Rehab can be a challenging time for both those entering programs and their families. Good rehab centers can help people rebuild their lives, but lousy rehab programs can waste a lot of money without improving anyone's at all. Every program touts itself as the best of its kind, so how does an individual or a family find the right program? Here are some things you need to know but won't hear from a rehab employee.
Not all rehab centers are created equal
Finding the right center can be overwhelming, especially when the search involves someone who is in crisis or in physical danger. It can be tempting to just choose a center at random, but this can be downright dangerous.
There are not comprehensive standards that these treatment centers need to meet, so families can often feel like they’re comparing apples and oranges. Without significant regulation, rehab centers can also make a lot of claims that they may not be able to back up. According to Alcohol Rehab Centers LLC
, rehab centers are not equally suited for everyone.
Any center that swears their program work for everyone, or that isn’t willing to share the credentials and training of their staff is a program that is unlikely to be successful over the long term. Success rates may be meaningless
When looking for an acceptable rehab program, many people look at the success rates to determine if they’re likely to achieve sobriety. Programs can use virtually anything, however, to determine their success rates. Some centers simply use the percentage of people who complete the program. According to Florida Trend
, success rates are less a function of cost and more a function of length of treatment
This doesn’t say anything about if someone is sober a month, a year, or ten years after the program is over. If programs don’t volunteer this information, ask for it. Pricier doesn’t mean better
Some rehabs seem more like luxury resorts than places to deal with the issues that led to addiction. According to New Beginnings
, the perceived rehabilitation clinics is what stops them from entering into long term treatment. Gorgeous centers in beautiful locations with alternative therapies to ease withdrawal and help build a new sense of community interactions can be amazingly successful places.
They can also be a place where those in rehab get a chance to rest up and recuperate, but fail to address any of the issues, both physical or mental that sent them there in the first place.
In some situations, a less expensive rehab might have spent more time building its program and training its staff, which will generally create better results than any exotic view from a private room. You may need to wait for treatment
When someone is in crisis and ready to get help, it can be quite frustrating and terrifying to wait for treatment. It is true, however, that many of the best rehab centers have waiting lists and a person might spend days or weeks before a spot opens up. Since the Affordable Care Act improved access to treatment for substance abuse, some have seen these waits worsen.
According to Elevate Addiction Services
, the misuse of alcohol and other substances accounts for 50% of all traffic fatalities, 60% of drownings, 83% of arrests and 35% of suicides. If waiting for treatment is simply too dangerous, someone may be put in the position of waiting for the better program or starting with the one that is available now. Outpatient rehab might be just as effective
For various reasons, people tend to think of inpatient rehab as superior to outpatient programs. Many clinics in California compared with AA meetings held in church basements may help to reinforce the idea that one is superior to the other. In many situations, however, outpatient programs are just as effective as inpatient ones.
If someone goes through an intense and potentially dangerous withdrawal, for example, or if they feel unable to resist the urge to use in their current community setting, an inpatient program may be more helpful in creating a clean break in behavior patterns.
Outpatient programs, however, have the benefit of making behavior changes while someone continues with their day to day life. Programs usually last a half or full day, after which patients go home. Even with the best of intentions, making lasting behavior changes can be a slow and laborious process.
They continue to live in their homes and are susceptible to numerous temptations associated with day to day life. Recovering abusers can do their best to manage such urges, then get help from their outpatient program to support long term healthy choices.
Seeking help from a treatment center can be a powerful tool to help someone manage substance abuse in their lives. Finding the right program, however, is crucial to making the necessary changes to both lifestyle and overall health.