Selecting a substance abuse treatment center in 2016 depends on many factors. As such, there is no specific best or worst center, but rather a series of factors to consider when deciding on a treatment facility. Each person seeking treatment has a unique addiction. Many people abuse multiple substances, often in combination with alcohol and maladaptive behaviors.

Find an addiction treatment center that specializes in the treatment of your combination of issues and which meets your needs. Below, we have summarized other concerns to address when selecting the best substance abuse treatment center for you in 2016. Why decide on substance abuse treatment Taking the first step of seeking help is vital to recovery.

Treatment works, and the chronic disease of addiction can be successfully managed. In rehab, people learn to deal with addictions disruptive effects on their brains and behavior while regaining control over their lives. They also address the psychological and social factors that contributed to developing their addiction. A good rehab center provides therapy to ensure every patient is ready to return to their life with a solid foundation in recovery. Your physician should be the first stop in seeking a referral to a treatment center. Most doctors have some training in addiction treatment today.

If you are uncomfortable talking with your family doctor about the issue, you can also contact an addiction specialist, one of approximately 3500 board-certified members of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Their website has a Find a Physician feature on their home page, where you can locate an addiction specialist near you.

In addition, you can go to the website of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and use their Patient Referral Program. Part of the process of determining the best substance abuse treatment program for you will be determining whether inpatient or outpatient rehab is the most appropriate setting. There are many factors consider in this decision. Inpatient treatment is very effective, and success rates increase as the length of treatment increases. Outpatient treatment is also helpful for patients who meet certain criteria. Consult with people who know you and your addiction to determine the best setting for your rehabilitation.

The Cost of Addiction vs. the Cost of Rehabilitation and Sobriety We know addiction rehabilitation is costly, and many health insurance plans cover only part of the cost.

However, consider the cost of continuing to use drugs and alcohol as well as the cost of your inappropriate behaviors. Factor in not only the cost of the substances but also the lost time at work or school, perhaps the price of losing jobs, medical bills, criminal fines from DUIs, the effect of jail time from other drug or alcohol related charges, attorney fees and more. Your addiction is also costing you regarding your relationships with family, friends and your career. The short-term effect of a treatment center far outweighs the lifetime cost of dependency in the long run. Inpatient vs outpatient All substance abuse rehabilitation programs offer help for people who are ready to stop using.

The setting for that treatment depends on the user and their preferences. Regardless of the setting, treatment plans need to be individualized to address every client’s pattern of use and their medical, social and mental health issues. Responsible rehabilitation programs require patients to remain abstinent from all drugs and alcohol while they are in the treatment program. The first step in any treatment is detox, in which patients stop using drugs and alcohol.

As the substances leave the body, clients may experience negative physical and emotional symptoms. In some cases, these can be dangerous. In such instances, clients must detox in a hospital setting where the symptoms can be safely monitored and managed. Seizures or even death are a real risk for severe detox and withdrawal symptoms. Clients must be drug and alcohol-free during treatment because substances impair the mental functioning required to benefit from treatment.

Many people experience mood problems, sleep disruption and anxiety as they learn to live without substances. Treatment program staff should have experience helping clients deal with this process while helping patients stay safe and substance-free. Some kinds of drug and alcohol withdrawal may require medication to manage the detox side effects. For instance, severe alcohol addiction withdrawal symptoms can include delirium tremens, or DTs, in which patients have hallucinations and seizures. Approximately 15% of patients with DTs die without medical intervention. Medical specialists in hospitals can reduce this fatality rate significantly with the use of sedatives and anti-psychotic medications until the detox phase has passed. Not every addict or substance abuser will have such severe symptoms. Many can detox from substances safely, although with some discomfort, at home or in a residential treatment center if they have the help and support of trained staff.

However, detox alone is not treatment. Patients who only detox but fail to follow through with other treatment rarely achieve success in mastering their addiction. Inpatient Rehabilitation Inpatient rehabilitation facilities provide around the clock care by a variety of medical personnel in addition to trained substance abuse provider. Patients stay at the facility for 30 to 90 days, in most cases. Some inpatient facilities have a residential rehabilitation “step-down” component in which clients move to a less medically-supervised setting once their condition has stabilized. In both cases, patients live at the centers and can focus on their recovery away from their regular lives.

They are free from the stresses of work, social pressures to use drugs and alcohol and they are in an environment where their treatment is intensive and comprehensive. Most inpatient and residential rehabilitation facilities offer substance abuse treatment plus mental health and psychiatric care for long-standing addiction problems.

These facilities are good options for patients who have not succeeded in staying sober after trying treatment at outpatient facilities or who have multiple issues or co-existing disorders. Of course, an inpatient or residential program has costs of room, board, medical care and round the clock supervision which are not part of an outpatient program. Patients learn to manage their addiction and their co-existing disorders, as well as life skills and alternative recreational skills that do not involve using substances.

Good programs offer family support and treatment so that patients will return home to a supportive and understanding home environment. Some residential programs provide treatment only to one gender, so patients can focus on treatment without worrying about the dramas involved with the opposite sex. Many studies have shown inpatient rehabilitation is the most effective and medically appropriate way to treat addiction. Research also shows that statistically, the longer a patient remains in rehab, the greater the chance they will avoid relapsing when they return home.

Outpatient Rehabilitation Some addicts find outpatient substance abuse treatment is a more viable option for their situation. Outpatient services allow clients to come for treatment for several hours a day, several days per week while still living at home and maintaining their work obligations. Often, outpatient rehab works best with clients whose addictions have not yet become ingrained over a lifetime.

The costs are usually less, too, because the patient does not have to pay for around the clock care, supervision and housing associated with inpatient programs. Treatment staff should still be fully licensed and trained. Outpatient programs vary in length and intensity, often depending on the needs of the clients. Clients will still receive the same therapy and education as in inpatient or residential care, but at a less intensive level. Some outpatient programs may be another “step-down” care level from inpatient or residential care, too. Many outpatient facilities require regular drug testing of clients to make sure they are staying clean of drug and alcohol use throughout treatment. Outpatient care is a good option for people who are employed or in school and who cannot take the time away from their obligations to participate in an inpatient program. They are less expensive and more likely to be covered by insurance plans, too.

However, if a client has a long-term addiction with several outpatient treatment failures, the intake clinician may still refer them to an inpatient program, so the client gets the best possible care for their unique situation. Any outpatient treatment program should include relapse prevention planning as part of their program before discharging every client. Although relapse is an expected and natural occurrence in any chronic disease, it is vital to minimize the occurrences and the damage and to teach clients how to get back on the right track as soon as possible.

Extended Care and Long-Term Rehab Most addiction patients need ongoing care after they complete their formal rehab program. Such care may come in many forms, from support groups to follow up counseling. Any service that helps a patient maintain lifelong sobriety is considered extended or long-term care.

Some addicts choose to live in sober living houses after they leave an inpatient or residential program, in order to transition to living in the community. Sober living homes help them learn to take on regular responsibilities like work, chores and paying bills again while still attending addiction support groups. Often chronic, severe addicts have lost their homes and jobs, and sober living houses give them a chance to get back on their feet. Rehab facilities, both inpatient and outpatient, usually refer clients to self-help support groups as lifelong sobriety supports. Sometimes patients prefer 12-step groups or they may prefer spiritually-based recovery groups or other programs. Peer support through these groups is known to be one of the most successful ways to maintain lifetime sobriety for addiction patients. They find sponsor and mentors for guidance and support, as well as a new circle of sober friends and ways to deal with relapse triggers and temptations. Questions to ask to determine the best treatment center for you To help decide the right type of rehab center, work with your physician and your family to honestly answer some hard questions. With this information, you will be better-equipped to select the best rehab center for you this year.

1. How severe is your addiction problem? If your use of drugs or alcohol interferes with your daily life, inpatient treatment is probably the best treatment choice.

2. What sort of rehabilitation can you afford, and what will your insurance cover? Residential rehabilitation is more costly than outpatient treatment. However, many programs offer payment plans. Others may be funded through state programs, the VA or they may offer sliding fee scales.

3. Is location a concern for you? If you need to be able to maintain your job or care for family members during recovery, you may have to opt for outpatient care close to home. However, severe addiction or the prospect of returning to an unsupportive environment after treatment may make recovery in a location far from home a better choice.

4. Will you need medication to help in your recovery? If you need medical detox to prevent seizures or other grave consequences of detox, medication will certainly be necessary. You will probably also need medication if mental health issues like depression, anxiety or bipolar illness contribute to your use of drugs or alcohol. If any of these situations apply to you, select a treatment program that supports your needs for prescription medication during recovery.

5. Have you been through addiction rehabilitation before? Many people who have been through rehab and relapsed find they need more intensive, inpatient or residential treatment during subsequent treatment episodes. Relapse does not mean a failure of therapy, it simply means you may need to increase the level of intervention to achieve lasting sobriety.

6. What treatment program approach is necessary? Some people feel the need for a more religious aspect to their rehabilitation, whereas others want to follow an evidence-based scientific treatment program. Regardless of the philosophy of the treatment program, it should only employ licensed and credentialed substance abuse treatment professionals.

7. What kind of counseling do you need to get healthy in rehab? Do you need to learn about addiction and how to stay sober, or do you also need therapy for mental health issues, the opportunity to learn healthy life skills, or learn to deal with family matters without using substances? Different treatment centers may focus on one or several aspects of recovery.

Once you have narrowed down your choices of rehabilitation facilities, there are a few critical questions to ask of each center. You want to make sure the facility is going to be worth your time, money and effort and that you give yourself the best chance possible to achieve sobriety.

1. When can I start treatment? How long will the treatment program last?

2. What sets your rehab program apart from others?

3. What is the cost of your program? What does this cost include? Are there other, separate costs?

4. If the program is inpatient or residential, are visitors allowed? What is the guest policy? Does the program include family/significant other sessions?

5. What is the program’s approach or philosophy about drug and alcohol treatment?

6. Does the program treat co-occurring mental health disorder? What specialists are on staff to handle these issues? 7. What interventions does the facility use to help patients manage cravings or withdrawal symptoms?

8. Does the facility use prescription medications?

9. Is the treatment center accredited and licensed?

10. Does the rehab program use evidence-based treatment, and if so, what research backs their method of therapy? 11. What is the ratio of clients to staff?

12. Is medical detox available at the facility if a patient develops symptoms?

13. Does the facility accept your insurance?

14. Does the rehab program offer aftercare or relapse prevention programs after the end of primary treatment?

15. Are treatment providers, psychiatrists and counselors on call around the clock for clients in crisis or who need medical or mental health support?

16. What certifications and licenses are required of staff? What specific education in substance abuse disorders is required?

17. What types of therapy are provided at the rehab program? This might include individual, group or family treatment as well as psychiatric assessments, medication evaluations and follow-up sessions, relapse prevention sessions, or mental health treatment.

18. Are self-help groups, such as 12-step meetings, a required part of the rehab program?

19. Does the rehab center require clients to stay drug and alcohol-free during treatment? How is this enforced, and what are the consequences of use during treatment? Does the program require random drug and alcohol tests?

20. Does the rehab center treat only certain types of addiction, such as only alcohol or cocaine addiction, or are there a wide variety of substances and addictions treated together? Resources to locate treatment centers The Affordable Care Act has affected insurance coverage for substance abuse rehabilitation. Read more about it on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website. The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator on the SAMHSA site is another excellent resource to locate information about treatment services, payment assistance and resources. Military and government employees and their families have their own treatment locator page through SAMHSA, as well. The site even provides a link to each state’s substance abuse treatment services agencies. These state sites can be an excellent way to locate treatment centers as well as state funding sources. The Drug and Alcohol Rehab Treatment Center Listings database lists rehabilitation centers by state as well as centers in 55 major US cities. The National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center also keeps a database of the best alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers in the US and around the world, ranging from budget to luxury. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) maintains a helpline for advice on how to get assistance with drug and alcohol addiction issues. That number is 1-800-662-HELP (4357) Summary To summarizes, the best drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs support clients from intake through aftercare and relapse prevention. The goal is not to simply detox from substances and ease withdrawal symptoms, or even to reach a month of sobriety. The goal is to find a lifetime free of the pain and cost of addiction. Many people need to complete more than one course of treatment or rehabilitation before they find solid footing in addiction recovery. Rehabilitation helps build the skills and defenses needed to maintain abstinence and support during recovery from addiction, but ultimately the only thing that “cures” addiction is you. You must stay free of alcohol and drugs, and you must live a lifestyle that no longer has room for the negative behaviors that support using substances. The process of choosing the best rehab program is complicated by the many options available. Weigh your options carefully and find a program that best fits your situation to increase your chances of recovery.