Questions to Ask When Choosing a Recovery Center

There are many factors to consider when choosing a recovery center. Making the correct choice in care can be the difference between a successful rehabilitation and a relapse in addictive behavior, so the choice can be daunting. By breaking down a list of some of the most important factors to consider, Casa Palmera hopes to aid patients in making the most informed decision possible about the best place to seek treatment and what characteristics are most important in a treatment center.


Do the staff specialize in treating addiction?

For many facilities, whether it be elderly care, child care, or recovery centers, the staff are not necessarily specialized in the field. This is not true of all staff, but the specialization level of the caregivers at treatment centers vary in their level of care, education, experience, and specialty. The distinction lies in the facility itself and its approach to treatment. Some treatment facilities aim to have kind, gentle people working there, but are more lax on the educational and experiential expertise.

However, other facilities strive to find a balance of both – qualified personnel that specializes in addictive behaviors and treatment and that possess the emotional capacity to help the individuals seeking care. These are the types of facilities to target. When selecting a drug and alcohol treatment center, always ensure the staff are specialized and have the experience needed to help.


Is the treatment center accredited?

Whether seeking inpatient or outpatient treatment, it is always vital to check whether or not the recovery center is accredited by the JCAHO, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. In all accredited rehabilitation facilities in the United States, the JCAHO conducts inspections and tours to ensure their standards for care and upkeep are being met. Checking to be sure the recovery center is accredited is an important part of the process in choosing the right facility.


How is the treatment plan structured?

Drug and alcohol treatment centers vary in their approaches to treating addictive behavior, so when looking into choosing a care facility, it is important to consider what the style of care is that they offer. Some recovery centers focus on group therapy, activities, and a collective healing methodology, while others are focused on an individual treatment plan that is privately enacted without any group element. Depending on the facility, they may also offer a hybrid of both. No matter what care is being offered, it is vital to consider how the treatment plan at each recovery center is structured and whether or not they align with the treatment plan you have in mind.


Is the facility clean, inviting, and aesthetically pleasing?

When choosing a treatment center, it is necessary to consider the environment in which the treatment will take place. Consider if you were the one seeking help in this treatment facility: is this somewhere you would feel comfortable spending your time? Does the center seem clean, sanitary, and well maintained? If the facility does not meet these criteria, it is not the right place. A lack of basic sanitization and maintenance indicates a level of disregard that is undesirable in a rehabilitation facility, so always be sure to place yourself in the patient role and make sure it is somewhere you would feel comfortable, safe, and productive.


How many medical professionals are on staff at any given time?

When considering any level of care, it is necessary to ask how many medical professionals are on staff at any given time, as well as what the ratio of patients to medical professionals is. By asking these questions, you will be better prepared to determine the level of care and attentiveness that will be offered to each patient.

In addition to this, you will also be able to gauge how much of an opportunity there is for adverse behavior to take place. If there are ten patients to every one on-staff professional, the potential for mistakes to occur increases exponentially. If the addict seeking care will engage in addictive behavior if left to their own devices for a short period of time, then they will need a facility with a high medical professional count. If the addict seeking care can function autonomously and requires only moderate attention, then a treatment center with less medical professionals on staff at one time may suffice.


What are the policies for administering prescription medications?

For a recovering addict, withdrawals can sometimes be excruciating and may require the use of pharmaceutical medications to ease the transition to sobriety. When choosing a drug and alcohol treatment center, it is imperative to ask what the policies are for how the recovery center administers medications. Always be sure that the policies and procedures for any recovery facility align with your goals for treatment. In addition to this, it is important to ask about the administration of medications in an emergency situation, as these protocols may require an extra note placed into the medical record to deny certain doses or drugs in the event of an emergency.


Choosing the Right Treatment Facility for You

When choosing a recovery center, there is a myriad of questions that must be asked in order to make an informed decision. The above questions are only a sampling of the types of questions that must be asked prior to choosing a treatment center, but they are vital questions that need to be considered in the decision-making process.

Some other important questions to ask are: Who develops the treatment plan for each patient? Are there both inpatient and outpatient treatment options? Will each patient be assigned a particular mentor or advisor during their treatment? How much does the treatment cost? How long is each patient expected to be onsite in each treatment program? What is the aftercare plan upon release from the recovery center? These are just a handful of the questions to ask, but they allow for a conversation to begin and an informed decision-making process to take place when selecting the correct drug and alcohol treatment center.