Once you’ve made the decision to seek help for an addiction, the next step is to find a treatment center that fits your needs. Many treatment facilities offer tours and initial meetings where you can ask questions to get a clear idea of what a particular center offers in terms of treatment options and patient resources. Keep in mind that treatment centers are just as diverse as the people seeking help. For this reason, it’s important to select a center with programs that will offer the right level of support required for your recovery.
Determine Your Motivating Factors for Staying in Treatment
An important first step in selecting the best treatment center for your needs is to determine what motivating factors will help you stick to your treatment program. Some patients, for instance, need more structure while others do well with a program that’s a little more flexible. Some patients have success with a traditional 12-step program and others do well with an outside-of-the-box approach to treatment that doesn’t focus on specific steps. Motivating factors may include:
- Available follow-up support once treatment is complete
- Access to activities such as yoga or exercise programs
- Level of professional and personal support available
Find a Comfortable Treatment Environment
While treatment won’t always be a pleasant experience, it’s still important to feel comfortable with the facility you’ve selected and the treatment option(s) you’ve settled on before you start treatment. A comfortable treatment environment includes decisions such as inpatient treatment vs. outpatient facilities. Statistically, you’re more likely to achieve long-term results from a comprehensive inpatient treatment program. However, many individuals have success with a series of outpatient meetings and convenient access to support as needed. Additional factors to consider regarding comfort include:
- Location of the treatment facility
- Number of patients in the program
- Budget concerns such as available insurance coverage
- The types of patients you’re likely to encounter
- How well the staff relates to patients
- Overall cleanliness of the facility
Consider a Center’s Background, Success Rate and Accreditation
Do a little research to determine each center’s success rate and their accreditation. This information should be fairly easy to find, often on the center’s website. If you can’t find this information all that easily, it may be best to move on to another treatment center that’s more forthcoming with its stats. Take a look at online reviews as well. Centers with a reputation for excellent programs and highly-trained counselors tend to produce higher success rates. The trade-off is that some of the more “popular” centers with stellar reputations tend to have higher standards for whom they will accept.
Checklist of Questions to Ask
- What licenses and certificates do your staff members hold?
- What is the overall goal of your addiction programs?
- Is there a waiting list for your programs? If yes, how long is the average wait?
- How much access do I have to my friends and family?
- Can my family and friends participate in my treatments/counseling sessions?
- What type of medical supervision do you provide? (ex. for the detoxification process)
- What are the most common types of addiction you treat?
- Do you have counselors on staff who can give me guidance according to my religion?
- If inpatient, how long is the average patient stay?
- What all is included in the fee for the treatment program?
Finally, take a moment to prioritize your checklist based on what’s important to you. The more informed you are when it comes to the treatment options available to you through various treatment centers, the more likely you are to benefit from the program you eventually select.