Selecting a Treatment Center

Treatment Centers: How Do I Find a Good One?

I recently read a staggering statistic that there are over 14,000 treatment facilities in America! This number may include everything from individuals who provide addiction treatment to large treatment centers. The point is, how do you navigate this impossible maze?

Making the problem even worse is the unethical practices of some placement services. Well-funded commercial enterprises advertise on television for you to call. What you will likely reach is a very lightly trained individual who will direct your call to a treatment center under the guise of picking the right one. For every referral they make they are paid a fee. So your referral is not based on the clinical needs of your loved one. Your case simply goes to the highest bidder.

And the internet? Once again the searches will bring you to sites that have paid for prominence. Everyone can produce a slick website. You will not be able to differentiate the good from the bad.

Contacting a trusted professional for guidance is vitally important. This may be your doctor or therapist. A certified interventionist likely will be familiar with a wider range of treatment options than a local source, but again you should make certain that referrals are not based on financial incentive.

Many factors determine placement. Age of the patient, gender, drug-use history, relapse history, co-occurring disorders, trauma, general physical health, faith background, insurance and additional financial resources, family and vocational demands are all important considerations.

Some patients recover by going to AA, or some variant of the 12-Step model. Some patients need an inpatient stay. Others will be appropriate for out-patient treatment. Many will need additional counseling. Some young people respond very well to wilderness therapy programs.

One question families often ask concerns outcomes. What percentage of people recover after going through a particular treatment center? It’s a good question, but very difficult to answer. Comparing the recovery prospects of an older patient with relatively stable sociological factors with a young person with few life skills is extremely difficult. What motivations does each patient have? What boundaries are in place? The variables are too numerous to control accurately.

Two indisputable truths to treatment centers and outcomes. First, without intervention and getting a patient into a reputable treatment facility the downward spiral of addiction is certain. Second, if a patient goes through a good program, becomes open to new ideas and does what they’re told then recovery is virtually assured.

Bottom line, there are many, many very good treatment centers and treatment options. A lot of dedicated people are doing very good work in a challenging field. If possible work with a trusted, certified interventionist for guidance through this challenging and vitally important decision. He or she will be familiar with the widest range of solid options.