There are now more options for addiction treatment than there have ever been. This is both good and bad. It’s good because now more people have access to treatment for addiction and mental health issues than ever before. It also indicates a growing awareness that addiction and mental health issues are conditions that need treatment rather than punishment. This abundance of options also has a downside though. While many treatment centres provide excellent care and a good start to recovery, some are willing to cut corners and lower their standards to make more money. With so many options available, how do you know who to trust?
What to look for
This may be the single most important factor. All the beautiful facilities and cutting edge methods in the world don’t mean anything unless you’re treated by capable, experienced staff. A good staff should include master’s and PhD level therapists as well as qualified medical staff and people with experience and certification in their areas of expertise.
Low client-to-staff ratio
You also want to be sure that you receive adequate attention from the centre’s qualified staff, so be sure to look at the client-to-staff ratio. Fewer clients per staff member allows you to receive more individualized care. When the staff can focus on a fewer number of clients, they can put more energy into optimizing each client’s treatment. It’s also nice to not have to compete for use of the facilities or feel crowded while going through treatment.
Can treat dual-diagnosis
Most people who struggle with addiction struggle with another mental health issue too, even if they aren’t aware of it. Typical dual diagnoses include depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and schizophrenia. Often, clients have medical conditions that have to be taken into account too. Having a dual diagnosis complicates addiction treatment and often requires specialized therapeutic techniques or medication. It’s also important to integrate addiction treatment with treatment for the dual-diagnosis. Since addiction is often driven by the other condition, both have to be treated together for addiction treatment of be effective. Be sure the centre you’re considering has the staff and facilities to address a dual-diagnosis.
Clean comfortable facilities
Most treatment centres won’t be luxurious, but they should at least be clean and comfortable. Treatment can be challenging, especially if you have to go through detox, so your lodgings should be as comfortable as possible. Clean and comfortable facilities also indicate a basic level of respect for the clients. You also want to feel safe and secure. Ideally, a treatment center will have open spaces and access to natural surroundings to help reduce stress and facilitate healing.
Evidence-based practices means there is significant research backing up the effectiveness of the treatment methods the facility uses. Exactly which methods these are change as new methods come out and new research is published. Currently, in the field of addiction, behavioural therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy and dialectical behavioural therapy have very strong scientific backing, as do medication assisted therapies such as methadone or buprenorphine for opioid addiction or naltrexone or disulfiram for alcohol addiction. Research into some cutting edge treatment methods like transcranial magnetic stimulation and virtual reality also shows early promise.
Good follow-up care
The transition from inpatient treatment back to normal life can be difficult. A good treatment centre won’t just push you out door and wish you luck. Good follow-up care includes access to counseling, a specific relapse prevention plan, and access to an alumni community. Many centres hold periodic reunions for clients who have completed treatment. Quality centres actively seek out information about clients who have completed treatment so they can know whether their programme has been effective. Some centres also offer access to a sober living home, where you can make the transition to normal life more gradually.
What to beware of
Generic websites or commercials
If you see a commercial or a website that doesn’t seem to be for a specific center at a specific location, be careful. Many of these services just want you to contact them for information about treatment so they can sell you to the highest bidder, regardless of your situation or needs.
Centres that offer to pay for travel
Offering to fly to you the centre may constitute an illegal inducement. Treatment centres that resort to these kinds of tricks are typically just interested in receiving a big payout from your insurance company. The same goes for centres offering to waive copays or deductibles.
If you’re looking for treatment and someone refers you to an out of state centre, especially if you didn’t ask, they may be looking to collect extra money as an out-of-network provider.
Centres that are indifferent to your treatment history
Addiction treatment is complicated and a quality centre will want to know as much about your treatment history as possible. They should ask questions about previous therapy, treatment centre visits, doctor visits, medications, and so on. If you were going to a new doctor, you would want her to know as much about your medical history as possible, especially if that history was eventful. Addiction treatment is the same. The more the treatment staff know about your addiction and treatment history, the better they can help.
There are many factors in choosing a good treatment centre. Some centres will be better for different people, depending on their circumstances. It’s important to know your priorities when looking for a centre. Take your time and consider your decision. Treatment is a big investment in time and money, so you want to feel good about your choice. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. They’re there to help and a good treatment centre will want to be sure you’re a good fit.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, The Dawn Medical Rehab and Wellness center can help. We are one of Thailand’s most respected addiction treatment and wellness centers. We use cutting-edge treatment modalities to provide personalized care to treat addiction, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, PTSD, and executive burnout. See our contact page to reach us by phone or email.