Making the decision to get help for your addiction is an admirable and courageous step. However, finding the right rehab that’s worth your money can be a daunting task. It may be an arduous process, but nothing can take back invaluable time spent at a good rehab center—your entire sobriety depends on it.
That’s why it’s important to take the necessary steps in finding what fits and what doesn’t before signing up for a bed. Betsy Koelzer is the co-founder of The Clearing and has firsthand experience with treatment as she is a fully recovered alcoholic herself. From the start of your decision-making process to the end, here are her 5 tips on finding a rehab that’s right for you.
1. Assess your needs.
Before making a move, it’s important to first take a look at yourself and identify what your needs are. Do you need to detox? What is your main substance of abuse? How much time do you have? Answers to these questions will help you get the right kind of treatment at the right time. For instance, at The Clearing, participants must be at least five days (or more) post-detox before they can enter treatment. For those who have not yet tapered from drinking, the staff will work with detox facilities to make sure these individuals are properly supported.
Another point of self-assessment is taking a look at your mental health. Sometimes, particular rehab centers work better with particular groups and have programs tailored to those specific needs. For example, The Clearing has found that they work particularly well with those that struggle with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bipolar Disorder, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder. Making note of any pre-existing conditions that may require special attention may be essential in getting you the comprehensive treatment that you need.
2. Research your options.
Doing your own research is invaluable to the rehab process. In fact, Betsy states, “We don’t even want people coming here until they’ve researched us and looked into other programs.” Of course, sometimes the loved one of addicts are stuck doing all the research due to unmanageable circumstances, but The Clearing believes that at some point the addict has to step up to the palate himself or herself. This means that even if the staff has to schedule a call in the wee morning hours before the individual starts drinking, they will because it’s worth it.
3. Ask a lot of questions.
Once you’re on the call with the treatment staff, Betsy suggests that you should take advantage of the opportunity and ask as many questions as you can over the phone. Things to consider inquiring about are the group dynamics (Who is going and do they want to be there?), the amount of personal counseling time they get (How long and who is doing the counseling?), as well as the treatment modality being used in the program (Medication? 12-Step program? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?). After all, anything that requires significant time and money usually goes through a pre-screening process—this isn’t any different.
4. Be ready for work.
A good rehab center isn’t going to feel like a vacation. Instead, it’s going to push and challenge you to create changes and make sobriety the biggest priority of your life. As The Clearing states, “Our program is very hard, comparatively. Yes, it’s fun and it’s loving and it feels good, but it’s work.” Not being on the same page can also affect admission because not all rehab centers just accept any person who calls. “We know that we can't make someone do self-discovery work,” Betsy says. "So we only want to work with the people who are ready to do the work."
It’s not just about receiving help and doing nothing on your end; results come when commitment goes both ways.
5. Don’t rush.
Unlike other treatment centers that may be just about filling beds, The Clearing only accepts 20% of interested candidates and cautions those against rushing into their program. The way they see it, if you’ve been drinking and using for months or years, there's no emergency. “You need to find the right place for yourself,” Betsy says, “and no treatment is better than bad treatment.”
As many unique needs and stages as people are in their addiction, there are just as many treatment options that can be a fit. Taking some time to walk through the process of finding the best rehab center for you may be the best thing that you can do for yourself or a loved one.