What Does This Mean?
How do you find the credibility and quality of a center? Some might have the resources to contact someone they know and receive a referral; oftentimes a doctor. However, doctors may make a referral solely on their knowledge of facilities in the area and not on the criteria of quality. Being the best alcohol rehab in your area, it must meet a variety of standards listed below.
Can reviews be a good indicator of quality treatment? The short answer is yes, but be weary. Both good reviews and bad reviews can be fake. We live in a competitive world and there are times when a few bad apples can cause havoc on the good treatment centers. There are also facilities who obtain false reviews.
Make sure you read the reviews and the reasoning behind them.
Reviews without comments can be hard to decipher. Try to look for long form reviews. Does it sound generic or are there specific experiences and people included? These can be a good indication of how the facility and staff runs the treatments. You can learn a lot from the culture.
Bad reviews are just as insightful as good reviews, however, take them with a grain of salt. As stated earlier, bad reviews can often be from another competitor (especially in addiction treatment for whatever reason).
Additionally, due to the nature of addiction and withdrawals, reviews can get somewhat…emotional. While these long-winded reviews can be insightful, they often highlight insignificant aspects of the program.
So, while you might have to do a little digging into these reviews, it is worthwhile time. This is a large investment in both time and money; you never want to pick an alcohol rehab without doing your research first.
Best Attributes for the Best Alcohol Rehab in Your Area
We’ve learned that reviews can be misleading sometimes. So, how can you ensure you are going to be receiving the best care available? Simple, make sure they have these 5 things:
- Licensed and accredited staff
- Variety of therapies (evidence-based)
- Aftercare Program
- Intimate Setting
These 5 things are actually quite standard, and therefore should be your baseline when choosing an alcohol rehab. How extensive these 5 attributes should be your next method of deciding. For instance, some facilities might say they have an aftercare program, but what does that entail; just outpatient therapy or comprehensive case management. The difference can be pretty significant when it comes to long-term success rates.
Why Success Rates Are Not A Good Indicator
Speaking of success rates, we should point out that success rates are rarely accurate. Definitions of success fluctuate from facility to facility. For instance, it has been proven that individuals who stick with a program are more likely to succeed in long-term recovery. Therefore, success rates for inpatient programs should be higher than say outpatient programs. However, you may find some outpatient alcohol programs proclaiming a 90% success rate which is almost unheard of.
Measuring success can vary from facility to facility.
- Do they count every person who has entered the facility (even the person who left the same day) or just the patients who have completed the program?
- What constitutes success? Completing the program or being sober for 30 years straight?
- Not only how are they documenting, but who is, when, and how often. Are follow-ups being utilized after year-one, year-two; what about year-ten?
As you can see, there are a wide range of definitions for success rates. Even still, facilities that say they have a high success rate are rarely fact-checked. There are no regulations on how you must run these reports or even if there is a report at all.
Put simply, stay wary of treatment centers who claim a 90% success rate. These numbers are almost impossible with drug and alcohol addictions. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapses happen in 40-60% of individuals after treatment.
However, studies have shown the longer an individual stays in treatment, the better their chances are to limit relapses. Another study illustrates that medications keep people in treatment longer. For this reason, facilities that offer Medication Assisted Treatment are more likely to provide better long-term outcomes.
1. Licensed Therapist and Board-Certified Doctors
First and foremost is the staff at the facility. Check out their “about us” page and research the therapists and doctors they employ.
- What kind of credentials do they have?
- Are they licensed in addiction medicine?
- How many years of experience do they have?
- What types of therapies do they specialize in?
- Is the doctor board certified?
These are all questions you should be asking about the facility in question. Success of treatment depends solely on the quality of care provided and this depends on the staff.
Accredited Staff at Coalition Recovery
Here at Coalition Recovery, we utilize our resources to provide the highest quality of doctors and therapists in the Tampa, Florida area. Our doctor, Dr. Debra Barnett, is a four-time board certified psychiatrist (Addiction, General, Forensic & Geriatric). Our clinical director, Dr. Valerie Andersen, has a PsyD. in clinical psychology. Dr. Andersen is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC), and a Certified Daring Way Facilitator (CDWF) and is certified in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART).
2. Variety of Therapies
Every individual is unique. Their life circumstances, their drug of choice, and how long they have been using will all influence how they are treated. Some people might abuse alcohol to help them cope with a stressful world. Others might use opiates to help them heal traumatic life events.
Even people with similar experiences will benefit differently from the range of therapies. For this reason, it is important to offer a wide range of therapies to help people use the techniques that work for them.
However, the standard for therapies should involve Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT is one of the most studied forms of therapies for addiction. It can be used for a variety of other illnesses like depression and anxiety. CBT helps people come to terms with their actions and refrain their experiences to a healthier and more effective manner.
Other evidence based therapies are:
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Moral reconation therapy (MRT)
- Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
- Accelerated Resolution Therapy
There are also a variety of therapies that can be offered; but these should be used as a supplementary therapy rather than the core of the program. Other therapeutic therapies not backed by medical research include:
- Nutrition and Wellness
- 12 Steps
- Holistic Therapies
- Herbal Supplements
- Amino Acid Therapy
Medications are a 21st century treatment towards substance abuse of drugs and alcohol. In the past, facilities viewed medication assisted treatment as replacing one drug with another. While it might sound bad at first glance, this view could not be more off track. Illicit drugs and alcohol cause a variety of physical and psychological damages to the body. Not only do drugs harm our bodies, but they cause social and environmental disruptions: people lose their family and jobs while abusing drugs. However, one study showed that because medications improve relapse rates, which thus correlates to better job retention.
While abstinence is the preferred method, it isn’t always the most practical. Medications like Suboxone and Vivitrol allow individuals to alleviate their withdrawals and cravings. This allows them to focus on their therapy.
Medications used in addiction treatment are completely safe. Compared to illicit drugs, they are unable to be abused and cannot be overdosed. If these medications are completely safe and provide better chances for long-term success, it would be foolish not to use this wonderful tool.
4. Aftercare Programs
It is important to understand the significance of aftercare programs for alcohol treatment. Aftercare helps set up individuals for success after they leave inpatient treatment. What most people don’t understand is that the environment the individual returns to will be the biggest influential factor in their recovery. For instance, if the family does not understand the concept of enabling or triggers, they could cause avoidable rift leading to relapse. Also, if the person leaves treatment but does not have a recovery plan, treatment could end up pointless.
If an individual’s real life outside of treatment is not prepared for, it will only be an inevitable amount of time before relapse; no matter how great or long the treatment was. This pillar, while essential, is often overlooked. Some examples of aftercare initiatives include:
- Family Therapy
- Life Skills Course
- Career Management
- Educational Assistance
- Financial Classes and Support
- Case Management
The end goal of a comprehensive aftercare program is to reduce the stressful variables in life. Here at Coalition Recovery we work extensively with each individual to help align their goals with actionable steps. By starting these initiatives early on in treatment, we can ensure a structured plan is in place by the time they leave.
5. Intimate Settings
One factor many people do not consider is the intimate setting of the facility. Are there 30 other people in treatment with you? If so, how many therapists do they have?
Ensure the “client to therapist ratio” is small. Too often, large facilities work much like a corporation. While this technique is very efficient, it may not be effective. One-on-one therapy is the heart of any good treatment program. Much of the progress in therapy is done during these sessions. It’s no surprise considering these are the sessions in which individuals can be open and honest. During these private sessions, the therapist can focus on you and help you on your specific troubles, needs, and goals.
At large facilities, therapists are juggling a variety of clients and often are overwhelmed and overworked. Unfortunately the patient is the one that often suffers with less one-on-one sessions.
When you find a facility where the doctor, therapist, and even staff know your name, you should not overlook it. If you value confidentiality, this can also be an added benefit of intimate treatment centers.
What The Best Alcohol Rehab Does Not Need
1. Luxury Amenities
When most people look for an alcohol rehab, they often require luxury amenities. While massage therapy, acupuncture, equine therapy, and personal training might be nice conveniences, they are not necessary.
Places like Passages Malibu often highlight resort style living. This has caused inflated expectations for what drug treatment should look like. This has caused people to only look for these luxury rehabs instead of focusing on what is really important: the quality of care.
That is not to say that these luxury rehab facilities have poor care, if you can afford these facilities, they could be a nice way to take a vacation while getting treatment. The important distinction is the cost between these facilities and a facility like Coalition Recovery. Coalition Recovery accepts almost all private insurances, and will not push extra-charge therapies because we only offer 2 and they are supplements: amino acid therapy and CBD. Everything we offer (therapy, doctor visits, yoga, excursion, etc.) is covered through your health coverage plan.
If you don’t require your hospital to provide messages, then why do we require these things for other medical services?
As stated before, many facilities offer a wide range of therapies and amenities. These can add extra costs to your treatment. The treatments that have been proven to work effectively (detox, medication, CBT, trauma therapy) will all be covered through your health insurance. This is on purpose to cover the aspects of treatment proven to be effective; anything else might be a surcharge.
Treatment facilities should be upfront about these costs, but just to be safe you should always ask about the potential extra-costs involved with the particular alcohol rehab.