We’re in the midst of an addiction epidemic, so it seems like fantastic news that more and more rehabs are getting started up every year. Unfortunately, though, more rehabs don’t always mean more quality treatment is available. Many treatment centers care much more about making a profit than they do about providing quality services or setting up their clients for success after treatment ends. Too many families wind up investing thousands of dollars and a significant amount of time and energy in programs that don’t fulfill their promises and leave them feeling just as lost as when they started.

Before you enroll in a rehab, take the time to investigate the facility’s background, services offered, staff choices, and business practices. Here is some information that can help you determine if the drug & alcohol addiction treatment centers you’re considering are worth the investment and if they will fit your unique situation.

How to Choose Treatment: It’s all about asking the right questions

Find out who exactly you’re communicating with

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably started researching your potential treatment options online. Google searches for addiction treatment and rehab options will yield tens of thousands of results which are overwhelming and confusing, to say the least.

How can you tell which ones are good and which ones aren’t? Well, at first glance, it may be impossible. That’s why you have to reach out to each rehab you’re considering and discuss program details with a real, live person.

When you call, the first thing you should ask about is who exactly you’re communicating with. Ask:

  • Is this a referral service or an actual treatment center?
  • Do you receive monetary incentives to recommend facilities?
  • Are you able to tell me specific details about the program?

The purpose of these questions is to determine if you’re dealing with a real facility that actually cares about your treatment or some type of referral service that just wants to make money.

If the person you contact is working for referral incentives, just hang up and move on. It means that they are working for the rehabs which place the highest bid on new clients, not you. They will be recommending you rehabs with neither the best services nor the rehabs that will best suit your needs. Instead, they will be referring you to whoever pays them the most for each client they receive.

If the person you are speaking with claims not to receive any referral bonuses for signing you up but still cannot speak about any specific details about the program, that is a bad sign. It’s crucial to know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand, so you should not trust a call center representative who does not even know about the services they’re selling.

Keep searching until you get connected to an actual facility with a verifiable location and you’re able to speak with a representative who can provide adequate information.

Watch out for rehabs with “shady” business practices

So once you’ve filtered through the referral services and contacted some individual facilities that you like, there are still a few major issues to screen for. Ask each facility for specific details about their drug testing practices and the fees that you and your insurance provider will be charged for each urine test.

While routine drug testing is a great tool for rehabs to hold their clients accountable to their sobriety goals, you should not be paying thousands of dollar for each test. Fraudulent, excessive urine drug testing is a common way for rehabs to quickly and easily rake in hefty profits. Many clinics and treatment centers are opening up that make MOST of their profits from needless, repetitive, high-tech urine screening even though there are low-cost drug testing kits on the market which are perfectly capable of detecting relapse.

It’s becoming increasingly common for families to receive enormous surprise bills for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of urine tests, so make sure to protect yourself from urine testing fraud by asking about potential fees ahead of time.

Find out if the facility is cutting corners and providing sup-bar services

Unfortunately, regulations for rehab facilities are a bit too lax which means people can set up programs without all of the necessary staff and treatment services for effective addiction treatment. It’s cheaper to hire staffs without advanced degrees or people who are still in training which increases a program’s profit margins.

Ask about staff members and their certifications

An effective addiction treatment center should always include one-on-one therapy with certified chemical dependency counselors or licensed psychologists. Group therapy and peer-led discussions are great, but they should always be supplemented with genuine psychological services as well.

Ask about individualized treatment planning

If the rehab you’re considering follows a cookie-cutter model where all patients go through the exact same treatment, it might not be a good choice. Every addict has a different experience, personality, and background which mean they will need different forms of support for different amounts of time. Choose a rehab which offers flexibility and a willingness to meet you and your families unique needs which may change over time.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options to a manageable list of legitimate, high-quality rehab facilities you can make your final choice based on what feels right. Doing the research is well worth the effort so that you and your family can be confident that you’ll have a positive, honest, and rewarding experience from addiction treatment.