Seeking out help for an addiction can be a difficult and painful process, whether you’re looking for yourself or for a loved one. For most of us, the process is plagued with doubt, shame from the addiction, and budget constraints, all of which can push us to simply choosing and going with the first residential treatment center available in order to get the process over with as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this is often a mistake, because many treatment centers offer different types of treatment tailored for different people, different types of addiction, and even different beliefs. Finding the right residential treatment center can ensure that you or the person addicted has the right tools to recover so that they can get their life back. The SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 22.5 million people or 8.5% of the U.S. population needed medical help for addiction to drugs or alcohol in 2014. Of those, only about 2.6 million actually got the treatment they needed. If you are seeking treatment, you are not alone, there is no shame in telling people you have a problem so that you can get help. While there are dozens of options for addiction treatment, you can use the following considerations to find and choose the best for your needs.
Treatment Methods that Work For You
Residential treatment centers will offer a variety of different services, treatments, and programs, and some may offer more than one solution. It should be your goal to look for the treatment methods and options that best meet your needs so that you can go in with a better chance of success. In most cases, diverse treatment built around an individual treatment plan is the most successful.
Medical Detox – While not everyone wants medical detox, it can be crucial to your safe withdrawal from an addiction. Many substances are highly physically addictive, and withdrawing from them, especially going ‘cold turkey’ can cause potentially harmful or even fatal symptoms including seizures. Medical attention, and slowly weaning the user off of these drugs can be lifesaving. Many treatment centers use low doses of drugs intended to stave off withdrawal symptoms and cravings during the physical withdrawal to ensure that the addict is safe. Even benzodiazepines can be extremely harmful to withdraw from, and medical detoxification is crucial for the safety of the person withdrawing. In some cases, the rehabilitation clinic will go on to provide medically supported maintenance after the treatment is over.
Individualized Treatment – Studies show that patients who receive customized, holistic treatment for their addictions are more likely to have better outcomes after their second year than patients who go through a non-customized program. This is important because many people have unique aspects to their addiction, individual causes, and unique triggers. Creating a custom recovery program for that person based on their life and their experiences ensures that they have tools that they can use in their own lives. A combination of treatments and therapy customized for the patient ensure the best long-term maintenance and recovery. For example, psychological substance dependence can stem from issues like former trauma, chronic stress, mental illness, PTSD, poor relationships, no coping skills, or depression/anxiety. Simply treating the addiction leaves the patient to continue to cope with their problems on their own.
Evidence Based Practices (EBT)
There are many different therapies used to treat addiction, but you should seek out a reputable treatment center with an evidence based practice. The following include the most common EBTs that you will see at treatment centers.
Twelve-Step – 12-Step Model Addiction Therapy operates in the basis that addiction is a disease and that it is rooted in biological, spiritual, or psychological problems and that addiction can be treated on a daily basis but never cured. 12-Step approaches addiction in a specific manner by utilizing the 12 Steps in process that walks users through different aspects of finding spirituality and connection with themselves and others.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that helps addicts to evaluate themselves to identify their problems, and to replace unhealthy addictive behaviors with healthy ones. CBT is directly focused on developing healthy coping skills, stress reduction, and responsibility to ensure that patients can survive and remain addiction free in the real world. CBT is also among the most effective strategies for preventing a relapse.
Relapse Prevention Therapy – Relapse Prevention Therapy is designed to help patients to identify their triggers, the signs of relapse, and the mechanics and stages of relapse, so that they can recognize it and cope with issues as they appear to prevent it.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy – Motivational Enhancement Therapy is a short term treatment option focused on producing abstinence through motivation and goal making. MET is highly successful for preventing relapse in combination with other types of therapy. The goal is to provide intrinsic motivation to the patient to produce change and must be led by a trained therapist.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy – Between 12 and 16% of addicts (depending on addiction) suffer from dual diagnosis, or the addition of a mental or cognitive disorder in addition to their addiction. DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a modified form of CBT specifically designed for these patients who must learn to accept themselves, to validate thoughts and feelings, and to seek help for mental issues. Some treatment centers will also offer complementary therapy such as art and music therapy, yoga, meditation, massage, exercise programs, and even acupuncture.
The Treatment Center
Residential treatment centers offer a variety of experiences ranging from luxury stays to simple, high security areas that allow you to recover under medical and psychological supervision. Residential treatment is often very effective because it requires that the patient stay under supervision in a closed area, away from temptation, while they physically and mentally detox. However, there are a number of differences between treatment centers and programs offered by the center.
Short Term – Short term residential treatment is typically 28 days to 3 months, and are ideal for patients who want to get better, who need medical support but who have motivation to get away from their addiction, and who have a support group at home to ensure their continued abstinence after they return home.
Long-Term – Long-term treatment lasts from 3-12 months, and is ideal for those who have a long history of addiction, who have a severe addiction, and who have little success or little motivation to recover.
Accreditation/Licensing – Most states offer local accreditation and licensing to rehabilitation centers. It is important that any you attend have this accreditation.
Credentialed Staff – Staff members should be trained and licensed according to the requirements of their role. Most treatment centers should employ licensed psychiatrists and therapists. If you are seeking medical help, you should also look for licensed nurses or physicians as well.
Environment/Setting – The environment isn’t always the most important factor in a rehabilitation center, but it is something to consider. You will have to spend 21 days or longer in the facility, so it is crucial that you can be happy in it.
Gender Separation – Gender separation is crucial to the recovery of some addicts, both for men and for women.
Security – Security is sometimes necessary to ensure the completion of a program, and while many allow patients to voluntarily check themselves out, one that does not is a better way to ensure the success of the program. There are many things to keep in mind about a treatment center, but most will allow you to come in for a tour of the facility before committing to a stay. This allows you to meet the staff, see the facility itself, and decide if it is a good fit for you before you commit.
What You Get
It’s important to consider exactly what you are paying for before you commit to a single treatment center. Review the offer, what is included, and compare it to other options to ensure that you are getting quality treatment that will make a difference.
Hours of Individual Therapy – Checking the hours of individual therapy and group therapy will give you a good idea of how much one on one time and individual attention the center gives each patient. Some offer more and some offer less, but usually more time is better because it allows more custom treatment.
Length of the Program – The length of the program should allow it to fit into the patient’s life, while giving them the maximum amount of care and support they need to recover. You should carefully review your options or discuss your personal situation and needs with the facility to determine the right length of a program.
Specialty Groups/Support – It is sometimes crucial that you have access to speciality groups or support during rehabilitation. Earlier we discussed that 12-16% of all addicts have a dual diagnosis and this number can be higher in some areas. If you have this diagnosis, it is crucial that your treatment center be able to identify it and then provide the support necessary to help you recover.
Health and Wellness – Health and wellness are important aspects of addiction recovery for a number of reasons. First, exercise is one of the healthiest ways to combat cravings, improve mental health, and increase the serotonin and dopamine in the brain. These chemicals naturally make the body happy, which ensures that the addicted person is less likely to resort to drugs or alcohol to reach the same effect. However, health and wellness are important for a number of other reasons. One of those is nutrition. For example, a study published by the Vanderbilt University Medical School showed that addicts often suffer from malnutrition, which contributes to anemia, brain disease, and intestinal problems, as well as poor physical and mental health and a lack of energy. A strong nutritional program can help to combat this by ensuring that the patient is given the food and nutritional support they need to regain energy and to recover. One review actually showed that programs with nutritional support have a success rate of about 30-50% higher than that of those without nutritional support. Finally, health and wellness care including mindfulness activities like yoga, meditation, tai chi, or another calming sport can be extremely beneficial to recovery. While this shouldn’t be a requirement for a recovery program, some form of exercise during the program can help to reduce depression, improve the mood, and reduce anxiety throughout the treatment.
Group Sizes – Group size can matter a great deal in any recovery setting, because it limits the amount of time that a counselor or psychiatrist is able to spend with you on a one-on-one basis. While smaller groups are almost always more expensive, they also provide more personal care, because the treatment center has the resources to dedicate more time per patient.
Family Education & Support – If family is involved or aware of the addiction, then it is important that they be able to seek education and support. Some treatment centers will create programs designed to teach family members to support a recovering addict, work with their new behavior, and promote a healthy lifestyle. SAMHSA suggests that an addict’s loved ones should have full access to information about the treatment and how it works, how to see results of the treatment, post treatment programs, and access to counseling for codependency and other enabling behaviors to ensure a full recovery. While this may not be a priority for you, it should be if family members or a spouse are very close to you and will be part of your recovery.
Aftercare – Overcoming the initial physical and mental addiction is just the first step in the process to becoming addiction free. For this reason, your residential treatment center should have an aftercare program that includes checkups, resources, and follow-up interviews. Studies show that 50-90% of addicts will experience at least one period of relapse over a 4 year period following their treatment, so follow up treatment and aftercare is crucial to helping an addict maintain their substance free lifestyle. Many residential treatment centers will offer some form of aftercare, but what you get depends on the center.
Insurance – While not mandatory you can look for a residential treatment center that your insurance will cover.
Family Involvement – Some treatment centers will try to get you to avoid all contact with family during your recovery, others will heavily involve family. Which you chose should depend on you, your lifestyle, your family, and your relationship with them. However, if no other members of your family are addicts and you have a strong relationship with them it is usually better to involve them in your recovery.
Response to Relapse – The majority of recovering addicts relapse at least once over a 4 year period. While you can approach your initial treatment with optimism, it is important to prepare for relapse as a natural part of your recovery. Ask the facility about how they handle relapse to ensure that they can help you if the worst happens. There are many considerations involved with choosing a residential treatment center, but if your option provides the therapy you are looking for, hires trained and licensed staff, has a good environment, and utilizes nutrition and exercise as part of their program, they are likely a good option. If you or someone you love struggles with drug addiction or alcoholism, please contact us at Oceanfront Recovery today to discuss drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs. One of our professional, experienced, and compassionate admissions advisors will speak with you at 877-296-7477 today in complete confidence and answer any questions you may have.