When people talk about going to private drug rehab, they are usually referring to a drug or alcohol treatment center in which it is a for-profit business. This is opposed to the way that most treatment centers are set up, which is typically as a non-profit organization. When you do choose to go to a private drug rehab there are going to be some subtle differences in the treatment you receive.
The biggest difference will probably be in the way the rules are structured, believe it or not. At a private rehab, the goal is to keep you happy and keep you in treatment. Obviously they want to help you and see you get well, but in order for them to stay in business they have to put the money first, and that means keeping their clients happy. If it comes down to disciplining someone and kicking them out of treatment, versus keeping them relatively happy and being able to bill them for a couple more days, the private treatment center is going to take the money.
At a non profit treatment center, there are generally going to be stricter rules and more enforcement. If someone crosses a line then they will be discharged from rehab, no questions asked. It does not matter how that client is funded. If they break the rules then they have to leave, simple as that. In a private rehab, this is just not always the case, because they have a profit motive and cannot afford to be so intolerant.
How does this affect treatment outcomes? Many will argue that the level of care at a private treatment rehab might appear to be higher, but in all actuality, the outcomes are going to be worse because rules are not enforced as much. For example, even though the clients are treated well in private rehabs, they might not be forced to attend groups and therapy sessions like they would be at a non-profit drug rehab. People will argue that this leads to poor outcomes for the private rehab, and if they would step up their enforcement of rules then they would get better results (but also lose more customers).
If you are motivated and have actually made the decision to stop drinking or using drugs on your own, then it does not much matter what type of rehab you attend. The enforcement of rules is not going to make a difference, and you will stay clean and sober based on your level of surrender, not on the quality of treatment provided.
Generally speaking, the quality of the treatment is one of the least important variables when it comes to success in early recovery. This goes against everything that most people believe, but it is true. No, the key factor is rather the willingness of the addict, and how ready they are to change. If they are serious about wanting help then it matters very little what rehab they attend. Differences in quality do not translate into different success rates, for the most part.