Coming to terms with the fact that someone in your life has a substance use disorder is difficult, to say the least. And the need to find your loved one an appropriate place to get help only adds to the stress and upheaval. In fact, it may seem impossible to make such an important choice.
Making Things a Bit More Manageable
But, like so many major tasks in life, this overwhelming project can be made a little more manageable by breaking it down into a series of steps designed to help you zero in on the best possible fit. Here are some items to check off your list as you search.
1. Only Consider Licensed and Fully-Accredited Facilities
It is essential that the drug or alcohol treatment facility you choose has been properly vetted by an organization like the Joint Commission, which ensures that centers use evidence-based practices and employ fully trained and experienced staff members. Unlicensed or unaccredited facilities may be a danger to your loved one because no one has ensured such an organization is following best practices for creating a foundation for long term sobriety.
2. Find a Philosophical Match
Maybe your loved one’s faith is a factor in choosing a treatment center. Or perhaps he or she would be most comfortable in a gender-specific rehabilitation setting. Maybe holistic treatments—ranging from art and music therapy to yoga and meditation—fit well with an individual’s interests and outlook on life. Learn all you can about a facility’s philosophy of care so that you can find the best match.
3. Address Special Needs that May Impact Treatment
Sometimes addiction isn’t the only issue in play. Make sure the treatment centers you are considering are well-equipped to handle any special needs your loved one may have. Examples of specific issues include:
- Multi-substance addiction
- Eating disorders (or other process addiction issues)
- History of abuse or trauma
- Depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns
- A history of relapse after treatment
- Chronic pain
4. Make Sure the Treatment Program Is About More than Just Detox
Detoxification is, of course, a crucial first step for someone struggling with addiction. But detox is just the beginning of recovery. Equally important is building a foundation for a sustainable sober lifestyle. The best programs will help your loved one learn to foster healthy communication and build relationships; manage stress and regulate difficult emotions; and create a healthy daily routine around nutrition, exercise, and sleep as well supporting the pursuit of specific goals like returning to school or to the workforce.
5. Identify the Facilities that Ensure a Continuum of Care
This box on your checklist is connected to the last. Just as detox is just the beginning of effective treatment, residential treatment is just the first step on a continuum of care that provides ongoing support. The development of a plan for ongoing sobriety outside of the treatment center is essential and may include outpatient programs, 12-Step support groups, or even facility alumni events designed to remind individuals that they aren’t alone on their journey.
6. Look for a Facility that Both Builds Community and Focuses on the Individual
Of course, the community inside a residential treatment center is just as important as the eventual communities your loved one might enter after rehab. Group therapy is an important part of treatment because it provides an automatic support network of people who are struggling with similar issues. When balanced with individual sessions, group therapy can be a central part of recovery. Make sure the facilities you are considering strike this important balance and, if necessary, know how to provide support for more introverted individuals in the group setting.
7. Don’t Forget Yourself and Others in Your Loved One’s Life
The person with the addiction isn’t the only person who might be struggling. Family members—including parents, children, and spouses—and friends might also need support. Ideally, your treatment center search should include consideration of family counseling offerings. The family counseling setting can aid in the rebuilding of relationships, the creation of boundaries, and the ongoing need to follow-up on relapse warning signs.
Family programs may also provide a deeper understanding of the nature of addiction. That understanding can help minimize fears and misconceptions while providing a stronger framework for offering support to a loved one.
8. Be Sure You Understand the Available Payment Options
If you are insured, most drug and alcohol treatment centers are able to work with your insurance company to secure approval for treatment. The amount of coverage provided by insurance will vary from plan to plan, so it is extremely important that you work with a treatment center that can help you navigate any issues that arise.
If you are uninsured (or underinsured), you want to be sure the treatment center you choose offers financing options, payment plans, self-pay discounts, or other programs that will allow you and your loved one to afford treatment.
9. Don’t Be Fooled by Promises of a Quick Fix
It goes without saying that we all want our loved ones to recovery fully—and quickly. But addiction is no easy foe to overcome. Instead, it is a chronic illness requiring ongoing care to prevent relapse.
If a facility promises a quick fix—a fast “cure” that is “guaranteed”—strongly consider finding a different treatment center. Unrealistic promises may provide (false) hope, but will not serve you or your loved one well.
At Bel Aire Recovery Center, a leading Kansas drug and alcohol treatment center, we are committed to helping men and women learn to live full and productive lives while managing the chronic disease of addiction. With care and consideration, we can ensure that your loved one is on a path to recovery—and that you and your family get the support you need to heal and create positive changes for yourself.