Elgin's Top Addiction Resource & Information Guide

Many questions may pop up when trying to find a drug and alcohol addiction rehab center. Consider details like services offered, demographics served, and more when looking into the Elgin, Illinois, area

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Elgin is a city northwest of Chicago, tucked in both Kane and Cook counties. It’s one of the larger cities in Illinois, with a population of around 110,000, according to the 2019 U.S. Census.

It was originally inhabited by Native Americans, then home to mills and dairy production, including Gail Borden’s Elgin Milk Condensing Company.

Like many other communities throughout Illinois and across the United States, Elgin has been affected by substance use.

A 2018–19 Cook County analysis found:

  • In 2019, the county experienced 1,211 opioid-linked overdose deaths (855 for Chicago and 356 in suburban Cook County). Chicago’s rate was 31.6 per 100,000 persons, higher than the statewide average of 17 per 100,000; the county’s rate was 14.1.
  • African-Americans died of opioid overdoses at nearly twice the rate of Whites and three times the rate of Hispanics and Latinos. The overdose rate for Blacks climbed 21.9% from 2018 to 2019.
  • Fentanyl factored most often into opioid-linked overdose deaths in 2019, followed by heroin.

A 2018 community health assessment for Kane County found:

  • 21% of adults have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, a higher rate than the statewide prevalence; cases have gone up since 2015.
  • 28% of county adults are heavy drinkers (two or more drinks a day for men, or one or more for women) or binge drinkers (five or more drinks, for men, four or more for women, on any occasion), a rate higher than the national population.
  • 7.8% of county adults have driven after drinking too much, topping the state and U.S. averages of 3.8% and 5.2%, respectively.
  • 6% of county residents admitted to using an illicit drug in the last month (compared to 2.5% of the U.S.).

Student Substance Abuse in Elgin, Illinois

Elgin is home to several colleges and universities, including Judson University, a private 4-year school; Elgin Community College, a public 2-year school, and several more in surrounding communities.

One study on college student substance use includes that for 2020, 44% of college students reported using marijuana, up 6% from 2015. That may be attributed to cannabis being legalized or decriminalized.

College students and heavy alcohol consumption, particularly binge drinking, typically are seen as an unbreakable duo, but in 2020 alcohol usage dropped a few percentage points from 2019. The pandemic, and more people studying remotely, might be a factor there, however.

One University of Illinois study found:

  • Illinois students were more likely to have used marijuana in the past year compared to their counterparts (36.3% vs. 24.2%).
  • 21.5% of Illinois students used marijuana in the last month, compared to 16.4% of their counterparts.
  • Prescription drugs were the third most used substance on campuses, with 13.5% of Illinois students admitting to using in the past year.

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What to Look for When Choosing Rehabs in Elgin, Illinois

With dozens of treatment options in the Elgin, Illinois, area, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide on the perfect center for you. However, research can make choosing easier. Also, feel free to look at areas close by, like a substance abuse treatment in Oak Lawn, IL.


Accreditation and licensing are two details to consider when searching for a drug and alcohol rehab. Licensing and accrediting authorities like the Joint Commission and LegitScript show that a facility is up-to-date on staff training, patient care policies, and more. These third-party authorities will inspect a center and talk to patients and staff to ensure everything is up to snuff.

The rehab center can provide licensing and accreditation information, or it can be found by searching online.


Demographic data gives a snapshot of an area, of the people who reside there. Age groups, religion, gender, race, culture, and more can be used to better understand the population. That understanding can apply to the medical and mental health care communities, too, in that it helps better realize a particular patient’s needs.

Elgin is 61.8% White, 5.9% Black, 5.9% Asian, and 45.7% Hispanic or Latino. More than one-fourth (26.5%) of the city’s population is foreign-born, and 45.7% of households speak a language other than English.

Medical treatment has long looked at patient care through a white lens, but other cultures and races have different values and norms. Something as simple as bridging the language barrier (when applicable) can make a huge difference in reaching through to a patient. A better understanding of cultural norms and that culture’s beliefs about mental illness or addiction can improve patient responses and outcomes. As a result, the patient likely will feel more heard, better understood, and be more receptive to treatment.

Patient-to-Staff Ratio

The number of patients every staff member must attend to—the patient-to-staff ratio—is an important component to care. A lower ratio means fewer patients but more time for each client. That can lead to a better understanding of the patient’s background, needs and challenges, and ultimately lead to a better treatment outcome.

What to Expect During Inpatient Drug Rehab in Elgin, Illinois

There are some standard things most patients can expect from inpatient drug rehab in Elgin, IL. Comprehensive addiction care usually occurs in three stages: Evaluation, treatment, and aftercare.

  • Evaluation. This occurs during the patient’s intake, where they receive a full exam, including lab work. Lab work will determine if any immediate medical problems need attention. A mental health screen will determine if the patient has any underlying disorders like untreated depression or anxiety. The staff will also get a full history of the patient’s substance use. That information will be used to craft a treatment plan.
  • Treatment. This typically occurs in two parts. The first part, if needed, is detoxification. That’s where the patient is weaned off of drugs, sometimes with medical assistance, to ensure the process is comfortable and safe. Once the patient is clean and medically stable, treatment will begin. That includes support groups and various psychotherapies to help a patient understand their addiction and develop better coping mechanisms.
  • Aftercare. The patient is readied for life following rehab. During treatment, they’ve learned coping strategies and probably had a chance to practice those. That’s a big help, but leaving rehab doesn’t mean being cut off from recovery. The patient may be connected with support groups and counselors to continue their recovery journey with sometimes-needed help.

This treatment process is decently standard, so it should be expected even if you receive the treatment in a nearby rehab center, such as a rehab center in Bloomington, IL, for example.

Aftercare Planning Procedures

Rehab isn’t over once a person checks out of the facility. It’s an ongoing process. (That’s why they say a person is in recovery, long after that last drop of alcohol, or that last dose of drugs, because it often takes work and focus to remain sober.) Aftercare is a huge component of remaining in recovery. That’s when the rehab center prepares the patient for life post-rehab. Some ways they might help include:

  • Relapse prevention. Sometimes someone relapses (or begins using again) because of some kind of trigger. Relapse prevention teaches the patient how to manage such triggers, practice self-care, be honest, and seek help if needed. Most of that will have been addressed in rehab, but guides and other materials may prove helpful. Counseling and support groups can work on that, too.
  • Referrals. When a patient has to travel back home after rehab, the center will give them lists of or put them in touch with local support options. It may be peer groups like 12-steps or something comparable, or counselors and therapists to keep the recovery on solid footing.
  • Continuing care. Some patients, especially ones who reside near the rehab center, may opt to return regularly (maybe once or twice a week for counseling) for ongoing care on an outpatient basis.

Services Included in Treatment

The services a facility includes are another thing to consider as you search for a rehab center. Some places will offer activities influenced by their location (beachside activities at an oceanside rehab center, for example), while others may offer specific relaxation exercises. Some services offered may include:

  • Specific therapies
  • Recreational activities
  • Lodging
  • Internet/wi-fi
  • A fitness center
  • A pool
  • Meditation room
  • Support groups
  • Travel assistance

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Treatment Options at Rehab Centers in Elgin, Illinois

Treatment for drug and alcohol disorders may vary. Some strategies can help people achieve lasting sobriety. Assessment, treatment, and aftercare are the bones of a rehab program, but unique components can be implemented to customize a person’s recovery plan and to ideally produce more successful outcomes. A person with a longer history of substance abuse, for example, might benefit more from inpatient care. Someone with a deep faith may prefer 12-step groups over secular options. Below are treatments to ponder as you search for a rehab center.

Types of Treatment Available

Treatment includes assessment, therapy, and aftercare, but one person’s treatment and aftercare may veer toward holistic or secular options, while someone else prefers more spiritual touches. Some may fare better with inpatient, while others prefer outpatient care. Every individual’s story and needs are unique to them. One, some, or all of the following treatment protocols may appeal:

12-Step Rehab in Elgin, Illinois

Twelve-step groups started with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Besides being the oldest of its kind, it’s also the best-known fellowship group, but many have blossomed in its wake, including Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and several others. Members navigate the 12 steps, acknowledging a higher power (that can be God or some concept bigger than you) and being powerless to the addiction. The approaches tend to be more faith-based, but religion is not required to attend.

Non-12-Step Rehab in Elgin, Illinois

Non-12 steps also include peer support but with a more secular bent. They may focus more on self-empowerment and self-control. They often rely more on scientific and evidence-based approaches to overcoming substance use disorders (and other addictions). Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery and LifeRing Secular Recovery are two examples of non-12-step groups. These types of groups may evolve in their approach more rapidly than 12 steps because they follow and incorporate more of the latest science.

Luxury Rehab in Elgin, Illinois

Luxury rehab is pretty much the sky’s the limit. It will offer patients the core components of addiction treatment (assessment, therapy, aftercare), but in a more lavish setting with premium amenities.

Some luxury rehabs cater to executives so that they may work through treatment. That is often done via private workspaces, high-speed internet, and other equipment that allows them to stay in touch with their office. Such an arrangement can offer added protection to their reputations as they recover in privacy.

Luxury rehabs offer finer amenities, including private rooms, spa-like surroundings, yoga, gourmet meals, hot tubs, and more. They may be in more lavish surroundings, too, like a mountainside facility with a resort-like feel.

Inpatient Drug Rehab in Elgin, Illinois

In inpatient rehab, the client will normally reside on-site for 30, 60, 90, or more days. They may live alone or have a roommate, depending on the rehab.

Patients’ days are structured, and they are supervised. There are meal times and some free time for socialization or recreation, but much of the day involves psychotherapies, support groups, and counseling. Sometimes they’ll take classes to develop life skills. Family may visit for counseling sessions, too, if allowed or needed.

Inpatient rehab immerses patients fully into the recovery process, free of outside distractions.

Holistic Rehab in Elgin, Illinois

Holistic rehab is seen less as something alternative these days and more as something legitimate. Holistic treatments aim to heal the mind, body, and spirit. Practices like acupuncture, meditation, yoga, meditation, and other therapies can improve health. Holistic rehab is quite common, so expect to see this option available in other rehabs in the state, such as rehabs in Des Plaines.

It can be especially helpful in addiction recovery because these treatments can improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and slash stress. Anxiety is commonly linked to substance use, so holistic care can serve as a healthier alternative and help a person through withdrawal.

Dual Diagnosis Rehab in Elgin, Illinois

Also known as co-occurring disorders, dual diagnosis cases are when a patient has both a mental disorder like depression and a substance use disorder. It’s far from rare since an estimated 9.5 million U.S. adults had co-occurring disorders in 2019.

Either condition can come from or cause the other. A person might self-medicate a mental disorder like anxiety through drugs and alcohol, or anxiety may result from drug or alcohol dependence. Getting both conditions treated is better for recovery outcomes.

IOP Program in Elgin, Illinois

This stands for intensive outpatient. In this case, the client lives at home or in a sober living home and visits rehab at regular intervals. They may arrive daily for therapy or one or two long sessions each week. It’s often for several hours at a time and lasts for a few months. The patient will receive counseling and education to help their recovery. Many patients also reside in sober housing, as a transitional step, so they enjoy structure and support as they focus on sobriety.

Alcohol Rehab in Elgin, Illinois

Alcohol rehab treatment is for people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) or alcohol addiction. In such cases, they will drink too much, despite harmful consequences. A person with AUD may have a tolerance to alcohol and experience extreme (and potentially life-threatening) withdrawal if they quit cold turkey. A rehab that specializes in treating AUDs is equipped to provide clinical care to help a patient safely wean off alcohol and in as much comfort as possible. They’ll also care for the patient in other ways, including providing a balanced and nutritious diet to help them improve their health. Once the patient is medically stable, they can move on to treatment.

Drug Rehab in Elgin, Illinois

Drug rehab shares some similarities to alcohol rehab. A patient may need medically assisted care (especially if they’re dependent on opioids or benzodiazepines, which can be challenging and dangerous to wean off of) to help with nausea, cravings, anxiety, sleeplessness, and more. The patient may also need medication to address other underlying disorders (like anxiety or depression). Once the patient has gone through the worst of withdrawal and has the strength to continue treatment, they’ll begin counseling and group therapies to work on lasting sobriety.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in Elgin, Illinois

CBT is a form of talk therapy. It can help with several conditions, including depression, anxiety, or substance abuse disorders. In CBT, the therapist works with the patient to identify problematic thinking patterns and unproductive behaviors. Ultimately they’ll work to replace them with healthier attitudes and more effective ways of coping. Along the way, the patient will learn to self-monitor so they’re aware of cravings and risks of relapse.

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Paying for Rehabs in Elgin, Illinois

When seeking drug and alcohol rehabs in and around Elgin, Illinois, there are some things you can do to prevent sticker shock since rehab isn’t exactly pocket change.

Reaching out to your health insurance provider is a good first step. They can verify what services are covered, for how long, and they’ll let you know what deductibles and co-pays would be. Calling the rehab center is another idea worth pursuing. They typically work hand-in-hand with insurance providers and can give answers about services, costs, and more.

Most insurance plans do cover behavioral health services and substance abuse treatment. The Affordable Care Acts deemed such services as essential health benefits. (There are, however, a few exceptions for small group plans.) What’s in-network (which can save you huge amounts of money) will vary. It’s always good to do research first to avoid that sticker shock when the billing statements come due.

Medicare also covers substance use and mental health treatment. Medicaid does, too, but a person must qualify.

A few other options are available to help cover rehab costs, including:

  • Loans. A person may be able to get a loan or take financing to cover treatment.
  • Sliding scale. Many rehabs know treatment isn’t cheap, and not everyone has cash on hand, so they might be willing to set up a payment plan that notes the patient’s financial status and income.
  • Out-of-pocket. If a person is able, they could pay for treatment out-of-pocket. Family or friends may be able to lend a hand, too.

Traveling to Elgin, Illinois Rehab Centers

People traveling into the Chicago area from out of town would likely arrive at O’Hare International Airport, about 45 minutes west of Elgin. From O’Hare, a person could travel by bus (both the PACE Bus and the PACE Express), train (Metra Rail), taxi, or drive a rental car to Elgin.

If you have a specific rehab center in mind, ask them about travel accommodations. Many offer rides to and from the airport, train, or bus station, often within a set distance (of, say, two hours) of the facility.

Elgin, Illinois Addiction Treatment Resources

12-Step Treatment

Twelve-step plans tend to focus on faith (or some kind of higher power), and members work through them, one by one, making amends or admitting they’re powerless when it comes to their addiction. Normally these peer support groups meet in person, but with COVID-19, many are meeting online or via phone. It’s a good idea to check beforehand whether a meeting is online-only.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). For people overcoming alcohol addiction.
  • Al-Anon and Alateen. For people with loved ones who have drinking problems. Alateen is specifically for teenagers.
  • Local Celebrate Recovery groups. To help people overcome an addiction of any kind through a central focus on Christ.
  • Marijuana Anonymous (MA). Helping people quit cannabis addiction.
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA). Recovering from cocaine addiction or dependence on other mind-altering substances.
  • Dual Recovery Anonymous. For dual diagnosis people. The only requirement: To have a mental health condition and a substance use disorder and a desire to manage both.
  • Nar-Anon. Working the 12 steps to overcome addiction.
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics. For those who grew up in dysfunctional homes.

Non-12 Steps Treatment

Non-12-step groups take a more secular approach to recovering from addiction, focusing more on science.

  • LifeRing Secular Recovery. People focus on the three S’s: sobriety, security, and self-help.
  • SMART Recovery. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. It’s for people with addictions of all kinds, not only drugs or alcohol. It relies a lot on cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivation.
  • Women for Sobriety. WFS follows a 13-point New Life Program that encourages spiritual growth.
  • Moderation Management. This isn’t about stopping drinking but instead practicing moderation.

Veterans Affairs Addiction Treatment

Joining the military means a person may have seen combat, putting them at risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Anywhere from 11-20% of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veterans have PTSD. As many as 30% of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD. Veterans may also deal with sexual assault or harassment too.

Veterans may also return with injuries, causing physical pain for months, years, and even decades.

Some veterans may endure in silence, using alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers counseling, links to peer support, and more for substance use and mental health care.

Mental health and substance abuse care are available at several nearby VA clinics, including the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and Aurora VA Clinic in North Aurora, Illinois.


  1. cookcountypublichealth.org – Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths in Cook County, IL, 2018-2019
  2. countyofkane.org – 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment Report: Kane County, Illinois
  3. chicago.suntimes.com – Marijuana use among U.S. college students hits record high during pandemic, study finds
  4. odos.illinois.edu – 2018 Core Alcohol & Drug Survey
  5. census.gov – Quick Facts: Elgin City, Illinois
  6. store.samhsa.gov – A Treatment Improvement Protocol: Improving Cultural Competence
  7. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery
  8. health.usnews.com – Why You Should Consider Holistic Addiction Treatment
  9. store.samhsa.gov – Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health
  10. nami.org – Substance Use Disorders
  11. mentalhealth.gov – Health Insurance and Mental Health Services
  12. cms.gov -The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)
  13. dhs.state.il.us – Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse – Overview
  14. cityofelgin.org – Transportation
  15. ptsd.va.gov – How Common is PTSD in Veterans?

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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