How to Find the Right Addiction Treatment Program

How to Find the Right Addiction Treatment Program

What To Look For In Addiction Treatment Programs

Treating addiction is no simple matter, and finding the right treatment program for yourself or a loved one may not be easy either. Of the multitudes of treatment programs out there for drug and alcohol addiction, not all are created equal, with ineffective and outright corrupt rehab facilities operating along with competent and righteous treatment centers.

For this reason, you’ll want to make sure you do your research on any given drug rehab program before seriously considering their treatment program for yourself or your loved one. You’ll also want to choose a treatment facility that has been in business for an extended period if possible, as even a well meaning “new kid on the block” is unlikely to be as well organized and effectively run as a rehab facility boasting a more extensive track record.

Generally, a treatment center that has been in operation for five years or more should be a good starting point. You can also assess treatment centers by searching for first hand testimonials that former patients have written about their experiences in the treatment facility, which, along with showing you how others feel about the treatment provider, should give you an idea of what treatment models the facility utilizes and what kind of treatment options you can expect your loved one to receive.

Treatment providers should also show evidence of having the appropriate accreditations, such as by reputable organizations like the National Institute of Health, Joint Commission International, or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities. To find testimonials and accreditation information online, you can also utilize resources like, a site run by American Addiction Centers that provides in depth information about a multitude of treatment facilities in a convenient and easy to parse format.

You will also want to ensure that the addiction treatment professionals that staff a drug or alcohol treatment center are properly accredited and properly qualified along with the program itself. For instance, you will want to make sure there is at least one addiction medicine physician on staff who can prescribe any appropriate medications and address any other medical conditions that may arise in addiction recovery.

Similarly, all therapists on staff should be licensed counselors, meaning that they have been educated in the field of psychology at the master’s level as well as other specialized training and demonstrated their expertise through examinations.

Then, because mental health issues so often overlap with drug addiction, you will also likely want to get an idea of how any given rehab center deals with dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis refers to the diagnosis of a mental health disorder in someone who is also struggling with drug abuse.

If this is the case for you or your loved one, you will want to find a treatment center that offers mental health services specific to whatever co occurring disorders they may be dealing with. You’ll also want to make sure you find a substance abuse treatment center that uses an evidence based treatment approach.

Evidence based models are those that use are supported by verifiable facts, such as scientific studies in addiction medicine and documented treatment outcome statistics. Such an approach will likely include individual therapy using proven methodologies like cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as support groups and group therapy to facilitate the fellowship and communion among patients that has been widely associated with positive treatment outcomes.

Then, while it may seem counterintuitive, you should also be particularly wary of any rehab program that seems to guarantee success. While drug rehab programs are usually the most effective treatment option for someone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and full recovery is possible for most patients, addiction recovery is never a sure thing for any individual, so someone purporting a hundred percent effective treatment plan is naturally being disingenuous.

You should also be skeptical of any rehab centers that offer patients gifts or cash payment in exchange for treatment, which could indicate a dangerous health care provider who seeks to cash in on hefty insurance payments instead of providing the quality addiction treatment that they promise. Similarly, you should be suspicious if a rehab center’s site seems to focus only on issues of insurance and payment without providing much information about the addiction treatment options that they actually provide.

Ideally, rehab centers should also understand that addiction issues affect the entire family, and should thus provide family members the opportunity to engage in programs like family therapy with their loved one and/or to visit or communicate with their loved one regularly.

Along with these general notes, some aspects of finding the right rehab for your loved one will be more individualized. For instance, some rehab facilities cater to specific groups, such as young adults, women and girls, LGBT-Q identifying individuals, veterans, or individuals of a specific faith. Such a program may be able to offer a unique sense of safety and belonging that could help facilitate their recovery, and to focus on issues that may be more specific to their experience than might a more general program.

Then, there’s the matter of what physical treatment setting you are looking for, and thus whether you would prefer to only consider treatment providers close to home. While some practical benefits may be found from attending drug or alcohol abuse treatment nearby, such as the opportunity for a patient to engage with their existing support networks, an individualized treatment plan somewhere completely new may also allow you or your loved one to take a valuable step away from the people, places, and things that they associate with their addiction.

Also on a more practical level, the right rehab for you should also be a healthcare provider who will be able to work with your health insurance provider, and that has costs within an affordable price range for you and your family.

However, as long as medical reviewers are able to ensure the validity of an individual’s situation, insurers will usually be compelled to cover reasonable treatment for their addiction thanks to measures like the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which makes it illegal for large group plans to treat mental health conditions like addiction any differently than they treat physical health conditions.

Inpatient VS Outpatient Treatment Centers

In searching for the right treatment center, you also may find yourself wondering about the distinction between inpatient or residential treatment and outpatient addiction treatment. Basically, the main difference between inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment programs is that patients live at their treatment center in the case of the former but not of the latter.

Though inpatient treatment is probably more in line with your idea of a drug rehab center, many patients find that an intensive outpatient program is as or more suited to their needs than residential treatment. This may be because it has the benefit of allowing them to deal with temptation in the real world during their recovery process rather than secluding them from it, and allows them to maintain more connections to their support system and their former life.

As attested to by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, longer rehab programs are also more effective at preventing alcohol and drug relapse than shorter ones, so an intensive outpatient program may also be a convenient way to extend an individual’s treatment plan without requiring them to stay longer in residential treatment.

Inpatient treatment also shouldn’t be confused with a detox unit, which will usually only house patients for a few days to see them through painful and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, offering necessary clinical care in the case of any acute medical conditions related to withdrawal. While important in their own right, detox services are generally only a stepping stone on an individual’s path to more comprehensive inpatient or outpatient treatment for an addiction.

Using The Marchman Act To Compel Involuntary Commitment

Once you have found the right treatment provider for your loved one, you should be prepared for the unfortunate possibility that you may face the additional struggle of that loved one not being prepared to accept treatment.

Denial and resistance to treatment are both well-documented aspects of the disease of addiction, as those affected by it may be so desperate to continue their drug use that they are incapable of acting in their own best interests or seeing the danger of their situation clearly. In such a circumstance, you may be able to use a Florida statute called the Marchman Act to legally require your loved one to enter substance abuse treatment or risk facing legal consequences if they do not comply.

To learn more about how one of our skilled intervention counselors can guide you through the Marchman Act process and help you ensure that your loved one receives the proper treatment for their addiction, feel free to call our helpline anytime at 833-497-3808 or contact us online here. Though involuntary commitment should be a last resort, it is sometimes a necessary step in saving a patient’s life.