This post was originally published at http://www.orlandorecovery.com/.
It may sound like a funny comparison, but choosing the right rehabilitation center is a lot like choosing the right college. There are many aspects to consider – location/proximity, size, area of expertise, average age of participants, etc. In order to get the most out of a rehab experience, these factors need to be thoroughly considered and researched. If they are not, there is a chance that the facility will not be the right fit and treatment will not be as successful as it could otherwise be.
In order to make the most of your rehab experience, take note of the following steps.
1. Determine what services you or your loved one needs.
Like any disease, no two patients will present exactly the same way. Therefore it is important to choose a facility that best fits the needs of the patient. For example, some centers offer detoxification services – in other words, they provide a safe place for a drug or alcohol user to rid the substance from their bodies. This is important to research because detox can be dangerous and is best done in a supervised environment with medical experts. In some cases, a patient has detoxed on their own or does not need to detox, and therefore does not need a facility with detox services. Another aspect of treatment to consider is a facility that treats co-occurring disorders. Often drug and alcohol users will also suffer from a mental health disorder and a facility needs to be able to address both issues simultaneously.
2. Decide what type of treatment center you or your loved one is looking for.
There are differences in treatment facilities. Some are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, inpatient programs, while others are outpatient programs that take place a few times a week. Which program you choose depends on the severity of the patient’s problem. Oftentimes a patient will take part in an inpatient program which can last 28 days or longer, and then they move on to an outpatient program in order to make the transition back to the real world more manageable. A guide like this one from Consumer Affairs offers more detail about specific types of programs that are offered.
3. Determine how far the patient is willing to travel for treatment.
This is important because there are many rehabs throughout the country, but not everyone will be willing or able to travel to one. Patients may want to be within driving distance of home, or in a location where family can visit during treatment. Depending on your location this could drastically limit your results. Having an idea of where the patient would be able and willing to travel for treatment is imperative to choosing a facility.
4. Do your research.
Once you’ve answered the above questions, research centers that fit your criteria. The internet is a fantastic tool for this and many sites will offer reviews of rehab facilities. It is important to read reviews from patients or family members of patients in order to have a full understanding of what a facility offers, and then determine if it is in fact a good fit.
5. Set up a visit.
If the patient does not need to detox, then getting into a facility immediately may not be as vital. If this is the case, set up a time to visit the places you’ve researched. Physically being in the atmosphere will give you a much better idea of whether or not the center is a good fit. If it is, you can make an informed decision to pursue treatment there. If it isn’t, you can keep looking.
6. Ask questions.
Many people have no idea what they are getting into when going to rehab for the first time. They may have many questions and could be too nervous to ask. Try to ask them anyway. Questions about money and insurance coverage are especially important, as the answers may make or break a patient’s ability to pursue treatment.
7. Think about what comes next and develop a plan.
Extended care is an important part of treatment. This term refers to the care that a patient receives after the program is complete. Some facilities offer aftercare programs, while others do not. No matter which situation you are in, having a plan for after treatment is absolutely necessary in order to prevent relapse.