By Kelly Fitzgerald 06/22/16
Entering addiction treatment could mean the difference between life and death. That’s why it’s imperative to ask questions before choosing the right place for you.
You’ve made the life-altering decision to get sober—now what? Asking for help with your addiction can be the most vulnerable and scariest time of your life. Lucky for us, we don’t have to do it alone. Addiction treatment centers are available to help us through the hard times and set us up for success on the road to recovery. Recovery is about self-discovery and learning how to live a full life without drugs and alcohol. Like all things in life, some addiction treatment centers are better than others. How can you know which one is the best fit for you? Before you enroll in a treatment center you need to ask a lot of questions first, so you know you’re enrolling in the right place for you. Ask these 10 questions before you sign up for a specific treatment facility.
1. What is your addiction treatment goal?
This is a question to ask yourself and your potential addiction treatment facility. Why do you want to attend treatment? What do you look to get out of it? Once you know the answer, ask your treatment facility what goals they have for their attendees. What does each person achieve while in treatment and what do they go on to achieve after treatment? You want to make sure your personal goals line up with those of the treatment center.
2. What programs do you offer?
There is a plethora of different addiction treatment programs across the U.S. Each facility uses a different set of beliefs, different pathways to recovery, and different sobriety tools. It’s important to ask if your treatment center offers inpatient or outpatient programs and how long each one lasts. It’s also imperative to ask what is the driving force behind their programs. Do they subscribe to the disease model of addiction? Do they use and support the 12 steps? Are there programs for people who are atheist, agnostic, or something else? Make sure there are components that align with your personal ideals.
3. What is included in your initial assessment?
When you enroll in addiction treatment, there is always an initial assessment first. You want to know exactly what this evaluation includes so you can have a complete assessment that catches everything and anything that is going on physically and psychologically with you. This is important because these factors can determine what kind of program works for you and will affect your long-term sobriety. You want to identify any co-occurring disorders so that treatment for this can be incorporated into your substance abuse treatment. The more extensive the assessment, the better.
4. Is there a detox component to the program?
The process of detoxification can be a dangerous one. We often assume we aren’t physically addicted when we very well could be. It’s also easy to think that there is no harm in stopping the use of substances cold turkey, but there is. Withdrawal symptoms are real and depending on severity, can be extremely uncomfortable. That’s why you should ask if your addiction treatment center includes detox as a part of their program. Ask them if they have medical professionals who will safely help you get through this withdrawal period.
5. Are personalized treatment plans available?
Treatment and recovery are two very personal elements. You want to make sure the place you’re going for addiction treatment tailors each program to the person. This means they don’t just put everyone in the same boat with the exact same treatment. Humans and their experiences are unique and their environments, traumas, and psychological issues are all different. A personalized treatment plan will make sure you get exactly what you need, not what everyone else needs.
6. Is nutrition part of this treatment program?
This might seem like a side note, but nutrition is an integral part of recovery. If you’re anything like I was during active addiction, nutrition takes a backseat. I was lucky if I ate at all, let alone something that was considered healthy. In general, addiction takes a toll on our bodies and a nutritional component to recovery can help get back on track. Learning how and what to eat can put you on the pathway to success with nutrition in the future.
7. Will you take my insurance?
The cost of addiction treatment is a significant factor in almost every person’s situation. In many cases, health insurance companies can pay a large sum of the treatment program, if the treatment center is willing to work with the provider. Make sure your insurance provider offers coverage for drug and alcohol addiction treatment and then clarify with your potential treatment center that they will work with your health insurance company to reach an agreement.
8. What kind of training does your staff have?
It’s a good idea to ask what kind of training the staff at your addiction treatment center have. Ask how many doctors, therapists, and medical professionals they have on site and what their credentials are. It’s in your best interest to make sure you’re in the right hands.
9. What kind of ongoing support is available for after treatment?
We often forget to think about what happens after addiction treatment. You want to make sure you’re set up for success. Ask your treatment center what kind of ongoing support they have for after treatment. Is there an alumni program? Can you keep in contact with a certain therapist? Additionally, you’ll want to know if relapse prevention is included in the treatment program. This will provide you with the tools you need to stay sober after treatment concludes.
10. Can I stay longer if I feel like I need to?
Nothing can make treatment more difficult than leaving before you’re ready. Make sure you ask your treatment center how long their programs are and what the protocol is for staying longer if you feel like you need to. You’ll also need to check to make sure your insurance company will cover this extra time.
Entering addiction treatment could mean the difference between life and death. That’s why it’s imperative to ask all the right questions before choosing the right place for you.