Just like any other form of healthcare, there are many options and variables when it comes to choosing the right provider of treatment. Understanding what the different options and factors are can make a huge impact the outcome of whether or not you or your loved one has a successful recovery.
Here are some of the main factors you have to consider when selecting a rehab program, in no particular order:
Setting – Inpatient, outpatient, or both?
The overwhelming majority of people who receive any kind of rehabilitation services in a given year take part in outpatient treatment. However, this doesn’t mean that is what is best for them. Most serious addictions and even chronic binge use episodes are better treated in an inpatient setting.
Sometimes people make the mistake of underestimating the problem or discounting the benefits that a residential rehabilitation program offers. Inpatient programs allow people to have time to focus solely on their substance abuse issues without the distractions of everyday life so that they can build a solid foundation for their recovery.
It is highly common, and even typically recommended, for people to continue on with outpatient services after they have completed a program at a residential rehab center.
Proximity – Close to home, far away, or somewhat accessible?
If you’ve decided that an inpatient facility is the right choice for you, one of the next questions to ask is where the program should be located. While there are confliction opinions about this topic, there is not a single answer that is correct for everyone. Sometimes the perfect program is right in your back yard, or it may be clear across the country.
There are benefits of having the facility be close to family so that they can visit on Sundays to offer support and encouragement as well as to attend any family counseling sessions or classes the program may offer. On the other hand, many things can be done from a distance now through telephone and video conferencing technology, and getting completely away for a while is also beneficial.
Or perhaps the right distance for you is to have something within just a few hours’ driving distance, so that it is close enough for weekend visits yet far enough away to resist temptation of leaving. The point is to not let proximity be the main deciding factor here, but instead one of many important things to consider when choosing a rehab center.
Length – Short term, long-term or somewhere in between?
Although most treatment experts agree that longer-term treatment is better, there is no specific number of days that works best for everyone. A short-term inpatient program may only be 7 – 10 days, which is then usually followed up with outpatient treatment. In today’s field, many people have begun referring to 28-day programs as being short-term as well.
Long-term programs are basically anything over the 30-day mark. Many facilities are starting to make 6 – 8 weeks their standard length, with options for staying for more weeks or months. We have seen some programs that include a wide range of levels of care that can last well over a year.
While we recommend choosing a facility that is longer than a month, this might not always be possible, or the one you choose may not offer more than 28 or 30 days for residential treatment. You might also find something that requires a minimum of 6 months when it isn’t necessary. Overall, length of time is definitely something that should be taken into account when selecting a program.
Availability and Cost – Go where there is an open bed, or wait for the right place? Exclusive, free or something affordable yet private?
Sometimes the facility you choose might not be immediately available to you. This can be as a result of bed space and they could have a waiting list, or it might be that they don’t accept your insurance. In cases where there your preferred program isn’t an option right away, you may have to wait it out for the space to become open, or the better option is often to look for other alternatives.
Let’s say you found the program that you think fits your situation the best. Your insurance policy will cover it, but the facility doesn’t accept insurance as a form of payment. They require that you pay for the program and then get reimbursed directly by your insurance, and they’ll even help you file the claims. Would you still go, or would you look for another place that will take your coverage up front and you only have to pay the deductible?
Another common dilemma is that your policy has no out-of-network benefits, but you don’t like the facility options that they will pay for. Do you go ahead and go to one of those programs, or do you search for something that is private pay but possibly still affordable?
These are some of the things that a referral counselor or facility locator service can help you with so that you can explore more options.
Types of Therapy – 12 step, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Equine Therapy, Religious, alternative, or other?
Probably the most important factor when choosing a rehab center is the types of treatments and therapies they use. Typically there is a overarching theme, and then multiple therapies that are used as a part of the program.
Some main themes including typical 12 step programs, Religious-based programs and non-12 step treatment. Each of these may offer a wide variety of services, such as individual and group counseling, bible study, Yoga, equine therapy, art therapy, outdoor/recreational therapy, and much, much more. Although this covers some of the main ones, there are really too many to name.
When contemplating which way to go, it’s important to remember that success has as much to do with your belief in the program and desire to recover as it does the program itself. Some people have more success in a particular program than others. This is how people can recover even after attending facilities that they did not feel were helpful, and others can relapse even though they sing the praises of the center and its effectiveness.
Keeping that in mind, really listen to what is done at a facility and think about whether or not that will work for you. Consider choosing something that is appealing in its treatment methods, even if the setting might not be what you had hoped for.
Aftercare – Meetings, apps, or other support groups?
Many people in recovery have come to recognize that what happens after they complete treatment is just as important to their recovery as any other factor. Recovery planning is and aftercare support can be extremely vital.
Most individuals need some form of continuing care or help after they leave treatment. Too often people go back to wherever they live and work and nothing else has changed except for them. They quickly fall back into same old routines and relapse is all but inevitable. Treatment centers that have aftercare help can assist program alumni better in making the transition into their new lives of sobriety.
While going to meetings can definitely be vital for some, others might seek solace, guidance, support and encouragement elsewhere. If the facility you choose does not have a good aftercare program, you may want to consider getting help from a recovery coach or peer support person who can help guide you on your future path.
In a similar fashion, it can be tremendously helpful to seek input from treatment referral specialists who can assist you in finding suitable rehab centers and compare your different options. Contact us today if you would like to speak with someone knowledgeable in these areas.