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Choosing a Private Rehab Center

Seeking treatment for a drug or alcohol problem is a personal matter. Privacy is conducive to keeping you focused on the process of recovery with as few distractions as possible, but can also help protect your family and potentially decrease the chance you’ll encounter problems returning to your job. Choosing a private rehab center is a great way to obtain the treatment you need without having to worry about the complications that can arise from a publicly held or state-operated facility.

Benefits of Choosing a Private Rehab

doctor pointing to waitlistA private rehab, in many cases, costs more than a public facility. Because a private rehab might be more exclusive, it may have more space available with a much shorter waiting list. Studies have shown that people who are forced to remain on waiting lists have a lower likelihood of ever entering a treatment facility for their addiction.1 There are a few reasons for this, including a “take it or leave it” attitude when it comes to seeking treatment and continued drug use while on the waiting list. In fact, most drug addicts will not stay on a waiting list for more than a month, and as many as 40% of those seeking recovery will give up after only two weeks.1

Finding a private rehab center can cut down your waiting time and expedite the help you need before you change your mind.

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Another benefit to private rehab centers is the atmosphere you can expect from a costlier organization. Not only will the facility be able to pay higher wages and salaries for its staff and medical professionals, it can generally afford to offer extras such as private rooms and nicer amenities.

Private rehab facilities are just that — private. They can offer their residents the benefits of seclusion, anonymity, and focused treatment services, while providing the proven methods of addiction treatment with a qualified staff of professionals. If you have a sensitive job, perhaps a government position or a high-level executive, privacy can make the difference between having a job when you leave the treatment center and being forced to find another. In some instances, privacy may mean keeping the residents safe from the prying eyes of the media.

The benefits to this type of environment often include:

  • More one-on-one attention from the staff and counselors.
  • More private time to deal with your own healing.
  • More education concerning holistic attributes of healing, such as diet and exercise.
  • More extensive follow-up care after you leave the treatment center.

Follow-up care is critically important to the overall success of any treatment program. Because addiction is a chronic disease for which there is no cure, the recovering addict may experience episodes of relapse.2 Relapse does not mean that the treatment program has failed; it only means that the treatment needs to be adjusted.

Perhaps another short visit to the recovery center can give the recovering addict the treatment he or she needs. It may mean adjusting medications or increasing outpatient therapy efforts. When you choose a private recovery center rather than a public health provider, you may find that you have better access to these kinds of aftercare.

Who Should Consider Using a Private Rehab Center?

Private drug rehab centers often cater to the needs of certain individuals. The treatment they provide is based upon the same principles of proven effective treatment as other facilities, but they provide for the specific needs of certain individuals.

  • Executives and High-Ranking Officials. Executives who have responsibilities to many others, such as their employees, may not be in a position to walk away from their positions, even for a short while. Some private rehab facilities will provide a means for executives to continue doing their jobs while staying at the facility in the evenings, or telecommuting to accomplish the tasks they cannot avoid. Privacy is of utmost importance for CEOs and CFOs. If their drug issues were made public, the company could suffer by a decrease in stock or other issues, such as clients pulling their accounts to take their business elsewhere. This ramification affects not only the individual suffering from addiction, but also the employees and families that count on the company’s success every day.
  • Doctors and Other Medical Professionals. Doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals suffer from drug addiction rates that are very similar to the general population.3 While some might think they have an increased understanding of the dangers of drug abuse that will keep them from engaging in the use or abuse of illicit or prescription drugs, medical professionals also have easier access to the drugs themselves in many situations. As it turns out, those individuals who work in the psychiatric field have an even higher rate of addiction than their counterparts.3 These individuals are well-suited to seeking treatment in a facility that offers privacy and discretion. Addiction is not something of which anyone should be ashamed. It is a treatable medical condition like any other; however, some individuals may lack confidence in a healthcare provider who suffers from addiction. Trust is an important component when visiting a doctor or other healthcare worker, and that trust is often diminished with drug use. However, when it comes to doctors and medical professionals who seek recovery treatment, overall success rates are higher than the general population. They simply need a facility for treatment that will protect their privacy and their ability to continue helping others in the future.
  • Public Figures and CelebritiesFrequently, celebrities see their struggles with addiction and relapse played out very publicly — they are often hounded with news reports, paparazzi images, and innuendo. Yet celebrities are no different than anyone else in their susceptibility to relapse. And they are not the only people who have to worry about the news media or others trying to catch them at what the general public might perceive as failure. Public figures, such as politicians running for elected seats or established public servants already in office, are also highly concerned with their privacy. The decision to go public with an addiction is a personal one; no individual should be made to feel inadequate or less than honorable for not disclosing specifics about their medical condition. A sitting mayor or representative may need to seek treatment at a very private facility for the sole purpose of protecting his or her ability to serve the public.

The Disadvantages of a Private Rehab Center

stethoscope on top of moneyYou might think that with all of the advantages of private rehabs, they would be the perfect answer for just about anyone. However, there are a few disadvantages to choosing a private rehab center.

The first and most obvious concern is the higher cost of private rehab centers. Prices may vary depending upon the level of luxury, however, they typically cost more than other public facilities. In conjunction with the overall cost of the services, private rehab centers may not provide insurance billing or accept insurance payments for the services they render. For instance, an insurance company may pay only 50% of the usual, reasonable, and customary charges for an overnight stay in any hospital or treatment center. That percentage will vary, of course, depending upon your insurance plan. If insurance covers 50% of the approved cost of an overnight stay, you will be responsible for all of the charges that exceed that amount. If the private facility charges thousands of dollars per week for your stay, you may find that you are responsible for most of the cost out of your own pocket. Of course, this is only an example — your insurance policy and coverage may differ.

Location is a key factor in both the advantages and disadvantages of a private rehab center. In order to maintain the privacy they provide for their select clientele, they must be located out of the mainstream in secluded and off-the-beaten-path locations. While this is attractive, it can also make getting the facility for outpatient services a huge disadvantage. Depending on where the facility is located, transportation to the center for an inpatient stay can add a considerable amount to the cost as well.

Finally, you must consider the atmosphere you are entering. If you have figured out a way to pay for the very best care but you are uncomfortable spending time with individuals who come from entirely different backgrounds, you may find obstacles to your recovery. Building a relationship with other residents and working through addictions in group settings is important to recovery. Studies have shown that group therapy:4

  • Provides peer support by encouraging all members of the group to police peers’ responsibilities to the group dynamic.
  • Reduces isolation by encouraging recovering addicts to identify with their fellow participants who struggle with the same addiction issues.
  • Teaches members alternate means of dealing with their addiction through example and life skills sharing.
  • Provides feedback on successes and relapses that can promote increased self-worth and confidence for new and established group members.

When you choose a private facility, you must take into consideration the level of commonality you have with others in the same situation. Finding a group dynamic with which you have more in common logistically, psychologically, and emotionally will be of greater benefit to you.

What Makes a Treatment Effective?

man in psychological therapy sessionWhen considering treatment options, it is useful to keep in mind that treatment is not one-size-fits-all: No single treatment is going to be effective for every person. Depending on a number of factors, the treatment plan and the outcome will vary by individual. If one treatment does not work for you, that doesn’t mean that you have failed. People may try various treatment approaches before they find one that works best for them.

Some of the factors that influence treatment include:

  1. Severity of addiction (= longer length of treatment):

Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may be guided into a treatment program that is longer than you expected. The severity of your addiction will be assessed by an addiction treatment professional prior to beginning your treatment plan.

  1. Substance addiction and mental illness (= dual diagnosis):

Addiction often co-occurs with mental illness, which is referred to as a dual diagnosis. Unfortunately, most mental illnesses go undiagnosed and untreated. If you suspect that you have a mental health disorder or a history of mental illness in your family, you can take advantage of treatment to help address these issues while also treating your addiction. Many people become addicted to substances because of underlying mental health disorders, so treating both diagnoses simultaneously during treatment has been shown to be extremely effective when compared to treating the disorders separately. A thorough mental health evaluation can help you avoid leaving a mental health disorder untreated.

  1. Family issues (= addiction could be a coping mechanism for family dysfunctions):

Treatment may be an opportunity for the addicted individual to establish healthy family relationships. Although you have the choice not to allow contact with your family while in treatment, addressing social issues like family relationships will likely remain a goal of your treatment plan.

These factors are also important components in predicting treatment success:

  • The quality of the therapeutic alliance between the clients and treatment staff.
  • The degree of client engagement and activate participation in treatment. (Ask how much clients are willing to participate, and what the daily schedule is like.)
  • The ability for the treatment providers to create an individualized treatment plan and flexibly adapt this plan based on the client’s moment-to-moment needs or the evidenced-based outcomes of others.

More Factors to Consider When Choosing a Private Treatment Center

To help you refine your search for a private rehab center, you can create a checklist with some of the following factors:

  1. Recovery rates and statistics

Today, there are no standards in place to properly evaluate recovery centers’ success rates. To help make an assessment of whether a treatment center will adequately fit your needs, you might want to consider meeting with the therapist who will treat you. During your meeting, you can ask questions about your treatment plan. Additionally, you can ask the staff what former clients have said about their experience at the treatment facility. They may be able to provide you with reviews of the facility and data they have collected from patients.

  1. Aftercare

Treatment is just the beginning of your journey to long-term recovery. Finding a program that offers continued support, such as counseling and a 12-step program after you leave treatment, will be essential in helping to prevent relapse.

In addition, ask about whether the program is active in developing an aftercare plan while you are still in treatment. Planning ahead and practicing these skills is vital.

  1. Medical professionals

Check the credentials of the facility’s staff to ensure they are qualified professionals. If your therapist is a doctor, check to make sure he or she is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

If you are dealing with mental health issues in addition to your addiction, make sure to find a facility that has trained professionals who can provide care for both mental health and addiction.

Depending on your treatment plan, your doctor may prescribe medication to ease your withdrawal symptoms. Medications will vary depending on your treatment plan and the drug you are recovering from, so thoroughly vet the prescribing doctor on staff to ensure he or she has the necessary experience to treat your withdrawal.

  1. Services for dual diagnosis and psychological treatment

Studies show that most drug use addictions are accompanied by stress, trauma, or underlying mental illness.5 It is important that you ask about the facility’s programs that treat dual diagnoses for the reasons mentioned above (“factors that influence treatment”).

Each individual will respond to treatment for addiction in his or her own unique way. Before deciding on the best, most effective treatment program for you, be sure to visit all of the options you have available.

Call us for more information on private rehab programs — we can connect you with a program that may be a good fit for you. Don’t let another day pass without sobriety — call us at 1-888-744-0789 Who Answers?.


  1. Chun, J.S., Guydish, J.R., Silber, E., and Gleghorn, A. Drug Treatment Outcomes for Persons on Waiting Lists. (2008). The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 34(5), 526-533.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Treatment and Recovery: Can addiction be treated successfully?
  3. Baldisseri, M.R., (2007). Impaired healthcare professional. Critical Care Medicine. 35(2), 106-116.
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. (2005). Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA.
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2010). Why do drug use disorders often co-occur with other mental illnesses?

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