How to Assess an Addiction Treatment Center

What are the criteria that you should consider when choosing an addiction treatment center? Not all alcohol and drug treatment programs are created equal, and some programs definitely stand above the rest.

The first considerations should be based on what you or your loved one needs specifically to address in treatment. By asking yourself a series of questions you can begin to narrow down your treatment choices. Some of those questions might be:

1. What sort of detox process do you prefer or need?
2. Do you have an underlying issue such as clinical depression or PTSD?
3. Do you prefer a more intimate environment that will be more costly or are cost considerations more important to you, so the number of people in treatment with you becomes a secondary consideration?
4. Are there any specific types of therapy or treatment you believe would be helpful to you? For example, if you have trauma in your background, do you want to try EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)?
5. Have you tried treatment before and relapsed, so you want a program with a strong relapse prevention component?
6. Do you want to see a psychiatrist every week?

Once you have clearly identified your needs, you can begin calling intake departments and asking how they handle each of these requirements.

The next important considerations are reputation and accreditation. New addiction treatment centers open every day, but not all of them have the history and experience that will be critical to your success. Here are some considerations:

1. Find out about any state licensing and what that licensing means in terms of ensuring quality of care

2. Find out if the facility is accredited by an independent agency such as CARF, which means they have met that organization’s rigorous standards and are complying with well-researched best practices.

3. How long has the treatment center been in operation? The longer a treatment center has been open, the more likely they will attract top clinical talent and the more likely they have treated clients with issues similar to yours.

4. Do they make claims that seem to be out of the mainstream? Facilities that make unsubstantiated claims or promise to fix or cure you with a “new” method are likely just using manipulative marketing techniques and not basing their program on medically or clinically validated methodologies.

Choosing an addiction treatment center is a process that will be absolutely critical to your chances of long-term recovery. When you speak with an intake specialist, they will ask many questions to ensure their program is right for you. At Promises, the integrity of the process is so important to us, that we often refer to other treatment programs because that is in the best interest of the potential client. Even if you do not think Promises is the right match for you, please feel free to call our intake department anyway, as we are more than happy to guide you in finding an excellent alternative based on our more than two decades of experience treating addiction.

Posted on March 30th, 2010

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