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Choosing The Right Drug Rehab Facility

Feb 21, 2008
It's a decision that can be as daunting as it can be frightening, and it's most certainly a tough choice for those who have had their lives affected by drugs. Drug rehabilitation centers provide vital support and care for drug addicts in need of treatment, so choosing the right one is crucial to the success and speed of the individual's recovery.

Deciding that you or someone you love needs to go to a drug rehab facility is a tough call. Once the decision is made, finding a suitable facility should be as quick and painless as possible, since the 24 to 48 hour period from making that decision, to going out and actually getting help, is the most crucial, if success is to be achieved. Decisions need to be implemented based on solid information. This article describes the options to consider, and the questions that need to be asked in order to make that decision.

It is important to find a treatment center that has professional skills and support systems in place that can deal with the addiction. A good drug rehab facility will build on an individual's strengths and provide support without judgment or blame. It should guide the individual towards personal accountability, and combined with a detoxification and therapy program, it should enhance a person's self-confidence to a point where it is possible to integrate back into society.

Types of Treatment

A quick search of the Internet or Yellow Pages will highlight just how much choice there is, among drug rehab centers. It's a tough call, but the three common points of all successful drug rehab programs - detoxification, therapy, and integration - should always be present.

The type of treatment that's best for a certain individual will depend largely upon the addiction, the personality type, the addict's degree of dependence, and his social situation. Some centers specialize in specific addictions and others are more general, although one may not be any better than another.

The first thing to decide is whether the individual requires treatment as a resident or as an outpatient. Residential treatment is more intense and strict in how the addiction is handled, but it will allow for the best possible care around the clock. Outpatient treatment is typically only successful for a person who doesn't use daily and still has a job, good family life, etc. In other words, drugs haven't really ruined his life or relationships yet and he needs a reality check before things get worse. An individual who is actually addicted and not able to control himself or who has experienced consequences as a result of his drug use really has no other option than a residential drug treatment program.

There is, and always has been, a huge debate over which drug treatment programs are more successful. Treatments stem from vastly differing philosophies, and it is here that the conflicts are rooted. What is best for one individual may not be good for another, and only by working with a specialist will a patient be able to determine how best to tackle the addiction.

Withdrawal from drug dependence is something the addict will have to face if he is to overcome his addiction. Some treatments rely on the use of medicinal means to ease withdrawal symptoms, though this method is not right for everyone. Be sure to listen to the advice of the center's staff; they have been through it before - many of them personally - and they should understand your concerns.

Other types of treatment rely on voluntarily outpatient treatment, which means living and working in a normal way, but with support provided in the form of individual counseling sessions and group classes. Stress is the main factor that triggers a relapse, so learning to cope with this is vital. Twelve Step programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.), provide such services.

Finally, there are some types of drug rehab that also attempt to address the underlying causes of addiction, such as family splits, alienation, low employability, mental illness, or living in a community where drug use is prevalent.

This holistic approach to drug rehab provides addicts with new job skills, practical advice, and time to remove themselves from harmful external influences. Such programs often allow patients to stay for a period of time, until they are confident they can function independently without the need to return to drugs.

Questions You Should Ask

Always consult with a drug rehab facility first; personally if possible, or by telephone. Telephone queries are normally handled as a face-to-face meeting would be, i.e., in complete confidence. This call is important because you can gain valuable insight about the center, what it offers, and if it is suited to you or your loved one's needs.

The Facility:

Ask for information regarding staff credentials, and find out if the clinic is accredited.

Is the facility well organized and hygienic?

What is the success rate, and how is this measured?


What is the primary philosophy for drug rehabilitation?

Is there a detoxification program, and if so, what type?

Is the program based on 12 step or a more modern approach?

Does the program mask addictions to street drugs with medication as part of its treatment?

How long is residential treatment likely to last?

Are the individual's other needs taken into account (i.e., psychological, social, vocational, legal, etc.)?

Is adapted treatment offered dependent upon, and in respect of, an individual's age, gender, religious beliefs, sexual persuasion, and physical or mental disabilities?

Is long-term aftercare support encourage and provided?

Is ongoing patient monitoring provided to prevent relapse?

Are family members supported to ensure they understand addiction, and are in a position to help with the recovery process?

The Cost:

What is the cost of the rehabilitation program?

Is the price all inclusive? Make sure there are no hidden costs.

Does the center accept insurance? If not, does it offer payment facilities or provide financial help in any way?
About the Author
Colin Galbraith writes articles on drug rehabilitation. For more information on the Narconon program, and the New Life Detoxification program, visit the drug treatment site. - if you plan to reproduce this article, please include the link above.
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