When you or a loved one are seeking treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, finding the right treatment center is challenging and confusing, emotionally and practically.
In your search, you’ll often feel bombarded by 800-numbers, banners, bells, and whistles, all claiming to have the capability to “save your life;” all claiming to be the most “caring,” “understanding,” “luxurious,” or “scientific” treatment facility in the world.
So, how do you know which is the best one for you? Here are some facts about alcohol and drug treatment centers to help you make the right decision.
1. Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers are supposed to be designed to help people with drugs and alcohol addiction problems, but most are not. In reality, most rehab centers were not designed at all. Largely, these drugs and alcohol addiction rehabilitation centers follow a treatment system that is dictated by the opinions of the substance abuse counselors who work there. They don’t all agree with each other, and they counsel people according to whatever they believe “got them clean,” not according to scientifically proven methods. This alcohol and drug rehab approach leads to confusion and simply does not work.
Suggestion: Ask how the treatment system of the rehab center that you are considering was designed. If you get a vague answer, you will know that they don’t have a cohesive plan, this will result in client confusion and likely failure.
2. Treatment centers, large and small, luxurious and poor, have adopted the same old way of treating drug and alcohol addictions. Even when most treatment centers present themselves as delivering “evidence based,” or “scientific” therapy, the truth is that they use the same tired and ineffective approach that has ruled the field of addiction treatment for 30 years. This system was originally called the “recovery model,” but for the past 30 years, has been termed other things like the holistic model, 12-step model, Florida model, or the catch-all term, the eclectic model. Regardless of the name used to disguise it, this old system of treatment has proven effective only 30 to 50 percent of the time.
Suggestion: Ask what specific model of treatment you or your loved one will receive. If the answer is the 12-step or the recovery model, you are being sold the same 30-year-old system of alcohol and drug rehabilitation treatment that has resulted in a mere 30-50% success rate.
3. An effective treatment center should instead be founded on:
- The most advanced research in mental health and psychotherapy in the social sciences.
- Individualized treatment that takes into account the individual needs of the person receiving treatment, not the counselor’s personal opinions.
- A treatment environment located in the middle of a real living environment, not a campus or a setting isolated from the real world.
- The incorporation of psychotherapy that focuses on treating the anxiety and depression that comes with drug addiction.
- The incorporation of physical fitness, mental fitness, and non-religious spiritual practice.
- The teaching of real-life living skills.
- Bilingual staff trained in providing treatment according to one consistent and scientifically validated system of treatment.
- Flexible treatment options that offer partial hospitalization with or without supervised living, and intensive outpatient treatment with or without supervised living.
- Treatment plans that are adapted to the person’s available time off work, vacation, and their sick leave.
- Flexible treatment plans that adapt to an individual’s work schedule, so that they can attend treatment without losing their jobs.
- Fierce protection of the person’s confidentiality, dignity, job, and relationships.
Suggestion: You may use the suggestions, and the list of characteristics of an effective treatment center, as a checklist to determine whether the rehab program you are considering meets the standards of a true 21-century treatment center. The more that it meets the characteristics in this list, the more you can be assured that you or your loved ones will receive the best care for the illness of addiction. Insist on it. You deserve nothing less.