Choosing a Treatment Center

If you’ve determined that it’s time to seek treatment at a residential drug or alcohol treatment center, good for you! Entering treatment for substance abuse isn’t easy, but it may be one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life.

Take your time and do your due diligence, as not all treatment centers are created equally. Visit the rehab, if possible. If you can’t visit in person, give them a call. A quality rehab will be happy to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to ask.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a treatment center, including the following:

Finances– Drug and alcohol treatment is expensive, so consider finances before you begin. Some insurance companies offer comprehensive packages that pay for all or most of treatment. However, many have stipulations limiting what they are willing to pay. Others fund treatment lasting only 28 or 30 days, which usually doesn’t allow sufficient recovery time. If insurance isn’t an option, most treatment centers offer various forms of financing. In some cases scholarships are available.

Treatment– Consider the results you expect from treatment, and then select a program that suit your needs. For example, many rehabs are focused on the Twelve Steps, while others offer AA or NA meetings as an option, but not a requirement. Twelve- Step programs aren’t for everybody, and non-Twelve Step treatment programs are also available.

Length of Treatment– Many treatment centers offer 28-day treatment. However, most treatment professionals agree that while 28 days is long enough to get clean; it doesn’t provide sufficient time to address depression or issues that typically serve as a basis for addiction. NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse and Addiction), recommends a minimum of 90 days.

Alternative treatments –In addition to counseling and therapy, many rehabs offer various forms of alternative treatment such as equestrian therapy, acupuncture, massage, yoga, fitness, reflexology, biofeedback, mindfulness meditation and many others. If you think you might benefit from a specific alternative treatment, look for a rehab that fills the bill.

Aftercare– Quality treatment centers provide comprehensive, individualized preparation for the weeks and months following treatment. Arming yourself with methods for coping with difficult situations and negative influences greatly reduces the chances of relapse down the road.

Promises, Promises– No treatment center can guarantee recovery, so be wary of treatment centers that offer guarantees or promises of success. A good treatment center has nothing to hide and won’t hesitate to provide honest statistics about their long-term success rate.

A Few Other Things to Consider:

  • Is there a waiting list? If so, how long?
  • Can your friends and family visit? Will they be involved in treatment?
  • Does the center offer medically supervised detox, if needed?
  • Is the rehab able to accommodate dietary needs such as a vegetarian or vegan diet, or meals suitable for people with diabetes or other medical requirements?
  • Are the rooms private, or will you share a room with one or more other people?
  • Will you be expected to help with meals or take part in chores?
  • What activities are available in your “off” time?
  • Will your spiritual or religious needs be honored? Is there a place of worship nearby? If so, is transportation provided?
  • Is treatment gender-specific? Or, are programs mixed? (There are benefits and drawbacks to both, so consider your own preferences.)
  • Will you be able to work or stay current with your business affairs during treatment?
  • Will your privacy and need for confidentiality be respected? How?

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