Key Things to Consider
Whether you are seeking help for yourself or a loved one, the decision to enter an addiction recovery program is a huge undertaking. The multitude of emotions and questions at play can make it difficult to objectively assess which program will best fit your needs. To help you navigate the world of substance use recovery facilities, we’ve listed some key points to consider when choosing a program for yourself or your loved one.
1. Location, Location, Location
Location matters. If being near family and home is a source of inspiration, then choose a facility close to home. If the problem is rooted in the area you live in – and the surrounding people – then choosing a facility a good distance away from home may be a better option.
You may also want to choose a facility in an area that will give you a place to start over once treatment ends. Beginning a new life in a new place – near a sober support network – can motivate someone fresh out of recovery to stay clean.
Facilities can be found in a variety of rural and urban settings. St. Gregory Recovery Center, for example, is in the picturesque Iowa countryside but also close to the capital city, where many amenities can be found.
2. Detox Services
For persons deep in substance abuse, medical detox can be required. If this is the case, then it is imperative to know the qualifications of the staff who monitor detox. The facility should either be affiliated with a hospital system that oversees the detox process or have certified medical providers on-site who are available 24/7.
3. Counseling Services
Detoxing from substances does not mean that the addiction has been healed. In fact, detox paves the way for healing to begin. A quality addiction recovery center offers both individual and group therapy by professionally trained therapists. Therapists help clients find and address the root causes of addiction. They help the client accept that healing takes time, emotional investment, and a strong support system. Look for a facility that understands and values the role of therapy in addiction recovery.
4. Medicinal Trade-offs
Some rehabilitation facilities prescribe alternatives to substances to help a person break an addiction to the original substance. While this practice has its proponents, it isn’t for everyone. Is replacing an illegal drug with something else (that can, in some cases, be just as addictive) the answer for you or your loved one? How do you define sobriety?
These are questions you need to answer for yourself based on research and consultations with your health care practitioner and substance use disorder counselor.
5. Accommodations and Amenities
While some facilities tout private accommodations, others feel the accountability and community created through shared rooms is part of the therapeutic process. It is important for the person in recovery to be comfortable in their surroundings so they are more receptive to the help offered. Some facilities offer a choice, and if you change your mind about the arrangement, adjustments can usually be made.
Be sure to make note of other amenities offered by the facility. Look into the dietary services, recreational facilities, communal areas, outdoor activities and grounds, as well as whether guests are permitted to visit.
6. Short- or Long-Term Programs
Some facilities offer both short-term and long-term programs, while others are specific to one program length. Depending on the severity of your substance use disorder and/or the substance involved, the professionals assessing your case may recommend a certain length of stay. Knowing the differences between the programs offered is important to making sure you get exactly the care you need.
Another option that can vary by substance and level of use is inpatient vs outpatient treatment. While some people can benefit from an outpatient setting, others need the consistent care and coaching provided by inpatient treatment. Each individual and each addiction is unique, so while it is ultimately your own choice, following the advice of your intake or intervention professionals is a good idea.
7. Post-Recovery Life Skills
For most in recovery, the idea of handling sober living outside of the safety and structure of the rehabilitation facility is particularly daunting. However, if the facility focuses not only on detox and rehab but also on sober life skills and transitioning education, the rate of relapse diminishes exponentially.
Look for ways the facility encourages and aids in creating a good sober support system, developing coping strategies for cravings, and learning healthy living tips for life after rehabilitation. If these are all important factors of the program, your chances of maintaining long-term sobriety increase.
8. Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders
Look for facilities that understand the relationship between mental health and addiction. Many times, a substance use disorder is caused by or results from a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Dual diagnoses are fairly common, and facilities that treat the whole person help clients face future challenges.
9. Nutritional Components
A program that teaches healthy, clean diet and lifestyle choices as part of complete behavior modification can not only help release you from the bonds of substance use disorder but give you an entirely new lease on life!
Learning how substances have affected the body and how to combat those effects is valuable knowledge. Healthy choices for the body and mind aren’t always easy, but they are definitely worth the extra effort in the long run. Make sure to find out what kind of focus is put on health and nutrition, because a body that feels good and is running on good fuel will not have time or desire for substances to create a false sense of happiness.
Before your search takes you too far, find out what is covered by your insurance. Determine out-of-pocket, co-pay, and deductible costs. Most treatment facilities accept insurance, and good facilities are able to help you sort through your insurance to determine the total cost to you.
No matter what your substance use disorder looks like or where you sit on the socio-economic ladder, everyone deserves a sober and healthy life. Finding a rehabilitation facility that fits you can be less daunting than you think – if you simply know what you’re looking for and listen to the clues your body, mind, and spirit give you about what your recovery story will look like!