Picking a rehab for yourself or a loved one can be a difficult task but, it doesn’t need to be. Sometimes, the person seeking treatment or their loved ones have time to research their options; other times, the person in need of help must go right away. This can be due to reasons regarding the health or physical safety of the individual, a court-order, or many times, it’s because the person in need of the help has finally agreed to seek treatment and, this can be a rather urgent situation.
Unfortunately, people in active addiction will continue to put off getting help, even when they have agreed to it at some point. That said, even if done on short notice, choosing a rehab doesn’t have to be done is haste. If you keep these key concerns in mind, you can feel confident about your choice. Here are 6 things to do before you pick a rehab.
Before you pick a rehab, ask these questions about the program:
#1. Does the rehab substitute another drug for the one the person was addicted to?
There are some treatment programs that incorporate the use of a medication maintenance as a form of treatment for drug addiction. Drugs like methadone and Suboxone are used as long-term treatment however, these medications contain an opiate, similar to what you or your loved one is addicted to. Furthermore, these programs do not seek to taper their patients off; instead, they keep them on these drugs long-term because they make a hefty profit doing so.
Besides the fact that you or your loved one will still be addicted to a drug by participating in this type of treatment, you will be spending a lot of money (these programs are often not covered by insurance) and getting off of these drugs is actually a lot more difficult than it is to quit other opiates, such as painkillers and even street drugs like heroin.
#2. Does the program teach life skills and coping skills to support a sober lifestyle?
A quality and accredited rehab should offer a program that teaches the recovering addict/alcoholic important and necessary life skills that will support them in leading a sober life. Often times, people come into treatment after resorting to homelessness and crime. Other times, they are simply quite young and therefore have never lived on their own. It’s important for them to learn how to take care of their needs so they can graduate the program feeling confident and able to be independent.
As for coping skills, addicts and alcoholics develop destructive patterns of thinking and acting during their active addiction, learning to numb their physical and emotional pain with substance abuse. Their sense of sense of morality may also have been compromised as they might have resorted to crime in order to support their habit. The person seeking treatment must learn how to break these patterns and regain the ability to act responsibly. As well, you or your loved one will need to learn specific coping methods in order to deal with cravings and triggers that in the past would lead you back to abusing substances.
#3. Does the rehab claim to offer an instant cure?
Drug and alcohol addiction is considered a disease – a medical condition, for which there is treatment but, there is no definitive cure. With intense intervention treatment, such as that of a quality rehab addiction can be arrested but never eradicated. If a rehab program promises you a cure or some other outrageous-sounding promise, it’s time to keep looking.
#4. Does the rehab offer more than one type of therapy?
A good rehab will offer a wide range of treatment and therapy practices, because the same thing that works for one person may not work for you or your loved one. That is, no single, blanket treatment is appropriate for everyone.
#5. Does the rehab program offer a family program?
Known as a “family disease,” addiction doesn’t only affect the addict; it affects the whole family as well as other loved ones who are in relationship with the person who struggles. That said, a good rehab facility will offer what’s called family therapy, family systems therapy, or family counseling, is a type of talk therapy that involves the family members in order to encourage healthy change and growth among the whole system – the ‘family.’
It can be very beneficial for an addict or alcoholic in recovery to have the participation of their family, and it should be one of the priorities at the treatment center you choose to attend.
#6. Does the rehab offer one-on-one treatment?
One-on-one therapy is important to the treatment process. Substance abuse treatment is most effective if it can address the many different needs of the person seeking help. For example, individual treatment can address the drug abuse and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal issues. Often times, there is unresolved trauma at the heart of the substance abuse problem and one-on-one therapy can best serve you by addressing the trauma. In individual sessions, the therapist can best treat you or your loved one by also taking into consideration age, gender, ethnicity, and even culture when making an individualized treatment plan. And this can only be accomplished in one-on-one therapy sessions, during which the therapist can pay undivided attention to the individual.
An aside: Second-rate rehab centers offer very little or no individual therapy whatsoever. That’s because it costs them much less to have a series of group therapy sessions, where they only have to pay one person to oversee a group of thirty or more clients.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.