Choosing the Right Treatment

September 19, 2012 

Substance addiction is a progressive disease that often requires the attention of qualified health care professionals during early stages of recovery. The proper diagnosis from a doctor is important when determining which mode of treatment will be the most effective.  

Choosing the appropriate rehab center can be complicated, yet it is one of the most crucial decisions made by an individual struggling with addiction. Not many of us know what to look for in a rehab facility, which poses a problem since every facility is different.    
The best form of treatment should be one that meets the individual's specific needs and expectations. No single form of treatment works for everyone and in most cases, a combination of therapies is most effective.  
To choose the best fit, start by compiling a list of facilities based on the following factors, and begin to narrow down the options  
1. Location
2. Setting (inpatient vs. outpatient)
3. Medication offered
4. Price
5. Success rate
After narrowing down the list, here a few questions to consider:
Does the facility have the proper licensure/accreditation? 
Although facilities are not required to be licensed, those that have gone through the process typically have higher qualified staff with more experience in a clinical setting. Facilities should be certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).  Service providers who earn CARF certification are recognized for their consistent innovation and effective quality improvement over years of business.  
Does the facility offer dual-diagnosis assessment and treatment?
Approximately 6 in 10 substance abusers also have a co-occurring mental disorder. Illnesses such as depression, anxiety or mood disorders have been known to increase likelihood of substance abuse. Increasing research supports the advantages of studying and treating both disorders together. In this case, behavioral therapy and medication may be necessary. 
Is family involvement encouraged?
Each facility should offer a guided tour for a parent or guardian. Research shows that family involvement is important in any type of treatment, especially for teens and young adults. The facility should allow for family members to visit frequently and offer support.  
Does the rehab facility offer detox programs?
The first step towards recovery in any drug treatment program is detoxification. Detox refers to the process of allowing the body to cleanse itself of a substance while also managing the symptoms of withdrawal. Detox should not be undergone without medical supervision, so if you are not substance-free, remove the centers on the list that do not offer it.
How does the admission process work?
Many rehab centers require that detox be completed before entry. Others require detox to be done under their specific supervision as part of the entire process. This information should be posted on the web page of each facility. Choose the process that best meets your needs.
Does the facility offer relapse-prevention therapy and ongoing care? 
Most successful rehab facilities will help individuals learn coping mechanisms and life skills that help prevent a relapse even after leaving inpatient care. Determining which kinds of therapies and behavioral models each facility offers and whether or not they set up aftercare treatment (such as meetings or support groups) is important when choosing the best fit. 
Recovery support is available in many forms. Taking some time to determine which facility is right for you is essential to your long-term success in restoring health and life balance.