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Are Cheap Rehabs Any Good?

Cheap Rehab

As a leading alcohol rehabilitation referral service, we often field calls from alcoholics who need treatment but cannot afford it. However, we also handle a number of calls from others who are looking for cheap rehab even though they have the financial resources to pay for services at a private clinic.

Cheap rehab options do have their place. Again, for the alcoholic who truly cannot afford private care and does not have access to a charitable grant or donations from family and friends, free rehab services offered by the NHS and others might be the only option. Nevertheless, it is self-defeating to specifically look for cheap rehab if you can afford to pay for the best care.

What is a cheap rehab?

The arena of cheap rehab includes several different options: free, mostly free, and inexpensive. Free services are those typically offered by the NHS and alcohol rehab charities. These services may include things like:

  • detox
  • group counselling
  • individual counselling
  • prescribed medications.

Options that would fall under the mostly free designation would include those that combine free services from the NHS or charities with paid services from a private company. Those paid services would typically include counselling and skills training.

Inexpensive rehab services are those offered through private service providers. They would include things like one-on-one counselling and limited outpatient programmes. Inexpensive services can be combined with free services to create a customised rehab programme.

Is cheap rehab really that different?

You probably noticed in the previous paragraphs that we did not include residential treatment options. That’s for good reason. Residential treatment in the UK is limited to private care providers operating independently of the NHS or charitable services. As such, they can be expensive.

Most people looking for cheap rehab are not looking for residential treatment programmes. Nevertheless, residential treatment still offers alcoholics and their families the greatest chances for long-term success. The residential treatment programme takes all the time necessary to ensure the recovering alcoholic deals with his or her physical, mental, and emotional addictions.

The residential treatment programme takes its name from the fact that the addict goes to live at a facility throughout the duration of his or her programme. Such programmes can range from six to 12 weeks, depending on the facility. The point of the residential philosophy is to separate the alcoholic from both his or her drink and the circumstances of their daily life.

Making your choice of cheap rehab

Free services are the best option for alcoholics with very limited financial means. However, please understand, the ‘you get what you pay for’ philosophy applies here. Cheap rehab is not capable of producing the best results because the resources simply are not there. Let’s look at an NHS programme as just one example.

An alcohol rehab programme from the NHS usually begins with a visit to your doctor followed by some one-on-one and group counselling. If your doctor deems it necessary, certain medications might be prescribed to encourage you to stop drinking.

In cases where counselling does not help the chronic alcoholic, a one-week detox programme may be in order. Detox will be followed by more counselling by way of an outpatient programme. And therein lies the problem: outpatient programmes allow the alcoholic to return home to his/her circumstances at the end of every day. Relapse is far too common as a result.

So why are free services so limited? Consider the following:

  • Resources – The NHS is tasked with handling every illness and injury that comes its way. The government agency is already stretched to its limits; it does not have the financial or manpower resources to devote to long-term alcohol rehabilitation.
  • Time – In addition to limited financial and manpower resources, the NHS and other organisations offering free services do not have the time to invest in the individual patient. Where a free programme might give the alcoholic 6 to 8 hours of attention per week, a residential programme works with the alcoholic 24 hours a day, every day, for 6 to 12 weeks.
  • Aftercare – Aftercare is part of a long-term treatment plan offered by the private clinic. It is usually not something free services tend to include. That means the recovering alcoholic must set up his/her own aftercare or go without it. Neither option is very desirable.

Low cost, cheap rehab can be successful

We want to be clear here in stating unequivocally that cheap rehab can be successful in some cases. There are people who go through a free, one-week detox programme with the NHS and find themselves completely liberated as a result. We applaud those who can succeed this way.

We also want to be careful to say that cheap rehab is better than nothing at all. In other words, even if an alcoholic cannot afford a long-term residential treatment programme, that doesn’t mean he or she should simply throw up their hands in defeat. They stand a much better chance at sobriety by using a free or cheap programme than they do by doing nothing at all. Doing nothing only guarantees continued defeat.

Our only concern comes by way of those who can afford private treatment but do not avail themselves of it. When you take the attitude of trying to get away as cheaply as possible, you might be adding fuel to the fire. In your reluctance to do whatever you need to do, including spending the money, you might undermine your treatment before you ever start. Why take that risk?

Finding cheap treatment

Whether you decide to avail yourself of free, cheap or private rehab, you need a way to decide what programme is right for you. That’s where organisations like ours come in. We are a referral service whose main task is to help you or your loved one find the appropriate treatment. We do so by researching all of the available options and keeping track of who offers what.

You could research the treatment options on your own, but that could take weeks or months. We make it easy by doing all of the work for you. When you call us, we can start talking options almost immediately. We just need some basic information to get started.

If you are ready to get help immediately, we can also assist you in making the appropriate arrangements. We will walk you through financial questions, options for programme locations, and so on. We want you or your loved one to be ready to go by the time we hang up the phone.

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