Congratulations! You have made the decision to get help for your drug or alcohol problem. This is the best choice you could have made for your life and for your future.
If you’re like most people taking the first tentative steps on their journey of recovery, you may wonder what comes next. The first thing that you have to do when you want to get clean and sober is actually get clean and sober.
You are going to want to find an alcohol/drug detox facility and go through the process, so you can free of the physical dependency on your drug of choice. This will usually take around a week.
Next, you’re going to want to attend an inpatient drug/alcohol rehabilitation facility. There are several programs of varying lengths, but most experts say that attending for 90 or more days greatly increases your chances of success.
Finally, you’re going to want to participate in an outpatient rehab program, to help you maintain your sobriety. Informal programs, such as 12-Step fellowships are ongoing, but most structured outpatient programs have a prescribed length, typically one year to 18 months.
All that being said, it can still be confusing to know which program or which facility is best. To clear up that confusion, focus on this – the program that is best is the one that is best for YOU.
What exactly does that mean?
If you are looking for the best drug/alcohol detox or rehabilitation program, here are some guidelines that will help you determine which one is right for you and your situation:
The Right Drug/Alcohol Detox Facility Will Offer “Medically-Assisted” Detox
A detox facility should have to goals. First, to wean you off of drugs so that you are no longer physically dependent. Secondly, to do that while keeping you as safe and as comfortable as possible.
To that end, the best detox facilities have the ability to prescribe medications that will do just that – keep you and comfortable.
Certain substances, specifically alcohol and benzodiazepines, have extremely dangerous withdrawal symptoms that can even be life-threatening. Other substances – cocaine or heroin, for example – are so addictive that the cravings during withdrawal can be harshly unpleasant.
With the proper medicines given in the proper dosages, the attending medical staff can greatly alleviate the pain and discomfort suffered by the newly-recovering addict/alcoholic, while at the same time providing monitored safety from the most dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
The Right Drug/Alcohol Detox Facility Will Have a Well-Qualified Medical Staff
The right detox facility will have knowledgeable and experienced doctors AND administrators, both with a provable background in treating addiction. Because mental disorders often co-occur with addiction, there should be credentialed psychiatrists on staff as well.
The nurses and aides who support the doctors should also be experienced and regularly trained in the latest techniques dealing with drug and alcohol detox/recovery.
One way you can check this for yourself beforehand is to read any staff biographies that the facility has made available. On each physician, and often with the administrative nursing staff, you should be able to read about their credentials and experience.
The Right Drug and Alcohol Rehab Program Will Have the Proper Licensing and Accreditation
The treatment facility as a full should be able to show you their accreditation by the state. The individual physicians, counselors, and addiction specialists should be able to show you proof of their training, as well as their licenses to practice.
The Right Drug and Alcohol Rehab Program Should Offer Multiple Approaches to Treatment
This is one of the most important factors when it comes to how to choose the best alcohol/drug rehab program. Every addict/alcohol is an individual, and they all have their own unique situations. This means that there is no “one-size-fits-all” that will work for everyone. The right alcohol/drug rehab program will be flexible enough to attack the addiction problem on multiple levels.
- Behavior Modification
- Psychological Issues
- Medical/Organic Causes
- Social/Peer Influence
- Medication Assistance
- Nutritional Recovery
- Pet Therapy
Not every alcohol or drug rehab program will offer every type of traditional or holistic therapy. However, the right rehab program will offer options. If one type of therapy fails, they will have another approach on hand to make another attempt. The very best programs will try a comprehensive approach that simultaneously includes many of these therapies.
The Right Drug and Alcohol Rehab Program Will Be Flexible
Once again, every addict/alcoholic is an individual, so their particular treatment needs will be unique to them. Some people will only need a short 30-day stay, some will need to be an inpatient for the recommended 90 days, and some severe cases will have to stay considerably longer.
At the same time, not every person’s life allows them the flexibility of attending rehab for that length of time. Some facilities have the option of “weekend-only” inpatient treatment. If you have special needs based upon the requirements of your life, make sure that the rehab program that you choose can accommodate you.
The Right Drug and Alcohol Rehab Program Will Offer Aftercare
There is no such thing as an ex-alcoholic or ex-addict. It is a lifetime disease that will require constant vigilance and management. Just because an individual has completed an inpatient drug rehab program doesn’t mean that they have no further need of help.
The best alcohol/drug rehab programs will also offer ongoing outpatient treatment for a specific period of time, typically a year to a year and a half. During this time, the clients will continue to receive ongoing support and education from the counselors and therapists, while at the same time applying what they have learned to the rest of their lives.
Outpatient treatment allows the therapists and addiction specialists to help the recovering addict/alcoholic make adjustments in their behaviors as needed.
The Right Facilities and Programs Will Have Excellent Reputations
Because relapse is part of recovery, there was no way for any facility or program to boast of a 100% success rate. However, the detox facility and the rehab program that you choose should be able to demonstrate clearly how they have been able to help their clients. Testimonials, success stories, and online reviews can all be invaluable resources that will help you form an educated opinion.
Once again, the best drug detox facility or rehab program is the one that fits your needs, goals, and expectations most fully. This is your health – mental, physical, and spiritual – you’re dealing with, so you owe it to yourself to do your homework and your due diligence to ensure the best fit possible.