Considering self-funded drug or alcohol rehabilitation?

It’s not easy to choose to seek help for drug or alcohol dependency and the problems that substance misuse can cause. Very few addicts will recognise a problem and seek help before reaching a crisis point, at which time they then need help very quickly. Self-funded rehab may be the best option, because unfortunately, due to the well-publicised cuts to Social Services and the National Health Service, there may be insufficient capacity or long waiting times within your area.

With NHS treatment, the vast majority of people are referred to a local medical facility for initial detox and then transferred onto a community drug and alcohol team. Unfortunately, with current waiting lists, you will potentially wait for a long time for the initial treatment. Furthermore, detox without structured follow-up treatment can lead to problems with relapse, which is shattering to a recovering addict.

Self-funded rehabilitation

Many people and their families now consider self-funded rehabilitation in order to access treatment more quickly. There is also the concept that paying for rehab through your own funds, medical insurance or by taking out finance makes you less likely to relapse because you know the personal and financial cost implications.

Fees can vary enormously depending on your needs. Some people may wish to rehabilitate in a five-star resort with multiple facilities and activities, but the important thing to remember is that this is a place in which to recover from addiction, understand what triggered it and how to cope without the substances that you have been dependent upon. Additional amenities add to the cost of treatment with little proof that they increase the chance of successful treatment.

Why choose private residential treatment?

The benefits of private residential rehabilitation are:

  • Speed of admission, sometimes within 24hrs
  • All treatment usually in one location, providing stability of care and daily routines
  • A safe environment, away from temptations or triggers
  • Anonymity and confidentiality in a location away from home
  • Usually a residential programme, allowing you to concentrate fully on your recovery
  • Continuity of therapy staff and care throughout treatment
  • A positive environment with understanding therapists and fellow residents
  • Ongoing aftercare treatment with the same therapy staff.

Private rehabilitation – cost vs value

The cost of private rehab treatment may seem prohibitive, but it is proven to provide better long-term results and much lower chance of relapse. Choosing a private rehabilitation centre means that you choose the treatment that best suits you, something that is not always available through the NHS. A private rehabilitation facility will provide a tailored care plan that addresses your needs and goals. Placements here at Hebron Trust last between 3 and 6 months depending on your needs and funding constraints. A 3 month programme suits women with less complex issues and who have the opportunity for continued aftercare at home. For women with more complex issues, a further 3 months helps to tackle to the detailed issues behind dependency. During this stage, clients can also take part in voluntary work placements to build additional skills and prepare for abstinence-based living.

Private rehabilitation clinics also put a great emphasis on family and social dynamics. You will be encouraged to participate in group counselling and therapeutic activities with fellow clients. These activities can help build confidence and self-esteem, promote healthy relationships and encourage a desire to live a healthier life back at home. The additional aftercare that private rehabilitation provides can often be a critical factor in preventing relapse.

It is therefore quite easy to see that private addiction treatment can be a real necessity and not a luxury, as unfortunately the NHS cannot currently provide a similar level of treatment.

12 Step Rehabilitation Programmes

The 12 step programme is now seen as essential to effective addiction treatment. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has over 2 million members and its programme has become the prototype for other similar groups including Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

A number of studies have found that the 12-step treatment produces a greater rate of total abstinence. At Hebron House, we include these principles within a holistic treatment plan and encourage clients to continue with relevant support groups in their home communities. The 12-step model is based on interaction within a group, rather than individual counselling or through medical intervention. The 12 steps help participants to build a bridge between past behaviours and an addiction free future.

Success Rates – Private vs NHS treatment

In 1995, the Department of Health published the National Treatment Outcome Research Study (NTORS), which studied 1075 patients who received addition treatment in the UK. Of these, 650 clients were followed up, over 1 and 5 years. The study found that:

47% of clients treated in residential rehabilitation facilities achieved abstinence after 5 years vs 35% of those treated in community based programmes
The 2006 Drug Outcome Research Study (DORIS) found:

  • 25% of those treated in residential rehabilitation services were abstinent vs 6% from community-based services
  • 30% of clients admitted to residential treatment were abstinent for 90 days at follow-up vs 3% who had required methadone maintenance
  • The study also showed that drug users contacting drug treatment services in Scotland want abstinence, however the majority will still receive methadone maintenance

Both of the above studies concluded that residential rehabilitation has a higher success rate and can help improve mental physical health, reduce offending, improve employability and enhance social functioning.

Finding a rehabilitation facility

If you are considering self-funding, we would encourage you to contact providers directly. Be aware of unethical rehabilitation referral agencies who may take a fee either from you or the rehabilitation centre itself (or both!) Some unethical agencies may also pressure the family members to directly fund rehabilitation places. It is therefore advisable to access a centre via your GP or community group, in order to find a reputable facility.