How To Pick the Right Addiction Treatment Program

If you’re starting your road to sobriety, you’re undoubtedly experiencing a lot of emotions right now—excitement, fear, and possibly even confusion. Beginning a life of recovery may seem intimidating at first, but a reputable treatment program will help you by providing the support you need from trained counselors.

Picking the right program is very helpful toward achieving sobriety. Here are the top things to look for when selecting the best treatment program and counselor for your needs.

Practical Considerations When Picking a Treatment Program

Logistics is one of the first major factors you’ll need to consider when picking a treatment center. Most people don’t have the luxury (or the money) to drop everything and enroll in an elaborate inpatient facility to work through their issues. Most of us have jobs, families, and financial realities to think about, which will undoubtedly impact the treatment options available.

The most important logistical considerations include:

  • Location: Is the treatment program near your residence or convenient to commute to for groups and sessions?
  • Cost: Is the treatment program covered by your insurance or cost-effective enough to afford out-of-pocket?
  • In-person vs. Online: After the pandemic, more telehealth options became available for people to seek counseling and even group therapy. This option may work for some, but many find that they need in-person support.
  • Schedule: Do the groups available work with your work, school, or childcare considerations?

Finding a treatment program and a counselor that fits into your schedule, budget, and life will increase your chances of success at completing the program. It will be helpful if you brainstorm your desired treatment scheduling prior to contacting rehabilitation centers. Many treatment programs have flexible evening and even weekend programs to meet the needs of busy professionals, students, and parents.

Deciding On the Right Level of Treatment

Finding the right level of treatment can be greatly aided by a consultation with a substance abuse counselor. There are many factors to consider when thinking about the level of treatment you’ll want to attend. Often, in movies and television, an addiction treatment program appears to require a long stay at an inpatient facility where the individual lives and spends 100% of their time in groups and counseling sessions. However, in most cases, this is not how it works.

The majority of people don’t end up going to residential rehab, which is a “live-in” inpatient treatment program. First, as discussed in the previous section, most people can’t leave their families, jobs, and lives to attend inpatient treatment. This often means that a good portion of the folks who attend treatment will do so for just one or two hours a few times a week for group and individual sessions. These “outpatient” sessions are great because they allow you to learn and practice the skills immediately in the “real world” while dealing with triggers and cravings.

There are definitely instances where people will need to attend a 24-hour facility. For example, those who need medical monitoring or detoxification services. And some people simply have the means and the time to attend more intensive, inpatient treatment. For many others, the outpatient and intensive outpatient level can provide enough support to get stable and sober. There are even outpatient MAT (medically-assisted treatment) options available that work around peoples’ schedules and lives for those who want a medical option overseen by a doctor.

Ultimately, this needs to be discussed with a trained substance abuse counselor who can look at all the factors and make a clinical recommendation. Deciding on the right level of treatment on your own is generally not advisable, and the majority of treatment programs will require a clinical intake for all of their new participants.

Making a Connection with Your Counselor

Beyond the practical considerations of treatment, one of the most important factors to consider when picking a treatment program is how well you connect with your counselor and the team. A collaborative and therapeutic relationship with your counselor is crucial when it comes to getting support through your first few months of sobriety. Each treatment center is a little bit different, and getting an idea of the philosophy and approach to treatment is the best way to ensure it’s a good fit.

Thankfully, you can meet with several different counselors and treatment programs to get an idea of what they offer and if their approach will work with you. You don’t need to commit to the first counselor right away. Additionally, many counselors have a particular niche or specialization that might work best for you. For example, veterans may prefer to work with a counselor who formerly served in the military so they will have a better frame of reference for the unique struggles that veterans face when getting sober.

Some good questions to ask a potential counselor:

  • What is your approach to building a recovery plan?
  • How do you feel about working with someone who is [a veteran, part of the LGBTQ+ community, a particular religious background, etc]?
  • How do you know someone is succeeding in their recovery?
  • Do you provide flexible or telehealth sessions to meet my scheduling restrictions?

Reach Out Today

Getting started in recovery doesn’t have to be intimidating if you know what to look for and the right questions to ask. If you need assistance finding the right addiction treatment program or simply want to get started with a trained, empathetic substance abuse counselor and you live in the San Diego area, contact Confidential Recovery today.

About the Author:- Scott H. Silverman is a high-profile expert on addiction and recovery, making frequent public and media appearances for the last 40 years.  He is the author of The Opioid Epidemic, and the Founder and CEO of Confidential Recovery, a San Diego substance abuse treatment center specializing in helping Veterans and First Responders get and stay sober.

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