Rehab FAQs

Edmund Murphy
Hailey Shafir
Written by Edmund Murphy on 26 August 2021
Medically reviewed by Hailey Shafir on 31 July 2023

Rehab facilities specialize in addiction treatment. Each rehab is a little different in how it operates and what kinds of services and treatment it offers. Below are answers to some of the most common questions people have about rehab.

What are the different kinds of rehab?

There are many different kinds of rehab. Inpatient rehabs offer 24-hour services at facilities where patients stay overnight, while outpatient rehab centers provide treatment at set times during the daytime. Outpatient rehab usually includes group or individual counseling sessions several times per week, and may also offer medication, drug testing, and case management. 

Some inpatient rehabs also offer medical detox, which is an intensive treatment that can help people through the early stages of drug withdrawal with medication and close supervision from a medical provider. Some inpatient rehabs offer high-end accommodations and luxury amenities like spas, pools, equine therapy, or other on-site recreation, while others have more of a hospital-like feel.

What is inpatient rehab like?

The experience you will have in an inpatient rehab center can be very different depending on where you go. This is why it is important to research ahead of time, and even to consider making an appointment to tour the facility or meet some of the staff before committing to a rehab center. Rehab is an expensive service, so doing your homework ahead of time is important to help ensure it is worth your time and money. 

Most inpatient rehabs will have a structured daily schedule that includes times for meeting with a doctor, counselor, and scheduled group activities and counseling. Mealtimes, visitation with loved ones, and recreational time are often also planned in advance.

How long does rehab take?

Though everyone’s treatment needs will be different, most inpatient rehabs offer short-term stays that last between 30-90 days. Medical detox is an intensive and shorter treatment that might last a few days or up to a week and is aimed at helping the person get through the early symptoms of withdrawal. Outpatient rehabs often offer more long-term options for treatment and may have programs that last up to a year or in some instances, even longer.

How much does rehab cost?

The cost of addiction treatment varies greatly between rehab centers and the type of treatment needed. Some programs are free while others can cost thousands of dollars a week. According to some sources, a 30 day stay in inpatient rehab can cost between 6,000-20,000 US dollars, while outpatient rehab may cost 5,000-10,000 dollars for a 3-month program. In some cases, health insurance will cover some of the costs. People who are uninsured or self-paying may consider scholarships, financing, and payment plan options to help make treatment more affordable.

Will my insurance cover rehab?

Most private health plans do cover at least a portion of substance abuse treatment, and some cover it entirely. To learn your carrier’s benefit coverage for residential treatment, call them or visit their website to find out what’s covered. Many drug treatment centers can do this for you if you’re not sure what to ask. They can find out if they are in your provider network and how many days and what services are covered under your specific plan. If your insurance won't cover addiction treatment, there are state-funded rehabs that may offer a more cost-effective solution.

What kind of rehab is right for me?

For those who are trying to decide between inpatient or outpatient rehab, there are a number of factors to consider. Those with more severe addictions, a long history of addiction, several past relapses, or serious withdrawal symptoms often benefit more from inpatient rehab. Those with more mild addictions or those who have established their sobriety and need less support may be able to get their needs met in outpatient rehab. Costs are also a factor when selecting a rehab, so it’s important to figure out how much treatment will cost and whether it will be covered by insurance.

Do I need rehab or can I detox alone?

It is strongly advised that detox should not be attempted alone or at home if you experience withdrawals from either alcohol or benzodiazepines. These substances have the potential to cause seizures (benzodiazepine withdrawal) or delirium tremens (alcohol withdrawal), and can even be fatal.

If you experience signs of withdrawal when you miss a dose or stop using one of these substances, it is important to seek help at an inpatient medical detox center. There are many inpatient and outpatient treatment options for detox and by opting for a detox treatment program you will greatly reduce the risk of complications during withdrawal.

What should I bring or not bring to inpatient rehab?

If you are entering inpatient rehab, there will probably be some items that you are not allowed to bring with you. Some of the common items that aren’t allowed include any outside drugs or medications, sharp items, certain hygiene products, and cell phones or other mobile devices.  

Each rehab center has its own set of rules and policies about contraband items, so check with the facility before you pack your things. There are also some items you may need to bring with you for admission, including a photo ID and a copy of your health insurance card, as well as clothing for several days. Read here to find out more about what information rehab centers need from you, and what they are legally allowed to do with it.

How do I get a loved one to go to rehab?

When someone with an addiction feels they are being judged or attacked, they may be defensive, angry, and resistant to treatment. While it’s good to share your concern for the person's well-being and health, it’s important to understand that they may not be ready or willing to get help. Most of the time, going to rehab needs to be a voluntary choice (unless court-ordered) so you cannot force a loved one into rehab. If you feel you need to stage an intervention for someone, our guidelines can help you take the right steps or read here for more on helping a loved one with addiction.

What are the warning signs of addiction?

While it may not always be possible to spot addiction, there are some red flags to be mindful of if you suspect someone is abusing a substance, including:

  • Unexplained changes in emotions, mood swings
  • A person being secretive about parts of their personal life

  • Trouble upholding commitments or responsibilities
  • Issues at home, work, or in education
  • Asking to borrow money a lot or unexplained financial issues
  • Changes in sleep, eating, or daily schedule and routine
  • Lapses in concentration or memory
  • Lack of motivation and drive
  • Weight loss or changes in physical appearance
  • Instability in a person’s life, relationships, or work

Final thoughts on rehab

Many people are able to overcome an addiction by seeking treatment in an inpatient or outpatient rehab facility. These treatment centers often specialize in treating addictive disorders and provide wrap-around support that may include medication, individual therapy, group therapy, and informational groups about addiction and coping skills. 

The best way to choose a rehab center is to consult with a licensed mental health, addiction, or medical provider who can help you assess your treatment needs and review options with you. After this, it is important to research different rehab facilities that provide the services you need (i.e. medical detox, medication, or outpatient treatment) online and also consider an in-person visit or tour. 

By carefully selecting a rehab center, you will be more likely to get the help you are looking for in a place that feels safe and comfortable to you. Because most rehab centers offer short-term care, it may be important to arrange aftercare to help you transition out of rehab. For instance, many people discharged from inpatient rehab go into outpatient rehab to continue their treatment, which improves their chances of achieving remission.

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  1. American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2015). The ASAM National Practice Guideline For the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use. 
  2. Galanter, M., Keller, D. S., Dermatis, H., & Egelko, S. (2000). The impact of managed care on substance abuse treatment: a report of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Journal of addictive diseases, 19(3), 13-34.

Activity History - Last updated: 31 July 2023, Published date:


Hailey Shafir


Hailey Shafir is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist, and Certified Clinical Supervisor with extensive experience in counseling people with mental health and addictive disorders.

Activity History - Medically Reviewed on 06 June 2021 and last checked on 31 July 2023

Medically reviewed by
Hailey Shafir


Hailey Shafir


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