Treatment referrals can be problematic. If you have been referred to a substance abuse treatment center, there are things you need to do to ensure your safety or the safety of your loved one. First, consider any referrals from friends, your physician, an online website, or an ad as a starting point for research, only. It doesn’t matter who refers you to a center, you have to research the facility and make sure it’s a good fit for your needs.
Steps to Stay Safe Even if You Have a Referral
Before choosing a facility or giving any person or center your information be sure:
- The facility is upfront about costs (including urine screenings and other tests), insurance deductibles, copays, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
- The facility has a policy about patient referrals and does not engage in patient brokering by paying for patients.
- The facility is accredited. Most facilities want to brag about accreditation and will have a certification from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities (CARF) or the Joint Commission Accreditation for Addiction Treatment Gold Seal for Behavioral Health on their website and marketing material.
- The facility has full time credentialed addiction counselors on staff, not just staff that is trained in recovery or related field. And the facility website has photographs of the staff with bios and contact information.
- The facility is equipped to handle any co-occurring disorders and treatment for these disorders are integrated into the program curriculum or tracks, and staff can assess, identify interventions, and prescribe medications.
- The facility practices evidence-based treatments and life-coping skills such as through:
- Acceptance-commitment therapy
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Community Reinforcement and Family Training
- Community reinforcement approach
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Medicated Assisted Treatment
- Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy
- The facility is proud of their daily schedule and is eager to share it with you. You should see structured and supervised activities such as weekday programs, weekend programs, group counseling, individual counseling, support group, chores, and recreational activities.
- The facility offers options for family involvement such as education abuse and support.
- The facility has dedicated discharge planners and continuing care programs or mentors.
- The facility is dedicated to patient safety and have programs in place to deal with patient relapses that includes support even if it means transferring them to a detox facility or another program.
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Leslie Glass is the founder of Reach Out Recovery and the winner of the 2016 ASAM Media Award. Leslie is also the creator of Recovery Guidance, the information website for those seeking addiction and mental healthcare for professionals nationwide. Leslie is a journalist, director/producer of award-winning documentaries, and the author of 15 bestselling novels. Leslie has served as Chairman of the Board of Plays For Living, was a member of the Board of Directors of Mystery Writers of America. She has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education, as a VP of The Asolo Theatre, and was a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation.