What to Ask

Alcohol and drug rehab programs offer hope to men and women and their families suffering from the devastating consequences of chemical dependency. Deciding to seek recovery for yourself or someone you care about may be one of the most courageous and life-altering steps you’ll ever take.

Alcohol and drug rehab centers should offer a variety of treatment programs that can meet individual needs and offer sustained help. Programs may include inpatient, residential, outpatient, and/or short-stay options. While alcohol and drug addiction progress through predictable stages, each individual’s experience has quite personal and unique characteristics. It takes a trained professional, either a physician or therapist specializing in addictions, to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the most appropriate treatment program.

Not all alcohol and drug rehab centers are the same—they can differ significantly in philosophies, program options, credentials, staff skills and qualifications, and cost. The process of selecting the right drug rehab center can be confusing. Most of us don’t know exactly what to look for or the questions to ask that will help determine the drug rehab center that’s best designed to meet our needs.

As you research and evaluate potential drug rehab centers, ask however many questions it takes for you to address the following basic considerations—and before you make any final decisions, make sure you feel satisfied that all of your questions have been thoughtfully and thoroughly answered.

Sample Questions:

  • What is their philosophy on addiction?
  • What treatment programs are available?
  • What are the administrators’ and staffs’ credentials?
  • How does their treatment program differ from other drug rehabs?
  • How much will recovery treatment cost?
  • What services are covered by health insurance?
  • Do people starting the program come off alcohol and/or drugs cold turkey – and what happens after withdrawal?
  • How long will it take to complete the treatment program?
  • What types of people do they treat (e.g., ages, men and/or women, socio-economic profile)?
  • What is the degree of family involvement in the recovery program?
  • How is the transition back into mainstream society structured?
  • What is their success rate?
  • Are they accredited?
  • What continuing care programs are offered?
  • Do you screen for dual diagnosis?
  • Are you equipped to handle co-occurring disorders?
  • How do you handle continuing care planning?
  • Do you have doctors, nurses, counselors, therapists, addictionologists, and interventionists on staff?
  • How long have you been treating drug addiction?
  • How many counselors do you have on staff?
  • Do you have private facilities for executives or others who are concerned about exclusivity
  • Has your staff authored any books that are popular in the field of addiction and eating disorder treatment?
  • Do you have legal experts and court experience?
  • Do you have special training in helping clients who are chemically dependent on prescription medication?
  • Do you actually perform all of the services you offer or do you outsource many of them to other agencies?
  • Are you court/probation approved?
  • How long have your counselors been with the treatment facility?
  • Do you have a family program?
  • Is your staff certified to administer medication?
  • Do you have staff on site twenty four hours a day?
  • Do you have a special program for mature adults?
  • Do you have a college program that provides recovering students a great opportunity to earn accredited units?
  • Do you have a Christian based program available?
  • Do you test for drugs and alcohol multiple times a week with frequent surprise tests?
  • Do you have an alumni network?

Choosing drug rehab treatment is choosing to begin a new and better way of life. It’s important to remember that, just as alcohol and drug addiction don’t happen overnight, neither does the process of becoming alcohol- and/or drug-free. Recovery is an ongoing process and each aspect of life that is affected by alcohol and drug use must be continuously addressed. Be careful and especially scrutinizing as you determine the drug rehab program that is designed to most completely meet your needs and assist with long lasting success.

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