What Should a Person Consider When Choosing a Drug Treatment Program?

If you’ve reached a point in your life where you realize that you need a drug treatment program, this is no small feat. Many addicts never take that first step of their own accord. You’re taking control of your future from this moment forward, and you deserve access to the best possible care. 

Rehab is a huge leap, and it’s one that should be taken with care. You want to know that you’re going to a credible facility with capable staff who will provide you with the highest possible quality of treatment. You’ll need to know that the program is sustainable for you and that all your needs will be met throughout your treatment duration. 

If you’re comfortable with the facility you’ve chosen, it will be easier to commit to your recovery. Inpatient treatment is much less scary when you know where you’re going and what to expect when you get there. 

The first step in empowering yourself is choosing the surroundings in which you will recover, and it’s worth doing your research to make sure your first step is the right step.

The Location of the Program

There are advantages of choosing a program that’s close to home, and there are advantages of choosing a program that’s far away

If you’re committed to the idea of a new start and you want to remove yourself completely from your connections to your old habits, it might be worth choosing a rehabilitation facility that’s away from home.

If you’re looking for the best possible care, no matter where that care may be located, you may also want to leave yourself open to the idea of staying at an inpatient facility that’s far from home. Finding a facility that makes you feel truly comfortable may be worth more to your recovery than simply finding a facility that’s close to home.

Choosing a facility within a reasonable commute of where you intend to live when treatment is over also comes with benefits. If you want to continue outpatient aftercare with that facility after your care has ended, you’ll likely have to make that drive at least once a week. You’ll need that drive to be reasonable enough that it won’t prevent you from fulfilling that commitment.

The Quality of the Staff

Everyone who works in a drug rehabilitation facility is required to have certain credentials. As long as you’re choosing an accredited and regulated rehabilitation facility, the staff onboard will legally be able to provide you with the health you need.

That said, qualifications are not necessarily indicative of bedside manner. Understaffed and underfunded rehabilitation facilities are less likely to have well-qualified staff. They’re working with limited resources and helping more people than they can reasonably handle. It’s only to be expected that they’ll deal with burnout and compassion fatigue. Smaller centers are usually able to provide a better bedside manner because the staff can better handle their workloads.

The Outcomes of Their Patients

It’s worth asking every potential rehab center on your list about their clinical outcomes. Clinical outcomes from drug addicts, in general, aren’t very good. It’s only the people who commit to their aftercare and independently make the lifestyle changes necessary to live a drug-free life who are ultimately successful with their recovery. 

The decisions people make after they leave the program are in their own hands, and a lack of personal accountability shouldn’t necessarily reflect on the quality of the facility. People choose to act against the advice of their care providers all the time, and even the best possible care cannot overcome free will. 

You’ll want to know how many people they see a year, how many people who start the program see it through to completion, and how those people evaluated their experience with the program. These are the factors that will help most in your decision-making process.

How the Program Approaches Health and Wellness

Rehab isn’t just about kicking drugs. It’s about completely reclaiming your health. After you’ve completed detox, you need to get back to work on your body. You need healthy food and exercise to help re-regulate your systems. Your body has been through an ordeal, and it’s calling out for your health.

You want a rehab facility that will provide you with equipment or classes you need for low-intensity exercise to stimulate blood flow and keep your muscles active. You need nutrient-rich foods and lots of lean protein to help you recover from the process of withdrawal. 

Drug treatment shouldn’t be a gym or a masterclass in weight loss and nutrition, but it should provide you with at least the bare minimum of what you need to keep yourself healthy and thriving while you’re in treatment.

The Comfort of the Facility

Inpatient treatment can last as little as 30 days or as long as 120 days. It all depends on what you and your treatment provider agree would be best for you. 

Rehab will be your house for as little as a month or as long as a whole season, and you need to be comfortable there. If you’re constantly unhappy with your surroundings, you might feel trapped or too unhappy to finish your stay, and thus, your program. 

Ask for a tour of the facility before you commit to treatment. You’ll be able to see the places where you’ll sit for group or individual therapy. You’ll know what your room looks like and what the bed feels like. You’ll see where your meals are prepared and what the leisure spaces look like. 

At the very least, you want your treatment center to feel like an upscale hotel you’d enjoy an extended stay in. At the most, you want your treatment center to feel like a place you’d like to live. If the words “tolerate” or “endure” come to mind, it’s time to look elsewhere. 

The Amount of Patients in Attendance

Choosing a great drug treatment program is a lot like choosing a great school. You want the patient-to-staff ratio to be ideal, much like a student-to-teacher ratio. If there are too many people in attendance, the staff will be stretched too thin to provide adequate personalized attention and individual help to the people who need it. 

Larger centers are often understaffed. People get short visits with an individual therapist, and group therapy may be too large for everyone to have a meaningful opportunity to speak. 

The fewer patients a facility takes on at one time, the better they will generally be at assisting their patients. 

This is why so many people choose boutique facilities. They’re able to make the most of their time because their access to resources comes with much less restriction. If they run over their allotted time with their individual therapist, they aren’t rushed out the door because that therapist has 15 other people to see that day. 

You likely want a facility where all of your care professionals can really take their time with you. 

You’re taking a big step to get better, and you’re entrusting these professionals to keep you safe and provide you with the tools that you need to be successful. You don’t want to risk being reduced to the concept of a faceless patient on a long list of other faceless patients. You want carefully managed care provided by competent professionals who will take a vested interest in your wellbeing.

Activities Offered By the Program

You’re going to be spending time there, and you don’t want to find yourself bored out of your wits. Mindlessly watching TV will give your mind time to wander. Sometimes that’s good for your recovery, and sometimes that’s bad. It helps to have positive things to focus on when you’re attempting to make positive changes in your life.

Rehab isn’t a punishment. It may be difficult, but it’s a wonderful gift you’re giving yourself. If you talk to some people, take some vitamins, and are left to sit in front of a screen or to lay in your room all day, it’s not going to feel like a gift. It’s going to feel the same way it felt to be grounded when you were a teenager.

A quality treatment facility will provide you with opportunities to participate in healthy activities. Hiking, sports, yoga, meditation, swimming, cookouts, and trips to the beach will keep a rehabilitation facility from feeling like a prison. You obviously can’t go out to bars and clubs, but that doesn’t mean you should be without any activity during your stay.


A lot goes into choosing the right drug treatment program. You need to make sure you’re comfortable with your choice if you want to set yourself up for success. 

If you’re not sure, sit down with your loved ones and have them help you decide. They know you, and they’ll have a good idea of what will work for you.





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