You got a DUI. Maybe it’s your first, maybe not, but you know you should not have been driving. Often, the simple act of being charged with a DUI is enough for someone to evaluate the choices they’ve made and realize they might need help stopping or moderating their drinking habits. Once you start looking for alcohol rehab programs, though, the search can quickly become overwhelming. Do you want Alcoholics Anonymous or an alternative alcohol rehab? Has a 12-Step program worked for anyone you know? How much will it cost? Does my insurance cover rehab; what about detox?
If you’re not careful, you can get stuck with a rehab that simply doesn’t work for you. You can burn through thousands of dollars in unanticipated costs regardless of insurance coverage, spend weeks doing styles of therapy that simply don’t work for you, styles that leave you wondering how they ever worked for anybody. All that, and you can come out worse than ever. Here are some tips on making sure your last DUI was truly your last DUI by choosing a rehab that works for you.
Is 12-Step for You?
This is the first question you need to ask, because it’s often the question that is glossed over before people start looking for a rehab. Because Alcoholics Anonymous has done such a great job of marketing, they’re often considered the only option for rehab by people who are not familiar with the industry. The first image many people have when they’re told they have to get help for their drinking problem is a group of people sitting in a circle in a poorly lit church basement, one after the other standing and saying “Hi, my name is ______ and I’m an alcoholic.” It’s almost a reflex.
Long term, Alcoholics Anonymous works for about 5 percent of people, but it can be a way to come to terms with the fact that you might need help.
Go to a meeting. You don’t have to participate. You can just listen. After listening to the rhetoric, ask yourself if you think it fits with your own personal philosophies and goals. If you think you can get past your bad habit, that you can actually leave alcohol behind, 12 step is not for you. If you feel that the best way to get past your past behaviors is to admit you don’t have any control over alcohol and that you need to be labeled an alcoholic forever, it might be the best fit.
Is There an Alternative to AA?
There are alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous, and these might be the answers for you if you find the 12-Step program does not seem in line with your personal ideas and philosophy. For example, many people find the idea that they have to give up control to “a higher power” to be off-putting, particularly if they are not religious in the first place. Or perhaps they do not believe that just because they drank excessively for a portion of their lives that they need to identify as alcoholics forever.
Whatever the reason, there are options out there other than programs teaching the 12 Steps, and it is well worth the time needed to research them before investing time, energy, and money into a program simply because it is the most well-known.
Does the Rehab Accept Insurance?
This can be a tricky, but it is a question worth asking to each and every rehab you contact. If the rehab you contact does accept insurance, that is not the end of the discussion. Ask what the average out-of-pocket cost is for people at the rehab. There is almost always an out-of-pocket cost because insurances only cover a certain amount of the stay. Detox coverage is another thing to ask your insurance company about. Finally, after getting information from the rehab, do your own research by calling your insurance provider. Now that you know how long you’d like to stay at the rehab, how much they tell you it’ll cost, etc, you can verify that with your own insurance and make an educated decision.
If they do not accept insurance, continue to gather information. Out-of-pocket cost at rehabs that do not accept insurance can often be less than places that do. Further, you will find that alternative rehabs may not accept insurance, but their reason for not doing so may be more in line with your thinking than rehabs that do. For instance, a rehab that does not believe alcoholism is a disease or that you need medical help to change your decision-making cannot accept insurance. Medical insurance simply isn’t interested in covering non-medical programs.