Here's What to Ask When Checking Out Rehabs
“Let’s have really honest conversations about addiction. Let’s stop whispering about it, and make it cocktail party conversation.”
- Kelly, recovering sister
- Kelly, recovering sister
- How soon do you accept people into treatment after they have an assessment and decide they want to come to your program?
- Do you offer inpatient or outpatient treatment—or both?
- What is your overall program philosophy? Some specific questions you might ask include:
— Is your program based on the twelve steps, and, if so, what does that mean?
- Are clients required to attend twelve-step meetings off-site? If so, how often? Do you hold twelve-step meetings on-site? If so, is attendance required and how often?
- “Do you expose clients to or allow them to attend meetings of alternatives to twelve-step groups such as SMART Recovery or Women for Sobriety?
- How are alcohol and drug problems evaluated when a person first arrives—what assessment tools do you use to determine the severity of the substance use disorder, whether or not rehab is appropriate, and, if it is, where clients should be placed?
- Do you offer detox? If so, what determines whether a new client has to go through it and what will it entail?
- When clients arrive, are their belongings searched and are their medications confiscated?
- How long is your program? Or does your program last indefinitely?
- Describe your program’s use of the following approaches/strategies:
— Motivational enhancement
— Couples and/or family therapy
— Contingency management
- What is your staff-to-client ratio?
- How much client time is spent in group counseling?
- How much client time is spent in individual counseling?
- What are the credentials/training of the people who serve as primary counselors?
- Is any of the counseling done by interns or students in training?“What are the credentials/training of the professionals who administer and supervise your clinical program?
- If medical care is needed, can you provide it? What medical professionals are on staff?
- Do you have any mental health professionals on staff? If so, what are their disciplines (e.g., licensed psychologists or social workers) and the circumstances under which they are available to patients?
- What percentage of the staff consists of recovered people?
- Describe your use of any medications that help people overcome addictions. Do you send people home on these medications?
- Are men and women treated separately for all or part of their time? Is there any gender-specific programming?
- What happens if a patient has a slip or relapse while in the program?
- How do you prepare clients for the possibility of a slip or relapse after they leave the program?
- Do you have a program for people who have been through rehab but then relapse? If so, do they have to start all over again, or is there a separate program for them?
- What proportion of your clients complete your program?
- How do you help people with aftercare or continuing care? If you have such a program, is there “an additional fee to participate in it?
- Do you have a “money back” policy for any circumstances?
- “How do you monitor the quality and success of your program? Please provide any third party outcome statistics that are available.
- What percentage of your clients are court ordered to be in your program? What is the percentage who attend voluntarily?
- May I talk with some program graduates?
- What is your smoking policy? If it’s not allowed, how do you help smokers manage?
- What is your policy on client drug testing—how often is it conducted and what are the circumstances under which it is carried out?
- What are your house rules—for instance, regarding contact with the outside world, reading material, computer and Internet access, interaction with the opposite sex, food restrictions (such as caffeine), and requirements for doing chores?
Excerpt From: Anne M. Fletcher. “Inside Rehab.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/inside-rehab/id540067140?mt=11
NOTE: There is no quick fix to maintaining any kind of behavior change; skills, practice, and supports are needed for the long haul.