Is getting into rehab a difficult process?

It shouldn’t be. There is an assessment process, but it shouldn’t be difficult or drawn-out. Processes will vary depending on the area, but will look something like this:

  • First, your keyworker will do an initial assessment of your suitability for rehab and to establish whether you need a detox
  • Next, you will be assessed by local authority social services care manager or a local drugs service – this is a community care assessment to check if you meet the local authority’s eligibility criteria for residential treatment. If you want to find out more about the eligibility criteria, speak to your keyworker
  • The local authority and drug service will then agree funding for your rehab place
  • The rehab will also want to interview you and do their own assessment before you can start. This may involve a visit to the selected rehab so you can see it for yourself
  • If detox is required first, your keyworker will advise you on suitable options and timescales and your detox arrangements will be coordinated with your start date for rehab
  • Once the funding arrangements and start dates are in place and detox, if required, has been completed, your social worker will assist you with your travel arrangements to rehab.
Do I need to detox before I go to rehab?
All traditional rehabs operate an abstinence-based approach and residents are expected to have completed a detox prior to starting the residential treatment programme. Some rehabs offer an inpatient detoxification on site, while others do not. Rehab Online provides information on those rehabs that do provide detox, but does not provide details of detox-only facilities. Contact your local community drug/alcohol service or substance misuse social work team for further details on suitable detox options.
How do I know which is the right rehab for me?
You can search rehabs on Rehab Online and read about the services and programmes that they provide. You can also request an information pack from the service which may give you more information to help you decide. There are a range of different rehabs with different types and lengths of programmes, and you should be able to find one that suits your needs. You will need to discuss all this information with your keyworker and social worker who will help you to make a decision.
Who pays for my rehab?
Unless you are paying for yourself, the funding for rehab will usually come from the local authority social services team or your local drug action team (DAT). They will agree funding for your rehab programme for a fixed period of time. The length of your stay may be reviewed and extended if this is agreed by both yourself and your social worker to be necessary.
How long do I have to wait to get into rehab?
The average waiting time for residential rehab is less then 3 weeks. This is the time taken from when you are referred to when you start the residential programme. Getting into rehab takes slightly longer than community drug treatment because of the assessment process; you will usually have to visit the service before a place is confirmed, and the funding for your stay has to be agreed by the local authority social services team before you can go.
How can I prepare for rehab?
You should be prepared for going into rehab by your local community drug/alcohol treatment service. Some services provide a specific rehab preparation programme, but if yours doesn’t, your keyworker should help you prepare.
How long will the programme take?
Length of residential treatment programmes vary depending on the service, and you should check with them what the length of their programme is. Your length of stay may also be dependent on funding. Rehab programmes are often provided in ‘Stages’ with ‘Stage 1’ generally lasting 12 weeks. If ‘Stage 2’ is required, you will need to discuss funding with your social worker.
What can I expect when I start rehab?

What you can expect will depend on the programme of the rehab you are in. You will be allocated a keyworker at the rehab who will agree a clear ‘care plan’ with you, which you will review in 1-to-1 keywork sessions. The care plan will set out your goals for treatment and include information about the aftercare that will be available when you finish the programme. There should also be a discussion about what will happen if you leave in an unplanned way.
You will also be expected to participate in regular group-work sessions with other residents, a range of tasks around the house (domestic duties or gardening, for example) and to be able to access leisure facilities either on or off site. Most rehabs will provide ‘reintegration’ support around your housing, education, training and employment needs. This will be identified at the outset of your rehab treatment and should build on any goals that you identified at previous community drug/alcohol services. You should check out the level of ‘reintegration’ support that is provided with individual rehabs before selecting the one for you, as this is key to remaining drug-free after you leave rehab.
Rehab Online provides information on the type of programme and support provided by each rehab.

What happens if I don’t like it?
If you don’t like the service you should discuss this with your keyworker at the rehab and with your social worker. They may be able to help you work through why the rehab isn’t working for you and come up with solutions. If you still want to leave, your keyworker in the rehab should inform your social worker, arrange for you to travel back home and discuss support arrangements to help you stay safe before you are able to access alternative treatment. Remember that leaving rehab unplanned raises the likelihood of accidental overdose if you use drugs again as your tolerance will be lower than when you were regularly using. These issues should be discussed with you at the start of your rehab treatment and prior to leaving.
What happens if I use drugs when I’m in rehab?
Since rehabs are abstinence-based services, they will consider use of drugs (or alcohol) a serious breach of house and programme rules. If you are found to be using, you may be asked to leave so that you do not pose a risk to other residents. If this does happen, the rehab will have to inform your social worker, arrange for you to travel back home and discuss support arrangements to help you stay safe before you are able to access alternative treatment. Remember that leaving rehab unplanned can raise the chances of accidental overdose if you do use drugs again.
What happens when I finish my rehab?

Once you have been through any type of structured treatment, you will need help with staying drug-free in the community. The ‘reintegration’ support that you will need around housing, education, training and employment will have been discussed at various stages in your treatment and planning for this should have been made well in advance of you leaving rehab. This is also referred to as ‘Aftercare’. From the start of your rehab programme, and even earlier in your community-based treatment, your care plan(s) should clearly indicate the reintegration support that you will receive when you complete the last stage of your treatment. There are two main types of reintegration/aftercare support that you may need:

  • Drug-related support – this may include additional, less intensive, support from community services, help in preventing relapse, and peer support groups known as ‘mutual aid’ such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Non-drug-related support – this is the support that you will need to help improve your life and to remain drug free. Careful planning before leaving treatment will identify the best way to achieve this and may involve close liaison and joint work with the employment expertise in Jobcentre Plus. It may also require ongoing support from a community drug worker around your housing needs, or by the rehab staff if they provide an aftercare service.

It is important that these plans are put in place before completing treatment, otherwise you may be at risk of returning to old patterns of behaviour associated with your drug use.

Your treatment providers (residential and community) and your social worker should work together to ensure that you have the right kind of support in place for when you complete treatment as this will help you to maintain the freedom from dependency that you have achieved in rehab.

Rehab Online – How do I find the right rehab for me?
You can identify a suitable rehab by typing in project name, town, county or postcode in the Search box. Alternatively, click on Advanced Search to search using additional requirements. For further information, click on Search Help.
Rehab Online – Does Rehab Online list rehabs for alcohol treatment?
You can search using the Advanced Search function for rehabs providing treatment for alcohol use. The information pages for each individual project will indicate whether treatment for alcohol use is provided.
Rehab Online – How will I see if there are vacancies?
The information page for individual projects titled ‘Facilities / Vacancies’ will indicate the number of current vacancies. Service providers update the information for their projects, including the vacancies information. A timestamp is included on each project’s information page which gives an indication of how up-to-date the information is. You can contact the project directly via the directory details to confirm their current vacancies.
Rehab Online – Where do I find out information about what to do next to arrange a place?
The next step will be to contact your local authority substance misuse social work team, either directly or via your local community drug/alcohol service. Click on ‘What is Rehab’ for further information about ‘admissions and funding’.
Rehab Online – How can I find places where I can take my children with me?
Some rehabs are specifically set up to work with parents, children and families. Clicking on ‘Family Services Available’ will provide a list of projects where children can stay overnight or can be accepted as residents. It is important to have a discussion with your social worker about residential rehab options that accommodate children.
Rehab Online – How do I use the site to find a rehab that accepts drug users with mental health problems?
Most rehabs will accept clients with a range of complex needs and a dual diagnosis of mental health and substance misuse problems. Clients with a history of mental illness are likely to be assessed on an individual basis and Rehab Online includes further information about each project’s policy. This provides a useful starting point and further discussion with your social worker or community drug/alcohol service is recommended to identify a suitable rehab.
Rehab Online – Is there a hard copy version of this residential directory available?
No. The information is presented only as an online directory because this way it can be kept more up-to-date. There are regular changes to services – new ones open, some close down, services change their prices, etc – and it is easier to keep track of these via a web-based directory.

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