3 Things to Know Before Enrolling in a Drug & Alcohol Treatment Facility

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If you love someone who’s addicted to drugs or alcohol, it likely affects you every day. Addiction is a disease that impacts every aspect of someone’s life, behavior, and health. Having a serious substance use disorder affects their relationships as well. You may wonder how you can help someone with an addiction or encourage them to go to a drug and alcohol treatment facility.

The following are things to know about encouraging someone to get help for a long term addiction to drugs or alcohol. Before you enroll a loved one in an alcohol treatment center or drug rehab program, there are also considerations to keep in mind. 


How to Encourage Someone To Go To Rehab

When you love someone in the grips of addiction, you probably know there are very few things you can control about the situation. The reality is, the person with the addiction is also out of control. That out-of-control drug use is the very core of what addiction is.

While you can’t force someone to get treatment, there are things you can do to motivate and help them, including:


Be Empathetic 

You may be tired and frustrated, but when you have those feelings and become angry or combative, it’s not going to help anyone. Try to stay as empathetic as you can by asking open-ended questions instead of statements or demands. Try to avoid being accusatory in conversations, and if you think an argument is brewing, walk away.


Set Healthy Boundaries

Healthy boundaries in recovery are a way to take some control over an otherwise out-of-control situation. Setting boundaries isn’t directly about the person with the addiction. It’s more about you, but the presence of boundaries can potentially encourage them to get help.


Take Responsibility 

You have to let someone know when they have an addiction that it’s going to be up to them to take the needed steps to get help and change their life when they have an addiction.


Use Your Resources

While someone might be willing to accept help in the form of a rehab program, when they’re in active addiction, it can be challenging to know where to begin. Managing logistics like health care and helping them find a program can be an excellent place for you to step in and provide beneficial assistance without enabling. You might compare rehabilitation facilities, learn more about the treatment process and make the initial contact with different facilities.

With that in mind, the following are some things to know about helping your loved one go to a drug and alcohol treatment facility and how to choose a rehab facility.


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1. There Are a Lot of Different Types of Treatment Programs

The first thing to know about addiction treatment is that there are various program structures and options, with most based around behavioral therapies, including individual therapy and group therapy. 

Many people will participate in several types of treatment on the road to recovery. For example, they may begin in a higher-level residential rehab program and then work their way down into lower levels of care as they progress.

  • For most people who have a drug or alcohol addiction, the first step of treatment is detoxification. 
  • Detoxing from drugs or alcohol can be a standalone program or part of a more comprehensive program. 
  • While standalone detox programs do exist, it’s not a treatment for the underlying components of addiction or a complete treatment plan. 
  • During medical detox, the focus is on medical monitoring and managing any withdrawal symptoms as the chemicals and substances leave the person’s body. 
  • With managed detox, your loved one will stay safe and more comfortable, reducing the likelihood of a relapse.

Following detox, a person might begin inpatient care. Inpatient programs are also called residential treatment. 

  • A residential drug and alcohol treatment facility is where your loved one will live onsite for a period, often ranging from 30 days to 90 days. 
  • Inpatient rehabs tend to have good outcomes because they’re comprehensive and provide a holistic approach to treating addiction. 
  • These can be appropriately treated and managed in a residential program for someone with co-occurring mental disorders or medical conditions.
  • Along with evidence-based therapies to deal directly with the addiction, other treatments might integrate art therapy or recreational therapy. Inpatient rehab programs have the opportunity to be truly holistic in the approach. 
  • Partial hospitalization programs can be a very intensive type of treatment. 

Outpatient addiction treatment programs can include scheduling that’s similar to inpatient rehab. 

  • Outpatient treatment can also be less intensive and might consist of checking in with a counselor or therapist once or twice a week.
  • Outpatient programs can include medication-assisted treatment, especially in the case of opioid addiction.
  • Participating in individual or family counseling is considered unstructured outpatient rehab and may not be a good first step for severe addictions. 


2. A Medical Assessment Can Help You Choose the Best Program

If you’re starting to compare treatment facilities and are overwhelmed, a medical assessment is a good starting point before exploring treatment options.

  • Medical professionals can assess the symptoms of your loved one and make a more specific diagnosis of their substance use disorder. 
  • For example, they can compare their symptoms to the diagnostic criteria for an addiction to determine if the disorder is moderate or severe.
  • When you better understand the diagnosis, it can help guide you toward the right treatment program for the recovery process. 
  • You’ll learn more about the appropriate level of care to begin their recovery journey. 

Someone with mild alcohol or drug addiction could benefit from outpatient therapy or participation in a self-help group. 

With a moderate-to-severe substance use disorder, an inpatient rehab facility may be better.


3. How Does the Center Approach Treatment?

Once you have a shortlist of potential inpatient treatment centers, it’s time to get more specific. While the goal of any rehab facility is to help patients stop using drugs and alcohol, they’re very different in their approach and services. Key things to think about here include:

  • Is the facility using evidence-based treatment approaches? In the past few decades, we’ve learned a lot about addiction from a clinical and scientific basis. We understand that addiction is a complex, chronic disease. We know various factors tend to converge in addiction, such as genetics, environment, a history of trauma, and underlying co-occurring mental health disorders. 
  • Are the treatment models built on personalized treatment plans? The quality of care depends on it is very tailored to the person. Everyone’s experiences, mental health, and substance use issues are different quality treatment has to reflect those differences. 
  • Does the treatment center offer the specific resources your loved one will need? For example, do they offer dual diagnosis treatment for mental health disorders like anxiety and depression? Often someone with substance abuse issues will benefit from specialized programs and treatment methods. 
  • Is medication-assisted treatment part of the program, and if so, how do you and your loved one feel about this form of treatment?
  • Does the program create aftercare plans geared toward relapse prevention? Relapse is often a part of recovery, but with specific aftercare plans like support groups, this risk declines. What are the aftercare programs like? How will the treatment center prepare your loved ones to re-enter their daily life?
  • You’ll also have to consider the cost of treatment when choosing a program, but this shouldn’t be the only consideration. An insurance provider can often cover some or all of the cost of a treatment program, and flexible payment options are also frequently available.

The team at Opus Health  is here and available to answer questions you might have about how to choose a rehab facility for your loved one and how you can play a role in helping facilitate their treatment in a productive, meaningful way; just call our national addiction helpline at 855-953-1345.

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