Drug rehab centers: 5 MUST HAVES

What should every drug rehab center have in a place? A list of the TOP 5 THINGS all rehabs should have.

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Do you suspect that you or your loved one has a drug problem? More on how and where to find help for drug rehab here, with a list of the TOP 5 THINGS every rehab program should have. Then, we invite your questions at the end. In fact, we try to answer all real questions with a personal reply.

What is “quality” drug rehab?

While many treatment centers legitimately offer strong, evidence-based programs, others a little more than billing clinics who make money from insurance claims. So, how do you tell the good from the bad?

If you are consider getting into any kind of addiction treatment program, there are some things you need to check to assure the center’s quality. Here we provide you with 5 must haves for safe rehab:

5 MUST HAVES for a safe rehab

1. Licensing, certifications, and/or accreditation

Generally, drug rehab centers are required by states to implement standards if they want to provide their services. They usually apply for licenses to the State Department of Health and Social Services Department. State licensing requirements can be found here.

While regulations are not standardized nationwide, initial credentialing processes help increase the quality of each rehab program. Further, many facilities licensed by state departments are also certified. This means that some program are not only LEGAL, but they are EXCEPTIONAL, and recognized as exceeding minimum levels of service quality standards.

Other non-profit and third party accreditations include:

  • The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
  • The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP)

2. A treatment program just for you!

The circumstances that lead to addiction are as diverse as the patients themselves. Simply put, a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment does not translate to success for the patient.

A quality facility will have the resources and personnel at their disposal to tailor their treatment approach to each individual, starting with a thorough evaluation and patient history. Good rehabs then design a care program consisting of evidence-based therapies from which they feel the patient will most benefit.

NOTE: It’s helpful to explore programs with a diversity of treatment therapies and life-skills resources that allow you or your loved one to learn to regain independence while in rehab. Be on the lookout for variety of psychological, physical, and social therapies that treat the WHOLE PERSON.

3. Precise medical record keeping

Medical records serve many purposes. First and foremost, they document the history of examination, diagnosis and treatment of anyone who does to drug rehab. This information is vital for all health care providers involved in a person’s care and for any new provider who assumes responsibility for that person. It might also be used in medical claims or for insurance or health care payments. These are the main reasons why you’ll want to choose a rehab that keeps medical records on hand and can instantaneously justify (or refute) the need for a particular treatment.

4. Treatment of the family system

Involving family in the treatment process is a must. Addiction does not exist in a vacuum and cannot be treated in isolation. Often, family systems need to change their dynamic in order to offer healthy support to members. Plus, transitioning back into the family dynamic can be a jarring and difficult experience. Many patients directly attribute their relapse to their inability to reconnect with their family after they return from a drug rehab center.

For these reasons, it’s important to choose a rehab that offers the patient a chance to reconnect with their family while in treatment. This helps to lay the foundation for a healthy family dynamic in which expectations are established and boundaries are respected. Patients should be able to develop a plan for recovery while in treatment so that they can more easily rejoin their households and successfully maintain their recovery.

5. Aftercare treatment plans

The facility you choose for yourself or your loved one should offer a clearly defined plan of action for follow up on discharge. This plan should include everything from ways to manage recovery-related stress to tips on how to connect with support groups or ways to avoid relapse. It’s also important that patients have a connection to rehab therapists during early, vulnerable periods. This is why it is best to choose a drug rehab that offers regular patient follow-up to monitor post-treatment progress.

What kinds of drug rehabs are available?

There are several forms of drug rehabilitation. What you need to know first is that not all programs fit all people. Still, the main goal of each of them is to provide you with drug free life and prepare you for the next steps in your family relationship, or adaptation to the working environment.

Be sure to make a thorough analysis of what options are available for treatment, because the treatment program will determine the effectiveness of and achieving your goal of sobriety. These are the major options for drug rehabilitation:

  • Inpatient treatment – Requires a stay in an on-site facility for 28 days up to a year or more. Usually includes a detox clinic on site, psychiatrists, medical doctors, and licensed clinical psychologists on staff. Main benefit is total focus and full time 24/7 supervision of recovery. Main disadvantage is cost.
  • Outpatient treatment – Requires daily or weekly trips to a clinic or campus, averaging from 10 weeks up to a year. Mainly consists of psychological and behavioral treatments which aim to modify attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse, and increase healthy life skills. Main benefit is low cost. Main disadvantage is no 24 hour supervision.
  • Pharmacological interventions – Medications can be used to help reestablish normal brain function and to prevent relapse and diminish cravings. Currently, there are medications for alcohol addiction such as naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. Opiate addiction is also treated with medications such as buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone.
  • Community model or halfway houses – Destructive living environments can make recovery difficult for even highly motivated individuals. Sober living houses are alcohol and drug free living environments for individuals attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs.

Drug rehab options and questions

If you still have questions about drug rehabilitation and helping yourself coping with addiction, please write to us in the comments section below. Or if you’re ready to address the symptoms of drug addiction, we will do our best to answer you personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: State of CA Department of Health Care Services: Licensing
NIH: Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment
Medicare: Find out if you’re an inpatient or an outpatient
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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