Getting Help for Drug Addiction

Doctor With Patient
Ask Questions About Treatment Programs. © Getty Images

If you or someone you care for is dependent on alcohol or drugs and needs treatment, it is important to know that no single treatment approach is appropriate for all individuals. Finding the right treatment program involves careful consideration of such things as the setting, length of care, philosophical approach and your or your loved one's needs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) provides a toll-free, 24-hour treatment referral service to help you locate treatment options near you. For a referral to a treatment center or support group in your area, call:

1-800-487-4889 (TDD)
1-877-767-8432 (Spanish)

Support Groups

More than one research study has shown that the chances of recovering improve greatly when addicts include membership in a support group as part of their recovery process. These groups are specifically for drug abusers.

Questions to Ask 

Here are 12 questions to consider when selecting an alcohol or substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation program, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment:

  1. Does the program accept your insurance? If not, will they work with you on a payment plan or find other means of support for you?
  2. Is the program run by state-accredited, licensed and/or trained professionals?
  3. Is the facility clean, organized and well-run?
  4. Does the program encompass the full range of needs of the individual (medical: including infectious diseases; psychological: including co-occurring mental illness; social; vocational; legal; etc.)?
  5. Does the treatment program also address sexual orientation and physical disabilities as well as provide age, gender, and culturally appropriate treatment services?
  6. Is long-term aftercare support and/or guidance encouraged, provided and maintained?
  7. Is there ongoing assessment of an individual's treatment plan to ensure it meets changing needs?
  8. Does the program employ strategies to engage and keep individuals in longer-term treatment, increasing the likelihood of success?
  9. Does the program offer counseling (individual or group) and other behavioral therapies to enhance the individual's ability to function in the family/community?
  1. Does the program offer medication as part of the treatment regimen, if appropriate?
  2. Is there ongoing monitoring of possible relapse to help guide patients back to abstinence?
  3. Are services or referrals offered to family members to ensure they understand addiction and the recovery process to help them support the recovering individual?
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