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10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Treatment Center

1. How qualified and experienced is the staff?

  • Probably the most critical element in any treatment program is the quality of the staff. You want to ask about the background of the main counselors and medical team to see if they have the proper credentials for treating substance abuse. In addition to education, certification and experience, our experience shows that obtaining treatment from others that have suffered through addiction themselves and achieved sobriety is beneficial. Staff who understand what you are going through can provide truly empathetic care.

2. How long has the company been in business?

  • With the rise in numbers of those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, the number of treatment centers is also increasing. When researching treatment centers be sure to see how long the company has been in business and whether they have a track record of success. A more established treatment center will have numerous references and can be researched through third-party sources like the Better Business Bureau for any complaints or issues. Many treatment centers generate a significant portion of their business through referrals so a business that has been in existence longer is also likely to have many referred customers from satisfied clients.
  • Another important factor is to determine how long the staff has been working together. A sign of a healthy organization shows little turnover in the staff. Frequent staff changes can result in poor communication, lack of organization and inexperienced staff.

3. Where is the treatment center located?

  • For outpatient programs, you want to make sure that the treatment center is easily accessible on a daily basis. Geographic location is one of the primary considerations for any outpatient program. In addition, you must evaluate whether the office hours will be suitable for your needs.
  • For inpatient programs, geography is less of an issue as the cost for travel is usually just a small percentage of the total treatment fees. You want to find a center that is in a calm and relaxing environment where you are able to focus on healing. In fact, going to a different town or state may help reduce the distractions and influences you face in a more familiar location.

4. What are the accommodations like?

  • Accommodations for inpatient programs are an important element in treating addiction. Treating addiction is taxing on the mind, body and soul and the last thing you want is to be staying in an uncomfortable place with substandard accommodations. You want to make sure the accommodations are comfortable, clean, safe and inviting. You also want to see if you will be sharing a room or have a private room. Ask if bathrooms are private or shared. Finally, you will want to learn about what additional services are available such as phone, internet and health club facilities.

5. What is the length of the program and typical day like?

  • When researching treatment programs, it is important to determine the duration of treatment. Shorter programs tend to be focused more on detoxification rather than lifelong sobriety. Also, when comparing costs of programs, a useful technique is to divide the total cost by the number of days to better evaluate the true cost of a program. Seeking treatment is a major commitment and lifelong change so be sure you are able to commit to the full duration of any program you select.

6. Is the office staff friendly and courteous?

  • You will be dealing with the staff on a daily basis. It is important that they are friendly and treat you respectfully. You want to make sure that phone calls and emails are returned promptly and in a courteous manner. Make sure all your questions and concerns are addressed.

7. What are the total costs of the program?

  • Most treatment centers do not display their pricing on their websites or make the information readily available. Also, beware of hidden fees that are not readily disclosed such as lab fees and food.
  • Once the total costs are obtained, you should divide the costs by the number of days of the program to better compare the costs of each treatment center.
  • Finally, you must also compare the services provided and overall quality of accommodations, dining and additional services. Some treatment centers may appear to be less expensive but may not offer biochemical restoration, medical tests, lab analysis, poor accommodations and shorter duration of treatment.

8. Does the treatment center offer true biochemical restoration?

  • Biochemical Restoration has been proven to be highly more effective than tradition counseling based treatment. Medial advances have allowed addiction treatment practitioners to offer numerous advanced treatment options. Biochemical Restoration involves a significant number of medical and lab tests and treatment involves improving diet, nutritional supplements and IV drips. Further follow-up lab tests are performed to evaluate progress. All Biochemical Restoration techniques are personalized for the individual involved. Be wary of a treatment center that offers one or two medical treatment options such as a standard IV or simple urine analysis and considers this to be Biochemical Restoration. These limited medical treatments are not personalized and are so limited they are not able to effectively restore a persons body chemistry to an ideal and balanced level.

9. Does the treatment center offer support after rehabilitation?

  • With many treatment centers, once you complete the program there is virtually no communication with the treatment center beyond the initial program. You want to determine how accessible the treatment center is after you complete the program. Determine if the treatment center offers any sort of ongoing counseling and support. Post-treatment support shows that a treatment center is supportive and truly focused on you achieving lifelong sobriety.

10. Are references available?

  • As with choosing any sort of medical practitioner, it is always a good idea to obtain references from recent clients. Avoid any treatment center that is not willing to give out references. They may cite reasons such as patient confidentiality or privacy issues. However, successful treatment centers usually have clients that will rave about the treatment received and are willing to share their experience with others.
  • In addition to references from existing clients, reputable treatment centers will also offer references from medical practitioners as well as counselors. References are an important method of obtaining independent reviews of a particular treatment center. Be very wary of treatment centers that are unwilling or unable to offer references.


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