"One of the questions we are most frequently asked by our readers is how to find the treatment center that’s best suited for them or a loved one. With that in mind, we put together a helpful list of considerations. Consider it a checklist you should run down, as you weigh your options."
1. First and foremost,
is the facility accredited and what kind of licensing does it have? Laws and regulations vary from state to state. The Joint Commission and the National Committee for Quality Assurance are two well known and respected organizations. You can also check with your state’s Better Business Bureau.
2. What level of education and training does the staff have?
The location you select should have at least one full-time psychiatrist and medical doctor on staff. Beyond that, all clinicians should have a minimum of a Master’s Degree of education. The different levels for clinical staff are:
- Licensed Clinical Drug and Alcohol Counselor.
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
- Licensed Professional Counselor.
- Licensed Social Worker.
- Licensed Associate Counselor.
3. The program must adhere to “evidence based practices”.
There are several different types of treatment recognized to produce results and they are all equally effective. Feel free to Google that term as it relates to addiction treatment, to get a better idea. Some patients perform better than others under certain circumstances and in certain environments. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. True professionals are more interested in seeing you get the treatment that best fits your needs, even if that might be at another facility.
4. How much will all this cost?
Ask them to be specific and indicate everything not included in their quoted price. Work with them to find out how much of it can be covered by your insurance policy. Then get it in writing!
5. How tailored is the program to a patient’s individual needs?
For this we are talking about both clinical and support programs. How often will you be seen individually by doctors and clinicians as opposed to receiving group sessions? Would you be better off at a single gender facility? What kinds of support programs does the facility offer? Many provide art, music, massage, yoga and even animal assisted therapy. The options run the gamut. A patient who is happy and content in an environment is more likely to succeed in treatment.
6. What is the patient to counselor ratio?
There is no magic formula on what the correct ratio should be. However, if it’s too high then the patient won’t get as much individualized attention as he or she might need. If it’s too low, that can stifle the group dynamic in which some patients find it easier to open up and find greater peer support.
7. What is the treatment facility like both in terms of appearance and ambience?
Each location has its own personality. Some might be more spiritual while others might focus on keeping the patient busy at all times. Spend some time there and get to know staff before you or your loved one attends treatment. It’s no different then picking a camp or school. You want to do all you can to ensure comfort and success.
8. What types of services are available to families?
Is there a visiting day? Can the patient be contacted and/or reach out to others during his or her stay? There’s no right or wrong answer, just what feels best suited for you. You also want to ensure you get some coaching on how the family should relate to a loved one once treatment is over, whether it’s directly from that facility or via use of other resources.
9. Does the facility offer medically managed Detox?
This may not apply to everyone entering treatment, but it does apply to too many so as not to be ignored. Withdrawal is ugly and painful. You want this part of the process to be as smooth and stress free as possible.
10. What about aftercare?
Once treatment is over, recovery begins and it lasts for a lifetime. Addiction is a disease without a cure. The most precarious time for addicts in recovery is the first few months after they leave the cocoon of treatment. Most facilities offer some type of post-treatment support, however they can’t be there forever. The most important part is the transition. You need a facility that will work with you to ensure a smooth transition into a long and fulfilling life in recovery."
Written By In Recovery at: Suitable Treatment