How to Find the Right Alcohol Treatment and Drug Treatment Provider
Selecting a treatment center for substance use disorder treatment can be overwhelming.
Most of us don’t know what to look for in a quality program. Not all treatment centers are the same–they differ greatly in program options, staff qualifications, credentials, cost, and effectiveness.
You need to ask appropriate questions when you call a treatment center for information, and you should expect to receive clear answers.
Before you make any decisions–ask questions and get the facts!
Different Types of Addiction Treatment
Alcohol and drug addiction is a disease that progresses through predictable stages. It takes a trained health professional, often a doctor specializing in addiction medicine, to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
Ideally, a provider will offer a range of services to treat a patient throughout their recovery process. The more levels of care offered, the more comprehensive and individualized treatment you will receive, This includes:
What to look for
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is the gold-standard in addiction treatment certifications. Look for the gold seal on websites or simply ask when you call: are you CARF accredited?
There is also the Mental Health & Addiction Certification Board of Oregon (MHACBO), formerly known as ACCBO) and the Joint Commission for healthcare organization certification.
Is the treatment program medically based?
In addition to being certified and licensed, a treatment provider should be able to provide care services developed and managed by medical professionals. Serenity Lane’s Director of Medical Services, Dr. Geisler, leads a team of physicians, a psychiatrist, nurses and medical specialists who provide services like medically-supported detox, medication-assisted treatment, incoming patient medical workups, medication adjustments and overall care planning. Dr. Geisler is board certified in addiction medicine and was instrumental in the development and management of our medication-assisted treatment program for opioid-use disorders.
There is an advantage to including on-site medical care in a treatment program. Physicians and nurses provide 24-hour hospital services to monitor and ensure a safe withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs. In addition, a medical staff specializing in addiction medicine can oversee the progress of each individual and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
What does treatment cost?
The price tag for treatment services can be presented in many different formats. You need to know what is included in the price, what will be added on to your bill as a fee-for-service program, and what services your health insurance may cover. This makes it extremely difficult to compare prices by simply asking the question – “What does it cost?”
Very often treatment centers will only state the price for their residential program which can surprise you if additional medical and/or detoxification services are needed. Be sure to compare “apples to apples” or residential to residential when you make your decision. Will the treatment center send you a printed, itemized price list for your consideration?
The provider should be able to offer the best service plan based on access to benefits and offer additional discounts for up-front payments or provide payment plan options for out-of-pocket costs.
What is the degree of family involvement in the recovery program?
The disease of addiction affects the entire family, not just the alcoholic/addict. Quite often family members do not realize how deeply they have been affected by chemical dependency. Family involvement is an important component of recovery.
Treatment centers vary in the degree and quality of family involvement opportunities. Some offer just a few lectures and others offer family therapy. Ask how many hours are devoted to family programs and if group therapy is included.
You should know if a family program is included in the quoted price, or if this constitutes an additional fee-for-service. You should also ask if a children’s program is offered to help 7-15 year olds understand about addiction.
Other questions you should ask when selecting a treatment center
- Are the counselors certified in treating chemical dependency?
- Is there a mental health specialist on staff to provide evaluations at no additional charge if deemed necessary?
- Does the treatment center include internet webcam consultations and follow-up by a physician when deemed appropriate? Is there any additional charge for this service?
- What percentage of treatment counselors are in recovery themselves?
- Is the medical director an addiction medicine specialist with American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) certification?
- Is the facility licensed by the state?
- Does the treatment center have licensed psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists as members of the treatment team?
- Is there a transitional program to help individuals move from inpatient or residential treatment back into community life?
- Is the treatment philosophy based on a strong 12-Step program?
- Is the philosophy of recovery based on abstinence from all mood-altering drugs?