Addiction treatment is a serious undertaking – and the best treatment programs are based in medically-informed, evidence-based practices. But looking for addiction treatment programs and facilities can be intimidating and overwhelming. Whether you are searching for addiction treatment for yourself or a family member, you likely have a lot of questions about what programs can best help lead to a life of recovery and sobriety. You are taking a great step in your search for the right treatment program or facility – asking questions and doing research. The best advice you can receive when searching for the right addiction treatment program for you or a family member will come from a trusted and qualified addiction counselor or mental and behavioral health expert. This guide can help you make an informed decision on your own or your family member’s path to recovery. 

What to Look for When Searching for an Addiction Treatment Program

How can you do your own research on quality addiction treatment programs and facilities? Whether you’re looking at a program’s website or speaking with its staff members, look for the following:

  • Websites and Literature Features Photos of Real People, Staff, and Facilities.

Stock photography can help marketers get their programs across and protect the identity of people in recovery. But you want to rest assured that the program treating you or a family member is staffed by real people at a real facility. Make sure that their contact information is easy to locate, including a physical address and phone number. When you call, make sure that you’re talking with someone who works for the facility itself, not a referral center, or that you can talk to someone at the facility with a fast response time.

  • The Program or Facility is Staffed by Addiction Counseling Experts.

Check for the credentials of mental health and addiction treatment professionals. Credentials to look for include:

  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Registered Addiction Counselor (RAC)
  • Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC)
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
  • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor of Mental Health (LPCC)
  • Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)
  • Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP)
  • Other educational degrees or certifications in mental health counseling

Generally, your treatment program or facility should list these credentials on a 

publicly-available staff list on their About page or elsewhere on their website.

  • The Program or Facility Uses Evidence-Based Practices in Treatment

The field of addiction treatment includes foundational practices grounded in science and evidence for the best results. Be sure the program or facility you’re considering bases their individual and group treatment in evidence-based practices such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance-Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA)
  • Community Reinforcement and Family Training/Motivational Interviewing (CRAFT/MI)
  • Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

What to Avoid When Searching for an Addiction Treatment Program

The above suggestions will help you find a professional treatment program with you or your family’s best interests at the center of their treatment modalities. But what should you watch out for while you’re searching for an addiction treatment program or facility? Here are some red flags:

  • Costs Aren’t Clear or They Offer to Secure Insurance and/or Waive Deductibles

The cost of treatment programs should be clear and easy to understand. Organizations who offer to secure insurance for you or a family member or who offer to waive deductibles could be engaging in unethical – or even illegal – practices. That’s not a firm foundation for a successful recovery partnership!

  • Their Step-Down or Discharge Process is Unclear or Changes

Responsive case management and treatment planning is one thing – but if a program or facility doesn’t have a clear and evidence-based step-down or discharge process, they could be putting your long-term recovery in jeopardy! Be sure that you or your family member has a clear set of goals and their plan includes an exit strategy. And make sure that the facility won’t immediately discharge you or your family member if a relapse occurs during treatment.

  • They Engage in Patient Brokering or Offer Perks for Enrollment

Offering free flights or lodging to travel to a treatment center is a big red flag. These may seem like helpful resources, but they could be illegal solicitations or point to a patient-brokering scheme tied to profit-centered treatment. You need a partner who offers support to you and your family as locally as possible – and who won’t hand you off to take advantage of kickbacks or insurance payment schemes.

Find Your Recovery Partners at Palmetto

At Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center, we partner with you and your family to help you live a life of long-term recovery and sobriety. Using evidence-based treatment modalities and personalized treatment plans led by licensed and credentialed mental health and addiction counseling professionals, we support people in recovery every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we help people seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction – with real people and real solutions for long-term recovery.