The decision to enter treatment is difficult and it’s one that can change a life. If you’re considering treatment, and if you’re like I was when I began, you’re probably full of questions. In fact, I had questions about my questions and wondered if I was asking the right ones. While every patient is different and has different requirements, we’ve compiled a list of some basic questions you definitely should be asking of your potential new treatment center.
Is the Center Accredited?
Accreditation is essentially a quality assurance process that ensures guidelines and standards of care are being bet. For substance abuse and eating disorder treatment centers, that generally means a respected third-party evaluation board such as the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
What Kind of Payment Options Are There?
Treatment is expensive. There’s no way around it. However, many treatment centers offer different payment options as a way to help ease the financial burden. Check with the treatment center you’re considering to see if they accept your insurance. If not, they may offer cash pay, payment plans, or partial scholarships. Be sure you clearly understand your financial commitment before signing anything.
Where Are They Located
Are you willing to travel to obtain treatment? If not, some treatment programs have several campuses in different states. You may be able to find one closer to you or get a reference from a center you’re interested in but which may be too far away.
Do They Treat Co-Occurring Disorders?
This is a big one. Many folks with substance use (SUD) and eating disorders (ED) also suffer from other mental health ailments such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD, or may have both SUD and ED. These co-occurring disorders are contributing factors to the primary issue and must be addressed in order to have a successful recovery.
How Often Will You See Your Therapists?
This question can determine whether or not a particular center is worth their price tag. You’re planning to receive treatment from professionals and you should be seeing those professionals regularly. You should also ask about the licensing and accreditation of each or your therapists or psychiatrists.
Do They Allow Visitors?
One of the ideas of treatment, particularly residential treatment like Ocean Recovery offers, is to take the patient out of their day-to-day life to get them on a new program. While most of the time you’ll likely be busy adjusting to this new life, it’s nice to see a familiar face from back home sometimes. Check to see if the center offers visiting hours.
What Do Their Aftercare Plans Look Like?
This is another big one. Whether it’s substance abuse or eating disorders, successful recovery means being in it for the long haul. If you’re at a residential center, find out what your post-discharge plan looks like. Does the center offer outpatient visits? Will they refer you to a professional back home? Aftercare is absolutely necessary and it’s good to know upfront what that will look like.
Can They Accommodate Special Dietary Needs?
If you’re vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, have food allergies, or any other special dietary needs, you should find out if the treatment center you’re considering can accommodate them. If you’re dealing with an eating disorder, though, you may want to consider deferring to your nutritionist when it comes to non-medical or non-religious needs.
Are Phones and Electronics Allowed?
The phone and the internet have become essential parts of our lives. Even so, because of privacy concerns and to help get patients on board with their new way of life, many treatment centers restrict access to electronics, at least in the beginning.
Is Their Program Evidence-Based?
Don’t get me wrong…I think non-traditional approaches to treatment can be wonderful and new research is coming out every day. But like we pointed out above, treatment is expensive and I would be loath to give that kind of money to snake oil salesman promising the world. Studies prove that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), nutritional therapy, and other evidence-based modalities work. A good treatment center – even a non-traditional one – will be grounded in these methods.
Ocean Recovery has been successfully treating substance abuse and eating disorders since 2002. Furthermore, we include CBT, DBT, nutritional therapy and more as part of our evidence-based approach. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call us today and start building your foundation for success.