By Josh Koop Senior VP of Business Development and Public Affairs for Central Recovery There are many options these days to get substance use treatment, which can be overwhelming. Go online and search for topics related to OxyContin addiction or help with meth and you’ll be bombarded with programs all over the country. How do you know which programs are right for you? How do you know what they offer is what you or your loved one will receive? We have some tips on locating and vetting these programs to the best of your ability. Ask a friend or relative If you’re comfortable, ask friends or family for recommendations. You might be surprised to find out they have experience with a program in your area or somewhere else. Ask about their experiences. Were they satisfied with the care they received? Take notes for reference. Your Employer This may sound a little scary, but hear me out. Many employers offer an employee assistance program or EAP. Often EAP’s have experience with certain programs in your area or around the country. Reaching out to your EAP, if you have one, is a confidential process. They should be familiar with your insurance benefits and can, in some instances, help facilitate calls. Call Your Insurance Company If the person needing treatment is insured, contact your insurance company. They will be able to tell you what programs they are contracted with. Please be aware they will not give you a recommendation. Still Nothing? If the above tips don’t work for you or there is no insurance coverage, don’t fret. Use your web skills to start a search. Join an online addiction recovery forum and ask for recommendations. Choosing Once you have a list of treatment program options, take look at their websites and/or social media pages. See what they offer and what type of information they present. If programs have received any special recognition or awards, they are typically going to be easy to find. Below is a list of things to look for:
- Joint Commission Accreditation
- CARF Accreditation
- State Licensure
- Other state specific credentials
You want to make sure the program is licensed for what they do. This ensures to some degree their operation is being monitored and evaluated. In addition, they will be licensed to deliver specific levels of care. These levels of care can include:
- Medically Monitored Withdrawal Management
- Medically Monitored Intensive Inpatient
- Clinically Managed High Intensity Residential Treatment
- Clinically Managed Low Intensity Residential Treatment
- Partial Hospitalization
- Adult Intensive Outpatient
- Adult Outpatient
The more levels of care they offer, the better your opportunity to find the right fit. If a detox is needed, be sure to ask how they facilitate that. Medical detox is needed if the individual stops their substance use and becomes ill as a result. Withdrawal from some prescription drugs can have risk of seizure. If detox is needed, ensure they are doing so in a safe and humane manner. Verify that the staff members are certified and/or licensed to run treatment programs and ask if they will work with you on creating a discharge plan. This is critical to on-going recovery support. Family Treatment We have witnessed the power and benefit of loved ones being involved in treatment. A program that offers family treatment is imperative. Look for the following:
- Family Therapy Sessions
- Family only specific programming. Usually a 2 – 4 day workshop for families.
- Regular communication with the medical and clinical team.
Dual Diagnosis If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and depression or bipolar, make sure the program will be able to treat both. Not all can. This is very important for the best chance of success and long-term recovery. Are the Best Options Out of Town? Make sure there is a support plan in place when you or your loved one returns home. Look for an outpatient program that includes individual and family counseling and 12-step meetings. Making the Call All calls to substance use programs are confidential. We are all bound by HIPPA. Most of the time you will speak with an admissions counselor or an intake specialist. A connection to a program starts with that first call. If they are not warm and welcoming, this may be a sign to move on. If the program is near you, set up a tour–most programs will allow this. If the program is out of state, you should be able to view photos or videos of the facility on their website. Be clear and make sure your questions are answered. Understand the financial commitment and the rules and policies of the facility. Is there a clinical director or medical director you can speak to? They can help answer specific questions you may have. If the program is worth their salt, they will provide individualized care during the course of treatment . Bottom line: If it doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. Once you find the one and schedule your admission, be sure to ask for a packing list! Join the conversation on Facebook and share your experience with choosing a substance use treatment program. How did you know it was right for you?