Usually when you need to make a BIG life decision, it’s nice to take some time to look at all your options. You write down your pros and cons or talk to people who have been in your situation and ask questions to help inform your decisions. You want to feel good and secure with your choice. Well, some big decisions don’t allow for a lot of time and everything gets compounded and feels like a big ol’ chaotic mess. A decision like, “which treatment center is best for my loved one?”
Who Can You Trust
If you were one of the millions who have watched John Oliver’s segment on the addiction treatment industry, you’re probably feeling like it’s the wild west out here.
At the annual National Addiction Trade Association meeting in May NAATP Executive Director Marvin Ventrell said: “A new and unwelcome breed of unscrupulous profiteers entered the addiction treatment field to the detriment of the consumer while at the same time sullying the good name of legitimate values-based providers. This occurs at a time when addiction is rampant in America and opioid overdose is at an historic high. This disturbing trend interrupts our country’s ability to deliver lifesaving health care to patients suffering from the disease of addiction and represents an ongoing threat to our work…” How are you supposed to know who to trust? You don’t trust reviews online because there’s no knowing if they’re real or not. We’re not talking about someone faking a review about a burger at a local restaurant, we’re talking about where to send your mom or son or your best friend. We’re talking about a life. So let’s get into it.
What to Look For in a Treatment Center
- Programs that are state licensed for all levels of care they provide. The state licensing authority will have a record of any complaints or violations that you can check on.
- Facilities that pledge accountability to a code of ethics. (A couple examples are the NAATP or NAADAC Code of Ethics)
- Medical and Clinical Personnel on staff. – Check the bios of the staff to make sure they have licensed medical personnel on staff. Also, the facility should be collecting in-depth medical history for your loved one in order to make sure their facility is the best fit for what your loved one needs.
- Facilities that use Evidence-Based practices. Be wary of companies that offer 100% guarantees of recovery.
- The more information they can provide about their staff and facilities the better. Some facilities like to hide their lack of experience behind fancy photos and luxury spas, but when it comes to helping your loved one, they know very little.
- Find out which facilities are covered in your network and provide detailed information about patient financial responsibility. Be wary if a facility is offering you no out-of-pocket costs with insurance.
- Treatment centers that involve family and loved ones. ARISE® is an Evidence-Based practice and believes that including family and friends helps in long-term recovery. We also believe in whole-family healing. The addicted individual isn’t the only person needing help.
Red Flag Warnings
- The promise of no out-of-pocket costs if you’re insured. This could be a sign of possible insurance fraud.
- Websites that have very little information about the facility and their history. Don’t be deceived by fancy photographs and luxury housing. Make sure you find out about their staff and qualifications.
- Any company that guarantees you’ll be cured or promises high recovery rates with no proof. You’ll find treatment centers stating 85%+ of people who attend their center recover, yet if you asked where they got those stats, they wouldn’t be able to tell you. Look for treatment centers that use Evidence-Based practices. Also, remember that addiction is a disease that requires continuous care. That’s why they call it “long-term recovery”.
- Referral sites offering treatment placement. It seems like the easiest place to go. You only have to call one number and they can place your loved one in the center that best fits their needs. Unfortunately, many of these referral sites or call directories place people wherever they get the biggest kickback regardless of what your loved one needs.
You’re Not Alone
This is an overwhelming time for everyone. There are people you can call. You don’t need to do this alone. Also remember you can always go to a meeting and talk to others who have been where you are.
Here are some resources you might find helpful:
- NAATP Treatment Selection Guide
- ARISE Network (You can call the ARISE® Network for suggestions as well. We make no money from recommending someone to a treatment center. We want to make sure you or your loved one is finding the best fit for your needs. We have vetted every treatment center we recommend.)