Once you make the decision to seek help for addiction, you have to find a rehab facility that will fit your unique needs and ensure that you go through a safe, productive treatment program that sets you up for lifelong recovery. Finding the right facility can be tough, especially because it is usually chosen quickly since you need to get help as soon as you are ready for it. However, if you know what to look for and what questions to ask the rehab facility, you can make a smart choice quickly.
Here are 10 important questions to ask a rehab before you commit to their addiction treatment program:
- How long is the program? When you are researching or speaking with the admissions of a rehab facility, ask how long the program is. Many residential programs last 28 – 30 days, including detox. This is typically because insurance will cover a certain number of days for addiction treatment, so many programs accommodate to make it easier for people to get treatment at an affordable cost. There are some situations and programs that can last longer than a month—some last up to 90 days or three months depending on the needs of the individual. It’s important to know how long you or a loved one will be in treatment to prepare for it mentally and emotionally. You will also need to know what to pack for your stay, and if they offer the option to wash clothes onsite or at a laundromat nearby.
- Is the facility coed? Ask if the facility is coed or mixed gender. Some facilities will be partially coed, meaning men and women sleep in separate sections of the treatment center and will have separate group therapy and treatment sessions even though the facility hosts men and women at the same time. Some facilities cater exclusively to one gender, and some facilities cater to LGBTQIA+ needs and have created a safe space for those who identify in that community to share their experiences and recover. It’s important to ask about what genders the facility treats and if it is coed if that is an important factor for your comfort and sense of safety.
- Is the program/facility accredited and licensed? Staff credentials? Unfortunately, there are many treatment facilities in the United States that may not be up to national addiction treatment standards. That is why asking about the facility accreditations, licenses, and even staff credentials are a good idea as you research rehab programs. There are different licenses facilities need from the state in which they are located for the levels of treatment they offer from detoxification to outpatient licensing. Accreditations like The Joint Commission, Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), and CARF International are all independent organizations that guarantee a standard of treatment, facility quality, and staff qualifications for addiction treatment centers in the United States.You might also ask about staff credentials to learn how many qualified clinicians, counselors, and technicians there are at the facility to ensure that there is enough qualified staff to care for you or your loved on adequately during treatment.
- Is detox medically monitored? Detoxification is when an individual goes through the process of eliminating the remaining substances of abuse in their system to begin healing from addiction. Some detox facilities help monitor and keep a person comfortable during detox while others medically monitor patients during detox and provide medication assisted treatment, especially in the case of severe addictions. For those detoxing from alcohol and opioid medications, medically monitored detox can be an important consideration to ensure that they are safe and comfortable during detox with medical professionals available around-the-clock to help in case of an emergency for severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures or psychosis.
- Do you offer individual therapy? Having access to individual therapy sessions that allow you to speak one-on-one with a licensed counselor is important for recovery. As part of an individualized treatment program that addresses your unique needs, individual therapy is key because it gives you a safe environment to begin to talk about issues that you struggle with and to address any possible mental health conditions that may be co-occurring. Group therapy is great to have peer support and share experiences to feel less alone, but it is better to have access to both individual and group therapy for a comprehensive approach to recovery.
- What other treatment modalities do you offer? In addition to verifying the therapy options, ask about other treatment modalities offered to gauge whether the facility takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to treatment. See if the rehab offers medication-assisted treatment (MAT), CBT/DBT, group therapy, EMDR, yoga, exercise and fitness, creative expression-based therapies, and relapse prevention. Finding a facility that will address a range of issues with varied treatment modalities is important since each person will respond better to different modalities. Having options means there is a greater chance they can find therapies that resonate and help them more.
- What does a day in recovery look like? A good follow up to asking about treatment modalities offered at the facility is to ask about what a day in a residential treatment program look like. See if they have a residential schedule that will give you a sense of what each day in the treatment program might be like for you or your loved one. A full schedule of therapeutic sessions and activities that will keep you busy and focused on recovery is key.
- What dietary needs can you accommodate? If you have special dietary needs related to food allergies, diabetes, or religious or spiritual beliefs, confirm with the rehab facility that they can accommodate your diet. The facility should prepare healthy and balanced meals to give your body the best opportunity to heal from the possible physical harm done during addiction. Ask about nutritional counseling and if meals are prepared fresh on site to ensure you will have a healthy, nutritional diet as you begin recovering.
- Is family included in recovery? Family and loved ones play a critical role in recovery from addiction, so they should be included in the treatment process. Ask the rehab if they do family therapy and offer ways to include loved ones in the recovery program because this offers the best chance at a successful recovery from addiction. Loved ones have the responsibility to support you in recovery and can play a crucial role in those first months after treatment to help you stay on track. If they are part of the problem because of codependency or problems in the relationship, it is even more important that you begin addressing these issues during the treatment program.
- What happens when the treatment program ends? Ask what happens with the 30-day residential treatment program ends. Do they do aftercare planning? Do they offer outpatient programming? Do they provide ongoing support? A residential program is only the beginning of recovery. While it is an important step in the process, it cannot undo or fully treat issues that you may have been dealing with for many years. A quality rehab facility recognizes the limitations of a residential program that lasts a month or less and devotes resources and time to crafting an aftercare plan for each individual to set them up with resources and continued support after rehab.