The Admissions Process at AAC

The Admissions Process at AAC

Many people in the United States go to treatment each year for alcohol or drug addiction rehab. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), around 19 million people over the age of 12 meet the criteria for a substance use disorder.1 In 2017, the last year available for analyzed data, more than 2 million people entered a treatment program for alcohol and/or drug use disorders.2 For many of these people, roughly 36%, it was the first time they entered treatment.2

When you are thinking about rehab for yourself or a loved one, especially if you are one of the many people who have no experience with prior treatment, you can feel overwhelmed with the process of how to get into a rehab facility. The support team at American Addiction Centers (AAC) understands how overwhelming the admission process can be and they can help guide you on how to sign up for rehab. Here is a general outline of how the admission process, including self-admittance, usually works.

Select and Contact Your Treatment Provider

There are several factors to take into consideration when looking for the best rehab program for you or your loved one. They include:

  • Reviews and ratings of programs on sites such as Google,, Yelp, etc.
  • Accreditations
  • Amenities
  • Types of therapy provided.

People are often most curious about detox as it’s the first and most intense part of treatment.  The detox process is when you allow substances to pass from your body. Oftentimes this is accompanied by withdrawal symptoms that can range from uncomfortable to severe. Many substance abuse programs, including AAC, use the latest evidence-based practices to help manage your symptoms of withdrawal. They can help you avoid the discomfort of withdrawal and prevent serious complications through leading practices in detox and withdrawal management.When you select a treatment provider, you should consider researching their detox process and how it will suit you.

Once you have selected a provider, the next step in admitting yourself to rehab or learning about how to admit someone to rehab is to speak with the facility admissions team. Admissions team members at AAC are called admission navigators. They are compassionate and caring individuals. They may have been to treatment themselves or have helped guide a loved one through the admission process.

Your First Phone Call

When you call American Addiction Centers and speak with our team, we’ll take you through an initial assessment with an admissions navigator. The first thing you will do is tell your story. Your admissions navigator will ask you a series of questions such as:

  • What are you using and how often?
  • What symptoms are you experiencing?
  • Are there any major health concerns?
  • Are you experiencing a medical or mental health emergency?

These questions will help the staff understand your clinical needs for treatment and the best type of program for you. The staff will make sure that you are safe and not in immediate danger. You will also be asked about your health, career, friends, and family in order to gain a better picture of your life and your social support.

One question you may have during the initial assessment is how long will you be in rehab. It is important to note that the answer depends on a variety of factors. These include:

  • How many substances you are using.
  • Your age and overall health.
  • Any co-occurring mental health disorders.
  • How many times you have been in treatment before.
  • Readiness to change.
  • Whether you are using a substance that requires detox, such as opioids, alcohol, or benzodiazepines.

All of these unique factors about you and your situation will play a role in determining how long your course of treatment will last.3 This information also allows admissions staff to identify any barriers to treatment and support you in getting the treatment you need.

Intake Screening & Verifying Payment

In most cases, the next step after your initial assessment is to have a quick medical screening over the phone. You will usually be asked some questions regarding your mental state, physical limitations, or any preexisting medical conditions. This information will help to ensure that your health is treated appropriately and safely. At this stage, your insurance will need to be verified to see if your plan will be able to pay for your care.

AAC evaluates your needs and your available insurance coverage to determine which of its facilities will best meet your needs for rehab.

Beginning Detox or Rehab

While beginning a detox or rehab program can be confusing for someone who has never been in treatment before, the admittance process can help you learn what to anticipate and how to prepare.

  • This is the time to review your plan and ask the support team any questions you may have regarding what to expect from rehab.
  • Schedule an agreed-upon time and date to come to the program.
  • You should be provided with a packing list and other information to help you prepare for admission and quickly settle into treatment.
  • Once you arrive at the facility, you report to the admissions department. You are usually given one final medical screening before beginning your treatment.

You may have concerns that you will be exposed to the novel coronavirus during the COVID-19 pandemic. AAC takes every safety precaution and is committed to providing critical care during the pandemic. AAC utilizes such precautions as screening all new admissions, continuous monitoring of staff, increased cleaning, and ensuring that recommended protocols are followed to keep you healthy and safe while being treated at one of our facilities.


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Detoxification and substance abuse treatment.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). The National Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2017.
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Treatment episode data set (TEDS) 2017.