The Drug Treatment Checklist

Drug treatment programs: This checklist will help you choose the right one

There are many types of drugs and alcohol treatment programs out there. When searching for the best one for yourself or for a loved one, it is important to remember that everyone has his or her own unique needs. The program or rehab center you choose must be capable of addressing those unique needs. For instance, long and intense drug use may require long and intense treatments. Knowing what to look for in a program can save you money and heartbreak in the long run. The following checklist will be quite helpful in helping families find the right facility for their loved one.

  • Find out if the program is accredited and licensed by the state it is located in. Check if the facility is managed by trained and licensed mental health specialists. Take time to ask about the facility’s treatment programs and methods. Do they have statistics on their success rates from an independent outside agency? Do they have an after-care program to prevent relapse? Find out if they provide referrals to other community support groups and recovery services.
  • Find out what the program considers as successful results. Some programs define success as a person who simply goes through their 28-day program while others measure success by the number of former patients who continued to abstain after they returned home. Determine which results you aspire to achieve, and see if the program does provide the same.
  • Do you need short-term or a long-term treatment? This will mainly depend on the duration and the intensity of drug use. Many drug rehab centers provide a 28-day program which may not be sufficient enough to help for someone with a history of long intense substance abuse. Many people will need more than 28 days to achieve sobriety.
  • Find out if the treatment relies on using other drugs to treat addiction. This is very important because some of the drugs commonly used to treat substance addiction are also addictive too. Some may even have harmful side effects to the patient’s body. Many rehabs have programs that are entirely pharmaceutical oriented. Some depend on benzodiazepine drugs to relieve symptomatic stress in their patients. While such drugs such as Xanax and Valium are sometimes required for short-term relief from withdrawal symptoms of say alcohol, they should not be the main treatment procedure for full recovery. Over-reliance on medications can easily lead to addiction to the same medicines. The best program is one that emphasizes on rebuilding the patient’s full mental and physical well being.
  • Find out if the program teaches life skills to recovering patients so they can overcome relapse after rehabilitation. One of the hardest things a person confronts after leaving a rehab program is dealing with stress and problems that could potentially cause a relapse. It therefore makes little sense to help one overcome addition and fail to empower him or her with the necessary life skills to overcome day to day challenges such as a job loss, a divorce, or stress in any form that can trigger relapse. A person equipped with the necessary life skills will be capable of successfully dealing with problems and challenges that could easily drag him or her down again. A good rehab program will emphasize on equipping patients with sufficient life skills more than anything else so they can break their addictive patterns and live responsible lives again.

In your search for a good substance abuse treatment program, you will come across many advertisements showing beautiful facilities located in tranquil settings with breathtaking views. It will be very important to be aware that although gorgeous sceneries are good mood setters, it is the treatment program used in the facility that really does matter. It is good to take your loved one to a place with all the nice amenities, but keep in mind that such facilities have a high price tag. You’ll need to rather focus on what really matters such as the quality of care provided at the facility, licensing and accreditation, staff credentials, and the follow up services provided.

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