Help For Evaluating Addiction Treatment Programs

Help For Evaluating Addiction Treatment Programs

When you and your loved one are ready to seek treatment for addiction you are already under quite a bit of stress. Being faced with the large number of treatment philosophies can be overwhelming at such a time. How do you know which treatment facility offers the best program and the one with the greatest likelihood of success? The National Institute on Drug Abuse, known as NIDA, has created a document that is meant to lower that stress level by giving you five simple questions you can use to evaluate any addiction treatment program.

The paper is entitled: Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask, and anyone can access it online or request a paper copy through NIDA’s DrugPubs services. The important thing is to know which parts of treatment are backed up by solid research. In other words, there are some components to rehab which have sufficient data proving their effectiveness and you want to be sure that any facility you may choose adheres to at least these core principles. Looking for evidence-based treatment is uncharted territory for most of us, so this document gives you what you need in order to make an informed decision.

The five questions suggested in the document are:

    1. Is the treatment program an evidence based program?
    2. Do they individualize treatment or is there a single approach applied to everyone regardless of issues?
    3. Is the program able to adapt as the patient’s needs change during treatment?
    4. What is the estimated time frame for treatment?
    5. How does the program incorporate 12-Step or similar recovery principles?

The best and most trustworthy treatment centers will be able to answer all five questions with no hesitation. The document adds one other important note: relapse is not equal to failure. Addiction is a chronic condition and relapse is a natural outgrowth of the disease. Even after treatment, your loved one will need continuing support. Be sure to stay away from any treatment program which promises you that your loved one can walk out the door cured.

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