When you decide to get help for substance use disorder, it’s critical to line up care as soon as possible with a quality organization that will give you the best chance for a successful and lasting recovery. Research shows that drug and alcohol rehab treatment is highly effective in helping substance abusers get their lives back on track.
For example, the Butler Center for Research at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation conducted a two-year study of their residential treatment program patients. They discovered that 64% remained alcohol-free, and 86.3% were drug-free after a year post-treatment. Another survey of prison inmates found that those who received drug and alcohol treatment during their incarceration and continued in care programs after their release showed a 50% to 70% decline in drug use over those who had no rehab. Treated offenders were also 50% to 60% less likely to return to jail.
Unfortunately, it can be challenging to quickly find a good fit because there are many different types of addiction recovery centers and programs. Some key factors you should consider when choosing a drug or alcohol rehab are credentials, reputation, cost, location, and aftercare planning. Resources on the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) website can help you track down much of this information.
So let’s dive in to take a closer look at each of these essential elements for finding quality care:
Before proceeding with care at any substance abuse rehab, you must ensure the staff are licensed and experienced treatment providers. The following are typical acronyms you should see after employee names in a reputable facility: CAC (Certified Addiction Counselor), CMHC (Clinical Mental Health Counselor), LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), and MSW (Master of Social Work). If the treatment center also offers detox and medication-assisted treatment, make sure they have an MD, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or other licensed medical professionals on staff.
While education and training are essential, there are other things you should take into account. Look for ‘soft credentialing,’ such as staff members who are also successful and active in their recovery. “We believe that our patients do better when they are guided in their recovery journey by someone who has already walked that road,” said Preston Dixon, COO at Renaissance Ranch, a men’s treatment center with locations in Utah and Idaho.
“Our staff is made up of dads, sons, husbands, brothers, and friends, and we are keenly aware of how addiction has hurt those relationships in our lives,” he continued. “More importantly, though, our successful recovery stories demonstrate to others who are perhaps just starting out that they, too, can beat addiction and repair those bonds.”
Another critical aspect related to credentialing is the facility’s accreditation. Since accreditation isn’t mandatory for substance abuse facilities, finding one that has voluntarily gone through this stringent process shows they have a commitment to providing quality care. The two primary governing bodies that accredit substance abuse rehabs are the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Accredited addiction recovery centers will display the CARF Aspire to Excellence logo or the JCAHO gold seal.
While online customer reviews can be helpful, they also tend to muddy the waters when it comes to addiction treatment providers. It’s a good idea to practice caution, especially when coming across overly positive reviews that may seem fabricated or highly negative reviews that could have come from someone with a personal ax to grind.
One of your best bets for determining a rehab’s quality is its reputation in the community where it operates. Do the local doctors and psychiatrists know them or, better yet, refer their patients to these facilities? Referrals from close friends also carry a lot of weight. Maybe you know that your buddy Joe suffered from severe alcoholism a few years ago. You reached out to him recently, though, and he seems to have his life together again. Ask him how that happened and where he went for help.
Excellent addiction recovery centers are costly. And we’re not talking about a Malibu luxury rehab for A-listers. A 30-day stint in a no-frills but high-quality residential treatment program can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000. For some, that might make private care seem permanently out of reach. But that’s not necessarily the case.
First, check whether the facilities you’re interested in carry your insurance. As health coverage is an ever-changing business, with doctors and medical professionals often dropping in and out of your network, contacting your insurance provider and the facility is critical. You want to make sure everybody’s using the same playbook regarding what programs, doctors, therapists, and medications are covered.
Second, talk to your spouse or extended family about helping cover the cost of your treatment. You’ll probably need to assure them that their monetary assistance isn’t going to fund your addiction or any past-due expenses resulting from your addiction. The best way to do this is to have them pay the facility or medical bills directly. Also, look at funding options from other sources, like employee assistance, scholarships, and grants. Some residential treatment programs for substance abuse also offer monetary aid and sliding-scale fees dependent on income and need.
Third, consider taking out a loan. While this is not an ideal solution, consider it an investment in your future. You’re seeking to change your life in ways that will benefit you and your loved ones mentally and spiritually and improve your health and earning potential. The alternative – not getting any specialized help and continuing to spiral into your addiction – isn’t really an option that you or your loved ones can live with.
You may think, ‘I am looking for residential treatment, so it doesn’t matter where I go,’ but staying as close to home as possible has distinct benefits. For starters, addiction is a disease that affects you and your entire circle of family and close friends. As such, they need to be a part of your recovery. They have questions, hurts and behaviors they need to address, and probably a strong desire to know how to best support you. As such, several men’s treatment centers, including Renaissance Ranch, encourage active family participation in educational and therapeutic activities.
While online conferencing, webinars, and live podcasts represent great tools for involving family members from farther away, it’s also nice for your loved ones to be close enough for in-person classes and occasional family visiting-day activities. “A main focus here is to rebuild the bonds between our dads and their kids,” said Dixon. “These men have gone through Hell, and, unfortunately, their children often have had front-row seats for all of it. The more opportunities we can give these children to interact with their fathers in healthy and fun ways, the better.”
Another consideration is whether or not you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural setting for rehab. Some people love focusing on their recovery while spending time away from civilization, such as at a ranch or in the mountains. Others feel more comfortable in an urban environment.
When you’re in the throes of addiction, you can’t think much beyond the fact that you need help now. However, it’s crucial to determine whether the facility you’re looking at has an aftercare program. Medical professionals have long claimed that participating in a 30-, 60-, or 90-day treatment program should only represent the beginning of a person’s recovery journey. That’s because substance abuse is a chronic condition and thus requires lifelong care and vigilance. Does that mean you need to stay in treatment forever? Thankfully, no.
On the other hand, your continued recovery will depend on you staying connected to ongoing aftercare resources, like treatment alumni groups, AA and NA meetings, and individual and group therapy sessions. As with any chronic disease, relapse happens. Continuing aftercare provides you with the vital support you need to pick yourself up and resume your recovery journey. Substance abusers can easily slide back into old habits and dangerous territory without it.
If you or someone you love is battling substance addiction, call one of our staff members at (855) 736-7262. We can help!