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Choosing a Residential Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center

Deciding to enter a residential drug and alcohol rehab center is a major step both for the individual struggling with addiction and his or her loved ones. Reaching out for help is often difficult, and the process can be made harder by the overwhelming number of treatment options available. According to data from a nationwide survey, there were more than 13,000 substance abuse treatment facilities in the United States in 2007. Picking just one of these may seem like an impossible choice, but it doesn’t have to be. The answers to the following questions can help you choose the best drug and alcohol rehab center for your situation.

What is my addiction treatment philosophy?
There are many different approaches to addiction treatment and no one approach will work for every addict. Learning about a rehab center’s addiction treatment philosophy will help you determine if it is a good fit for you or your loved one.

Holistic addiction treatment centers are becoming a popular choice because of their focus on the entire person. People with a holistic treatment philosophy believe that a person’s mind, body, and spirit all play a role in addiction and a successful recovery depends on treating each of them. A holistic drug and alcohol rehab center is likely to offer treatments like massage therapy and meditation in addition to more conventional addiction treatment approaches like talk therapy.

What services do I need from a drug and alcohol rehab center?
Not every rehab center offers the same services, so it’s essential that you identify which services are important in your situation. For example, many centers do not offer medically supervised detoxification. If you choose one of these centers, you or your loved one will need to be clean and sober before being admitted. Other services that many people find helpful include family therapy, educational seminars, an aftercare program, individualized treatment plans, and relaxation therapies.

Where is the drug and alcohol rehab center located?
Rehab centers can be found in a wide variety of settings all over the United States. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that there is a drug and alcohol rehab center within a day’s drive from where they live. Some people like the idea of staying closer to home, especially if they have supportive family members nearby who wish to be involved in their treatment. Others prefer to travel to a different city or state in order to put more distance between themselves and the environment they associate with their drug or alcohol addiction.

A secluded, retreat-like drug rehab center is a popular choice for many recovering addicts. These centers are usually located in a natural setting and offer a peaceful sanctuary from the chaos of a life of substance abuse. The accommodations are comfortable and may call to mind a relaxing vacation, but the treatment programs are just as real as those provided in a more institutional setting.

What is the center’s success rate?
It’s always important to ask what a rehab center’s success rate is and how it is calculated. Keep in mind that typical success rates are between 2% and 20%, although some centers report rates closer to 75%. While a higher success rate obviously should indicate better chances for recovery, be sure to ask follow-up questions if a drug and alcohol rehab center reports a success rate higher than 80%. Ask what criteria the center uses to measure a successful outcome, what about their program accounts for such a high rate, and whether they have data to support their claim. Because success rate can vary depending on how a center measures “success,” answers to these questions will help you compare centers more accurately.

Another way to get an idea of success rate is to ask if the drug and alcohol rehab center can provide opinions from graduates of their program. These testimonials from actual people may give you some insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the program and whether it is the right fit for you or your loved one.

How long is the treatment program? Does the drug and alcohol rehab center offer follow-up care?
Most rehab centers offer a 28 or 30 day program. While this is a standard length, research shows that the longer treatment lasts, the better the results. Many centers recognize this and offer extended care programs for individuals willing and able to continue treatment longer than 30 days. Ideally, the a drug and alcohol rehab center you choose will also offer a follow-up care program or referral to help you or your loved one transition back into everyday life once the initial program is complete.

How many staff members work at the drug and alcohol rehab center and what are their qualifications?
It’s a good idea to find out how many people work at the rehab center relative to the number of patients being treated. A lower staff to patient ratio means the center’s employees will have more time to work with you or your loved one on an individual basis.

The qualifications of the staff members are also important. You might want to ask questions about their level of education, experience in the field of addiction treatment, and licenses and certifications. A quality drug and alcohol rehab center will have a staff that includes several medical professionals.

How much does treatment at the drug and alcohol rehab center cost?
The cost of treatment at a residential drug and alcohol rehab center can be a deciding factor for many people, but you should never choose a program based on price alone. Consider what services and expertise you will be getting and how much those are worth to you. One center may cost twice as much as another, but that might be worth it if they offer offer twice as many services. It also may be worth it to pay more for treatment at a center that feels like a particularly good fit for your situation. The better a program meets your needs or the needs of your loved one, the better the chances for a successful recovery. In the long term, successful treatment will pay for itself.

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