June 26, 2019 Felicia Durling

Asking the Right Questions: The Top Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing a Drug Rehab Center

The number of facilities treating substance abuse in the UD has grown to over 14,000.

In the last few decades, treatment centers have become the preferred method for treating substance abuse. But with 10s of 1000s of facilities to choose from, all with their own approach to recovery, choosing the one that’s right for you can be overwhelming.

Finding the right drug rehab center is crucial to your successful, long-term recovery. You have to choose a center that’s both reputable and aligns with your needs.

With just a few simple questions, you can quickly narrow down your options. Keep reading to learn what questions you should be asking before signing on the dotted line.

What Are Their Certifications?

State licensing will differ between states. You should check what certifications are required of the drug rehab centers in your state or the state in which you’re going to attend rehab.

But the most reputable rehabilitation centers will be accredited by The Joint Commission or the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. A drug rehab center with these accreditations operates with the highest industry performance standards. They receive accreditation based on a combination of results, quality, and value.

The staff at the center should also hold certain credentials. These include:

  • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC)
  • Certified Co-occurring Disorders Counselor (CCDP)

Addiction treatment requires the expert care of these licensed and accredited professionals. But the treatment center should also have doctors, nurses, and psychiatrists/psychologists available to you.

How Long Is The Program?

Knowing how long the program is can give you an idea of how long you need to plan and prepare to be away at rehab. Programs are usually offered in 30, 60, and 90-day stays.

Most drug rehab centers offer 30-day programs as the minimum length of stay. And while most insurance policies cover this type of program, it isn’t always sufficient.

A 30-day program essentially gives the addict a month without using drugs or alcohol. But for most people, 28 days isn’t long enough to build new healthy habits and instill the life skills needed to cope with recovery outside of the center.

Consider committing to a longer program if you can. And if you require more in terms of flexibility, you might think about an outpatient program.

Outside of Therapy, What Else Does The Drug Rehab Center Offer?

Most drug rehab centers offer intensive therapy that includes a combination of individual therapy, family therapy, and group sessions. But good programs go beyond therapy for a more well-rounded approach to recovery. This might include nutrition programs, life skills courses, and alternative therapies.

Drug abuse takes a devastating effect on your body. Part of recovery should be addressing those deficiencies through nutrition. Without proper nutrition, depression, inability to sleep, irritation, and lack of energy can become barriers to recovery.

Another important aspect of a treatment program is building life skills. The purpose of life skills training is to provide the skills needed to deal with tasks of life outside of the drug rehab center. These might include parenting classes, career skills courses, and cooking and nutrition classes.

Outside of the traditional therapies provided at rehab, the facility might also offer alternative therapies. These might include art and music therapy, equine therapy, or biofeedback therapy.

What About Mental Health Treatment?

Almost 8 million people in the US experience a substance abuse disorder and a mental health disorder simultaneously. For those people, a special approach to treatment is required. The drug addiction must be treated at the same as the mental health condition.

For anybody in this category, it’s important to know if the drug rehab center has the capacity to properly treat dual diagnosis patients. If they don’t, then ask if and how they coordinate that type of care.

How Do You Define Successful Recovery?

You should ask how the drug rehab center defines and measures their success, as well as what their success rate is. Though not always an accurate measure of whether you’re going to succeed, this gives you an idea of the results they expect.

And different programs will expect different results. While some programs consider completion of the program a success, others define it in more specific and/or measurable terms. These might include things such as:

  • continuing to attend regular meetings following the program and becoming an active member in that community
  • continuing to engage in harm reduction techniques such as taking methadone
  • gainful employment rates among former patients
  • better family relationships
  • the number of former patients who remained sober

Another important aspect of how they define success relates to their views on relapse. Some programs believe that relapse is a normal part of recovery and others believe relapse can be prevented by a thorough program. Which belief they hold will affect the way they, and you, approach recovery.

Is There Any Post-Treatment Support?

An inpatient or residential program at a drug rehab center is an opportunity to start your recovery in a highly structured, clinical environment. Every day in rehab you’ll receive intensive therapy, group sessions, three square meals, and time to socialize with other sober people. But outside of the facility, the environment can’t be controlled in those ways and the triggers and temptations are very real.

But a good program will set you up for success in the real world throughout your program and even after. These safety nets can help you prevent relapse and continue living in recovery. They might include continuing care groups, phone-based coaching, or apps that keep you connected with the people you’ve come to trust.

More Rehab Resources

Choosing the right drug rehab center is a matter of asking the right questions. These questions will give you an idea of how you’ll be treated, for how long, and what results you can expect from the program. Aligning what you want from rehab with what the program offers will help you narrow down your options.

And for more information on rehabilitation and what to expect, read our blog.


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