Choosing a Substance Abuse Treatment Facility

Many different factors must be taken into consideration when choosing a substance abuse treatment facility for yourself or for someone you love. There’s the cost and how it pertains to your budget, there’s the location, there’s the type of care provided, there’s the length of the program and there’s the quality of the treatment.

Before you ever choose a substance abuse treatment facility that’s right for you or for your loved one, you’ll want to sit down, make a list of priorities, do your research and consider all of the options that are available to assist you. This will ensure that you don’t go in blind and that you are well aware of what to expect when you enter the gateway to sobriety.


Cost and Budget – The first factors to consider when choosing a treatment program or facility that’s right for you is the cost and your own treatment budget. You may have insurance coverage (either through a private company or through a state or government funded company such as Medicaid or Medicare). If you have insurance coverage, you may want to look into what coverage is provided for drug or alcohol abuse treatment and then begin to research your options for treatment at a facility that will accept your insurance.

Choosing a Substance Abuse Treatment Facility

Otherwise, you’ll have to come to terms with your own budget and determine how much you can afford to spend on your substance abuse treatment. Once you’ve decided upon a price range that’s affordable to you, you can begin to research facilities that can provide substance abuse treatment for you within that range.

Location – Following a determination of cost and your own budget, you can begin to seek a substance abuse facility that is either close to home or far away. The location decision will likely depend on a variety of factors including whether or not you prefer to stay close to home, what type of treatment you choose (inpatient or outpatient) and the desire to stay close to friends or family members.

Some people find it better to take off and find treatment that’s far from the burdens that are close to home while others, especially those who choose to attend outpatient treatment, find that the convenience of being close to home simply cannot be given up. This is all up to your discretion.

If you choose outpatient treatment, you’ll want to choose a substance abuse facility that is conveniently located either close to your home or close to your place of work so that you can easily get to treatment and counseling sessions as needed.

Type of Care

Substance abuse treatment is tailored to the unique needs of patients from all walks of life which means that you will likely find many different types of care available as you research your options. The primary concern that you must pay close attention to is whether or not you will choose inpatient, outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment.

Inpatient treatment is ideal for addictions that are very physical, include difficult or potentially serious withdrawal symptoms or which have not been responsive to other forms of treatment. For all others, outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment can work.

Length of Program and Quality

The length of the program has a direct impact on the quality of the treatment provided most of the time. Studies show that drug or alcohol treatment programs must be at least 90 days in order to provide results and for some patients the length of time that it takes to get sober is even longer.

The quality of the treatment program will also be important to you when it comes to choosing a substance abuse treatment facility. Talk with the director of the facility about the number of readmissions and the perceived quality of treatment but keep in mind that addiction treatment is much like treatment for other diseases (about 50% of patients relapse).

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