Questions to Ask When Selecting a Rehab Facility


Choosing to get help for your drug or alcohol addiction is just one step in a lengthy process. It’s important that you make sure that you find the right treatment program for your unique situation. Resources such as the Drug Treatment Center Finder can help you to locate qualified facilities in your area. Once you have determined a list of potential treatment centers, the next step is doing research and asking the right questions to make sure that the rehab center is the right place for you to begin your healing.

Asking the right questions is critical after you have found places to rehab or detox local to your area. Here are a few of the most critical inquiries to make:

Is the Program Accredited or Licensed?

It’s important that the treatment center you choose is licensed and staffed by qualified personnel. For example, drug and alcohol treatment centers in California are licensed by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. However, sober living homes that serve as a transition after treatment do not requiring licensing.

What Type of Treatment Program Is Used?

Different drug and alcohol treatment centers have different approaches to how they treat patients. In a residential treatment setting, a person lives at the center for one to three months while receiving daily treatment and therapy to deal with the underlying causes of their addiction. Many patients who have gone through residential treatment but have relapsed choose an Intensive Outpatient Program where they meet several days a week for treatment sessions of two or more hours each.

What Is the Program’s Success Rate?

Most reputable drug and alcohol treatment centers will have statistics showing the effectiveness of their treatment. This can include percentage of patients who remain sober after set periods of time or the number of patients who transition into steady jobs and family situations. It’s even better if the treatment center has data from independent sources.

What Types of Behavioral Therapies Are Used?

Many treatment programs make behavior therapies a key component of the recovery process. Taking these steps can help patients to understand their reasons for using drugs and alcohol, recognize their triggers for sliding into abuse and develop constructive approaches to avoid drug and alcohol abuse. Types of behavioral therapies commonly used include:

Group therapy provides patients with support during the rehab process by letting them explore their emotions and experiences with people in similar situations. The group therapy process reinforces the importance of making connections during the recovery process and creates a positive reinforcement mechanism to encourage a patient’s rehabilitation.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is designed to give patients insights into the situations where they are most likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. This knowledge can help them to avoid getting into dangerous situations and make it less likely that they will relapse in the future.

Using motivational incentives for constructively participating in group therapy sessions or continuing to take prescribed medicines can help to get difficult or stubborn patients on the right track. Such incentives can include increased privileges or visits from family members.

Will the Treatment Include the Use of Other Drugs?

For patients who are using particularly addictive and dangerous drugs including heroin or painkillers, some treatment facilities will prescribe the use of a “substitute” drug such as methadone or buprenorphine. The goal of this treatment is not to immediately create a path to sobriety but to reduce the harm that a person is doing through their addiction. Other treatment facilities will prescribe anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax as part of the initial detox phase.

Is the Treatment Tailored to a Patient’s Specific Needs?

There is no one “ideal” addiction treatment that will work for everyone. Recovery is an individual process as each patient has their own reasons for getting sober along with their own stories about how they came to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. The best treatment centers will recognize that each person has unique needs when they come into rehab and will tailor their treatment to accommodate the individual. For example, older patients may need more care during the detoxification process while other patients will have deeper psychological issues that need to be addressed in order for the rehab treatment to be successful.