9. When Choosing a Rehab Program, Do your Own Homework

There are all kinds of rehab programs available. Short-term and long-term, inpatient and outpatient. Ones that employ substitute drugs and ones that utilize nutritional supplements, yoga, massage or exercise. Wilderness programs and boot camps. Ones that are close by and ones that are far away. Programs employing animals, music or theatre in therapy and ones that teach problem-solving skills in a classroom.

It will take a little education to sort out these different types of programs. When a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, every day could bring a new problem, arrest or health crisis. But a short time spent making sure that the rehab you choose is the best one for your situation may pay off with a much better result. This could mean that you avoid repeated trips to rehab.

How to do it wrong: A family finally gets the agreement of an addicted loved one to go to rehab. Because they have not looked at the different types of programs that are available, they choose one that is right around the corner. It’s a short-term program with no after-care plan. Because of the complex nature of addiction, their loved one does not have enough time or service to unravel all the addictive behavior he has learned from his years as an addict. And his drug-using friends stop by to see him in rehab, meaning that he never really gets away from the influences that helped keep him addicted. He only has 28 days of clean and sober time as a result of this program and goes back to abusing drugs as soon as he is discharged.

How to do it right: The family researches the different types of rehab, even asking a local librarian to help them find information since they are not very familiar with using the internet. They decide on a program that is hundreds of miles from home so that the person is not continually faced with the people and places associated with drug use. They choose a longer-term program after asking the center for phone numbers of parents of other people who have gone through that program. Encouraged by comments from these parents, they have confidence that this program will enable their loved one to discover why he was using drugs in the first place and recover from his addictive habits.

NEXT: 10. Once the Person Is in Rehab, Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

Sign up free to receive our email newsletter: