Whether you or a loved one are seeking treatment for the first time or the 20th time, finding a quality treatment center can be daunting, exhausting and stressful. With just a quick Google search, you’ll find hundreds of ads for different substance abuse treatment centers across the country and across the globe. How does someone even begin to separate out the ones that are a good fit?! Maybe this is your first time going through this and you know nothing about addiction treatment other than what you’ve seen in the media or heard about from coworkers and acquaintances, or maybe you’ve been through this many times and have had some negative experiences. Regardless of your history, there are some really important aspects to consider when choosing a substance abuse treatment center that meets the very delicate needs of yourself or a loved one.
Choosing a location for a treatment center is very specific to the persons needs. While someone may benefit the most from going to a treatment center in a new area, someone else may benefit more from staying closer to home or family. Sometimes this becomes challenged when a person has children and they may not want to be too far away from their children, even if for a short period of time. Ultimately, choosing a treatment center based on location is a decision that should be made by the individual and the family. Transportation, finances and aftercare planning also play into this decision. If someone doesn’t have the resource to relocate, then going to a distant treatment facility may not be feasible. However, some treatment centers are willing to help out with things like transportation and often believe that relocating for treatment is a clients best choice due to possible negative associations with the area they are from or living in.
Not all treatment centers are the same in what they accept for insurance. Whether you have public or private is insurance, the policy is going to dictate which treatment centers are covered. To find this information, you can contact your insurance company and ask them about your benefits. You’ll want to know what’s in-network and if you also have out-of-network benefits. This will give you more information in making your decision on picking a treatment center that’s right for you. Your insurance company might recommend a treatment center, but you should fully research those options as well to make sure they are what you or your loved one need.
A good treatment center will be transparent with you through the entire process, from pre-admission to post-discharge. When you contact them for information, they should be able to tell you everything about their clinical program, billing practices, governing bodies and accrediting agencies. If there are going to be any out of pocket costs associated with the treatment stay, they should be telling you about those costs up-front. They will also remain transparent throughout the treatment stay, communicating with you any concerns or changes, as well as communications about your aftercare plans.
Educated and Trained Staff
There are multiple accrediting agencies that oversee the operations of healthcare centers and addiction treatment centers; each state has a different department that licenses these operations, and Joint Commission and CARF. When a treatment center is accredited it means that they meet the clinical and quality measures designed by the accrediting bodies. This really just means that the facility has taken some extra steps to improve the quality of care in their organization.
In addition to accreditation, the staff at a quality treatment facility should have undergone formal education and training. It is preferable that counselors and clinicians have Masters Degrees, but there are also a number of other certifications that counselors can receive. Support staff and technician staff should also be regularly trained and educated as well. As we know, addiction is complicated and needs to be treated with appropriate care that is going to treat all facets of the individual by an experienced professional.
Continuum of Care
No matter what kind of addiction you’re looking for treatment for, a continuum of care is crucial to any recovery process. When looking for a good treatment center, asking about the level of care, length of stay and aftercare planning process is important. Some treatment centers offer a full continuum of care, from detox to outpatient, while others only offer one level of care. If a treatment center offers only one level of care, it’s important that their aftercare planning process is in-line with the needs of the individual that is seeking treatment. A proper aftercare plan includes outpatient treatment, counseling, and possibly some other plans surrounding medical needs and family counseling needs depending on the individual. A good treatment center will be able to make these plans and appropriate referrals for the individual before they discharge from the program.
Overall, when looking for a good treatment center you want to make sure that it’s going to fit the specific needs of the individual. Whatever concerns or questions are important for you to consider when looking for a treatment center, make sure that you’re able to ask those questions and receive answers ahead of time. No one should have to admit to treatment unsure about what is going to happen or what they should expect. If you’re unable to get answers to your questions or feel as though you’re being dismissed, you may want to keep doing some research. A quality treatment center is going to be more than willing to help support you through the process of getting into treatment or getting a loved one help. At the end of the day, a good treatment center is going to be compassionate, understanding, patient and qualified. It’s important to do your research before agreeing to enter treatment, as we know that the journey to recovery is already challenging enough.