blue map of the U.S., alcohol abuse treatment locatorLocating an alcohol abuse treatment center is one of the most important steps toward recovery. More than 2.4 million Americans receive alcohol abuse treatment each year. There are factually tens of thousands of alcohol rehab programs out there. The trick is to find the right one the first time.

Scientific and medical research has found that for each failed attempt to withdraw from drug abuse and recover, it becomes harder and harder for an addict to quit and regain a drug free life. The first shot at recovery is the alcoholic’s best shot at recovery.

Get a Referral From a Friend or Family Member

One of the best places to start when seeking a rehab for yourself or a loved one is a friend or family member that you know has successfully recovered from addiction. You may need to ask around a bit but chances are you have someone in your immediate or extended family who has had a good experience and positive outcome with a rehab. That rehab might be your best choice.

Use the Internet to Research Alcohol Abuse Treatment Centers

Internet research can help you identify likely candidates.

Keep in mind that programs that are the best advertised are not necessarily the best. Unfortunately some of the best rehabs receive almost all of their clients through word of mouth and perform very little advertising, Internet or otherwise.

A couple good online directories for rehabs include and

A word of advice on Internet research. We recommend that you don’t constrain your search to a specific geographic zone. The reason for this is that it has been proven time and again that simply leaving the place of addiction and staying in an out of state treatment center can have a marked benefit in the addict’s chance of recovery. Just by being willing to use a rehab in another state can increase your chances. What is more you’ll have easily twenty times more options to choose from.

Use an Alcohol Abuse Treatment Referral Service

With the growing numbers of people coming to receive substance abuse treatment in the United States, many drug rehab referral services have come into being. Referral services act as a middle man between the rehabs and the and their potential clients. The best referral services are staffed by veteran drug counselors who are willing to listen to your individual circumstance, effectively educate you in the options that are available and in the drug rehab process as a whole, and help you find the best choice for your particular situation. Referral services are typically free to their clients and are able to provide their services by receiving referral fees from the drug rehabs that they refer to. Since practically all drug rehabs offer referral fees, drug and alcohol referral services are typically not biased towards a particular rehab program. Rather, in order to survive they need their clients to be happy with the rehab chosen. Because of this, referral services are always searching for rehabs with proven success to add to their list. That being said, if you find yourself on the phone with a rehab referral service counselor who sounds more like a salesman than someone who is trying to help you, or who is making outrageous claims (like guaranteeing lasting results or a money-back guarantee), you should probably look elsewhere.

That being said, if you choose to contact a professional rehab referral service, you may have a good chance at finding one of the better rehabs in the US.