The scourge of addiction is one of the greatest public health threats facing Americans today. Tragically, addiction to various substances impacts the lives of millions of Americans, with Americans being addicted to any number of substances that can ultimately lead to financial loss, mental anguish, and death.
Thankfully, a number of residential and outpatient treatment centers are available that can help Americans fight these challenges and lead good and healthy lives. However, that is not to say that all treatment centers are created equal, and it is vital that you find a treatment center that fits your needs and is of the highest quality. As such, here are some things to look for as you recover from your addictions.
State and National Certification
There is a reason that state and national certifications are so important. Carried out by professional organizations, these certifications come only after a treatment center has met or exceeded multiple standards. These standards can include a variety of facets, including:
- Appropriate ratio of staff to client
- Lack of serious patient safety violations
- Adherence to appropriate scientific methods for treatment
- Staff has met or exceeded recommended educational requirements
Furthermore, in many cases, acquiring these certifications is a time-intensive and rigorous process, one that only the most highly qualified staff and facilities can complete. As such, if you have a facility that has been certified by a larger accrediting body, you can likely have confidence that they are well qualified to meet your needs.
Of course, there are many possible certifications available for treatment centers. These include C.A.R.F. (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), the Certification of Opioid Treatment Programs (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and a variety of other state and federal certification programs.
A Clean Record
Sadly, not all treatment centers provide the people they treat with the high-quality treatment they deserve. Fortunately, in most places, treatment centers are regularly monitored, inspected, and, in some cases, cited for violations.
This information is publicly accessible and should be available on the internet. As such, before making any decisions about a treatment facility, it is highly recommended that you check out the treatment facility you are considering and examine whether or not the facility has any citations against them.
To be clear, a facility having a citation or violation is not necessarily the end of the world. In many cases, facilities may have minor complaints lodged against them, but these can literally be for something as small as leaving a pair of scissors on a desk. However, more serious violations should be treated with a far more skeptical eye, and repeated violations for the same major problem are a huge red flag. Use your judgment about the seriousness of any violation, but you should absolutely make sure that you check to make sure that the facility in question doesn’t have any serious complaints or ethical violations.
Breadth of Staff Expertise
It goes without saying that you want to make sure that whatever treatment facility you visit has an entire range of staff expertise at your disposal for you or your loved one. However, in many cases, this staff expertise may go well beyond your standard doctors, nurses, and counselors.
What other treatment staff members are at your disposal at the facility you are looking at? What sort of training does that staff have? In addition to certified medical professionals, what other needs do they have the staff capacity to treat? For example, do they have spiritual advisors to help people of all faiths address and fulfill their spiritual needs? Do they have a fitness consultant or nutritionist on staff to ensure that all wellness components are covered?
Furthermore, having this staff is great, but in and of itself, it isn’t enough. Having a doctor is great, but it must be a doctor who is sufficiently experienced in helping people who suffer from a variety of addictions. As such, when checking out a treatment center, make sure that you inquire about the training and certification of any staff members who will be helping you or your loved one adjust to their new circumstances.
Comprehensive Planning and Treatment Options
There is no question that the most important thing you need to look for when you are examining a treatment center is what sort of treatment options are at your disposal. Different treatment centers have different treatment options and styles. Examples of treatment that may be offered at treatment centers include:
- A variety of individual therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy
- Group therapy
- Detox, which may be required before undergoing certain types of therapies (Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.)
- Medication-assisted therapy
Everyone responds differently to different treatment modalities, and it is critical that you use your own experience and preferences to identify a facility that may work for you. There is no such thing as a 100% match. In many cases, you may not even be familiar with the types of treatment offered at a facility. That’s not a bad thing, of course. However, you want to make sure that the facility in question offers flexibility for treatment options and is willing to work with you to develop a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan that fits your needs.
Many treatment centers have also begun to branch into more non-traditional therapies, offering a variety of treatment modalities that were previously unheard of. These include:
- Art and music therapy
- Various types of physical therapy, including chiropractic, massage, and recreational
- Other non-traditional forms of therapy, like yoga, meditation, and reiki
While many of these therapies are still relatively new within the addiction space, there is some evidence to suggest that these therapies can be effective when used as a complement to traditional therapy. To be clear, none of these alternatives should be used as a replacement for traditional therapy, but it does seem clear that they may be an excellent supplement to these therapies. If this is something that appeals to you, you should find a facility that has these offerings.
For many people, time in a treatment center is not the real challenge. This is a safe, supportive, and structured environment, one that makes staying clean and sober much easier. The challenge, then, is when people in treatment start to reintegrate into the real world. This begs the question: What sort of options does the treatment facility you are checking out offer when someone completes the program and tries to pick up their life again?
There are many possibilities, including:
- Continued individual therapy or group therapy
- A mentorship program for people who have completed treatment and successfully reintegrated into the real world
- Sober living homes that provide supervised and regulated transitions
- Post-treatment therapy and family therapy to help give an individual’s family the therapy and assistance they need to reintegrate into the real world
Far too many people who have completed a treatment program have found that they run into difficulty after the treatment program — not during it. As such, it is vital that you find a treatment facility that can assist you in caring for your post-treatment needs, such as sober living options or an outpatient program.
While a treatment center could never be confused with a resort, at the end of the day, you want to make sure that the place you or your loved one will be receiving treatment will be a comfortable one and one that offers you something besides non-stop therapy and exhausting mental work. This means that the facility should have ample amenities.
This may include green spaces, workout rooms, aquatic facilities, and more. Indeed, in many cases, these amenities can be successfully integrated into a treatment program, as the evidence does show that physical activity and exercise can help someone overcome addiction.
It goes without saying that lush amenities should not be the primary concern for someone who is seeking help at overcoming a substance use disorder. However, these amenities can provide a pleasant way of helping someone achieve peace of mind and help them recharge their batteries after a long day. As such, you should certainly pay attention to the type of amenities that a facility may have to offer.
Length of Stay
In most cases, people who are seeking inpatient treatment will know in advance how many days they will be staying at the facilities in question. It is usually a period of 30, 60, or 90 days. The exact length of stay depends on a variety of factors, including whether or not detoxification is needed (Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency), the severity of the disorder in question, the availability of post-treatment plans, and insurance coverage. For your own purposes, it is critical that you find a facility that will allow you to stay as long as you believe is necessary, as determined by you, your family, and your treatment providers.
Unfortunately, your length of stay may be controlled by other non-medical factors — like insurance or payment. That’s not to say that there isn’t wiggle room or the ability to work with the facility in question to identify alternatives, but you know ahead of time what sort of options you will have for extending your length of stay or identifying appropriate step-down facilities as needed.
Advice of Your Treatment Professional
If you are enrolling in a treatment facility, chances are good that you have attempted to beat your addiction in the past but have been unsuccessful. It is important to remember that you are not the first person in this position, and you won’t be the last. Indeed, consulting with a treatment professional will likely make it clear that additional help can assist you in conquering your addiction.
If you already have a trusted professional or medical practitioner that you have worked with in the past, you should consider their advice before enrolling in any treatment facility. Odds are good that this person has seen the best and worst of treatment facilities and, as such, may have developed the experience necessary to give you a recommendation as to what facility may fit your needs and which ones to avoid. Furthermore, your medical professional may be completely unaffiliated with any treatment location. This is likely a good thing, as you can rest assured that their advice will be unbiased and free of any financial motivation.
If you are looking for a facility that covers all of these needs and more, look no further than Granite Recovery Centers. We offer a variety of treatment programs that are located across New Hampshire, and our team has decades of experience at getting patients through the toughest moments of their lives and helping them get back on track. To learn more, contact us through our website or give us a call today at 855-712-7784. Our Admissions team is available 24/7, and is more than happy to answer any questions you may have.