How to Pick the Right Treatment Center

Written By:Amber Hollingsworth,LPC

If you are looking for the best addiction treatment center, there are several things you should consider.

1.  Are you looking for inpatient or outpatient treatment?

Addiction Counselor Amber Hollingsworth

Inpatient treatment is best used to stabilize someone’s addictive behaviors. It can include detox, and should also include addiction education, counseling, and many also provide medical supervision. If you are in need of detox then you should look into an inpatient facility that offers medically monitored detox. If you have tried outpatient previously (one or more times) and don’t seem to be getting the results you want, then it may be time to look into residential treatment.

Outpatient treatment can also be a very good solution.  It’s great to help a person learn to “Stay Sober.”  I generally say that Residential treatment programs almost always work. However, staying sober in a very structured facility is different than staying sober while working, going to school, raising a family, managing finances, etc…  Despite popular belief, most people do not need to go to inpatient treatment to get sober.  Intensive Outpatient Programs can offer a great “middle ground” option. IOPs provide structure, support, and education. I would suggest looking for a program that also has a solid family program as well.

Get my Full Length Treatment Guide To Learn More about these levels of Care (It’s totally free)

2.  Are the center and the staff qualified/licensed?

Make sure the clinical staff has the right qualifications and experience. Believe it or not, many addiction treatment centers do not use “Licensed Professionals” to do the majority of treatment. Many use people in recovery who have completed some sort of certification process.

While it can be extremely helpful to have the support of someone who has been through it themselves, it’s very important to have someone who is trained to identify and treat underlying or co-existing conditions like depression, anxiety, mood disorders, ADD, and trauma.

To be honest, most people have one or more of these underlying conditions and if they are ignored, it can lead to ongoing relapses. For the best treatment results look for a facility whose staff can treat both.

3.  How much does the center charge?

Although it isn’t a pleasant subject, I do think it is very important to consider money in the equation.  Most people do have some insurance coverage for drug and alcohol treatment. But… be careful here…… Just because you have insurance benefits doesn’t mean they will cover the kind or amount of treatment you need.

Let me explain…..  Most insurance providers make decisions based on what is called “medical necessity.”  That means that they will only pay for services that THEY deem as “medically necessary.” Basically, if you aren’t likely to die (like right now), then you may not meet the criteria. For example, most people stabilize in detox or inpatient treatment after about 5-10 days of treatment. While this is a sufficient time period to stabilize you medically, IT IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT ENOUGH TO KEEP YOU SOBER. Everybody tends to think that physically getting off of a drug is the hardest part. FOR SURE IT’S NOT!!!!  The hardest part is learning to stay sober while navigating all of life’s stress.  And trust me….. that CAN NOT be done in 5-10 days no matter how wonder the facility is!

Click Here to Download Free Guide to Selecting A Treatment Center. 

I’m not telling you not to use your insurance, I just want you to understand how that really works. Most people (and their families) are shocked when the insurance company starts to deny coverage very shortly after an individual starts treatment.

More expensive treatment definitely does not mean better, but super cheap usually means it will have some serous limits as well.  Unfortunately, most free or nonprofit treatment centers have little or no ability to treat co-occurring mental health conditions.

A good way to think about it is this…

Try to get the treatment you need without having to lose everything you own, but also don’t try and find the cheapest option (because chances are you will probably have to do this again and again).

An active addiction will continue to cost you MANY thousands of dollars each year, not to

mention the damage to our relationships, career, and possibly your freedom. This may be the

most important investment you make.

A word of advice to parents: If you have a college fund set aside for you kid, it’s okay to use this for treatment. ON MANY OCCASIONS, I have told parent’s that they needed to get their kid treatment because the kid will likely never make it through college if they can’t get their addiction under control.

Click here to get my complete guide on selecting a treatment center.

I would definitely take a look at this before making a decision.  It will save you LOTS OF MONEY, TIME, AND HEARTACHE!

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