When it comes to cultural experiences — vacations, sports, theater and schools — the word private is often associated with the word luxury. Private experiences like these are considered exclusive, and they are generally quite expensive. In addiction treatment, however, private rehabs receive that designation based on their funding setup, not a level of exclusivity or cost.
Public vs. Private
Addiction facilities can be designated as public or private, and the following are some definitions of each:
- Public Facilities – Public addiction facilities accept funding from the government. As a result, they accept all patients into their treatment programs. Because care is subsidized, public rehabs may cost less and allow patients with a lower ability to pay out of pocket to receive treatment. However, public rehabs also tend to be overcrowded for the same reasons. Overcrowding can also lead to long wait times to be able to get needed treatment.
- Private Facilities – Private rehabs do not receive governmental funding, so whereas they may have a higher out of pocket cost, they are able to better limit their number of patients offering more personalized care. Private treatment centers also have more freedom to turn away patients, so patients with more complicated cases — particularly if they are prone to violence — could have a harder time being admitted to a private rehab.
The Question of Affiliation
Studies consistently show that the time spent in treatment is directly correlated to the efficacy of treatment and a patient’s likelihood of staying clean and sober.1 Since staying in treatment is so vital, facilities work to try to keep patients satisfied with their treatment by making their stay more comfortable in the following ways:
- Décor choices
- Food options
- Amenities offered
- Communication styles
Private addiction facilities may vary dramatically in these areas as they look for a specific niche of people to serve. Addiction specialists refer to this phenomenon as “affiliation.” When people fighting addiction are surrounded by others whom they can relate to and feel comfortable around, they may more readily accept their own addiction and be more likely to stay in treatment as a result. This tailoring of approach may not be prevalent in public addiction programs, but it is common in private rehabs.
All addiction treatment facilities work hard to protect their clients’ confidentiality as is required by law.2 This may be especially important in addiction medicine as so many people with addiction struggle with shame and guilt. Confidentiality is particularly sensitive when people are choosing to seek treatment for addiction.
While all addicts may want privacy, some people in high-profile situations may have a harder time staying protected in public rehab. Although the facilities work just the same to protect patients and their information, they are often in more prominent locations with more relaxed rules on visitation and access. Private facilities, by contrast, may be in remote locations with heightened security for privacy and protection. For some people, this level of protection can be incredibly helpful. They’ll be able to work on their addictions without worrying about others trying to compromise their privacy.
Choosing the Right Setting
Choosing the right facility can be difficult with so many options available, but asking a few questions can help determine which programs might be beneficial for you. Good questions to ask include the following:
- How many residents does the facility have at one time?
- Are the rooms private or shared?
- How is patient privacy protected?
- Are visitors allowed?
- Is visitation private or communal?
- What makes this program better than other programs available?
- What amenities are offered?
- Are the treatments based on scientific principles?
- How much input does the patient have on the care provided?
- How much does treatment cost?
- How long do residents typically stay?
In addition, families should consider asking about the training of the therapists who will provide care. It may be helpful to know if some counselors have addiction histories of their own.
More Than Just Abstinence
All addiction programs have the goal of training patients to be able to resist the temptation to use. However, private rehabs have the freedom to take the treatment process deeper and farther. Through diverse therapies, cutting edge treatments, and truly personalized day-to-day therapeutic schedules, a private addiction recovery has the resources and staffing to provide you with a unique and thorough program designed specifically to meet you where you are in your recovery and move at your pace as you grow into your new life, from detox through aftercare.
Although private rehabs may have a few different options than public rehabs, the important decision is to choose treatment and invest in your future. Jared of Heroes in Recovery found himself before a judge facing either jail time or rehab. Choosing rehab gave him a new chance at life. Our hope is for you to find the same restart for a great future.
If you’d like to know more about private rehabilitation programs, please call us at Michael’s House at 760.548.4032. Our facilities offer clients complete privacy and beautiful surroundings, backed by cutting-edge addiction care. Our caring admissions coordinators can outline our treatment approach and answer any questions you might have about how the program works. Please call us today.
1 "Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)." National Institute of Drug Abuse. December 2012.
2 "Health Information Privacy." US Department of Health & Human Services. 16 June 2017.