By BrightView
Published: October 10, 2019
Updated: October 10, 2019

The search for effective and affordable addiction treatment, help with a chemical dependency, or “drug rehab” is unnecessarily complex, and it can be cost prohibitive.  Many families nearly bankrupt themselves trying to get help for a loved one.  At BrightView, we believe this is unacceptable and needs to change. Here are ten questions someone looking for an effective rehabilitation program should ask and have adequately answered:

  1. In what ways is your treatment program personalized to individual needs? The simple fact is that addiction is a complicated disease that requires a multi-pronged, personalized treatment approach.  Medication dosing should vary based on a patient’s medical history and tolerance.  The amount of group or individual counseling should adapt to each patient’s needs.  If an addiction treatment center offers a “one size fits all” model, it’s probably not going to be effective.
  2. Do you offer treatment for physical and mental health conditions also (often called “co-occurring disorder”)? Drug use often masks underlying mental health conditions and can lead to physical issues as well.  True healing from addiction occurs only when underlying trauma, anxiety, depression, and other factors are addressed.
  3. Is medication assisted treatment (MAT) offered to patients? Medications like buprenorphine and naltrexone stabilize the brain’s chemistry to allow folks to focus on recovery.  Be wary of abstinence only programs that don’t see medication’s role in addiction treatment – especially for addiction to opioids.
  4. How is a relapse handled? We believe in progress, not perfection. We accept the fact that addiction is a recurring brain disease, meaning that it is recognized that there is an expected relapse rate.  At no point should patients in an addiction treatment or drug rehab program be punished or refused treatment because of a relapse.  In fact, the opposite should take place: if a patient relapses, they should be provided with additional care and support.  Watch out for programs that will kick someone out of the treatment if they relapse.
  5. How do you measure success? Although we would like to see better results, nationally addiction treatment succeeds in helping around 50-60% of patients achieve long-term recovery. Any program claiming a success rate much above 60-65% is probably adjusting their data or cherry-picking statistics.  The addiction treatment or drug rehab program should be able to easily and clearly define what success looks like.  At BrightView, our goal is to help patients achieve lasting recovery.  This entails a reduction in illicit drug or alcohol use, recurring engagement in individual and group therapy, and wraparound social services support.
  6. What is the ongoing management plan? Most folks battling the disease of addiction don’t need inpatient treatment.  Published research identifies less than 20% of people with the disease of addiction require inpatient care.  Regardless where on the spectrum someone presents, having a long-term plan is crucial when managing any chronic disease.  If a drug rehab program ends after 21-, 30-, or 60-days without ongoing support, it absolutely won’t be as effective as an ongoing program that can support patients for the foreseeable future.
  7. What evidence do you have for your treatment model? If a program cannot answer this question, you need to seek a better alternative.  They should be able to tell you why they do or do not offer specific services like medication assisted treatment, individual counseling, and group therapy.  If they don’t know why a component of treatment is offered, that should be a red flag.
  8. How often do patients see advanced medical practitioners at your facility? Physicians should be board certified and/or DATA 2000 waivered.  If you are considering an addiction treatment or drug rehab program with no credentialed MDs or at least APRN/NPs on staff, then it is time to look elsewhere.  Sometimes physicians will have dual specialties, which can be a big differentiator between programs.
  9. What insurances are accepted and what happens if I am uninsured? Asking this question can result in big savings and it is a good sign that the addiction treatment or rehab program is legitimate.  Be wary of programs that are cash only or don’t partner with major insurance providers.  Accepting Medicaid and Medicare are good indicators that the program is legitimate.
  10. Who has accredited you? Accreditation from the Joint Commission and CARF in no way guarantees success, but it does imply that the addiction treatment program at least meets some standards and has general accountability.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask other patients.  If you visit a center, it’s always a good idea to talk to as many people who are receiving treatment there as you can.  They’ll be able to tell you what works well and what doesn’t on a level that the staff may not know.  Online ratings are a way to verify this, for addiction and mental health providers, patients with complaints are often far more vocal than those who were happy. If you or a loved one are considering treatment for the disease of addiction, please give us a call 24/7 at 833-510-4357 or check out our list of locations to find one nearest you.