How to Choose The Best Rehab - Page 6

By Constance Scharff PhD 04/08/14

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.


(page 6)

Families are systems. Members interact in a fluid dance which can be beneficial or detrimental to the system. The addict’s role is supported by the family system. In general, the addict’s acting out is the system’s way of saying, “Hey, there’s something really wrong here! We need help!” 

If the addict goes to rehab and returns to the same family system, s/he will relapse. It is almost inevitable. Why? Because the unchanged family system supports and expects addiction. It doesn’t work without the addict using. So the addict will use, because that is his/her role in the system. That’s how families work. 

For the addict to recover and the family as a whole to become a more productive and happier system, every member of the family must look at his/her role in the family. Through individual or group therapy and/or attendance at 12-step programs such as Al-Anon, every member of the family can develop skills for living that are healthier, more productive and serve to create positive interactions more frequently than in the past. In particular, family members will need to learn to set healthy boundaries, argue in respectful ways, and maintain realistic expectations of one another. This process allows the entire family, not just the addict, to grow, which benefits everyone in the family unit. 

How the family is involved in rehab will vary from treatment center to treatment center. Recognize, however, that the bulk of the work for the family is not done in the addict’s residential treatment setting, but can be begun while the addict is in rehab. 

Considering Rehab? Here are 10 Questions to Ask before Choosing a Facility

1. What is your treatment philosophy? You want to know if the facility uses a treatment plan that agrees with your sensibilities. If you’re an atheist, a Christian faith-based center would not be the right fit for you.

2. What is your success rate? Treatment centers that don’t track or disclose their success rates have no idea if what they do works. Choose a treatment center that cares enough about its alumni to know what happens to them at least one year post treatment. 

3. What is my expected length of stay? Quality treatment centers will tell you up front what their average stay is. Being asked to “extend” beyond 30 days should not come as a surprise.

4. What is the cost per day or month for treatment? While there are some charges that are additional, such as medications for medical detox, most of the fees for treatment are included in a monthly price.

5. Do you take insurance? The Affordable Care Act has decimated coverage for addiction treatment. Much of the “treatment” that is covered is low quality and short duration. Ask the treatment facility to work with your insurer to find out whether or not you are covered and to what degree. Find out if they have payment plans; some do. 

6. What role will my family play in treatment? Choose a facility that includes your family at a level that you are comfortable with and one that makes recommendations for family members to do work on their own while you are in treatment.

7. What level of licensure, if any, do group leaders have? While it is fine for 12-step type groups to be led by techs, you want a treatment facility that provides significant access to fully licensed therapists so that you can work with skilled professionals on uncovering the root cause(s) of your addiction.

8. What does a typical schedule look like? The purpose of this question is to find out whether or not your treatment will be individualized. The more individualized the treatment plan – choosing therapies and treatment modalities to fit your specific needs – the more likely you are to build the foundation you need for recovery. 

9. Is your facility licensed for dual-diagnosis patients? Approximately half of all addicts enter treatment with addiction and another co-occurring psychological or psychiatric disorder. This is called “dual-diagnosis.” Very often, the co-occurring disorder is anxiety or depression. If you believe you may have a co-occurring disorder, be sure that the treatment facility is prepared to treat both issues. 

10. Do you have a wait list? Many of the top treatment facilities will sometimes have a wait list. However, it is important to be able to get into treatment right away, while the willingness is there. A wait of a few days is considered acceptable. A wait of a few weeks is not. You want to go the best treatment center you can get into right way, not some time down the road. Addiction is deadly. Treatment cannot wait.


Bio: Constance Scharff has a PhD in Transformative Studies, specializing in addiction recovery.  She is the Senior Addiction Research Fellow and Director of Addiction Research with a private treatment center and coauthor of the bestselling book, Ending Addiction for Good. 

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Constance Scharff has a PhD in Transformative Studies, specializing in addiction recovery. She is the Senior Addiction Research Fellow and Director of Addiction Research with a private treatment center and coauthor of the bestselling book, Ending Addiction for Good You can find Constance on Twitter and Linkedin.