Best Alcohol Treatment Programs: How to Choose the Best

Here’s unbiased help for finding the best alcohol treatment program.


          1. How to Choose
          2. Dishonest Programs
          3. Protect Yourself
          4. Is Rehab Needed?
          5. Advantages of Alternatives
          6. Resources

I. How to Choose the Best Alcohol Treatment Program

Selecting the best alcohol treatment program for you or a loved one is a major decision. But it’s not easy. Alcohol treatment programs are highly profitable. They bring in billions of dollars each year. It’s also a very, very competitive industry. Actually, it’s cut-throat. Because each bed filled brings in many thousands of dollars each month.

II. Dishonest Programs

To lure customers, many rehabs resort to misrepresentation. There’s little regulation and deception is common, if not usual. It’s a case of buyer beware. For instance, alcohol rehabs often claim high success rates. But these are based on virtually meaningless surveys of past clients. In that case, how many will honestly report that they have failed to maintain sobriety?

III. Protect Yourself

best alcohol treatment
Alcohol treatment programs can be confusing.

Choosing the best alcohol treatment program can seem overwhelming. That is because there are so many of them. But, at the very least, insist on an alcohol program that is all of these.

    1. Fully licensed by the state.
    2. Accredited by one of these.

Joint Commission.

Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC).

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP).

Most states require accreditation by the Joint Commission in order to be licensed. And without a license, they can’t receive Medicaid or Medicare payments.

3. Staffed by professionals. At least some should have M.D., Ph.D., or Psy.D. degrees.

4. Licensed to provide detox for those needing it. Even if you don’t need detox, this is another sign of quality.

5. Qualified to receive insurance reimbursement. Virtually all rehabs meet the minimum standards to accept health insurance. So failing to do so would be a major red flag.

6. Staffed by licensed and credentialed counselors. Every counselor on staff should have earned at least one of the following.

best alcohol treatmentCAC (Certified Addictions Counselor).

CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor).

LADC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor).

LCADC (Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor).

NAADAC  (National Certified Addiction Counselor). [In spite of the strike-through, this site site is fine and well.]

MAC (Master Alcohol Counselor).

ICADC (Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor).

CCDP (Certified Co-occurring Disorders Counselor).

LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor).

LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor).

LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor).

Accept nothing less than a fully qualified facility. For example, a person needing a hip replacement would be foolish to select an unaccredited hospital. Nor an unlicensed one. Nor one that’s not qualified to receive insurance payments, etc.

Similarly, it’s very unwise to select an unlicensed, unaccredited program that’s not staffed by qualified professionals.

IV. Is Rehab Really Needed?

Actually, few people actually need an alcohol rehab. Most can benefit from effective free alcohol programs. They include these.

HAMS (Harm reduction, Abstinence, And Moderation Support).

best alcohol recovery
LifeRing Recovery

LifeRing Recovery.

Moderation Management.

SMART Recovery (Self-Management And Recovery Training).

SOS (Secular Organizations for Sobriety).

Women for Sobriety.

V. The Best Alcohol Treatment May Be an Alternative One

These flexible programs provide many benefits. People avoid the very high expense and inconvenienc of a rehab. There’s often long travel. And they avoid disruption to their lives and anxiety about living among strangers.

But if you decide in favor of a rehab, be very cautious. Insist on these minimum standards of quality. It makes it easier to choose the best alcohol treatment program. You or your loved one deserves nothing less.

VI. Resources: Best Alcohol Treatment Programs

    1. Some rehab sales offices falsely present themselves as referral services.
    2. Real referral services often get “kick backs.” That’s for recommending some companies over others.
    3. Kick-backs between detox centers and rehabs for referrals are common.
    4. Neither this site nor your host gets any benefit from listing an alcohol program.
    5. Listing a program does not imply endorsement.
    6.  At this point you know much more about selecting the best alcohol treatment plan than most people. So kudos!