When a person struggles with drinking or drug abuse there are many routes to take in order to find recovery. Typically a person will try to exhaust the least restrictive environments first, such as attending a 12-Step program, seeking therapy or trying to quit on their own. However it is often the case that a more restrictive environment is needed and that’s when you may decide to choose an inpatient program like rehab. There are many things to consider in choosing a treatment program, and here are 6 tips to get you started.

1. Find a location that specializes in the chemical or chemicals you use. Do you drink, do drugs, or do both? Typically treatment centers are geared for both but you want to be certain when making your selection.

2. Consider your age and gender and be certain that the location is suited for both. A great deal of treatment occurs as clients interact with the each other during group sessions. Ideally, you want to fit well into the environment in order to get maximum benefit.

3. Ask questions about the treatment philosophy. Some placements are strictly 12-Step whereas others are more diverse in their approach.

4. Do you have additional mental health issues that are contributing to your current need for treatment? Examples may be anxiety, depression or an eating disorder. If this is the case, then you want to pick a dual diagnosis location where staff is trained to deal with these co-occurring problems.

5. The location of the facility is something to be considered. If family therapy is essential then you may want to pick a site that is close enough that the needed family members can get there with reasonable efforts. Conversely, if you are at risk of slipping out with a friend, then maybe picking a site that is further away may be more beneficial so that you are removed from your temptations.

6. Does the placement offer step-down services? After completing the initial treatment, clients often need additional services but with less restrictions then those of a rehab setting. Does the site you are considering offer outpatient services or a transitional living? Do they have a referral program for ongoing therapy or can you continue to work with your existing therapist even after discharge? Are aftercare services offered following discharge?

In addition to the considerations just discussed, you always want to check if your insurance covers the program you have found and want to check the reputation of the facility. Ultimately, you want to make sure you pick a placement that meets your needs and fits you best in order to increases the likelihood of effective treatment.

Author's Bio: 


Dr. Shannon Hanrahan is dually licensed as a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist. She is an expert in areas ranging from addiction and substance abuse to eating disorders and trauma. Dr. Shannon has been treating and counseling clients in Southern California for 15 years. She started her career working with severely emotionally disturbed youth and after gaining valuable experience and knowledge, she moved onto educating and supervising upcoming therapists.

Quote from Dr. Shannon: “I help people who feel they are stuck and therefore unable to reach their full potential in various areas of their life. I work with clients to address the issues that have them stuck while offering support and education about the behavior patterns they are engaging in that are no longer effective. I encourage clients to find the balance they need to live an authentic lifestyle.”