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Drug Rehab 2018-07-26T08:21:09+00:00

How to Choose the Right Kind of Drug Rehab

Choosing the right drug rehab is important, because treatment is most effective when it meets the unique needs of each individual participant. Of course, choosing any type of rehab is better than not getting treatment, but if you have the flexibility and time to select your type of rehab, facility and services, you are more likely to be comfortable in treatment, to stick with it and to have a positive outcome.

Facts about Choosing Drug Rehab

Not everyone who goes to rehab is self-referred. In other words, many people are given just one option for treatment and do not have the chance to select a type of treatment, a facility or a specific program. People who go to rehab may be referred by family, by therapists or often by the court system. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) collected information about patients admitted to substance abuse treatment between 2005 and 2015:1

  • Forty-three percent of young people, those from age 12 to 17, were referred to a treatment program by the criminal justice system.
  • Out of all admissions of people aged 12 and older, 41 percent were self-referred, or in other words made the choice to be admitted to rehab, while 30 percent were referred by the court system.
  • The primary substances of abuse with the highest rates of self-referral were heroin and other opioids, followed by tranquilizers and sedatives.
  • Those with the highest rates of referral by the criminal justice system were marijuana, methamphetamine and amphetamines.
  • Self-referral and court referral were the most common ways that people ended up in drug rehab. Other referrals came from community or religious organizations, substance abuse professionals and other health care provides like primary care physicians, schools and employers.
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Understand Drug Rehab Options

If you have the benefit of self-referring for treatment, you have an important opportunity to choose the kind of treatment that best meets your needs. First, it is essential to understand what those options are. Some of these overlap each other, and there is always the option to transition from one type of rehab to another as needed. Some of the most common rehab types include:2

  • Detoxification is crucial to beginning treatment, but it is only the beginning. You may need to start with a detox program if you are struggling to stop drug use on your own. If you have already stopped but are at risk of relapse, you can skip a detox program and go right to rehab.
  • Residential/Inpatient Rehab. Inpatient rehab means residing in a facility 24 hours a day for the duration of treatment. Short-term residential treatment is usually considered stays of 30 days or fewer, while long-term care can be several months long, up to a year.
  • Outpatient Rehab. Any program that includes regular services and treatment without residential stays is called outpatient care. There are degrees of outpatient rehab based on the amount of time spent in treatment. Partial hospitalization includes full days of treatment; intensive outpatient programs require several days per week of treatment for a few hours at a time;and any other outpatient care may include one or two days a week of services.
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). MAT is any drug rehab that includes medications to assist in recovery. It is often used in residential treatment but may also be available in outpatient care as well. The types of substances most likely to involve MAT are opioids and alcohol.
  • Support Group/12-Step Programs. Many residential and outpatient programs include support groups and 12-step guidance for recovery. Some people, though, may choose to use only support groups and 12-step programs in lieu of formal rehab programs, or to use them concurrently.

Take an Inventory of Your Needs

Knowing what your options are is the important first step in choosing a good drug rehab. Next to consider is your current situation, your needs, and what you want or don’t want in a treatment program. For instance, you may need a detox program to begin with, or you can skip detox because you have already stopped using. Here are some other factors to consider:

  • Do you have health insurance, and if so, what kinds of rehab will it cover and up to what amount?
  • How much can you afford to spend on rehab beyond what insurance will cover?
  • Do you have somewhere to live?
  • Are the people you live with supportive and sober?
  • Is the risk of relapse high? Are you in contact with triggers that could make you use again?
  • Are you working, and do you need to keep working to earn and to hold on to your position? Or do you have the flexibility to take time away from work?
  • Do you have children you are responsible for?
  • Will you be comfortable living in a facility with other residents going through the same treatment? It can be supportive but also uncomfortable for some people.
  • Do you need medical care for non-drug health needs?
  • Do you need mental health care?
  • Do you want to try medication assisted treatment?
  • Are you transitioning from another type of care, or is this your first time in treatment?

These questions and considerations can help you figure out what you need from drug rehab. For instance, practical factors like costs, insurance, and home and work responsibilities can help you make the choice between outpatient and inpatient rehab. According to SAMHSA, 25 percent of people entering rehab are employed1, so work can be a big factor in your choice.

Your medical or mental health care needs will also help you narrow down programs that offer these services. Personal comfort is important too— if, for instance, you need to have your family around you, outpatient care may be a better option.

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Choose a Specific Drug Rehab Facility and Program

Once you know what type of program best meets your needs for rehab, you can narrow down your choices based on that decision and practical factors like location, costs and the availability of medication assisted treatment. Your final choice may come down to more personal needs and preferences. This is the time to take a tour if possible and to ask any important questions that will help make the final choice.

Some important things to ask about include philosophy of treatment, outcomes for previous patients, success rates, whether or not there is after care or case management, if relapse prevention is a goal of treatment, and about the variety of services offered. You will also want to find out about the staff, which professionals will be working with you and what the staff-to-patient ratio is. This is the time to ask about anything that is important to you, even if it is something seemingly minor, like the ability to have smoke breaks.

Choose Any Drug Rehab over No Treatment

The most important factor in choosing drug rehab is simply getting treatment. Too many people who struggle with drug use never get the help they need. According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only 2.6 million out of 24 million people with substance abuse issues (including alcohol) got the specialized treatment designed to help them.3 If you are able to do so, take some time making a good choice for your future, but if you need to get treatment fast, a quick decision is better than risking not getting treatment until it is too late.

1Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Treatment Episode Data Set (2005 to 2015). https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/2015_Treatment_Episode_Data_Set_National/2015_Treatment_Episode_Data_Set_National.pdf

2National Institute on Drug Abuse. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide. Types of Treatment Programs. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states/types-treatment-programs

3Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.pdf

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