Ultimately, the goal of going to drug rehab is to build a new life. If you or someone you love is trapped by the chains of addiction, drug rehab can be the first step toward real freedom. You want an exceptional life. You want to experience joy, love, peace, tranquility. Until you take that first step to be free of drugs it’s impossible to feel those things. Drugs change how your brain works. Drugs change how you feel. Drugs limit your ability to truly connect in life.
Ultimately, the goal of drug rehab is to finally have a real life.
The task of finding the right drug rehab for you or a loved one can seem daunting. Some of the questions people struggle with are:
- Is outpatient rehab sufficient or should I go to a residential drug rehab?
- How many days do I need to stay in rehab for it to be effective?
- What types of therapy should the rehab offer?
- Should I stay close to home or go out of state?
- What if my insurance doesn’t cover the cost of rehab?
Fortunately, there are many types of drug rehabilitation programs so whatever your needs might be, there should be a program that is right for you.
Let’s look at some of these questions more closely.
Outpatient vs. Inpatient Drug Rehab
Outpatient treatment tends to best for people who have already stabilized to some degree. They have been detoxed from drugs, they have a stable home environment and a strong support system in place – which might be family, friends, and is involved in the 12-step community.
Outpatient is not good for anyone who is still struggling to stay off drugs and relapsing or anyone who does not have stable home life and support system.
Residential treatment is the best choice if you have struggled with relapse or have complex issues such as clinical depression, PTSD, OCD, bipolar disorder, or other psychiatric issues that must be addressed. It is also the best choice if your addiction involves multiple drugs and alcohol, or if you have developed addictions to prescription drugs that you have easy access to n the outside world.
Cost is obviously a factor here, as outpatient treatment may be not only more affordable, but more likely to be covered by health insurance benefits, particularly if you have never sought treatment before. Some policies require you try outpatient treatment first before they will cover residential treatment.
How Long Should Treatment Last?
This varies from person to person, but one thing has been shown to be true by studies: those who stay in treatment 90 days or longer tend to have the best outcomes.
For residential drug rehabs, the minimum stay is usually 28-31 days. Many residential programs will offer extensions at a lower cost, so many people choose to stay 45-60 days if they are making progress and believe it would benefit them.
The one thing that’s important to know is that 90 days of treatment do not all have to take place in a residential setting for you to benefit from the longer treatment period. You could do 30 days in a residential rehab, then move to outpatient treatment near your home for the following 60 days.
What Types of Therapy Should a Rehab Offer?
Group therapy is still the most effective form of therapy for drug rehabilitation. Studies bear this out. While it might feel uncomfortable at first, after a few days it becomes a safe haven where you interact with people who understand you in a way that likely very few people have understood you in the past. If you’ve been bombarded by family and friends who ask: Why can’t you just stop? You will be relieved to find out you are not alone in the struggle with addiction. Your family might not understand, but your peers in group therapy certainly will. For some, this is the first time in a very long time where they have felt understood and accepted.
Individual therapy is also a part of rehab, although it is not as critical as the group process. The individual therapy process allows you and the professional to identify any issues that might put you at risk of relapse and to develop a plan for when you leave rehab.
Neurofeedback, also known as EEG Biofeedback, has become a popular therapy in the top drug rehabs. It has been shown to ease anxiety and help the recovering person find their center and focus better. People who get regular neurofeedback sessions during the early part of recovery report feeling calmer and more focused; those with insomnia report that neurofeedback allows them to finally getting decent sleep.
You should also look for therapies you know help you. If you are addicted to pain medication and have fears about your pain, you may want to choose a rehab that offers acupuncture, which has been shown to significantly reduce pain in those with chronic pain issues. If you have suffered a significant trauma, you may want to choose a rehab that offers EMDR, a therapeutic process that has been shown to reduce PTSD symptoms.
Should I Stay Near Home or Go Out of State?
This is truly a personal choice, but don’t let distance remove a rehab from your list of possibilities. There are actually many benefits to going to rehab far away from home. If you are concerned you may decide to walk out the door in a few days, this will be a lot more challenging if you have to make airline reservations to fly home. For some, it just feels like more of a commitment to go to rehab out of state – and they are less likely to leave against medical advice. Going to rehab for less than the minimum 28 days has been shown to be as effective as not going to rehab at all. Therefore, it is critical you find the right place for you so that you will stay for at least those 28-30 days.
What If My Insurance Doesn’t Cover the Cost of Rehab?
It can be challenging to get health insurance policies that cover drug rehab treatment. Many insurance companies will require you try outpatient treatment first, then if you fail, they will consider residential benefits.
Insurance companies may also limit your choice of rehab.
Some people simply decide to pay privately for rehab so they can choose exactly what they need. However, costs can be prohibitive so this is not an option for everyone.
There are many nonprofit drug rehabs that offer sliding scale fees or even scholarships. If you have limited funds, you might have to restrict your search to nonprofit rehabs, then start calling to find out about any ability to get a scholarship or reduced-cost program.
There are very few free rehabs, other than some state-funded facilities that often have waitlists. If you can get some funding you will have better options for treatment. There are also some third-party companies that will finance treatment.