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Unfortunately, not every addiction treatment provider has the client’s best interests at heart which can make it hard to tell the good ones from the bad. With a little research and the right questions, however, you’ll find it much easier to identify a reputable alcohol and drug rehab that fits your needs. This guide will teach you what to look for in potential treatment centers to find the right match. (At the end of this guide, we have a handy checklist of questions to ask a drug and alcohol rehab center.)
Here are four principles we recommend following when searching for treatment providers:
- Healthcare focused: Addiction treatment is healthcare and should be treated as such. Luxury amenities are nice and all but they’re not worth much if the treatment center doesn’t have the healthcare services you need.
- Quality addiction treatment: Some great indicators to look for are evidence-based practices, professionally credentialed staff, and accreditation. A visit and tour of the facility is also a great way to see whether they “practice what they preach” so to speak.
- Transparency: You should be cautious of any treatment center that has a vague, generic website or the staff is unable or unwilling to answer your questions.
- Ethical: The treatment provider should pledge compliance and accountability to a Code of Ethics whether adopting one from an industry association, like the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), or a similar comprehensive criteria that it holds itself accountable.
Choosing the right rehab center can be a daunting task but if you keep these principles in mind, you should be able to narrow down your search considerably.
Searching For Potential Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Providers
Don’t just go with the first treatment provider you come across – approach addiction treatment like other medical conditions by looking at and comparing your options. To find a reputable treatment provider, you can:
- Ask a family doctor or other medical professional for a recommendation
- Contact your insurance company for in-network providers and out-of-network options (insurance coverage can be tricky, especially for substance abuse treatment, so contacting your insurance company directly is the best way to get information)
- Check out online resources such as NAATP’s members directory or the accredited providers listed on The Joint Commission and CARF International websites
A treatment provider that is recommended or listed on these websites isn’t a guarantee on quality but it’s a good place to start your search. You should always do your due diligence when researching your options. Furthermore, you should be wary of Internet-based commercial directories, generic websites, ads offering free treatment placement, websites that offer unsolicited referrals, or unverifiable treatment center rankings.
Good Things To Look For And What You Should Avoid
After searching for alcohol and drug rehab centers, next you’ll want to start digging for more information. Below are some things to look for in a treatment provider:
- Members of NAATP, accredited by The Joint Commission or CARF, and are state licensed for all levels of care they provide. The state licensing authority and accrediting body will have a record of complaints filed against a facility, and violations. Many of these resources are available online.
- The provider seeks in-depth patient medical history. This information is critical in identifying an appropriate level of care or if the patient’s needs would be better met at alternate facilities. It’s not a good sign if the provider is only interested in financial information or doesn’t seek in-depth medical history.
- Whether it’s “in-network” with your insurance. If not, ask how much it will cost or what financing options are available to you.
- Look for programs that use evidence-based addiction treatment practices such as medication, trauma-informed care, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
- The provider gives detailed information about staff qualifications and service types. While spa amenities and destination locations are appealing, evidence-based health care services and a professional credentialed staff are essential for successful results.
- Bios for the staff, including medical and clinical personnel, are provided or listed on a website as well as location, assessment information, treatment planning, and clinical services. Be wary of providers that give generic answers or don’t provide much information.
- Detailed information about the client’s financial responsibility and its billing practices are provided. Although free sounds good, medical services have associated client responsibilities through deductibles and copay. Be wary of facilities offering no out-of-pocket cost with insurance.
Ultimately, be careful when it comes to generic websites, call directories, or websites offering treatment placement. These referrals are typically based on business relationships rather than your best interest. If the person you talk with won’t provide direct contact information for a facility or claims to represent a network of providers, that’s a red flag. Another thing to watch out for is if a provider offers free travel, no out-of-pocket cost, help to obtain insurance, or any other substantive gift or incentive as it can be a sign of potential insurance fraud and may be considered an illegal inducement.
If you’re looking for inpatient treatment, ask about licensed housing or residences as well as fees associated with housing. Some treatment providers present as being residential or inpatient treatment while offering outpatient services with unlicensed housing. When looking for sober living, ask how fees are assessed and how clinical and housing services coordinate care. (Free housing may be an illegal inducement and can be a sign of unethical operation.)
Questions to ask a Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center:
- Are you State licensed? If so, for what levels of care?
- Are you accredited? If so, by who? What services have been accredited?
- Are you a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP)?
- How long has the facility been in operation?
- Do you have a medical director on staff? Are they certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)?
- What qualifications do your clinicians have? Are group and individual counseling sessions provided by Masters level staff? Do clinicians have specialized training in treating substance use disorder?
- What are the facilities placement criteria?
- Can the facility treat the specific needs of the client? Are they licensed and qualified to do so? Under what conditions will a client be discharged or referred to alternate care?
- What is your procedure for referring to other treatment providers?
- Does the facility treat other medical and mental health conditions? Is it credentialed to do so?
- What evidence-based practices are used?
- How often are drug screens conducted? Does the facility follow ASAM guidelines for drug testing?
- Does the facility provide family counseling? If so, how? Are there additional costs associated?
- What types of support services are provided after treatment? Does the provider have an alumni program? What types of discharge planning are used?
- Is the facility in-network with my insurance? What out of pocket costs will be assessed? How are these costs calculated?
- If seeking a recovery residence (sober living home): What level of oversight is provided in the home?
- What are staff qualifications?
- Are staff on-site and awake 24/7? Are licensed staff available 24/7?
- How do housing and clinical components interact?
When you contact or visit an addiction treatment center, keep a print out of these questions with you to help you get the information you need to make a decision.
Rally Point Palm Beach Rehab
It’s not easy selecting an addiction treatment center but with this guide, it at least doesn’t have to be difficult. We know you have a lot on your shoulders which is why we strive to be as transparent and helpful as possible through our website, articles, and 24/7 confidential helpline.
We’re a State licensed, Joint Commission accredited facility and our staff is trained in trauma-informed care, cognitive behavioral therapy, co-occurring disorders treatment, and more. Being in West Palm Beach, we’re able to offer a mix of traditional and alternative therapeutic activities such as adventure therapy, fishing, yoga/meditation, art therapy, and more. Regardless if you stay in one of our licensed recovery residences or do an outpatient program, you will have a supportive community with you every step of the way. Learn more about our addiction treatment programs at Rally Point or contact us to see if we’re a right fit for your treatment needs.