By Naomi Carr

Last updated: 15 March 2024 & medically reviewed by Morgan Blair

Seeking professional support to overcome addiction can be a daunting and challenging process. Some people may require treatment provided by a rehab center to help in their recovery. There are many different types of rehab centers, each offering a variety of programs, so knowing how to find the right rehab center for you can be crucial to your recovery process.

How To Find a Rehab Center

Table of contents:

Why is it important to find the right rehab for you?

Substance use disorders (SUDs) and other addictions can present differently from person to person, with varying symptoms, underlying causes, and physical or psychological impacts. Because of this, each person will require a different treatment approach and specialized care. [1]

It is important to find a rehab center that can tailor treatment to meet the needs of each person. A good rehab center will provide care that manages each contributing factor of a person’s addiction. Receiving the right care can be crucial in treating SUDs, continuing the recovery process, and preventing relapse. [2]

Steps for finding the right rehab

There are many things to consider when searching for the right rehab center and treatment program. It can be helpful to know your own needs and goals when researching available options. 

The following list can be a useful tool in beginning and planning for this process. Some of these tips may not apply to your situation and there may be other necessary steps that are not included here, but this can be a helpful place to start.

This includes:

  • Making sure that you are ready to receive treatment

  • Getting advice from a professional (such as your doctor or a healthcare provider)

  • Understanding, being evaluated for, and deciding upon the level of care required

  • Being clear about your expectations

  • Understanding the rehab center’s mission and its philosophies of care

  • Knowing the available treatment options

  • Knowing what you can afford or what is covered by insurance

  • How to ask the right questions to be certain about your decision

Make sure you are ready to get treatment

Motivation plays a huge role in the recovery process of addiction treatment. Individuals who are not ready to begin treatment will not feel willing or motivated to engage in and continue treatment interventions and are more likely to drop out of treatment or experience a relapse shortly after. [3]

Being ready and motivated to receive treatment can help with changing attitudes and behaviors towards substance use, developing strategies to manage challenges that arise throughout the process, and making long-lasting lifestyle changes that promote abstinence and prevent relapse. [3][4]

Speak with a healthcare professional

Before arranging a treatment plan, it can be beneficial to speak with a healthcare professional who can provide advice on what may be the most appropriate treatment for you. Some people might benefit from specialist therapy or coaching sessions and may not require rehab services. [1]

A professional can explain the different levels of care and what each would entail, referring you to treatments that would be suitable for your individual needs. They can also provide advice about where to find specialist services that are tailored to certain needs, such as age-specific, gender-specific, and substance-specific services. [2]

Decide the level of care you need

Various levels of care can be provided by a rehab center and it may not always be necessary for an individual to utilize residential care to manage their condition. For most, the level of care required will be outlined by a healthcare professional once someone has decided to get medical help for an SUD. 

Inpatient services provide residential care, often with round-the-clock monitoring and treatment, including medicinal and therapeutic interventions. Outpatient services might involve attending a rehab center for several hours each day to receive these interventions, but returning home, or to a ‘sober house’, rather than residing in the facility. [2][5]

Detox centers also can provide residential care and will involve monitoring and treatment of withdrawal symptoms. This treatment can also lead to further rehabilitation services as detox comes to an end. [2][4]

Manage your expectations vs results

Many rehab centers offer luxury and 5-star accommodation, which may look appealing. However, some are more interested in superficial niceties over providing dedicated addiction treatment. It is advisable to look at several rehab centers before making a decision, as you might find that the places with the best recovery rates, evidence-based treatment plans, and competent staff are not the most expensive or grand places.

Be clear before deciding on the facility what your expectations and goals are in this process and how you will achieve them, rather than looking at the superficial selling points of the facilities.

Be conscious of what a center is asking you

As mentioned, some rehab centers will be more interested in making money from their patients than in providing effective, evidence-based treatments. Some of these places hire people to recruit patients for financial gain, known as ‘patient brokering’. [6]

Be wary if someone is telling you a lot about what services and luxuries are on offer rather than asking you about your addiction, mental and physical health, and treatment needs. 

Look at what aftercare they offer

The recovery process is often very long and requires ongoing treatment after leaving a rehab center. Good treatment programs will offer ongoing support following rehab treatment, such as phone calls, coaching or therapy services, useful apps, support groups, or information about other helpful resources. This can help prevent relapse and improve recovery. [2][4]

Research your financing options

If you have an HMO insurance plan, be sure to look for rehab centers that are in-network with your provider. With a PPO plan, more options may be available.

Often, providers will have a list or search tool to help you find centers in your area that are in-network and which specific programs and treatments will be included. Alternatively, contact your provider directly for information about what is covered within your plan and how much you can expect to pay out-of-pocket. [7]

Those without insurance can research government-funded, nonprofit, and low-cost services. Many of these centers will be free or will cover large portions of the treatment program. It is unlikely that they will be as luxurious or will have new equipment and resources, but they will be able to provide effective, competent, and evidence-based treatment programs for detox and SUDs. [8]

What you should ask when vetting rehab centers

Once you have a list of rehab centers that you feel would be suitable for you, it can be a good idea to get in touch with them to ask specific questions. This can include:

  • Ask if they are licensed and accredited: Several agencies and organizations assess rehab and healthcare providers to ensure safety and quality of care, including NAATP, The Joint Commission, and CARF. Ask if the facility you are vetting is accredited with any of these organizations. Also, ensure that the staff working within the facility are licensed professionals. [7][9][10][11]

  • Ask if they offer evidence-based treatments: Evidence-based treatments for SUDs include various medications and therapeutic interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and group or family therapies. Ask about the services they provide and ensure they are evidence-based interventions. [4]

  • Ask if they have psychological support: SUD treatment should involve a variety of treatments, including interventions to treat mental health issues or underlying conditions. Ask if there are licensed mental health professionals within the facility to provide these services. [1]

  • Ask about the multi-disciplinary team (MDT): Similarly, the staff at the facility should include a range of professionals who can monitor and treat all aspects of the individual. [2]

  • Ask about their success rates: Rehab centers should be able to provide statistics on their past patients’ recovery and success rates to show you how well their treatments have worked previously. [7]

  • Ask about insurance: It can be a good idea to check directly with the facility if they are in-network with your insurance provider and ask for any additional information that might be useful for planning your treatment and payments. [8]

  • Ask about additional services: Check if the facility offers other services that you might require or be interested in, such as alternative therapies including mindfulness or creative therapies, family support, aftercare, and medication-assisted therapy. [4]