Here Is Your Checklist for Selecting the Right Recovery Center

closeup of paper with black check boxes being filled in with check marks by a red marker

How Do You Find Help?

If you love someone who is struggling with a substance use disorder, you may be at your wit’s end. You want to help but not know how. Your friend or family member might even be resistant to help. How can you help your loved one get the help they need? 

Or, if you are the person who needs treatment for a substance use disorder, your situation might feel even worse. You know you need help, but your addiction and the way it can muddle your thought processes can make it seem impossible to figure out where to start.  

In either case, you are dealing with a crisis, and it can be extremely difficult to make good decisions in the midst of an ongoing crisis. Your emotions are running high, and feelings of helplessness may be undermining your confidence. You want to make a good decision about where to turn for help, but it can be overwhelming to try to evaluate what you want and need out of a treatment center.

We are here to help with a checklist of things to consider when selecting a treatment center.

First Things First – Your Treatment Center Must Be Accredited

When you are searching for a treatment center for your loved one or yourself, your first search criterion should be this: Is the center fully accredited?

Accreditation means that outside experts have made sure a treatment center has the expertise and commitment to best practices to truly help those with substance use disorders. 

Also, be sure to avoid any treatment center that guarantees a “cure” for your substance use disorder. Substance use disorders are a brain disease that can be treated but not cured. Recovery is an ongoing process, and no treatment center can offer you an ironclad guarantee that going through their treatment program will ensure you never struggle with drugs or alcohol again. It would be nice if such a guarantee was possible, but it simply is not.

Next Up – Make Sure Your Treatment Center Will Stick With You

It might be tempting to find a treatment program that just focuses on detoxification. It would be great if going through detox was the end of treatment for a substance use disorder—get the drugs and alcohol out of your system and move on. But there is much more to treatment than that.

After detox comes rehabilitation (commonly known as rehab) during which a person builds a strong foundation for long-term sobriety. Through individual and group therapy, rehab helps address a range of issues including co-occurring mental health disorders, strategies for dealing with cravings and triggers, ideas for rebuilding damaged relationships and creating a strong support system, encouragement for setting positive goals, and advice about regular exercise, restful sleep, and good nutrition.

The best recovery centers ensure that your care doesn’t come to an abrupt halt when you leave residential treatment. A commitment to a continuum of care means that a recovery center will provide ongoing support for your sobriety. What that ongoing support looks like will vary from individual to individual, but it may include outpatient programs designed to ease the transition back into daily life, connections to 12-Step or other recovery support programs, and even social get-togethers for alumni of the center—an excellent reminder that you have not been alone in your struggles. 

Finding a recovery center that will see you through detox, rehab, and a continuum of care should be a high priority as you explore treatment options.

Step Three – Find the Right Fit and Philosophy

In certain—and very expensive cases—a treatment center might do a passable imitation of a spa or resort. That might seem very nice indeed. But you are not going on vacation. Given the choice, you should always choose the recovery center that has a track record of effectiveness rather than the one that offers the fanciest perks and accommodations. A high level of fanciness and expense is not a substitute for a high level of expertise and evidence-based care.

So take a careful look at the places you are considering for treatment for yourself or a loved one. How long have they been serving their community? What are the qualifications and credentials of the counseling and medical staff? Are their marketing materials clear and easy to understand—and focused on supporting your recovery rather than appealing to your desire for glammed-up surroundings? 

Also consider whether a center’s approaches to treatment are a good philosophical fit. How will a center’s treatment approach interact with your faith tradition? Are you interested in a holistic approach that might include meditation, art or recreation therapy, yoga, and the like? Would you or your loved one be more comfortable in a gender-specific recovery center? What sort of support is available for family members? All of these questions are worth considering carefully.

We Would Love to be on Your List

It will come as no surprise that we think the Farley Center would be an excellent choice for you or your loved one. With compassion and expertise, we’ll design a personalized treatment plan that meets you where you are and helps you build the foundation for your recovery journey. If you or a loved one needs help, we are ready to get to work.