The substance abuse problem in America has drawn the attention of the entire nation. It is not only an issue of people disobeying laws. Drug abuse is often only the tangible outcome of deeper-seated problems in society that call for broader solutions.
The many drug treatment centers that attend to such problems do not all subscribe to a unified approach. As can be expected, they have varying levels of success. It is not always possible to determine the right therapeutic approach to a substance abuse problem. It is equally difficult to tell which specific drug treatment center may be the best one to trust with your issues. There are, however, some general qualities to look out for in making your choices. Let us look at some of these qualities.
Drug Treatment Center: What Qualities to Look for?
Success for keeps
Most people who have “graduated” from their respective rehab programs are likely to relapse into substance abuse. Often, they need even more help as their problems could have worsened over time. A drug treatment center can only boast a high success rate if its patients are monitored over several years. This monitoring should be done after completing treatment to ensure that they have truly been rehabilitated.
Keeping track of a patient’s continued success requires a lot more than having the patient’s contact information. It would be helpful for the rehab facility to be in touch with the patient’s family, social circle, caregivers, and influencers. This is not always easy for an establishment to do for all its patients.
That personal touch
It goes without saying that the ratio of rehab worker to patients is a major factor in successful drug abuse treatment. Rehab centers with a higher ratio of workers can provide that much-needed personal touch for their patients. They can better address the unique circumstances the patients may have. You cannot expect patients to deal with their substance abuse problems by themselves. Listening to motivational lectures or following instructions in a seminar or classroom environment won’t cut it, either.
Patients at rehab centers need to have one-on-one sessions with their therapists or counselors on at least a weekly basis. In many cases, there is a lot more to discuss than just taking drugs. A therapist can help the patient address the underlying or deep-seated issues that led to the use of substances as a release or coping mechanism. Among such issues are trauma, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or even more complex problems like identity crises.
A deep bench of pros
It is always helpful to have warm, fuzzy personalities with compassionately listening ears to help patients at a drug treatment center deal with their substance abuse problems. It is of greater importance, however, to be equipped with workers who possess the professional qualifications and know-how for the work at hand.
The clinical director of such a facility should possess at least a master’s degree. Surely, some anecdotal success is reported with treatment programs that use informal approaches such as peer discussions, faith-based healing of addiction, or even the celebrated 12 Step program employed by Alcoholics Anonymous. In the case of a serious opioid addiction, the nature of the problem and the necessary treatment can be a lot more complicated and should be dealt with by a certified professional.
No substitute for hard evidence
The value of empirical evidence behind the design and conduct of any drug rehabilitation program cannot be stressed enough. Many rehab programs are run on philosophical principles and are, therefore, not necessarily grounded on scientific evidence. There is no reason for a drug rehab program to be less scientific than other treatments such as surgery or obstetrics.
You can be assured that services at a drug treatment center are evidence-based if they are directed by a licensed professional and founded on psychiatric principles such as cognitive behavioral therapy or even dialectical behavioral therapy. In many cases, appropriate detoxification medication such as methadone and buprenorphine might be necessary to wean the patient off the addictive substance.
Accurate evidence should also be of primary concern in conducting the requisite drug tests prior to undergoing rehabilitation. Never leave anything to chance, and use nothing but FDA certified and CLIA-waived products when running drug tests on patients. Check out the blogposts of Ovus Medical to learn more about these tests and the therapeutic modalities recommended at drug treatment facilities.