Once you have narrowed down your search to your preferred facilities then it’s time to reach out to each of them and ask some important questions.
If you feel comfortable with the facility you’ve chosen, you’re more likely to stick with the program and see it through to its end — increasing your chances of long-term health and sobriety.
1. How much does it cost?
Will your insurance cover the cost? Or do they offer financial support or payment options?
2. Do they provide a research based approach to addiction treatment?
A research based approach is one which has been observed over a significant number of cases to produce positive long term results and those results are considered reliable enough to depend on.
3. Are they fully accredited?
If they are fully accredited they have gone through a series of evaluations by an industry appointed accrediting body with a strong focus on standards of excellence in client care.
4. Do they offer flexible treatment plans?
Programs which are highly individualized and which address any underlying mental health or social issues are preferable. Daily psycho therapy sessions are optimal.
5. What are their success rates?
Be wary of rehab centers that do not track or provide their long-term success rates. Unfortunately some treatment centers make a business of repeat clients and are quite literally banking on your long term failure.
6. Do they follow a 12 step process?
12 step programs are typically free and widely available outside of inpatient rehab programs – so seek a program which offers more.
7. What level of medical support do they offer?
Is 24 hour care provided or is there a medical doctor available, if required, 24 hours a day.
8. How qualified are their staff?
Don’t be shy about asking about the skills and qualifications of the team that will be involved in your treatment. Are staff members fully medically trained? Do they have experience and qualified counsellors available?
9. Do they substitute one drug for another?
Many programs will offer methadone, buprenorphine or Suboxone as a substitute to heroin or prescription painkillers. .Also many rehab programs may rely on benzodiazepine class drugs such as Valium or Xanax to assist those going through detox and recovery. Whilst these drugs may be absolutely necessary for a small number of addicts experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms in most cases all that they are doing is replacing one drug with another (potentially addictive) drug.
If your goal is complete sobriety, then a program that employs substitute drugs in their treatment will fall short of your goal. And there are many treatment programs available which utilise natural health including diet, fitness and natural therapies as a method to deal with withdrawal, detox, and recovery.
10. Quality of facilities?
Are the standard of living and meal plans within your expectations according to what you are accustomed to? Will you be required to share a room? Is there a nutritional and healthy living component to recovery? What extracurricular activities are available?
11. Is family therapy catered for and encouraged?
How the family is involved in rehab will vary from treatment center to treatment center. Family members are often those who are most deeply affected by their loved one’s addiction and they are an important component of the recovery process for that person.
Also addiction can be a sign of underlying issues within a family. Returning to the same family system after rehab without these issues having been addressed dramatically increases the odds of a relapse.
12. What is the level of restriction and access whilst in treatment?
Will you have access to telephone and the internet? Will you be allowed visits from loved ones? Will you be expected to participate in chores? Some facilities may be overly regiment and restrictive in their approach. Make sure you are comfortable with any restrictions in place.
13. What level of aftercare support do they provide?
Whilst recovery is never easy it is always a little simpler when you don’t have to deal with the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Whilst in rehab you will learn many tactics and skills which will make you stronger in your everyday life and ensure longer term success towards sobriety. But challenges will present themselves. And you will need a support mechanism in place. Does the rehab center allow for you to return for short term or weekend stays when necessary? What outpatient supports have then in place?
14. What does your gut say?
Is there anything that unsettles you about their attitude or approach to rehab? Ask your family and friends about what they think if you are uncertain or your own judgement. Do they promise quick fixes or focus on short term results? There are many facilities that rely on the failure of their patients. They promise results in 30 days and are happy to see patients coming back for 30 day stints at every relapse. This is not recovery.
A rehab center should provide a warm, caring environment with professionals who genuinely care about your recovery.
15. Is there a place available or is there a wait list?
Many of the top treatment facilities will sometimes have a wait list. It is important to be able to get into treatment right away – whilst the wish to do so is there. Addiction is deadly and a wait of a few weeks could be critical.
Finally please remember that whilst rehab can be emotionally and physically tough, waking up every day in a safe, comfortable room and in a supportive environment will most likely feel like a relief. Especially when compared to the everyday struggles of an addict.