How to Choose a Substance Abuse Rehab?
Choosing the right rehab for yourself or a loved one could potentially be one of the most important decision you can make. The facility, treatment program, and type of treatment that you choose can determine your chances of successfully achieving sobriety. There are many aspects that someone can look at when trying to select the right treatment center, but today we are going to look at the key factors that someone who has no prior knowledge of addiction treatment can use to make a safe and informed decision. Key factors include online reviews, facility location, facility reputation, the amount of years a treatment center has been in business, levels of care offered by the treatment facility, aftercare support offered, JCAHO certification, and the facility’s website. While we understand that the factors for choosing the best rehab may seem like a mouth full, don’t get intimidated, we are going to walk you through each section step-by-step. Before we start, it must be stated that each person’s specific addiction and situation is different, what works for one person may not work for another person. Your life circumstances play a roll in what kind of treatment you may need or have access to. With that being said, you can use the information below as a guide on how to choose a rehab based on your specific situation.
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Websites of Good Rehabs vs. Websites of Bad Rehabs
The first place you should look when choosing the best rehab, is on their website. There are many small things that you can see on a rehab’s website to identify if it is right for you. Below you will find a list of things you can look for on a rehab’s website to see if they offer what you need or are looking for in treatment.
What to look for on a drug and alcohol rehab website:
- Contact us page with an address and phone number.
- Mission and vision page.
- Staff page.
- Levels of care offered.
- Facility Location.
- Link to a BBB (Better Business Bureau) Page.
- Links to Social Media Pages.
- JCAHO Certification Badge.
The list above is a set of pages that every rehab should have on their website. They offer the necessary information that you need to see if that specific rehab facility is the best for you or your loved one. From the list above it would be safe to say that reviews, staff, levels of care and facility are the most important. The presence of a reviews page shows that the facility is transparent and willing to allow potential clients to see what past clients have to say. You should be weary of facilities that only show five star or good reviews as this may be an indication of a situation where the facility has fake reviews or hides/removes bad reviews. Having a staff page is important because you need to know who will be handling your treatment. With this information you can do a deeper investigation on the individuals themselves, their specialties, work history and how long they have been in the industry. The levels of care offered page shows what kinds of treatment the facility offers. Some treatment centers may offer the full continuum of care ranging from detox to outpatient treatment, while others may specialize in a specific level of care. By knowing what is offered and what treatment you need, you can decide whether a rehab is right for you. Last, but not least, look at the website’s rehab facility page. This page should give you an idea of where you will be receiving treatment, in many cases there will be a photo album or a link to a photo album of the facility on the page. Use this opportunity to see if places and buildings in the albums depict the place where you or your loved one will feel comfortable and safe while getting sober.
Always be weary of facilities that refer to themselves as the best, number one or top in the industry or the nation. In many instances, facilities who use exaggerations in their content to make themselves appear more than they really are. When you see claims like these, always look for data or information to support these statements. In many cases there won’t be any supporting evidence so always be mindful when reading content on a rehab’s website.
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How Long Has the Rehab Been in Business?
Knowing how long a rehab has been in business is important. You want to go to a facility that is experienced in addiction treatment and there is no better show of this than the test of time. Since a company’s registration is public information, you can always look it up online and see how long it has been in business.
When choosing a rehab, you want to answer these questions:
- How long has the rehab been in business?
- Are they a smaller business under a larger company?
- Who owns the rehab?
- Has the treatment center been open continuously?
- Is there a DBA (doing business as) on the business name and if so why?
- Has the owner changed in the past?
All these can be determining factors on whether or not you want to trust or attend the rehab in question. If I were to pick out the most important question to answer, it would be who owns the rehab, because with that information you can do further research into their background and get a deeper understanding of the company itself.
Rehab Reviews & What People Have to Say Online
One helpful resource for individuals to use when choosing a drug and alcohol rehab is third party reviews. There is a variety of helpful websites that offer reviews on companies including drug and alcohol rehabs. The benefit and advantage that you get from using third party rehab review websites, is that the rehab or treatment facility is not able to screen or hide negative reviews. This means you will get to see everything that past clients have to say. An indicator of a good rehab is not one that has no negative reviews, but a rehab that has a majority good reviews. Also, a good rehab will always address its negative reviews and try to provide a solution to the disgruntled individual. Below is a list of third party websites where you can find rehab reviews.
Third Party Rehab Review Websites
- BBB (Better Business Bureau)
- Google Plus
- Trust Pilot
- Yellow Pages
- Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
If you want to see if a drug and alcohol rehab center is reputable add the word scam after their name and enter it into google. Look on the results and see if there are a lot of reviews about that facility related to scams. This may help you in deciding if that rehab is for you.
Choose a Rehabilitation Facility – Location
The location of the treatment center you attend is just as important as anything else. In an ideal scenario, you or your loved one would want to get treatment out of your hometown or even out of
your state. The ability to leave your state depends on many things. The primary deciding factor is whether your insurance will cover out of state treatment, or if you can afford to pay for out of state treatment out of pocket. If you can leave the people, places and things that are associated with your addiction you give your self a better chance to focus on your recovery. Also, added distance between the rehab and home will reduce the chances of you leaving treatment early.
Knowing where a rehab is located can also give you an idea of the level of care you may receive. You want to ensure that your treatment center is in a safe and comfortable neighborhood. In the case of outpatient and intensive outpatient programs, you would want to ensure that you can easily access your rehab from your sober living home. Ultimately you want to find a rehab that is located somewhere where you feel comfortable and know gives you or your loved one the best chances of recovery.
Does the Rehab Offer the Care I Need?
There are many different levels of care offered to people at different stages of their recovery. When looking for a treatment center it is important to understand what level of care on the continuum of addiction treatment you or your loved one may need. Below you will find the different levels of care offered at drug and alcohol treatment centers.
Choose a rehab that offers a full continuum of care:
- Drug and Alcohol Detox
- Residential Addiction Treatment
- Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)
- Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)
- Outpatient Programs (OP)
- Sober Living
Each level of care has its own function in the recovery spectrum and knowing which one will best serve your specific needs is important in selecting the correct treatment facility. For example, an individual who has just come off the drugs and or alcohol would be recommended to go to a medical detox facility. Where as an individual who has completed a 30-day program may only need to attend an outpatient program. There are facilities that offer the full continuum of care and there are facilities that specialize in one level of care. So, identifying your needs and selecting a rehab that offers a program to help you with them is important when selecting a rehab.
Learn more about dual diagnosis treatment programs.
Check Out Their Social Media Pages
Most reputable rehabs have a large social media presence. This occurs for two reasons:
- They want to create a community and brand around their company
- They have helped so many people that they have a large following of past clients
Checking out a rehab’s social presence can give you a lot of insight into the company itself. If a rehab does not have a social media presence then this should raise a red flag, as it may indicate that it is a new company and may come with the problems associated with a new company. The company could also have had a negative social media presence and decided to shut it down. Social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are a great place to see how people, ex-clients and staff feel about a company so use it as a resource when making your selection for rehab.
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Choose a Rehab With an Alumni Program
Most good rehab centers will have an alumni or aftercare program. An alumni program is geared towards ensuring that past clients who have graduated from a program follow a path to success. Some core functions of an alumni program are to stay in contact with alumni and ensure that they are doing what they are supposed to do to stay sober, finding resources such as sober living homes, support groups like AA or NA meetings in their area, and relapse prevention. In many cases alumni programs will help ex-clients stay in contact with each other after leaving treatment by using tools such as email, community events, and social media. It has been seen that rehabs that offer after care services through their alumni programs have a higher rate of success than rehabs that don’t. If possible, it is suggested that when you are looking for the right rehab you look for one that has a solid alumni program.
Look for JCAHO Certified Rehabs
There are many certifications that a treatment center can acquire, However the gold standard of treatment center accreditation is the JCAHO seal of approval. In many cases a treatment center is scrutinized and observed for many months before it can be approved by the JCAHO organization. Whenever you are looking for a drug and alcohol rehab center you always want to first and foremost look to see if it is JCAHO approved.
On it’s website the joint commission states that:
“The Joint Commission’s accreditation process concentrates on operational systems critical to the safety and quality of care, treatment or services provided to the individual. Surveys are conducted by experienced and licensed behavioral health care professionals, including psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, behavioral health care nurses and administrators. Many Joint Commission surveyors are actively working in a range of behavioral health care settings.”
Because centers must adhere to specific regulations and pass a rigorous certification process, it is safe to say that when looking for an addiction treatment center you always want to choose a rehab with the JCAHO seal of approval.
Choosing a Rehab Center – How to Start?
By now you should have a good idea of what to look for when choosing a drug and alcohol treatment facility for yourself or a loved one. Always remember that there is no one size fits all type of approach to addiction treatment so always take the time out to find the best option that will focus on your specific addiction needs. To start the process of finding a rehab, feel free to browse our rehab directory consisting of thousands of drug and alcohol detox and rehab centers. If you would like more professional help, feel free to call our 24/7 addiction hotline to speak with someone who can give you the best information about finding the right rehab for yourself or a loved one. Take the first step and start the treatment process today!