aftercare planning, here are some things you might want to look for.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a leading approach to both addiction and mental health treatment
- Individual therapy, which lets you work specifically on your own addiction and related issues in a safe, confidential setting with a licensed therapist
- Group therapy, which provides an opportunity to learn more about the cycle of addiction in a group, sharing your own struggles and hearing from others who are at various steps in rehab
- Recreational therapy, which lets you exercise or investigate new hobbies while developing and practicing new coping skills that can be employed once you leave rehab
- Education regarding diet, health issues, nutrition and other factors that can help you live a healthier life and support long-term sobriety
- Mental health treatment, which may be necessary for individuals with co-occurring diagnoses such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder
- Legal assistance or the ability to interface with attorneys or the court as needed, if you are entering rehab after being charged with a drug-related crime
- Career assistance or help seeking a job after rehab
- Specialty services or activities, such as yoga, gourmet meals, luxury accommodations, acupuncture or other holistic approaches to recovery
You don’t need all these services for successful rehab. Remember to consider your own needs and what your goals are for rehab and ensure that the program you choose meets those requirements.
8. What is the culture of the program, and does it match your personality and preferences?
While exact service offerings are obviously important, so is the overall “feel” and culture of the rehab. Inpatient rehab can take from a few weeks to almost a year, depending on your individual needs and goals, the type of program you enter and the recommendations of therapists and clinicians working with you. You definitely want to feel comfortable in the environment and with the treatment.
Some things you should consider asking when you speak to rehab program staff are summarized below.
- Ask about treatment planning. Who does the planning? Is it one therapist or a multidisciplinary team? A team approach allows your treatment to be as holistic as possible. For many people, it’s important to be involved in their own treatment planning processes. In fact, studies have shown that people who have input into their treatment plan may make more progress or have more success with rehab than others. If input is important to you, choose a rehab that lets you take part in the process.
- Consider the type of accommodations. Are rooms private or shared? How many people may share a room? The answers to these questions can be important to your comfort level during rehab, especially if you’re a very shy or private person.
- Are groups coed? Many rehabs have coed counseling groups and activities, but you can find facilities that offer groups for just men or women if that’s important to you.
- Does the facility offer age-specific treatment? If you’re looking for treatment for a youth, for example, it may not be appropriate for them to be included in adult groups. You might want to look for a rehab program that specializes in treatment for teenagers.
- How is the day structured? How much downtime do you get, what types of activities are offered and how rigid is the schedule? While it’s important to participate fully and appropriately in rehab, if you’re someone who needs a lot of engagement or, alternatively, a lot of downtime to process what’s going on, then you want to choose a rehab with daily schedules and culture that meet those needs.
These are just a few questions you might ask to ensure a rehab is a good personal fit. Don’t hesitate to ask about anything you feel concerned about. Rehab environments are typically no-judgment zones with compassionate staff who want to help you find your way through to recovery. They aren’t going to be thrown off by questions or think your specific concerns are weird. Changes are that they’ve heard those concerns from someone before, and even if they haven’t, they’ll have answers to help you make your decision about whether the program is right for you.
Do remember, though, that perfection isn’t always possible. You may need to find the rehab that best meets your needs, not the one that checks every single box. It’s important to be realistic and understand your “must have” list versus your “nice to have” list. You might decide that private rooms are a must have, for example, but other preferences would simply be nice to have.
9. Can the drug rehab program help you meet any legal obligations related to treatment?
If you’re searching for a rehab program after being involved in legal or criminal issues related to substance abuse, you may need to pick from a preapproved list of facilities. This is particularly true if the court has ordered you to seek rehab in lieu of jail time or conviction on criminal charges.
If you’re working with a lawyer, he or she likely has a list of rehabs that can work with you and meet the court’s requirements. If you’re not working with a lawyer, search for court-ordered rehab facilities in your area. When researching rehabs, look on their websites for information about court-ordered rehab and how they work with attorneys and courts in such cases. For example, rehabs may state that they are able to provide documentation or reports letting the court know that you’re following through with requirements.
When talking to admissions counselors at any rehab, make sure you let them know about your legal situation. They’ll be able to tell you if the program meets those requirements; they may also be able to refer you to programs that do if the answer is no.
10. Have you heard anything about the program (good or bad)?
Finally, consider what you might know about the rehab in question. While word-of-mouth marketing isn’t typically a huge benefit to drug addiction programs, if you have friends or family who have been through recovery, you may have heard from them about programs they attended. You can also tactfully approach them to ask for feedback about programs in the area, letting them know you’re struggling with addiction and are looking for help. Other people who often can provide feedback about and referrals to programs include your doctor, your therapist or another health care provider.
Don’t Let the Information Overwhelm You; Take Action Now
We know this is a lot of information to consider. While we hope everyone takes time to consider at least a few of these factors, the bottom line is this:
If you feel you need help with your addiction, it’s critical to reach out soon. Call 800-298-1783 for information about taking the next step if you’re not sure what that step might entail.