12 Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a Rehab for Myself or a Loved One

By The Fix staff 08/07/19

Finding the right rehab feels like a daunting task, so we've compiled a list of questions you can use to help identify the best program.

woman consoling another while helping her choose a rehab

Finding a rehab facility for yourself or someone you love might seem like a seriously intimidating task. There are so many factors to consider, from the accommodations to the treatment style. We consulted with premier Southern California treatment facility, Oceanside Malibu, to identify the important questions to ask when finding the right treatment center. 

1. What kinds of programming options does it offer, and do those options suit your or your loved one’s specific needs?

First of all, this depends on what the substance is and if detox is needed. If so, what kind of a detox program is available? Is there a step-down residential program that follows, or perhaps an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)? Learning how exactly how treatment is structured can help someone decide right away if a facility is a good fit. 

2. What are the accommodations and amenities like?

This mainly pertains to residential facilities, though it may come into play for clients in a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or IOP, since they spend several hours a day at a facility. There are many different types of rehabs all over the world that vary greatly in amenities and extras. But with this, some follow up questions may be about the sleeping arrangements. For example, are the bedrooms private or shared? What’s the bathroom situation like? Is there is a gym on site, or do clients have access to working out? Much of these stipulations boil down to personal taste, affordability and proximity to one’s home. Oceanside Malibu offers a beachside home that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, along with comfortable bedrooms and entertainment options. Knowing what one is walking into can ease the process considerably. 

3. What are the treatment methods offered? 

Is the program centered around the 12 steps, or is it mainly a talk therapy style of treatment? Are part of the programming elements faith based, or is it non-denominational? What about dual diagnosis care? Is medication management available? Knowing what kinds of approaches are used on a daily basis and what to expect from the program is essential to the success of every client. 

4. How long is the program, and is an extended stay an option if needed? 

While the typical length of treatment is 28 to 30 days, in most cases that is not enough time for a patient to really feel secure in their recovery efforts. If the main program is 28 days, is there a transitional or sober living housing program through the facility that clients can move into? 

Going to rehab is just the very beginning of recovery. While getting clean is the first step, staying that way is the real challenge. Having a rehab with long term treatment options or a sober living program can make a huge difference. Oceanside Malibu has a sober living house and outpatient program for those who wish to continue their progress in treatment. 

5. How important is the nutritional aspect to the program? 

Studies have discovered that having a balanced and healthy diet aids in the recovery process. Finding a rehab that emphasizes the importance of nutrition as a standard in their addiction program is essential. Follow up questions may include asking how the meals are prepared, and by whom? Are specific dietary restrictions taken into consideration? Oceanside Malibu for instance has an on-site chef who not only prepares meals, but also teaches clients how to create healthy and tasty food on their own. 

6. Are their programs individualized? 

Most rehabs will claim that, yes, they do offer customized care for all their clients. However, in some cases, that is not necessarily the case. Learning if there are gender-specific groups or specialized elements to a program are important in the decision making process. 

7. What kind of specialized training does the staff have? 

Does staff include an on-site or consulting psychiatrist? Are the therapists specially trained in addiction? How large is the treatment team? Knowing the qualifications of the staff is incredibly important when seeking out a treatment program. This can mean the difference between having a successful experience in treatment or not. 

8. Are there alternative or holistic therapies offered? 

This can include treatments like equine therapy, art and music therapy, acupuncture, massage, and/or meditation. While not having these programming options certainly doesn’t reflect poorly on the facility or its treatment, it may be the extra part thing that sells the client. Oceanside provides a bevy of experiential treatment options, like Salt Water therapy, surfing, and yoga. 

9. What is the success rate of the clients? 

What can you expect for yourself or loved one coming out of this program? The success rate can be a sure fire way to know if the protocols are effective. While this can be hard to keep track of, some facilities maintain ties with former clients so there can be at least a rough estimate of who from the program has stayed in recovery.

10. Are there extracurricular or off-site activities offered at the facility? 

Do the clients have group movie nights or cooking classes? Are they able to check out a local event or museum within the community? Do they leave campus from time to time, or does everything happen right where they are? Going to rehab is a serious thing, but having clients get to experience fun without drugs and alcohol is extremely important. Having a facility that provides that fun is always a good thing. 

11. What kind of aftercare support to they provide?

Do the clients have access to alumni groups or events? Are there monthly get together at the facility? Are there ways to reach out and communicate with staff if there is a need? What are the protocols when it comes to relapse? 

12. How much does it cost, and does it accept insurance? 

This is probably the most important question to ask when it comes to choosing a treatment facility. Knowing what you can actually afford versus what you need can certainly make or break the situation. It is also helpful to find out what coverage your insurance offers, which may narrow down your initial search. However, most facilities, including Oceanside Malibu, have staff who are able to communicate with insurance companies and find out exactly what they can cover. From there they are able to break everything down in a clear and concise manner, which can really lessen the confusion and stress associated with paying for treatment. There may also be options for payment plans if applicable. 

Learn more about Oceanside Malibu at http://oceansidemalibu.com/. Reach Oceanside Malibu by phone at (866) 738-6550. Find Oceanside Malibu on Facebook.

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