Alcohol consumption is the third most leading preventable cause of death in America and addiction has reached epic proportions. Data continues to show that substance abuse contributes greatly to hospital and prison occupancy, dramatically decrease workplace productivity, and are a leading contributor to fatalities in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “No single treatment program is right for everybody. Matching the treatment program to each individual’s needs is critical to success.” Therefore, if your choice is to go into a treatment program, you should ask the following questions to determine which is right for you or your loved ones

  1. What kinds of treatment programs do they offer? Is it primarily 12-step based, or do they offer other self-help options as well, i.e., SMART Recovery, SOS, or Women/Men for Sobriety? Do they match treatment settings, interventions and services to each individual’s particular problems and needs, since this is critical to one’s ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace and society?
  2. Does the program address multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug use, such as any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational and legal problems?
  3. What types of credentials does the staff have, such as doctors, counselors, and anyone else who has contact with the clients, and what is the ratio between the staff and clients?
  4. Is there a doctor on the treatment’s premises 24 hours a day, or just a couple times a week to dole out medication?
  5. What is the treatment program’s philosophy or theory towards addiction? Is it religious, bio-psycho-social, psychological, neurological, physical and psychological, trauma-based (addiction that has stemmed from a sole traumatic event in one’s life), and does their particular approach suit your own personality, beliefs and values, or is it one that you can believe in, and rebuild your life based on it?
  6. Does the treatment program detailed, positive approaches towards treatment, using up-to-date methods, such as motivational therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, stress personal responsibility, this is a disease/not a disease but a choice among many others?
  7. Do you think that this approach resonates with you, or your loved one, that may need inpatient help?
  8. Does the program offer counseling (individual or group) and other behavioral therapies, where issues of motivation, building life-skills to resist drug and alcohol use, relapse prevention, improving problem-solving skills, and facilitation of interpersonal relationships and ability to function in the family and community often take place?
  9. How does the drug rehab program assist an individual during the withdrawal process, i.e. is medical treatment for withdrawal provided, or must this be done somewhere else, prior to entering the facility?
  10. To what extent is the family involved in the treatment process?