The Best Alcohol Treatment Program: How to Choose It.

I. How to Choose the Best Alcohol Treatment Program


I.   How to Choose

II.  Dishonest Programs

III. Protect Yourself

IV.  Is Rehab Needed?

V.   Alternatives have                           Advantages

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. But it’s also a very, very competitive industry. Each bed filled brings in tens of 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.*

III. Protect Yourself

best alcohol treatment
Alcohol treatment programs can be confusing.

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

  • Fully licensed by the state.
  • Accredited by the Joint Commission. Perhaps by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Or the 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 payments.
  • Staffed by professionals. At least some should have M.D., Ph.D., or Psy.D. degrees.
  • Licensed to provide detox for those needing it. Even if you don’t need detox, this is another sign of quality.
  • 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.
  • 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).

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. Or an unlicensed one. 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 or very inexpensive alcohol treatment programs. They include these.

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

best alcohol recovery
LifeRing Recovery

LifeRing Recovery.

Moderation Management.

Rational Recovery.

SMART Recovery (Self-Management And Recovery Training).

SOS (Secular Organizations for Sobriety).

Women for Sobriety.

V. Alternatives have Advantages

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.

However, 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.


*Alcohol rehabs often claim high success rates. But these are based on virtually meaningless surveys of past clients. (How many will honestly report that they have failed to maintain sobriety?)

best alcohol treatmentSome sales offices falsely present themselves as referral services. And referral services get “kick backs” for recommending some companies over others. Another problem is kick-backs between detox centers and rehabs for referrals.


Disclaimer:  Neither this website nor your host receives any compensation of any form from listing any alcohol treatment program. Listing does not imply endorsement.