Choosing a drug treatment center is one of the most important things you’ll ever do for yourself, or depending on your situation, for your loved one. The quality of care you or your loved one receive during treatment can make a significant difference in outcomes and your long-term recovery. Below, we’ll talk more about what you should know about treatment in general. We’ll also cover three tips for choosing a drug treatment center specifically.
Principles of Good Treatment
According to the Mental Health Services Administration, when you’re struggling with addiction, you have a chronic disease.
As a chronic disease, symptoms of addiction include compulsive, uncontrollable drug-seeking, and use. Addiction causes long-lasting changes in the structure and function of the brain.
Those brain changes are frequently the reason for people’s shifts in behaviors when they have a substance use disorder.
An addiction to drugs or alcohol affects the areas of the brain that play a role in reward and motivation and memory, learning, and behavior control.
Addiction is treatable, but you can’t just decide you’re going to stop using drugs and alcohol and be cured in almost all cases. You’ll need effective drug addiction treatment to help you stop using.
Your treatment program should also help you identify strategies to avoid relapse. The goal of good treatment in any form is to help you return to society, your family, your job, and your other responsibilities in a thriving, productive way.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse Highlights some of its own principles of effective treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. These include:
- No single treatment is suitable for everyone
- You need quick access to treatment
- Your treatment plan should address all of your needs holistically, and not just your substance use
- It’s critical to stay in treatment long enough
- Treatment plans often include a combination of behavioral therapy and medication
- Your treatment should address co-occurring mental health disorders
- Going through medically assisted detox is just the first step of treatment
- Treatment doesn’t have to be voluntary to be effective
- Your treatment plan should receive continual monitoring and updates
Types of Addiction Treatment
Before you can find the right center for you, it’s good to have a general understanding of the broad types of programs available.
When you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may also be physically dependent. That dependence can mean that you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the substance. Withdrawal can be uncomfortable or even dangerous.
During medical detox, you receive around-the-clock care as you go through these symptoms.
Inpatient Treatment or Residential Rehab
You have structured intensive care around the clock during an inpatient rehab program. As part of a residential program, you receive medical attention and care from supportive staff, and safe housing. There are different therapeutic approaches you may see put in place in residential treatment programs.
There are also different program lengths and levels of intensity depending on the treatment facility for an inpatient drug rehab program.
For example, there are 30-day programs, 60-day programs, and extended 120-day programs that are treatment options. A 90-day program may also be an option for you.
Following inpatient rehab or a stay in a similar type of facility, depending on your situation, you might move into sober living homes for a period of time.
Instead, you could just continue with individual counseling to strengthen and maintain your recovery following inpatient addiction treatment.
Many people will move through lessening levels of care as they progress in their recovery. For example, you might start with inpatient care, then move into sober living, and from there, continue with individual therapy sessions with a counselor to maintain your sober life.
Outpatient Treatment Programs
Outpatient addiction treatment or drug rehab programs are a very broad term.
You might participate in a relatively structured program for a substance abuse disorder, like an intensive outpatient program (IOP). An intensive outpatient program is more similar to what you do in an inpatient rehab center.
On the other hand, outpatient treatment may refer to working with a counselor for behavioral therapy on a fairly informal basis.
Medication management can also be part of outpatient treatment.
You might also participate in other programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs.
Outpatient rehab facilities offer more general flexibility in the recovery process. The average cost of rehab on an outpatient basis tends to be less expensive than the treatment you receive inpatient.
As is the case with inpatient treatment, if you have one, your insurance plan should cover outpatient rehab similarly to coverage for medical care.
How Do I Choose a Treatment Center?
When it comes to how to choose a drug treatment center or alcohol treatment program, there are a few major considerations:
- Do they have the level of care you need? For example, if you have a severe, long-term addiction, you likely need a residential program that lasts for long enough and has medical staff available.
- Are you comfortable going to inpatient rehab? If not, outpatient rehab can still be helpful.
- Is medication-assisted treatment offered?
- What type of private insurance coverage do you have, if any? Most insurance company plans will cover treatment for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, but there are limitations. If you don’t have private insurance, payment plans, and other options are often available.
- What is the cost of treatment overall?
- Are you willing to travel away from your home for substance abuse treatment?
3 Tips for Choosing a Drug Treatment Center
Beyond the general tips above, the following are specifically three tips for choosing a drug treatment center or alcohol rehab program.
A reputable drug center may have a variety of accreditations and certifications. Ask about this as you’re narrowing down your choices. State licensing isn’t the same as accreditation.
A drug rehab center does have to be certified to advertise programs and services, so they go through a rigorous vetting process.
Along with the credentials of the treatment center as a whole, you should ask about the credentials of individual staff. For example, clinical staff should have licensing or accreditation when possible.
Some of the credentials an addiction treatment provider could hold include:
- LADC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor)
- LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)
- CAC (Certified Addictions Counselor)
- CCDP (Certified Co-Occurring Disorders Counselor)
2. Do They Offer Individualized, Evidence-Based Treatment?
Rather than getting caught up in things that don’t necessarily matter in professional treatment, like whether a center has luxury amenities, your focus should be on quality care.
Effective treatment for addiction needs to be very individualized. You are a unique person. You have your own background and history, mental and physical health needs, and experiences with your addiction. Your treatment plan should center around you from the start, and it should evolve as you do.
Evidence-based treatment is essential too.
Based on extensive research in the addiction treatment field, we know that certain approaches tend to work best. For example, behavioral therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the cornerstones of evidence-based treatment. Medications, when appropriate, are also part of evidence-based treatment.
3. Does the Center Make You Feel Comfortable?
For your long-term treatment plan to be as effective as possible and help you get on the road to recovery, it needs to be one you’re comfortable with.
No matter how great an addiction treatment program might be if you aren’t comfortable with it and its offerings, it’s not going to provide you with the most possible help.
You need to be open and honest throughout the treatment process, so go with your gut and instincts when you choose a center for substance abuse issues.
Please contact Opus Health today by calling 855-953-1345 if you’d like to learn more about our effective, evidence-based rehab programs. We tailor treatment to who you are as an individual, and our multidisciplinary treatment providers build personal plans for your recovery.
We can also help you with the logistics of getting treatment services, like working with insurance providers and helping you understand the particular type of treatment or type of program that may be best suited to you.