It is a big decision in many levels, financially and emotionally and then there is the time investment! So how do you know you are making the right choice? Looking at a Google search of rehabs will only confuse the issue, a million will come up all with peaceful looking pictures but does that tell the story? Here are some things to keep in mind if you are ready to pull the trigger and take the plunge.
- Referrals can be helpful but be cautious. Your friend may have had a great experience at a treatment center and that is good information but all people, their brains and personality constructs are different so their experience may not be your experience.
- We rely on the website for information. Many sites are misleading showing pictures of the ocean while they may be miles away from the ocean. If something advertised on a site is important to you (such as an ocean location), make sure it is true, get more information.
- Addiction is often referred to as a disease and, while that is a topic of endless debate, there is no question that medical decisions and questions will arise. Be sure to get an appropriate level of medical care, practice and staffing. How often will you see a psychiatrist? Is the psychiatrist a staff member or an adjunctive service? Many rehabs present that they have psychiatric care as part of the process but the psychiatrist is often a fee for service adjunct. That does not mean they do not provide quality care but being involved for an hour is not the same thing as being steeped in the care of any given patient.
- The little things can matter. What is the food like? Can I use my phone? How are roommates selected? Be honest about your needs and wants, of course you should be open to compromise but it is good to know ahead of time what to expect.
- What is the expectation of 12 step participation? This is big question because, not knowing the 12 step culture there is no way to know if it is or isn’t right for you. Keep an open mind. Some people live the12 step life and find it immensely helpful, even lifesaving. Others are unable to get into this part of the process because of its evangelical Christian ethic. There are many roads to recovery with a variety of options. If a treatment center mandates 12 step participation with no alternative offered, that may or may not be the right fit for some.
Rehabs are all a little different. Some provide a high standard of care while others are overt charlatans. People can get and stay sober after treatment in prison or in five star surroundings. Be honest about your needs and wants and open to compromise but ultimately this is your experience, your decision to try and change your life.