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How to Choose an Addiction Treatment Program

Choosing a drug or alcohol rehab center for yourself or for a loved one can be an overwhelming and difficult process. Unfortunately, the addiction treatment field has seen an influx in deceptive marketing and unethical practices by drug rehab “providers” whose only concern appears to be monetary gain. This leaves many consumers confused and distrustful about where and how to find effective treatment options.

Today, more than ever, consumers need to know what to look for in a rehab center. As you research treatment centers and speak with rehab providers, here are important questions to ask and topics to cover.

Get an Assessment by a Physician or Other Substance Use Disorder Professional

 Before you decide on an inpatient treatment facility for yourself or a loved one, obtain an evaluation from a doctor certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, a licensed clinical social worker or a psychiatrist experienced in treating substance use disorders. Typically, a doctor or therapist trained in treating addiction will recommend inpatient treatment when the patient is unable to stabilize in his or her recovery and can’t perform the activities of daily living, such as going to work and fulfilling family obligations.

Accredited Staff/Program

Perhaps one of the most important things to look for is the quality of the staff. The staff of a treatment facility are the people who you or a loved one will be interacting with the most during treatment, and you want to make sure they’re licensed and highly trained. One of the major reasons that top-rated rehabs are so successful is that they have the best staff. 

It’s also important to know if these staff members are there full or part-time. Many centers will only have psychiatrists visit with patients once a week as they have expensive salaries. The best programs have them full-time on staff and regularly working with patients. If the workers are mostly part-time, it does not allow for complete access to their attention.

These staff members also must be licensed so they have the power to prescribe and dispense medication which could be a vital part of the treatment process when dealing with mental health issues.

Many centers only use CADCs or other lower level counselors with maybe a 2-year certificate. They are not licensed to practice mental health. You need at least a master’s and many hours of clinical experience so it’s crucial that a dual diagnosis center has an LMFT, LCSW, psychiatrist, etc. on staff.

Many addiction treatment facilities undergo a process of accreditation in addition to meeting state licensure requirements. Accredited facilities have undergone rigorous evaluation by a respected third-party organization. Official approval from the Joint Commission Accreditation for Addiction Treatment (JCAHO), or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities (CARF), is generally a good sign that the treatment facility is operating according to high standards.

A Focus on Underlying Issues

For most who suffer from addiction, the addiction is the result of other underlying issues, especially mental health. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as many as 40% of people struggling with addiction also have a mental health disorder (and this is only counting those that have been properly diagnosed). If underlying issues are not addressed during treatment, they will continue to be a problem in recovery. 

Those with untreated underlying issues are much more likely to relapse, as the reason behind their addiction is still causing them problems. One thing that all great centers have in common when treating co-occurring disorders is the fact that they have a primary focus on overall mental health, not just the addiction. Most of these rehabs offer treatment that includes cognitive behavioral therapy, EMDR, trauma-informed care, and family therapy. All of these treatment options can make the chance of long-term recovery much greater. 

Mental health is something that needs constant work and attention. Quality centers will teach you how you can keep your mind healthy through daily exercises like meditation, therapy techniques, and mindfulness.

Individualized Treatment Is Necessary to Recover

Everyone has a different history and different ways for dealing with addiction. Everyone who goes to rehab has their own unique diagnosis that is different to everyone else. Any program that doesn’t acknowledge this will have limited effectiveness.

Effective addiction treatment is individualized per the needs of the patient. Quality treatment addresses multiple facets of one’s addiction, including any medical, psychological, or social issues. Effective treatment is also tailored to the individual’s age, ethnicity, gender, and culture. A customized treatment program will offer a combination of services to match the patient’s unique needs. For example, a patient with co-occurring disorders (an addiction and other mental health issues) may require a very specific therapeutic approach that may not be right for another patient. 

The facility you choose should do a thorough evaluation of your condition and create an individualized plan that recognizes and takes into account your personal stressors and supports, as well as what did or did not work for you in previous recovery attempts.

Aftercare Planning

People looking for treatment get so focused on their time in rehab that they forget to ask about any aftercare that is available. The recovery process extends well beyond the first 30, 60, or 90 days of treatment. Longer engagement in treatment, including aftercare, has many proven benefits, such as fewer relapses and better social functioning. In fact, over 71 percent of people who engaged in aftercare for nine months or longer were sober at one year, compared to just 48 percent who participated for six months and 37 percent who participated for three months.

Great centers will have a strong aftercare program in place especially when dealing with dual diagnosis cases. Mental health issues take time to treat and more assistance will be needed than just a 28-day stay at the facility. Determining the quality and success of aftercare programs at a rehab can be one of the most important factors to consider when searching for long-term recovery for you or a loved one.

Where You Can Turn For Addiction Treatment

Admitting that you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol is complex, but it’s the first essential step towards achieving long-term recovery. Going to a rehab, like Archstone Behavioral Health, with a compassionate staff that will help you with every step along the way can be the key to staying sober.

Archstone focuses on the tradition of 12-step treatment, it’s a tradition that has worked for millions of people searching for recovery, and it can help you or a loved one currently struggling with addiction too. 

We also offer a full continuum of care, so you don’t need to bounce between treatment centers, and you’ll always work with the same staff.

Call Archstone Behavioral Health now at: 561-475-4237 to get help for you or a loved one today.