1 Are you looking for drug and alcohol addiction treatment for yourself or a loved-one? It may seem very overwhelming to find a treatment center (a.k.a. rehab) that s right for you or for a loved one. Most rehab centers offer a variety of different treatment styles and services that can be confusing for someone who is going for the first time. This five step guide will help you research and find a treatment center that fits your or your loves one s needs.
2 Five Factors For Choosing a Rehab 1. Licensing & Accreditation 2. Facilities 3. Personalized Treatment Plan 4. Time & Cost 5. After-Care Program Licensing and Accreditation Is the center licensed and accredited? Licensing usually depends on what state the treatment center is located in. In Florida, rehabs are currently licensed through the Department of Children and Families. Most drug and alcohol treatment centers are usually licensed through the state. Licensing is important because the state will perform regular check-ups on the treatment center to make sure they are operating correctly and legally. The state ensures that the rehab is employing licensed therapists, nurses, and doctors. A licensed treatment center will typically have a decent success rate and they will be willing to show you their license, if you request it. Is the facility accredited? Look up the facility to see what kind of accreditations they have earned. This is an easy and fast way to determine if the treatment center is legitimate. Most treatment centers are licensed through CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). CARF standards are very high. According to their website (www.carf.org) CARF officially recognizes health and human service providers as having met standards for quality of service. They require each treatment center to complete a series of different steps before sending out a CARF surveyor. The surveyor will go out to the treatment center and interview the staff and clients. They will also make sure the treatment center is abiding by CARF standards and the center s own standards, set forth when they first applied for CARF accreditation. If the surveyor believes the treatment center is up to CARF standards, then they will issue an accreditation. Each year, CARF requires its accredited treatment centers to submit a Quality Improvement Plan to discuss which areas need improvement and how the treatment center plans to improve those areas. Another important accreditation is the NAATP or the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (www.naatp.org). This organization also aims to ensure that certified treatment centers maintain a high standard of care. According to their website, the NAATP attempts to: Provide leadership and resources for addiction treatment providers toward excellence in the industry
3 Provide leadership and advocacy toward clinical and administrative excellence for alcohol and drug addiction treatment services Achieve acceptance of quality alcohol/drug treatment as a necessary component of all health care delivery and payment systems Position NAATP as the information source and center for addiction treatment issues. Provide public policy leadership and advocacy on behalf of persons with addictive disorders. Licensing and accreditation are very important factors when it comes to choosing the right rehab. In summary, choose a treatment center which is properly licensed through the state. Ask to see their licenses. Ask the staff (therapists, nurses, doctors) if the facility is certified through CARF, NAATP, or another accreditation organization. If the staff cannot answer any of your questions, you may want to look at another treatment center. Facilities Is the treatment center and residential area nice? Is it clean and tidy? Do you see trash or junk all over the place? You want to go to a rehab that s in decent shape. Most rehab websites will let you take a virtual tour of their grounds or they will show pictures of the treatment center and the residential areas. If they don t advertise these pictures on their website, beware! It s always recommended that you visit a rehab first before committing yourself or a loved one to treatment there. During your visit, ask to take a tour. Keep an eye out for broken or damaged items or graffiti. Ask many questions! Do they allow smoking at the facility? How often can family visit? What are the visitation hours? This is a 30 to 90 day commitment at least. You want to make sure this rehab is the right one for you or your loved one! Many people want to complete drug and alcohol rehab at a fancy, luxurious retreat. There are many treatment centers which cater to the rich and famous or just those with really good insurance! If you choose to go to a luxury rehab, make sure you re not taken in by the glitz and glamour of the place. You want to make sure that you re getting the five star treatment in all aspects. Don t be fooled by a beautiful exterior. Interview the doctors, nurses, and therapists who will be treating you or your loved one. Make sure the rehab is the right fit. Another consideration when choosing a rehab is the location of the rehab. Many people want to go to rehab in their home state because it s easier for family and friends to visit. However, it s actually better to go to rehab out of state. Most relapses occur because the addict is once again around family, friends, and their drug dealers. By changing the environment, addicts must
4 learn to cope with negative feelings on their own without returning to drug use. Attending drug and alcohol rehab out of state provides a large buffer between the individual receiving treatment and their drug-using behaviors. It might be difficult to leave family and friends behind, but the addict needs to focus on him or herself when they re in treatment. Do yourself a favor and choose inpatient rehab that s far away from your home or even out of state. Personalized Treatment Plans Most treatment centers offer a variety of different therapies for their clients. Behavioral therapy, family therapy, and art and music therapy are all important aspects of any treatment plan. Does the rehab center offer personalized treatment? You don t want to feel like there s only a one size fits all treatment plan. Each person s drug addiction is different and each person deserves to be treated like the individual they are. Ask the staff members and doctors what kind of treatment plans they offer. Do they have therapy for those suffering from Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Many drug and alcohol addicts have underlying issues which caused them to start taking drugs/alcohol in the first place. Many addicts have been the unfortunate victims of abuse and they need therapy which addresses the abuse that took place. Some people suffer from addiction in addition to a mental disorder. Ask the treatment center if they offer dual-diagnosis therapy, which is therapy for those suffering from addiction and a coexisting mental disorder. Dual-diagnosis therapy is important because it takes the mental issue into account when treating the entire person. The treatment center should work to treat all causes of addiction in order to prevent a possible future relapse. The rehab you choose should also offer family therapy. It doesn t matter if family therapy is done in person, over the phone, or over the computer. Drug and alcohol addiction causes chaos and destruction in the family unit. Family therapy helps the family and the addict reconcile any issues that occurred prior to the addict going to treatment. It s important for the therapists and doctors at the treatment center to treat both the addict and his or her family. Time and Cost Most rehab centers take private insurance or they offer a private pay method for individuals without insurance. A private rehab company will usually not be able to accept Medicaid or state-funded insurance. Most treatment centers will work with the client and his/her family to determine the cost of treatment. Some centers even offer payment plans for clients who need help. If you need treatment but find that you can t afford an expensive, private rehab don t worry! You can call this national hotline ( ) to find a treatment center in your area which accepts Medicaid and offers free or reduced treatment.
5 It s important to consider the cost of rehab because you need to be able to afford it. No one wants to leave treatment feeling clean and serene only to be brought down by monstrous debt. Most treatment centers will work with you to minimize the costs or to get the most out of your insurance. If the treatment center you choose isn t willing to find the lowest cost for you, beware! You will want to go to a rehab with friendly, helpful staff members and it starts with the first phone call to an admissions coordinator. Another important factor when choosing a rehab program that s right for you or a loved one is the time involved. Does the treatment center offer inpatient or outpatient rehab? Inpatient rehab usually lasts 30 to 90 days and the patient will live in the residential part of the treatment center. Inpatient treatment is great for those who wish to quit using drugs and alcohol successfully because it removes the addict from his or her environment and forces him/her to learn new coping skills. Inpatient treatment usually yields the highest success rate and the lowest rate of relapse. Some people may not be able to go to inpatient rehab for 30 to 90 days because of work, family, or other concerns. Most treatment centers will offer outpatient rehab for these people. During outpatient rehab, the client lives at home but comes to the treatment center for weekly counseling and therapy sessions. Outpatient therapy is not as intensive as inpatient treatment, but it is typically less expensive and less of a time commitment. After-Care Program Does the rehab center offer an after-care treatment plan for their clients? It s very important for the therapists and doctors to create a personalized after-care treatment program for each client. Staff members should help clients find a NA or AA meeting in their area for when they go back home. The doctors and therapists at the treatment center should create a specific plan for the client to follow when they leave treatment. Therapists should check on you or your loved one to make sure everything is going smoothly. Staff should also be available to clients with the transition back home or to a halfway house/sober living environment. Many clients will leave treatment and go back home, but other clients may feel like they re not ready go home. They may wish to stay in the healthy, sober environment created by the rehab center. These clients may choose to go into a sober living/halfway house immediately following rehab. Sober living or halfway houses are a great asset for the client who is new to recovery. In a sober living house, clients have a strict set of rules that they must follow. They also learn important life skills like budgeting and managing their affairs. Most sober living houses require that clients pay rent and get jobs within a few weeks of entering the house. Clients will also continue with
6 outpatient therapy while living in the sober/halfway house. Typically, clients stay in the sober living house for around three months, but most places allow clients to stay as long as they want. Conclusion In summary, it s important to choose a rehab that is properly licensed through the state and also holds some type of legitimate accreditation. Choose a rehab that s not overcrowded or run-down. Make sure you can afford the treatment, or choose to go to a rehab facility that offers free or reduced drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Interview the therapists, nurses, and doctors to ensure that you or your loved one is getting the best possible addiction treatment and therapy. Ask the therapists if they offer a specific after-care program for the client, or if they work with a sober living or halfway house for clients new to recovery. Ask many questions, take a tour of the rehab center, and listen to your instincts. If it doesn t feel right, it may not be the right choice for you or your loved one. For more information, please contact Inspirations for Youth and Families. Disclaimer: The information in this guide is intended to provide suggestions which may help individuals choose a treatment center for addiction rehabilitation. This guide is meant for informational purposes only.
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