10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Treatment CenterAnna Ciulla
Choosing whether or not to seek addiction treatment is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever face. No doubt, you’ve struggled with your addiction for a long time, you’re tired and ready to get help. Your next step will be to choose the best possible place to get your life back on track.
Just like each person’s addiction is different, treatment centers vary in their approach, and the right fit can make a successful outcome more likely. Therefore, you should choose a recovery center very carefully. After all, you deserve the best possible chance to break free.
To help you find a reputable recovery center, talk to your doctor or call local mental health clinics, community health centers and hospitals in your area.
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As you make the decision, here are 10 important questions to ask when choosing a treatment center:
What are my specific needs?
Many people with addictions also suffer from mental illness, such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. If you fit into this category, a center that addresses both addiction and mental health will offer you the best possible chances of complete recovery. Also, think about your physical needs. If you are physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, look for a facility with a good detox program, equipped with well-trained medical professionals and staff. Also, consider your health and life commitments when choosing the best possible recovery center for you.
Is the center licensed and accredited?
In order to be licensed, treatment centers must meet a list of requirements, both in terms of facilities and staff. Licensed and accredited centers offer the best quality treatment. The most common accreditation is by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organization. Also check to make sure the center is run by licensed mental health professionals and addiction specialists with experience treating your type of addiction.
What’s the track record of the center?
To get a better sense of what you can expect, you may want to ask about the experience level of the center’s staff and past record of successfully treated addictions. Check out addiction treatment center reviews online. A few negative comments are often present even for the very best treatment centers. However, if you find a trend of multiple comments on the same topic that may indicate an issue in that particular area.
Does the center offer both inpatient and outpatient care?
With inpatient rehab programs, patients stay at the facility 24 hours a day and go through counseling sessions, group therapy, and life skills instruction. With outpatient programs, patients attend the facility during the day, anywhere from two to eight hours, and go home or to a sober living community at night. Outpatient programs often involve many of the same practices as inpatient programs, including support groups, individual therapy, and workshops. Most require regular drug or alcohol tests. If you are grappling with long-term addiction, you have a dual-diagnosis or you have a history of relapse, the best treatment plan is an inpatient program, followed by intensive outpatient treatment. Find a center that offers both for continuity of care.
How long is the rehab program?
Most centers offer 35-day, 60-day, and 90-day programs, depending on the addiction and the individual’s specific needs. In general, the longer and more intense the drug or alcohol use, the longer the treatment program necessary to treat it. Centers with the best track records usually offer programs that last longer than 30 days and greatly increase your chances of successful long-term recovery.
Does the program offer post-treatment care?
The time you spend in a treatment center will only be part of your recovery—you will also need support and services after you leave to help prevent relapse. Some recovery centers offer aftercare programs to help recovering addicts adjust to life free from dependence. These programs come in many forms, from ongoing support groups to extended care treatment facilities where patients live.
What’s the setting of the center?
Some recovery centers are set up like retreats, peaceful and tranquil settings to offer recovering addicts a chance to relax and reflect. Others are more like hospitals and focus on the clinical side of getting well. The best setting for you will depend on your personality and individual recovery needs.
Is there a 12-step program?
Many recovery centers guide patients to sobriety with the 12-Step program. The 12 steps are “a set of principles, spiritual in nature, when practiced as a way of life, which can expel the obsession to drink or do drugs and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.” Some centers adhere to these steps more stringently than others.
How will I handle the cost?
Your insurance company may cover some or all of an addiction recovery program. In cases where insurance doesn’t pay, many treatment centers offer a range of financing options and payment plans. It’s best to get a clear understanding of financing options for treatment before you make a final choice about where to go.
How do they cater treatment to the individual patient?
The best inpatient recovery programs cater to individual patients, addressing their unique physical and psychological needs and adjusting treatment throughout the process as necessary. Good programs also address not only alcohol or drug abuse, but also the emotional pain and everyday toll addiction take on addicts and their families.