Choosing The Right Rehab

Choosing The Right Rehab

Authored by Pin Ng PhD

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Michael Por, MD

Choosing the Right Rehab

Knowing you need help ending substance misuse and getting that help are two very different things. It can be easy to identify that you need help to rid yourself of substance misuse and/or mental health problems. Actually, finding a recovery program and attending rehab can ultimately be the issue that keeps you from finding long term recovery.

There have never been more options for substance misuse and mental health treatments than there are today. You can find a variety of treatments, rehab centers, and therapies on a simple Google search. It can be completely overwhelming when you finally sit down and look for a recovery program or look into choosing the right rehab. You or your loved ones may wonder how you will ever find the right treatment provider. Finding the right provider doesn’t have to be difficult and following a few tips can get you the help needed.

Understand that help is needed

Unless you recognize your substance misuse or mental health problems, then it may be difficult to understand that help is needed. It is vital that you don’t wait too long to get the help needed or to help a loved one.

Get an evaluation from a professional

You can receive a professional evaluation from a psychiatrist or mental health provider before committing to a treatment program. After undergoing a clinical assessment, you can select your preferred treatment provider. Meeting with a mental health support advisor allows you to ask questions and learn about potential options. Remember though that some mental health providers do have a vested interest in their clients attending specific rehabs such as was the case with the late George Michael and Kusnacht Practice in Switzerland. Always make sure that your patient preferences are taken into consideration in any referral.1

Locating a treatment provider

The Internet is one of the best tools to find a treatment provider. However, you can be overwhelmed and bogged down narrowing the rehab center that best suits your needs. If you choose to search for a rehab rather than take suggestions following your assessment, there are a few things to consider.2


  • Does the residential rehab look safe, comfortable, and does it meet your needs in terms of the environment?
  • What therapies do they offer?
  • What amenities are provided?
  • How many residents will attend the rehab?


Visit the rehab

It isn’t always possible, but if you can visit the rehab center, it can help you ultimately decide on where to go. For some people, selecting and going to rehab is a quick process as they need immediate help. If you have the time, visiting a rehab prior to attending can keep you from selecting the wrong treatment provider.

Start ASAP

Once you choose a rehab, you need to choose a start date. Rehab isn’t a holiday, so starting as soon as possible is the ideal way to get help. After selecting your start date, communicate with the residential rehab center to find out what you need – or don’t need – to bring with you.

Go, remain, get better

The final step to choosing the right treatment provider is to go to the rehab. Once there, it is vital that you complete the program. You should remind yourself daily why you are attending rehab.

Choosing the right treatment provider can be daunting, but you can do it. There are tools available to get the help you need and to thrive free of substances and mental health problems.


References: Choosing the Right Rehab

  1. Charles C, Gafni A, Whelan T. Decision-making in the physician-patient encounter: revisiting the shared treatment decision-making model. Soc Sci Med 1999. ;49: 651-61. [PubMed] []
  2. Deber RB. Physicians in health care management: 8. The patient-physician partnership: decision making, problem solving and the desire to participate. Can Med Assoc J 1994. ;151: 423-7. [PubMed] []
  3. Lelie A. Decision-making in nephrology: shared decision making? Patient Educ Couns 2000. ;39: 81-9. [PubMed] []
  4. Bogardus ST, Holmboe E, Jekel JF. Perils, pitfalls and possibilities in talking about medical risk. JAMA 1999. ;281: 1037-41. [PubMed] []
  5. Montgomery AA, Fahey T. How do patients’ treatment preferences compare with those of clinicians? Qual Health Care 2001. ;10(suppl I): i39-43. [PubMed] []
  6. Katz JN. Patient preferences and health disparities. JAMA 2001. ;286: 1506-9. [PubMed] []
  7. Gross DA, Zyzanski SJ, Borawski EA, Cebul RD, Stange KC. “Patient Satisfaction with Time Spent with Their Physician.” Journal of Family Practice. 1998;47(2):133–7. [PubMed] []
  8. Kaiser Family Foundation/Agency for Health Care Policy and Research . Americans as Health Care Consumers: The Role of Quality Information. Rockville, MD and Menlo Park, CA: Kalser Family Foundation/Agency for Health Care Policy and Research; 1996. []
  9. McCormack LA, Garfinkel SA, Schnaier JA, Lee AJ, Sangl JA. “Consumer Information Development and Use.” Health Care Financing Review. 1996;18(1):15–30. [PubMed] []
  10. Saha S, Taggart SH, Komaromy M, Bindman AB. “Do Patients Choose Physicians of Their Own Race?” Health Affairs. 2000;19(4):76–83. [PubMed] []
  11. Walker AJ. “Results of the Medicare Beneficiary and Physician Focus Groups.” In: Lohr K, editor. Medicare: A Strategy for Quality Assurance. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1990. []
Choosing the Right Rehab
Article Name
Choosing the Right Rehab
Once you choose a rehab, you need to choose a start date. Rehab isn’t a holiday, so starting as soon as possible is the ideal way to get help. After selecting your start date, communicate with the residential rehab center to find out what you need – or don’t need – to bring with you.
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