Choosing the ideal recovery center isn’t easy; in fact, it may well be one of the most important decisions you ever make. It’s not a matter of just finding whichever treatment center is closest to you, or choosing a random listing you find from Googling “best recovery facilities.” Getting this particular decision right can make a tremendous impact on your recovery and mean the difference between failure and success. Here are some important considerations as you ponder how to pick the perfect treatment center.
Clarify your needs and priorities
As you begin your search, first make a list of the things you need from a treatment facility, and then add the things that you want. Make sure everything that’s important to you is on your list; if something is a deal-breaker, you’ll know to eliminate an option immediately based on thinking through this list in advance. Some of the factors that might impact your decision include: location, price, treatment length, treatment style, and amenities offered.
Medical and psychological expertise
Because the first phase of inpatient treatment includes detox, withdrawal symptoms that can be severe or even life-threatening are part of recovery. This is why medical supervision in a fully-equipped, professional facility is so important. Addiction is a highly-nuanced medical condition, and addressing the psychological component, is critical for long-term success. Psychological support, assistance, and guidance are all extremely important to your recovery. Treating addiction successfully requires a multi-faceted and comprehensive approach; seek out a treatment center with high-level medical and psychological supervision and a good staff to patient ratio.
Does each treatment center you’re considering use an evidence-based program? Many recovery programs are based on the 12 steps. However, these programs have been shown to be largely ineffective. They also fail to address the very real physical component of addiction. 12 stepping might help you maintain your recovery, but when you’re looking to detox and get through your initial recovery period, look for an evidence-based approach that’s built on a solid foundation of good science.
This may sound like a silly question at first, but it’s not, for very good reasons. As you heal and regain your health, you need to focus on your physical and mental wellbeing. This means ensuring you are eating healthy, delicious foods, relaxing your body and mind, and maintaining a positive attitude.
As you assess treatment facilities, ask yourself if you’ll be able to stay happy, relaxed, and comfortable in them. Are they overly hospital-like? Too much like lockdown facilities? How and what will you eat? Are there opportunities to be outdoors if you want to be? Can you listen to music, read, and otherwise enjoy downtime? All of these factors should come into your decision.
For example, at Clear Sky Recovery, there is an extensive list of amenities. The resort-like oceanfront facility in the Punta Sam area of Cancún, Mexico is fully-equipped for any emergency, but it doesn’t look or feel medical. Instead, it has the feel of a vacation spot, because a major part of the center’s mission is to ensure that every detail of each patient’s care is looked after. All of the amenities and comfort patients enjoy in the United States are available, but in a lush, tropical setting. Patients enjoy a swimming pool, in-room audio and video systems, a chef, high-speed internet access, and concierge service 24 hours a day for all other needs.
Specific treatment approaches
Know what you’re getting into before you choose a program. Residential treatments vary widely in their philosophies and approaches. The most effective programs overall offer medical, evidence-based treatment along with psychological support and a broad array of other supportive services, so that each client’s unique needs can be met.
Realistically, price is a huge concern for just about everyone who goes into treatment. Make sure you understand the real costs of any program you undertake. For example, in-patient rehabilitation centers typically cost $30,000 to $60,000 per month. Although most offer 28-day programs, for many addicts this may not be long enough—depending on the treatment offered.
Ibogaine clinics are a special case, because the ibogaine treatment simply doesn’t take as long to administer. These programs are usually in the neighborhood of 7 to 10 days long. Of course you’ll need to have a reality-based aftercare plan in place, but if your treatment is successful, you shouldn’t need a longer in-patient stay. Therefore, based on duration alone, ibogaine treatment is often more cost-effective.
Ask every treatment center that makes your short list about patient safety statistics. Have there been patient deaths? Serious accidents or injuries? Make sure every facility you consider has a solid safety record.
Check out any patient reviews and testimonials from people who have been through recovery at the treatment centers you’re interested in. Any center with many of these kinds of testimonials is probably on the right track. Some centers even have reviews and testimonials that provide you with contact information so you can contact former patients.
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So many considerations
If you’re looking for the perfect treatment center, you already have a lot on your mind. Hopefully the process doesn’t feel too overwhelming. If it helps, think of it this way: nothing can be as overwhelming as living with the constant, grinding need of addiction and the knowledge that it will never, ever stop—unless you stop the addiction itself. If you keep these guidelines in mind, you can and will find the perfect treatment center that meets your needs as you enter the next stage of your life in recovery.
Dr. Sola is one of the world’s leading experts in medically-based ibogaine treatment; he has more clinical experience with safe and effective ibogaine administration than any other M.D. in the world today.