When an individual struggling to overcome addiction decides it’s time to seek help in the form of a drug or alcohol recovery center, finding one isn’t necessarily difficult. Choosing the one that will be the best fit and boost your chances of long-term sobriety success, however, can seem like an overwhelming task.
The following list is designed to help simplify a seemingly complicated process – 8 key factors to consider when choosing an addiction center:
1. Staff-to-patient ratio
Traditionally, the higher the ratio, the higher the standard of care. (If there aren’t enough staff members to do the work – and do it well – protocols aren’t followed, details are missed, staff morale may be low.)
2. Accreditation, certifications, patient reviews
Used to identify facilities that meet or exceed national health, quality, and safety standards, accreditations are also typically indicative on the quality of care to be expected. On a less technical front, it’s also advisable to look for recent news articles, patient reviews, and social media comments regarding the center you’re interested in. Recent success stories of clients or family members of clients provide an inside look at what a true experience at the treatment facility may be like, and if its right for you.
Do you gravitate toward warm weather and beaches? Or maybe you feel most grounded in the mountains? Ideally, do you want a recovery center that’s close to home (which can be helpful if family or friends will be involved) or would it be better to put a bigger distance between you and some acquaintances who might not have your best interests at heart? There are more than 14,000 drug and alcohol treatment centers in the U.S. so while finding one might not be difficult, finding the one that’s right for you requires a little research and planning.
Could a single-gendered facility be more beneficial due to the amount of specialized care? What kinds of therapy do they offer: one-on-one, group, cognitive behavioral therapy, client-centered therapy? Or are you searching for a facility that offers art therapy or something that allows you to spend more time outdoors?
5. Duration of treatment
Most drug and alcohol addiction recovery centers will offer at least a 28-day minimum program, and some may even feature programs that last a year or more. Research shows that a decreased risk of relapse is associated with longer stays due to the break of the habitual cycle.
6. Levels and types of care
Since the best recovery programs are tailored to meet each individual’s needs, many centers will offer a continuum of care, starting with supervised, inpatient detox before progressing to outpatient and intensive outpatient programs (which are often a workable option for those with extensive work or family commitments). For individuals who require a higher level of care than traditional outpatient recovery, there’s partial hospitalization program, which provides medical supervision and comprehensive treatment during the day but still permits the patient to spend nights at home.
Because many of those who struggle with addiction also have other mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, you’ll want to make sure you choose a recovery center that treats those disorders while also addressing the addiction. Otherwise, even if the addictive behaviors cease, the underlying root causes are still there making life more difficult.
Communication and a reliable support network play key roles in recovery, so you’ll also want to ask if there’s a formal post-treatment support plan in place for life after the recovery center. Does the facility have an established procedure for connecting each individual with therapists, psychiatrists, and support groups to assist after being discharged from the treatment facility?