- Determine the quality of the treatment center your considering
- What to consider when choosing a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center
- Is inpatient addiction treatment right for you?
- Is outpatient addiction treatment right for you?
- What is long-term addiction rehab?
- What is extended care rehabilitation?
For the person struggling with addiction, help is readily available. There are numerous facilities equipped to treat alcoholism and drug addiction. When choosing the best option for you, there are several aspects of the programs offered, to consider.
Determine the Quality of the Program
When looking for help, you want to be assured that you are in the care of professionals. Check if the facility you are considering is licensed and accredited. Each state has different licensing, certification, and credentialing standards for the treatment programs as well as for the professionals that work in them.
Accreditation requires that the facility has higher standards than state licensing requirements. Certification also means that the program takes part in continuous self-evaluation and education to improve its care and services. This certification does not guarantee a positive result, but it is one of the best measures of the quality of care offered by the program.
It’s also important to ask detailed questions about the staff, the services, and the reputation of the facility you are considering. How effective is their treatment method? The facility should be able to provide you with some statistics about their success rate.
You may also want to find out if the program includes help with relapse prevention and follow-up care. Follow-up care includes support groups, counseling, or an outpatient program.
What is the program’s philosophy? Are you looking for a faith-based program, an evidence-based program, or a 12-step program?
What Else to Consider When Choosing
How much will the treatment program cost? Inpatient costs are more than outpatient costs because included in the inpatient costs are food, lodging, 24-hour staff availability, and any amenities, such as private rooms. Will your insurance pay for any portion of the cost? Does the program offer treatment fees based on income?
There are also luxury and executive programs that cater to those who can afford 5-star hotel-type accommodations. Routine amenities at these locations include acupuncture, golf, aromatherapy, equine therapy, massage therapy, spa treatments and gym facilities. Most of the rehab centers provide private suites, and a program manager to help create a schedule that best suits the client’s needs.
Where is the facility located? Do you prefer being near home or away from your community?
As an inpatient, would you be allowed any visitors? What is the community atmosphere? What is the age range of the patients there? Are one or both genders treated there? What accommodations are available (television, internet access, gym and swimming pool)?
Inpatient Drug Rehab Options
Substance abuse residential treatment centers offer 24-hour supervised medical care. Residential treatment makes it possible for patients to focus solely on their recovery, and studies have shown that inpatient rehab sites are the most efficient and medically sound way to treat addiction. Inpatient facilities are safe places to handle withdrawal symptoms. These programs are also better able to adapt to the individual and their changing needs.
Medication administration and any other medical care that is required is available with inpatient rehab. Individual, as well as group counseling, and life skill classes are also part of inpatient care. The length of stay varies from 30 days to 60 days, or 90 days. Based on statistics, long-term addiction responds better to a longer rehab stay and lessens the chance of a relapse.
Research about the effectiveness of drug treatment shows that the amount of time spent in rehab is crucial. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) research reveals that 90 days of treatment is the minimal length of time required for residential or outpatient treatment for substance abuse. Other factors that help to determine the appropriate length of time required is the individuality of each patient and their progress, as well as the drug of abuse. For example, with some individuals addicted to opiates, methadone treatment may be recommended for a minimum of one year. Other persons with the same addiction may require methadone maintenance for years. According to NIDA, many addicts make the mistake of stopping treatment before receiving all of its benefits, and consequently, they relapse.
Outpatient Rehab Options
Outpatient rehab centers for alcohol and drug abuse focuses on discovering the reason(s) for the addiction, and how to deal appropriately with those challenges. If these vital goals are not reached, patients are at a high risk of relapsing once they leave the program.
Twelve-step programs, group therapy, talk sessions, and cognitive therapies are some of the methods available to outpatient clients. Cognitive therapy purposes to help the patient understand their thoughts and feelings, and how they influence their behaviors. Then, more positive ways of thinking are explored, along with different modes of behaving.
The benefits of outpatient therapy include continuing to live at home and to go to work or school. You will be able to remain close to your family and friends who can provide support throughout your drug rehab process, and you will have the on-going practice of the skills that you learn about how to live sober.
Another benefit is the cost. Outpatient therapy usually costs less than inpatient treatment because there is no cost for room and board, and continuous staff availability.
The primary drawback to this treatment option is your continued exposure to the everyday alcohol or drug temptation and availability, and possibly to the cause of your addiction. Outpatient works better for those with less severe addictions.
Long-term Rehab Facilities
Long-term rehab facilities provide inpatient treatment for a longer period than traditional inpatient rehab. In excellent facilities, the length of the program depends on upon the progress of the client, so long-term can mean an extra month or 12 more months. Time frames are only guidelines to measure a resident’s progress, not to determine when treatment is over. If certain goals are not achieved, the patient will not advance to the next stage in the process. Treatment is flexible so that the client can find their unique way to recovery and avoid a possible relapse.
Long-term facilities are not in hospital settings. Most of them are in comfortable and modern settings, and they provide the same staff coverage and availability and medical care as other inpatient facilities. These facilities have high success rates with those that have severe addictions.
Extended Care Rehabilitation
Extended care facilities, “sober living homes,” are the next step for some patients once they have completed long-term care, but feel that they need more support before returning home. In these group homes or halfway houses, the client lives with others who are recovering addicts. Here, residents can come and go at will as long as they follow the rules of the home, as they agreed to do before moving in.
Although different facilities have different rules, the most important rule in all of the facilities is that all residents must stay sober. Because of this mandate, mouthwashes, ingredients (such as vanilla), and anything else that contains alcohol cannot be used or brought into the home.
Another principle rule that is common to most of these group homes is that all residents must be occupied during the day with either a job away from the residence or going to school. They are also required to do chores at the facility, and to attend 12-step program meetings.
Residents are also expected to be responsible for their obligations, such as paying their rent and buying their groceries. They participate in group therapy with their peers and must submit to random drug testing. Some of them have the added responsibility of being back at the group by a specified time each night. Violence is prohibited, and depending on the violation, the resident may be asked to leave the home. Other consequences of violating rules may involve paying a fine or making amends. The rules are to help the residents learn responsibility for themselves and accountability for their behavior.
The cost to live in a halfway house depends on the neighborhood where the house is located. It is less expensive than rehab because there are fewer services provided by staff. Residents are expected to pay rent on time, but they are not required to pay first and last month’s rent or utilities.
Once the patient has transitioned back home, there are other continued support options. This phase of rehab provides ongoing support for the patient and is viewed as a form of outpatient therapy. It is a voluntary option for the client, and it is encouraged by many long-term care facilities. Extended care includes peer support groups (such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous) and 12-step programs, regular meetings with therapists, and group counseling.
Peer groups are powerful tools for treating substance abuse because groups reduce isolation and individuals can witness the recovery of other members, thus giving them hope. Recognizing that you are not alone in your struggle can also help to ease depression, loneliness, denial, and shame. The right group meets the human need for contact and provides its members with support and the opportunity to grow in healthy and creative ways.
It has been proven that substance abusers are more likely to remain sober and committed to the process when treatment is provided in a group. Group settings provide support, gratification, affiliation, identification, and confrontation when needed. Groups also help the members learn to cope with their problems by seeing how others deal with similar challenges.
Many substance abuse recovery programs include a 12-step program in their therapy. Other programs (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) are located in the community, and attendance is free. The 12-step approach is a step-by-step program with the core beliefs that: Willpower only, may not achieve long-term sobriety; getting help from others must replace self-absorbed attitudes and beliefs, and lasting recovery is a process of spiritual renewal.
A few of the steps in the 12-step program are:
- Step 1: Admitting powerlessness over your addiction and your life has become unmanageable.
- Step 8: Write a list of all the people you have harmed, and be willing to make amends to all of them.
- Step 10: Continue taking a personal inventory and when you are wrong, readily admit it.
When searching for a 12-step program that is appropriate for your needs, you may want to find out if the program addresses your particular addiction. This 12-step approach is available for those addicted to alcohol, cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, marijuana, methadone, and other substances. Also, do you prefer a spiritual or a non-spiritual approach? Do you feel comfortable with the group? You might attend a few different meetings before you find a good “fit.”
Sponsors are also available in the 12-step program. A sponsor is an individual that has completed the 12-steps, has been sober for a long time and is willing to guide another member through the process of remaining dry. You may select your sponsor, and the person selected has the option to decline if they feel the two of you are not compatible. Same gender sponsors are encouraged to avoid relationship complications. It’s also better to choose someone who has the same socio-economic and educational background that you have, for ease of communication. It is important to know that sponsorship is a “one-way street.” Your sponsor is there to help you when times get tough. If your sponsor is having a difficult period, he or she is to go to his or her sponsor, not share their problems with you.
Routine meetings with therapists and group counseling are useful forms of substance abuse treatment because addiction affects brain function and behavior. Counseling helps patients modify their attitudes, and exposes them to healthy life skills, which consequently can change their habits.
Cognitive behavioral therapy helps patients recognize situations in which they are likely to abuse drugs. This recognition then helps them to avoid such situations or learn alternative ways of dealing with them.
When searching for a substance abuse treatment center, match what they offer to your needs. Available services include; hospitalization, partial hospitalization/day treatment, outpatient, residential short-term and long-term residential treatment. Some facilities offer all of these services; some offer several, but not all of the available services.