FAQs of Treatment

Q: Is the center a licensed SUD Treatment facility? Is it accredited by the Joint Commission and CARF?

A: Entering a treatment program for any substance use disorder can be stressful. Between the physical discomfort of detox and emotional strain this lifestyle change can bring on, you want to choose a treatment center that allows you to focus on you. Choosing a licensed treatment center gives patients the peace of mind to focus on self-care rather than worrying over the quality of care being received. Licensure for treatment programs addresses the facility’s comprehensive intake process, detox availability, medically assisted treatment (MAT), treatment planning, facility quality, facility process, facilities record of care, and aftercare planning. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitative Facilities (CARF) accreditation demonstrates a provider’s capacity to deliver a specific level of care, differentiating it to persons served, regulators, referral sources, and payers. For more information visit: http://www.carf.org/home/

Q: Does the facility take your insurance? Do you offer payment plans or require payment up front?

A: Before starting the search process, call your insurance provider to see whether the plan covers addiction treatment services and expenses covered. Understand what percentage of treatment expenses may be fully covered and if there are co-pay requirements depending on total program cost. It is wise to know how much to budget to include out-of-pocket expenditure. Treatment centers should list which insurance companies are accepted. Contact the center to determine if they will work with your health insurance provider to reach agreements on coverage and financing options. Some treatment centers are willing to arrange for payment plans or offer service fees based on patients’ earned income.

Q: Does the treatment center offer personalized programs? Will I have my own individualized treatment plan?

A: Ask about the overall structure and guiding philosophy of the program. Ask what specialized tracks might be offered that may focus on co-occurring mental health, physical health, or spiritual health needs.

Q: What types of programs are available?

A: Most treatment websites will include program specialties that cover the following categories: – Detoxification – Inpatient Treatment – Residential Treatment – Partial Hospitalization Program – Intensive Outpatient Treatment – Outpatient Treatment – Gender-Specific Programs – Dual Diagnosis/Co-Occurring Treatment (Mental Health Concerns) – Family Therapy

Q: What credentials will my counselors and recovery team have?

A: Counselors participating in treatment center groups and individual therapy may hold training certifications and licensures ranging from certified alcohol and drug use counselors (CADC) to master level clinicians, like social workers (MSW) and therapists that are licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCC). The differences in certifications reflect differing levels of education and experience the counselor has obtained in the field of providing drug and alcohol therapeutic services. For example, a CADC is a 2-year program that requires ~300 hours of supervised work and an MSW requires a bachelor’s degree, 2 additional years of graduate school, and ~5000 hours over 3 years of supervised work. This level of education and training is required to provide clinical diagnoses to patients, but all facility counselors are certified to help patients develop the skills they need to overcome their addictions through individualized care and group services.

Q: What are the credentials of the medical treatment team?

A: Check to see if the facility’s medical staff include nurse practitioners, internal medicine doctors, or general practitioners and how often a patient may expect to interact with the medical care providers.

Q: What is the staff to client ratio?

A: Staff-to-client ratios let patients know how many patients each staff member is responsible for at a facility. Fewer patients per staff member allows for more intensive support and attention for each client. Consider this ratio when thinking about what you would require from treatment. Depending on how great your needs are, you may need a clinician who provides services to a fewer number of patients (e.g., 5 clients per clinician instead of 10).

Q: What does the admission process entail?

A: Admissions processes for drug and alcohol rehabilitative programs are comprehensive. They typically involve psychological and medical assessments, as well as introductions specific to the facility’s treatment program. This comprehensive process must take place before the patient is admitted to the treatment program. It is the fundamental step to understanding unique needs and conditions of each individual patient. An intake specialist will provide information on what someone can expect throughout their stay at the facility, review insurance coverage and other forms of payment that may be accepted by the facility, and individual needs of the patient. These assessments typically determine if the center’s program is the right fit for the individual and include questions on substance use and medical history, education, social life, and previous addiction treatment. Physical and medical evaluations are performed by medically trained personnel that may include blood tests and evaluation for potential withdrawal symptoms. Information received during this process is used to ensure that each patient’s needs are met throughout treatment. Psychological screenings are also performed to screen for existing mental health conditions that may need to be addressed during treatment. Once this intake process is complete, the patient completes an orientation to become familiar with the treatment center prior to admission. Upon admission, belongings are searched to ensure that there are no substances or harmful items brought into the facility before a patient’s recovery journey begins.

Q: How long can I expect to be in treatment?

A: Programs vary in length to two weeks, one month, or extended programs of multiple months. Recommendations for length of stay are made after the intake assessment is complete and based on the person’s individualized needs.

Q: Does the facility offer Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

A: Treatment centers, both inpatient and outpatient, will note whether or not they provide medication assisted treatment (MAT). Research shows that when MAT is combined with therapies and counseling, it can successfully treat substance use disorders (SUDs) and sustain recovery. Treatment centers offering MAT services are required to provide these therapies and counseling services to clients. For individuals addicted to opioids such as prescription pain medication, heroin, and fentanyl, MAT regimens have shown a significant reduction in the need for detoxification services. MAT can also be helpful for those entering treatment for alcohol use. MAT regimens and dosages are determined by a licensed physician following comprehensive medical and physical examinations.

Q: What are the mental health services required/available during the treatment program (individual counseling, group counseling, support groups, etc.)?

A: Treatment programs commonly offer individual counseling, group counseling, peer-support group meetings, and psychiatric services. Some programs may offer additional therapeutic modalities, such as: mindfulness, equine therapy, adventure therapy, or family therapy. If you’re interested in learning about the various options a treatment center may offer, ask what therapeutic modalities they offer during your initial call.

Q: Does the treatment center offer planning to help support recovery after leaving the facility once the patient completes the program? If so, how does this aftercare plan get developed?

A: Planning for life after treatment is critical in helping someone adapt and thrive in early recovery. Aftercare is the part of treatment that comes once an individual finishes their treatment program at their rehabilitation facility. This plan is comprehensive and supports someone during early recovery to help prevent any recurrences while they begin working on their new life. While it varies by facility, some aftercare resources include virtual support, alumni groups, outpatient treatment recommendations, continuing care services, and sober living options.

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