Man confused about rehab, questions about addictionIf you or your loved one is in the uncomfortable and unfortunate (yet surprisingly common) circumstance of needing to be admitted to an alcohol treatment facility, your mind is more than likely full of doubt.

Very few people are educated in how to identify a good alcohol rehab. It’s not like buying a car or a boat or a house. You never expected to need to find a rehab, so it’s not something you are prepared for.

It’s important to know what to ask on the front end before signing up. Not only can knowing more help you winnow out rehabs that are not a correct match for your needs; knowing more can also make you feel more confident in your decision.

1. Can I talk to one of your graduates?

This should be an easy request to grant. Most rehabs have at least one graduate on premises who is volunteering, apprenticing or who may even be working there. If no graduate is on premises, there should be someone who you can talk to by phone. If not this is bad sign.

Once you do get an opportunity to speak with the graduate, ask him about his experience with the program. Ask not only about what changes he experienced but ask for his advice about what the program consisted of and what he liked most and least about it.

This kind of information straight from the horse’s mouth is priceless in helping you to determine whether or not this rehab is a good option.

2. What is your success rate?

While these numbers cannot all be reliable (some less-than-reputable rehab programs have been known to manipulate these statistics), a low success rate is a bad sign. In other words, if most graduates of the rehab are reverting to alcohol within six months, chances are that you won’t have a good experience with this rehab.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of rehabs have these sort of low statistics, and so will intentionally leave these numbers out of their promotion or fail to tabulate these numbers at all.

Likewise, a 100 or 99% success rate is a dead giveaway to a scam or at least to deceptive marketing on the part of the rehab. No rehab can have success with every single person it treats. The best rehabs in the world publish success rates between 70 and 80 %.

3. Does your facility have medical supervision?

Lack of on-site medical supervision is not a deal breaker, but medical supervision is a definite plus. A facility with an on-site doctor is often a safer environment for rehabilitation to take place. The doctor is able to identify any situation that requires urgent medical care before it becomes a true emergency, and can provide rudimentary medical assistance on-site.

4. What sort of nutritional program is provided?

Nutrition is a major factor in recovery. An alcoholic’s body is always nutritionally deprived. If he continues in a state of deprivation, he will experience strong cravings for alcohol. Nutritional supplementation can actually reduce withdrawal symptoms. If when you ask about nutrition you are greeted with a blank stare or a silence on the phone line, that’s a bad sign, too.

5. What sort of re-entry program do you provide?

A re-entry program is a must. Re-entry programs transition the rehab graduate back into everyday life. Rehabs that don’t provide help with re-entry and follow up with their graduates are not structured to provide lasting results.