Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Rehab

by Balboa Horizons | December 8, 2017

10 Questions to ask before choosing a rehab

Rehab is a huge investment of time and money, with your wellness and livelihood on the line. Every rehab program is unique, just like its patients. It’s up to you to ask the hard questions to decide what program is right for you and/or your loved ones.

  1. Are you licensed and/or accredited?

This question is definitely one of the most important. Too many facilities operate without proper accreditation. Licensure and accreditation from a third party holds the facility and its practices to a high standard.

  1. Is this program short-term or long-term?

Most programs range between 30 and 90 days. Be wary of programs that are disturbingly short or long.

  1. How do you define success from your program? What is your success rate?

Different organizations will define success differently, so it is important to know that you are both working towards a common goal. Success can range from simple sobriety to a sober and engaging life. Your sobriety and success will depend on you, but if they have a poor track record of bringing people to success, they may not be the best program to work with.

  1. What is the cost for stay (day, month, etc)? Do you accept insurance?

Costs can range drastically and some insurance plans will only cover a certain number of days. Be ready to do some math and budget appropriately.

  1. What role does medication play in your treatment plan?

The role of medication in your treatment process can have an effect on your success. Whether its to safely wean you off your drug of choice or substitute treatment drugs (like methadone), you should know what to expect from a medical perspective. Drugs like methadone, Xanax, or valium can have their own addictive properties. If a program does employ them, be sure to have a complete understanding of when and how they use them and if they utilize them for long-term, extended treatment beyond your rehab stay.

  1. Are you a dual diagnosis treatment center?

Addiction is recognized as a mental illness, and it does not stand alone. People diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders are about twice as likely to suffer also from a drug use disorder ( The whole person must be addressed, this comorbidity cannot be ignored in treatment. Drug use can also have long-term physical effects on the body and brain that most also be treated appropriately. Dual diagnosis treatment centers focus on treating more than the primary addiction and treat mental and physical factors as well.

  1. What should I expect from the program?

A simple question, but important. Will there be individual and group therapy? Are there supplementary aspects of care – like exercise and nutritional health? Is this a twelve step program? What does a typical day look like? Questions like these will help you gain a better grasp on the program as a whole. Don’t forget to ask about the little things too, like whether or not you will have a roommate. Some people don’t mind, but for others, alone time is crucial for success.

  1. What amenities are included in care?

Some programs may solely focus on group and individual therapy and reconstruct old habits. Some programs may include aspects like animal therapy and continuing education. Some may have pools and family therapy, some may have some outpatient perks. All centers are different, if amenities are important to you, be sure to ask.

  1. What is your staff’s licensure or accreditation?

Nurses, group leaders, general staff members, you want to know that your program is ready to take care of you.

  1. What about after-care and life preparation?

Does this organization teach life skills beyond sobriety? What after-care/outpatient services do they provide? What do you do in the event of a relapse? The finish line may feel like a million miles away but what you do after rehab is just as important as what you do in it. Make sure you are set up for success.

The answers to these questions will all be different, and there’s not always a “right” or “wrong” answer. It’s about choosing which program is right for you. Prioritize factors and commit to recovery.