What to look for in a treatment program?

When researching a treatment center it is important to look past the often beautiful settings and smiling faces you may see on the web sites, and focus on the hard facts. While those amenities are always nice and can have an impact on the results coming out of treatment, they can tend to have a higher price tag and not always the best level of care. It is more important to look into whether your choice has the following things:

  1. Appropriate accreditation and licensing: Make sure that the program has all the appropriate accreditation and licensing for the province/state/country that it is in, and that it is being run by individuals with the proper training and accreditations. You want to make sure that the place you are entrusting with your life or the life of a loved one is qualified to take care of that life and provide them with the best possible care.
  2. Individualized needs: Addictive disorders have a variety of characteristics that require ‘individualized treatment’. When choosing a treatment center it is important to look at what options are available for the type of addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, gaming, eating disorders, sex and love, codependency, multiple addictions), as well the duration of the program and the type of treatment provided (group therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, support groups, spirituality, 12-step, mediation and alternative health options). It is also important to consider whether a gender specific option or detoxification is necessary.

If you or your loved one suffer from an addiction and mental health issue concurrently, it is important to choose a treatment center that has appropriate psychiatric care/staff.

  1. Program effectiveness or success rate: Treatment centers should have statistics on how many people are admitted to the program, how many finish the program and of those who finish, how many succeed. These can be hard to read, but it is important to know what the odds are going in. It also speaks volumes about a treatment center that cannot or will not provide these statistics.
  2. Continuing care: Statistics have shown that the success rate for individuals who participate in a year (52 weeks) of continuing care after completing residential treatment have a higher success rate than those who do not. Some treatment centers have in house Continuing Care services and some outsource to other centers and private counsellors to facilitate this very important step in recovery. Be sure to ask about these services and if there is additional cost above and beyond the cost of inpatient treatment.

It is very important to have all the facts when looking into treatment in any form. It is highly recommended that you do as much research as possible and weigh the cost VS the program you are choosing.