5 ways to find the best rehabilitation program for your loved ones

How can you help a loved one find (and get into) the best rehabilitation program? A look here, with 5 ways to get someone rehabilitation help for drugs or alcohol. Join us and ask a question at the end!

minute read
By Barbaros Dinler, MA

From national to personal crisis

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) the abuse of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs amounts to $700 billion in annual costs in the United States (U.S). The threat is very much real and is tantamount to a national crisis.

However, coming to the realization that there is a substance abuse crisis across our nation is one thing, but having a close relative suffering from alcohol or drug abuse is a whole other issue. And it is best to be prepared when a family member falls into the harms of a substance abuse situation. What can you do?

If you are looking for a rehab facility and professional help for a loved one, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading as we explain what you as family and friends can do to help. At the end, we welcome you to post any questions in the comments section, and we’ll try to respond to you personally and promptly.

Types of treatment programs

It is difficult to predict the success rates of rehab programs. Still, there are a variety of treatment programs that might include:

  • Counseling (individual, group or family)
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Residential treatment
  • Sober living

Selecting the best case scenario for a treatment program will come down to how much your insurance covers, and how much you can allocate for program expenses. This really is a matter of looking at your existing finances, but again do not rush things too quickly.

TIP 1: What can you do for an addicted loved one?

To get more familiarized with a drug or alcohol-related situation, first, try not to panic. Sure, it is easier said than done, but for those who have lived through the struggle of addiction in the family know fully well you need to keep your nerves under wraps. So, for starters if the situation is extremely complicated and difficult then it may warrant the intervention of a professional, perhaps a rehabilitation center and program themselves. So, the first thing is to get educated.

TIP 2: Open lines of communication

Another key consideration is to maintain good rapport and communication with the person affected. Why? Simply, because it’s in everyone’s best interest for the well-being of those affected. To learn communication and boundary setting skills, check out the CRAFT intervention model, or speak with a licensed clinical psychologist for help.

TIP 3: Assessing a 28 to 90 day rehabilitation program

When it come to determining what rehab center and duration of treatment are suitable for a loved one, length of stay varies on a case-by-case basis. As illustrated in the infographic below, options do exist out there and they are quite a number equipped to handle a drug or alcohol addiction.

The difference between a 28 to a 90 day rehabilitation will depend on the severity of the case. A 28-day program will serve as a starting point for individuals with a drug or alcohol addiction. On the other hand, the 90-day program will provide a foundation on how to quit drug or alcohol. Research findings by NIDA report that those most addicted individuals have to spend a minimum of three months at a rehabilitation facility to help them stop taking harmful substances.

NOTE ALSO: If your loved one has been recently treated or discharged from a clinic or hospital, be sure that information about getting additional help is provided upon discharge. It cannot be emphasized enough that people who experience a severe cycle of substance abuse tend to want to isolate themselves. This is where/when it is essential to be pro-active and very vigilant to prevent a family member from relapsing. Look for these triggers of drug addiction relapse to be on the ball.

TIP 4: Proximity or the location of the rehabilitation program

It is only natural you want to have the rehab center as close as possible to you and that the immediate surroundings is suited for your loved one. Why? The answer is you know better than anyone if your relative will thrive, so choosing a location that is far away by not be the best factor.

Where a recovery facility is located is often central to your decision for enrollment. Whether it is across the country or several hours away, you’ll need to consider the isolation and distance of being too far away. This may or may not have an effect, but since you want the best treatment for your loved one, remain flexible.

TIP 5: Planning and asking questions about the rehab facility

As the parent or legal guardian you have a bit of planning to do prior to registering a loved into a program. First of all, do not narrow your choices to one or two facilities. Try to have five to ten options to really get something that is within your budget and is covered by your insurance plan. Does insurance cover drug rehab treatments? Usually. But, if you rush this decision you may end up with a mediocre choice and not come away with a desired rehab treatment that is equipped with staff that is experienced in dealing with cases such as yours.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) carefully details the sort of questions you want to ask and jot down when profiling the centers you want to visit. They are as follows:

  • How well is the facility maintained?
  • What are the meals like?
  • Do they take care of many people with drug substance abuse?
  • Do they have a pathway, protocol or process of detoxification?
  • What is the success rate with recovery treatments?

These are some of the basic questions to lead your efforts in narrowing down a rehab center. You can also ask those closest to you or people in your social circles to get feedback if they have heard of this rehabilitation program. All of this more or less ensures you are moving in the right direction and helps create a pool of options for a well suited solution for a loved one.

EXTRA TIP: Research program accreditation

Once you have a list of programs or places conduct some basic searches using Google. Type in the name and look at five pages worth of search results to get a sense of what is the reputation of the facility. This will start to paint a picture and give you the snapshot on the legitimacy of the program’s effectiveness. It will give you information on people’s insights on how the program achieved or failed to meet the demands of patients suffering from substance abuse.

In addition, check beforehand if the center is accredited. Accrediting bodies include:

  1. CARF (the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) – an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits addiction and dual diagnosis programs. It is the largest accrediting body for addiction treatment programs.
  2. The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) – America’s largest accreditor of health care services and the second largest accreditor of addiction treatment programs.
  3. NAATP (the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers) – is a leading voice in addiction treatment services. NAATP provides leadership, training, support services and advocacy for clinical and administrative excellence among alcohol and drug addiction treatment providers.

What if rehabilitation is not the right choice?

Some people may not thrive in a traditional rehab setting. Most people with exceptions of have a support system. The can include any of the following:

  • People from your faith community or culture
  • Healthcare providers
  • Therapists or counselors
  • Family members
  • Close friends
  • Other recovering addicts


Finding a rehabilitation program is a detailed process and requires organization for parents or an authorized guardians. In the end, you want a program and a facility that can help support, manage, and treat your loved one’s substance abuse case within a reasonable time frame bearing in mind how severe the case is. Finally, if something sounds too good to be true, look for red or warning flags.

Questions about finding the best rehab for you

Did you find some of the answers you were looking for, or perhaps need more help to find the right rehab facility for you? We invite you to post your comments and questions in the section below. We try to provide a personal and prompt answer, or we will refer you to someone who can provide answers and treatment help.

About the Author: Barbaros Dinler has over 12 years of experience in the field of drug and addiction treatment. His vast experience has helped him to become a Clinical Director at Alpha Healing Center. He holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University and an undergraduate degree from University of Tennessee. He believes in the professionalism of counseling field with due respect to addicts who are seeking for help.
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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