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6 warning signs of a bad drug rehab. How to choose a quality rehab

Updated on September 6, 2009
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How to choose a good rehab...

Sometimes people plan their entry into rehab or drug treatment for weeks or months and they have the time to research all available options and find one that really suits their needs. Sometimes addicts go into a treatment center recommended by a close and trusted family doctor or counselor, and these are both truly ideal situations.

But a lot of people make the decision to enter treatment relatively spontaneously, and although it's very important to get into treatment as quickly as possible following a decision to get help, it can be very hard to decide where you should go!

The choices available can overwhelm, and since almost all information about different drug or alcohol rehab centers is produced in advertisement of a particular center, the information can hardly be regarded as unbiased.

With drug rehab costing as much as $20 000 a month, you want to make the right choice, and it's not only about the money either. More importantly, you want to choose the treatment center that has the bets odds of working for you, and helping you to achieve a lifetime of sobriety.

It's not an easy decision, and unfortunately it comes at a time in life when few people are at their best to make rational and considered decisions. A good place to start when evaluating the options available to you is by eliminating those drug or alcohol rehab centers that don’t fit your needs, and then choosing between a more limited list of options. Here as follows are 6 things that you don’t want in a rehab, and by eliminating the rehabs that don’t offer you a good chance at sobriety, you can more easily choose one that does.

6 things you DON'T want in a rehab

1...Not accredited or certified

Some rehab centers will even boast of this fact, as if they were offering some form of cutting edge or better than mainstream type of therapy, but the fact is accredited facilities, on average and in general, offer you a better standard of care.

Accredited means that they have licensed professionals employed within, they have some degree of medical observation, and their programming meets standard norms of service for rehabilitation. A non accredited facility does not need to answer to anyone, and can offer as little service as they like once they've got your money…and there is little you can do about it.

Accredited doesn’t necessarily mean quality, but non-accredited is more likely to mean low quality.

2...No family participation

If a rehab center, when asked about the level of family participation, recommends al-anon as a best option, this should be another warning sign. Family participation can be very valuable to addicts in recovery, and should be considered a priority of care. Family therapy, family group sessions and family educations all help the family to better support the addict once out of rehab.

Lower quality rehabs won’t generally offer this additional therapy and counseling. More therapy costs them more money…and they don’t like it!

3...No or little one-on-one therapy

The biggest way that substandard rehabs try to save money is by eliminating or greatly minimizing the level of individual therapy. It doesn’t costs a rehab facility much to put on group meetings or 12 steps meetings, where one "trained" leader can supervise 20 or more addicts in recovery.

By contrast everyone knows how expensive individual counseling with a therapist or psychologist is.

Individual counseling is very important in the rehab process, and can help you to better understand why you abuse drugs or alcohol, and to help you plan for a future of sobriety, factoring in your individual needs.

When comparing two facilities, of a similar price, the one that offers more individual therapy with a trained and licensed professional is likely the better one.

4...Boastful success rates

No rehab achieves success rates of 80%...ever. If they do advertise incredible success rates, they are lying, and if they lie about that; what else are they misleading you about?

5...Focusing on one form of therapy exclusively

Better rehabs will offer a compressive program of recovery, using a variety of methods and philosophies of care. No one form of therapy works for all addicts in recovery, and by offering a few different forms of therapy; everyone has the best odds at sobriety. Be careful with rehabs that focus exclusively on one only (usually 12 steps based) as if you don’t relate to it, you are out of luck.

6...Bad reputation

Ask around a bit, ask your doctor, ask the local health services board, and do an internet search (dig deep as they will likely dominate the first few ages of Google with owned marketing stuff), and look for negative reviews of the rehab.

If one person has something bad to say, this may not carry much weight, but if you get a lot of poor reviews, again, be careful

Rehab is business

The sad truth is that because there is so much money in the rehab business, there are some unscrupulous operators out there running rehabs of little value, only interested in your admission fees. Thankfully, most drug rehab facilities do endeavor to provide programming with the best chance of helping you. You need to take a little time and make sure that the one you ultimately choose is one that has your best interests at heart, and not lusts after your money.

Good luck.

Read here for 7 things to look for in a drug rehab...

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