Choosing the right addiction treatment program is a critical decision. But given the number of programs available, it can seem like an overwhelming task. So where do you start? And what should you look for?
Check with your doctor and hospital.
The best place to begin your search is to talk with your doctor. He or she should be able to point you in the direction of an accredited program and give you access to other support resources. You can also check with your local hospital. Many hospitals offer in-house treatment programs or they may partner with a community non-profit that offers a treatment program.
Research treatment programs online
In addition to getting referrals from your doctor and hospital, go online and conduct some research. Besides finding a program in your area, you can access hundreds of online treatment programs and support groups. You can also check with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (http://www.ncadd.org/) to get a list of reputable treatment programs in your area.
Contact your health insurance company.
The Affordable Care Act requires that all new health insurance plans cover varying levels of substance abuse treatment costs. Your insurance provider should be able to provide you a list of recommended facilities. It’s in the insurance company’s best interest to refer you to programs with good success rates, so the ones they propose are certainly worth a look.
Evaluate each program.
Once you’ve made a short list of programs you’re interested in, contact each one to ask questions such as:
- Does your program focus on my area of addiction? Obviously, you’re going to want to choose a program that can treat the kind of addiction you’re trying to overcome.
- What kinds of treatment methods are used? Usually, those who don’t follow one, single approach will have a better rate of success. These programs understand that each patient, and the personal baggage they arrive with, is unique and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that’s going to work for everyone.
- Is comprehensive care offered? In other words, does the treatment program offer access to things like group therapy, relapse-prevention workshops, exercise, and meditation? These services are important because they give you the ability to connect with others experiencing similar problems, as well as participate in activities designed to heal the mind and body.
- Is family participation encouraged in the treatment process? For some patients, having loved ones involved in the process can help to ensure proper support is provided after the treatment program has ended.
- How will the program prepare me for discharge and relapse prevention? The treatment program you select should offer services to help prepare you for discharge and ensure a lasting recovery. This may involve transitioning from an in-patient program to an outpatient facility or to a sober house, as well as follow-up counseling.
The bottom line is that there are many factors to evaluate when choosing a treatment program. But enrolling in a program is one of the most important things you’ll ever do, so be sure to take your time and choose a program that wants to help you succeed.