Millions of people enter drug or alcohol rehabilitation centers each year. Multiple facilities are available in most areas, so most patients have several options. When seeking treatment for substance abuse, it’s important to be sure that the facility meets the needs of both the patient and the family; this will increase the chances of a successful recovery and make the process less stressful for everyone involved.

Before choosing a treatment facility, patients or their loved ones should ask the following 10 questions about each of their rehab options.

1. Is the Center Properly Licensed and Accredited?

rehabTo ensure that a patient receives the highest quality of care and benefits from proven treatment techniques, it is essential that the chosen facility have proper credentials. The most common and most highly trusted accreditation is from the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organization (TJC).

2. Does the Facility Offer Inpatient Treatment, Outpatient Treatment or Both?

Many centers provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment options. If the patient is suffering from a severe addition, inpatient therapy is usually the best choice, but each case is unique and should be handled in the most effective way possible.

3. What Does the Treatment Program Entail?

recoveryIt’s important to know what you can expect from rehab before you make a commitment. Most programs start with a comprehensive physical and psychological evaluation followed by a multidisciplinary treatment approach. Sudden cessation of drugs or alcohol can produce dramatic physical and mental reaction; it’s helpful for patients and their families to know what is likely to happen and how it will be managed.

4. What Type of Aftercare Support Does the Facility Provide?

Continuing support after an intensive recovery program is essential for long-term success and relapse prevention. Most programs include either group or individual counseling. Some centers may partner with other health facilities to provide continued treatment if the patient doesn’t live nearby.

5. Does the Center’s Program Include Substitute Drugs for Harm Reduction?

Some drug treatment programs substitute prescription drugs such as methadone, Suboxone or buprenorphine to replace heroin and other drugs and reduce the harm caused by their illicit use. If the patient’s goal is total sobriety, this method may not adequately meet his or her needs.

6. What Is the Facility’s Environment Like?

The treatment setting can have a dramatic impact on a patient’s success. Some centers have a more clinical environment while others may seem more like a relaxing retreat. Every patient’s needs and preferences are different. It’s important to take patient personality and background into consideration when choosing a treatment setting.

7. How Long Does the Center’s Treatment Program Last?

Addiction is a complex condition that requires adequate treatment time and continuing aftercare. A typical 28-day program may not be enough time for a person with a serious addiction to fully recover and adapt to sobriety.

8. How Does the Program Address Physical Cravings?

During recovery, most patients battle severe cravings, and different programs address them in various ways. Some may offer medication to suppress cravings. Others provide counseling. Programs that offer nutritional support, physical detoxification and cognitive behavioral therapy help alleviate cravings and enable the patient to better focus on recovery.

9. Does the Facility’s Program Include the Teaching of Life Skills to Support Sobriety?

addictionOnce a patient leaves a treatment program, he or she will be faced with stress, life challenges and other influences that may have triggered or fostered addiction in the first place. It’s important for a treatment program to teach coping skills and provide tools that help the patient deal with life in a healthier way. Without this education, relapse becomes more likely.

10. What Payment Options Does the Facility Offer?

Before choosing a facility, determine how the patient or family will provide payment. Many insurance companies will cover all or some of the costs for inpatient treatment, but it’s important to discover and discuss any possible limits or restrictions ahead of time. Have insurance details available when consulting a facility for information. Many facilities also offer financing options for patients who don’t have insurance.