Apr 30

Five Questions to Ask Private Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Programs

Private Treatment for Drug and Alcohol in Canada (Vancouver) There are many questions to think about as you decide between private treatment programs for drug rehab, alcohol treatment, or other addictions. Price is important of course, but what you get for your money is the key. What kind of staff are on site, and what are their qualifications? Is there a refund policy? Remember to also ask about extra-curriculars, including family programs and aftercare. Let’s go over five questions to ask before deciding which treatment program is right for you.


What is the cost? Asking right away will allow you to gauge whether you can afford the program. Remember, there will often be additional costs like transportation to and from the facility if you live far away. What do you get for this price? Private drug, alcohol, and/or addiction treatment programs in Canada range from the thousands to tens of thousands for programs that can be a few weeks long to a few months. Ask the following questions to ensure you are going to get value for your money.


What is the staff to client ratio? Do you think it will be sufficient or not quite what you were anticipating? What are the credentials of the staff providing therapy? Some expensive private treatment programs only offer you low-level counseling certificate counselors, while others offer Masters or PhD level counselors. A Masters level or above counselor will be able to offer a variety of counseling techniques that a lesser trained counselor will not. An assumption many people have is that they will be having frequent counseling sessions. In fact, some private programs offer no one-on-one sessions unless specifically asked for and rely heavily on group work instead. Ask how many individual counseling sessions you are guaranteed.

Refund Policy

People get refunds all the time at stores so it is almost assumed that a private treatment program would be the same. In fact, it can be hard to find out a treatment program’s refund policy. Some vary on whether the client was discharged by the program or discharged themselves. Others may offer a partial refund by charging a per day rate for how many days the client was there, plus an admin fee. Do not go to a facility that has a zero refund policy or does not want to discuss it, red flag!


There are some great high-end private treatment programs that, along with medical and emotional support, offer extra-curriculars. These can include massage therapy, pool time, indoor and outdoor recreational activities, and sports. While not specifically part of treatment, many clients find these activities fun and a respite from the intensive therapies.

It’s worth asking about additional program features like a family program or aftercare. Loved ones of the client are often hugely impacted by the client’s substance use. A family program can help heal old wounds, as well as prevent relapse by ensuring the support team is on board. Making sure family members are accommodating of the client’s new needs and new life when they return home from treatment is critical for sustained change. Additionally, some private treatment programs offer aftercare in the form of alumni networks and/or online support. There should be a discharge plan where the client is given a list of local meetings and support for when they return home. Of course, remember to ask if these family programs and aftercare programs are included or an additional cost.


Those who have prescriptions need to ask if their medication is allowed on site. Most facilities are abstinence-based and many do not allow any kind of medication into the facility. If you are on any kind of heavy pain medication you will need to look at medically secure facilities that will lock up your medication when you are not using it, thereby still allowing you to bring it with you.


There are both outpatient and residential drug rehab and alcohol treatment programs throughout Canada. Some are in the big cities such as Toronto or Vancouver, Edmonton or Calgary. Others are in more remote, secluded places. As you research what type of drug rehab or alcohol program is for you, consider first whether you want an outpatient format or whether you want a residential one. Next, consider whether you want one in your city of residence (e.g., Toronto or Victoria), or whether you want to travel to another city. Finally, some are more rural and out-of-the-way, and others are more urban. The right choice is the one that is right for you.

Contact a Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Specialist

If you are weighing up private treatment programs right now, contact our specialist for further information. This website has a wealth of information on drug rehab and alcohol treatment programs in Canada from Victoria in the West to Ottawa in the East.

JMC: 2018.04.26

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