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6 Questions to Ask to Find the Best Drug Rehabilitation

Dillon McClernon

Authored by Dillon McClernon

There are many factors to consider when finding a drug rehab program.

Finding the best drug rehab program for successful addiction recovery is an involved process. Our patient must often go through detoxification, counseling, medication, treatment for co-occurring psychiatric health problems, and maintain long term follow-up care. Fortunately, there are full-service rehabilitation facilities like Lighthouse that can provide this care.  But how do you choose the best option for our patient?   There are many factors to consider when helping our patient evaluate the best drug rehab program. The following six questions may be a helpful tool to get started.

Does the program encourage the involvement of our patient’s referring clinician?

Our patient referred by a doctor or clinician that they already have a relationship with, should be sure that the treatment center will maintain an open line of communication with that referring doctor. We refer to this as ‘continuity of care.’ This is a benefit to our patient’s success. This is both because the referring office has a deeper knowledge of our patient’s background, and because they will be responsible for ongoing treatment following a rehabilitation stay. Keeping our patient’s regular clinician in the loop helps ease the transition into and out of rehab in a significant way.

Is the program long term or short term?

The best drug rehabilitation programs offer tools and skills to remain sober in everyday life, but it can take some time to establish these in our patient. Each patient has different needs, and it is important to consider the benefits of more intensive, longer term programs. Addiction is a complex issue with both physical and psychological components. Most people need at least 30 days of care or longer in order to pave the road to sobriety.

Does the program offer instant success or make grand claims?

There are treatment programs that offer what appear to be sensational claims of success in treating addiction, and may even boast a quick, guaranteed cure.  It is important to be skeptical when investigating any program’s boasts of success. Typically, it takes an involved and multifaceted treatment regimen to make any lasting effective change in the life and habits of an addict.

Does the program offer individualized service?

Many factors contribute to how our patient’s individual recovery plan should be tailored to benefit them the most. An effective rehab program will have many options in their toolbox, and know where and when to use them. For example, using medications to treat drug or alcohol cravings can be extremely important to the recovery of some patients. For others, treating the stress, anxiety or depression co-occurring disorders with substance abuse is a more significant place to begin recovery. The best drug rehab programs require constant reevaluation and modification for each patient. This is the same way doctors treat other chronic diseases.

Does the program administer drug tests?

This may seem like an obvious question, but in reality it can be a detail prone to being overlooked. Any program that is not using tests to verify our patient’s sobriety is not going to be an effective one. This is not to say that relapsing is a total failure. On the contrary, clinicians like you understand that relapses are a typical part of the recovery process. They know that they should not view them as a terminal mistake. Say we treat a patient for high blood pressure, and symptoms returned after we ceased treatment. We would not view that as a failure. Rather, that we need to reintroduce or readjust treatment. Be wary of drug rehab programs that will eject our patient for a relapse. Instead, look for a facility that can use it as a learning experience to reintroduce  relapse prevention protocols.

Does the program teach the skills to lead a successful sober life?

Our patient leaving even the best drug rehabilitation center is going to eventually be confronted with the stresses and anxieties of everyday life. This can lead to the temptation to relapse and fall back into old habits. Those with substance use disorders have destructive thinking patterns. We must overwrite these. Aftercare services such as counseling or group therapy can continue to monitor if a drug rehab program has cultivated proactive coping skills in that patient. Even though it may take place after the most intensive portions of rehabilitation, recovery support services can be some of the most important aspects of a complete and effective recovery.

Authored by

Dillon McClernon

Dillon McClernon

Dillon currently serves as the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at RCA. After his tenure as Chief Communications Officer and senior advisor to RCA, he opted for a full-time position at RCA where he could build a new team linking sales and marketing to directly impact RCA’s mission of saving 1 million lives.


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