Resolving to get sober is perhaps the most important decision you will ever make. Choosing how you will make that commitment a reality is just as important. No two people, after all, experience addiction in exactly the same way, and no two people will heal in exactly the same way, either.
Since the path to sobriety is as unique as the individuals who walk it, there’s no one “right” formula for getting well. This reality, though, can make the process of choosing a rehabilitation or recovery program a challenge. Rehab is far from a one-size-fits-all proposition, and if you want to find the most effective program, then it’s imperative that you know what to look for. The ideal rehab is one that not only enjoys a long record of success, but that can also accommodate your unique needs and goals, regardless of what they may be. We will show you the best strategies for finding a rehabilitation program that’s right for you.
Residential vs. Outpatient Care
One of the first and most important questions to ask yourself when choosing a rehab is whether an outpatient or residential treatment program will best meet your needs. During early recovery, and particularly during the detoxification and withdrawal stages, you are likely to need in-patient care to ensure that the process is as safe and comfortable as possible. However, there is also evidence that in-patient hospital care when linked to outpatient treatment can also be highly effective for those in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse (1, 2, 3).
Research has also shown that residential treatment can offer important benefits, particularly during early recovery. Among these is the time afforded by residential care to foster strong connections with physical and mental healthcare providers, which is central both to sustained recovery and to overall health and wellbeing (4). In addition, researchers have found that residential care can help to increase engagement in one’s recovery programs and can help participants forge a new sense of identity, community, and support with others in inpatient care (5, 6, 7, 8). Despite the robust evidence confirming the efficacy of residential treatment, inpatient programs are also characterized by high dropout rates (9, 10).
What this means, in other words, is that choosing the right rehab should typically begin by asking yourself whether you would best benefit from the support networks and the continuity of care that residential treatment provides. On the other hand, if family and work responsibilities make residential care untenable, or if you simply feel ill-suited to inpatient care, then an outpatient program may be your best option.
Service History and Longevity
Once you have determined whether you need inpatient or outpatient care, the search for your recovery program can begin in earnest. While it’s true that a bright, shiny new facility can be appealing, especially in that a newer program may well have fewer patients or a shorter waiting list, choosing a facility with a long record of success is usually the best option. After all, if you want to know about a racehorse, look at its track record.
In general, a more established program with a proven history will have the tools, the amenities, the experience, and the staffing to meet your needs. Best of all, choosing an established program will make it that much easier to contact previous and current patients, as well as healthcare professionals who have experience with the facility, the program, and/or the care providers. So, do your homework. Search online reviews, ask for recommendations from people you trust, and reach out to your healthcare team for advice.
Accreditation and Licensure
In addition to checking out the rehab’s track record, it’s also imperative that you look into the program’s credentials. At the very least, the facility/program should be accredited by a reputable board. Accreditation by the Joint Commission, for instance, is a particularly important indicator of a program’s strong credentials. It’s also important to ensure that the program has the proper state and federal licensures. You should also look for programs that are licensed in their state to provide prescription therapies for patients who need them.
In addition to confirming the credentials of the facility or program you’re considering, it’s also important to explore the training and licensure of the rehab’s staff. The rehab should provide easy access (usually on its website) to the full roster of its healthcare providers, along with dossiers of each team member’s training, licensure, certifications, and areas of specialization. Ideally, the rehab will employ a multidisciplinary team that includes not only addiction recovery specialists, but also mental and physical healthcare providers, as well as related subspecialists, such as nutritionists, family and individual counselors, and exercise physiologists.
Service and Care Offerings
Once you have confirmed that a program has a well-established history, an evidence-based treatment regime, and a multidisciplinary roster of highly trained and deeply accomplished care providers, you should then begin assessing the specific services and amenities offered. This is your opportunity to select a program that truly meets your individual needs and goals.
For example, if you have co-occurring disorders, such as a dependency on both drugs and alcohol, or a substance addiction combined with a history of mental illness, then you will want to search for a program that is equipped to address such conditions (11, 12, 13). Similarly, if you have a past history of trauma, then seeking out a facility equipped to provide trauma-informed care can be essential to your long-term recovery, insofar as such approaches are often more effective than standard protocols for addressing the roots of addiction (14, 15).
In addition, there are a host of options that can enable you to focus on your recovery in an environment that will be the most conducive to your health and healing. You may choose, for example, a single-sex program or one that is faith-based. Similarly, you may choose a program that offers in-person support, care, and counseling only, or you may choose one that integrates technology or, conversely, one that operates exclusively online.
Keep in mind that it’s not only the services and amenities that a program offers to support your early recovery that matter. You will also want to explore what services the program offers to help you sustain your recovery for the long-term, including outpatient care, access to in-person, hybrid, or online support, and referrals to community-based care, including medical and psychological care, as needed.
How Bayshore Can Help
At Bayshore, we are proud to offer integrated care that treats the whole person, not only the dependency. Our multidisciplinary team of experts will work with you to build a healthier, happier lifestyle to support your recovery for today and for all of the tomorrows to come. Contact us today to discuss how Bayshore can help you or someone you love build the peaceful, joyous, and dependency-free life you deserve!