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How Do I Choose the Best Residential Drug Treatment Center?

By Marisa O'Connor
Updated May 17, 2024
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The good news about entering a drug treatment center is that deciding to enter one in the first place is one of the hardest parts of recovery, and you've already come this far. The most important factor in choosing the best residential drug treatment center is making sure that it is going to meet your needs. Make sure the program is prepared and experienced with your type of addiction and any accompanying mental health problems. It is also a good idea to become familiar with the facility's policies so you are emotionally prepared to follow the rules it sets out.

A great place to start when trying to find the best residential drug treatment center is at your family doctor or, better yet, your therapist if you have one. Medical and mental health professionals are connected to a vast network of specialists, whom they can use to help you find the help you seek. If your doctor can't provide you with a list of recommended residential treatment programs in your area, he or she should at least be able to give you the name of someone who can.

Finding the best residential drug treatment center involves doing some research. Make sure that the center you choose has experience or specializes in the type of drug you are struggling with. Most addictions are relatively similar in nature, so a facility's specialization in your exact type of addiction isn't necessary, though it can be comforting.

If you have a mental health disorder, consider whether the facility can treat any accompanying mental health disorders. Many residential treatment centers are run by ex-addicts with basic counseling training. While this can work out great for many patients, these people are not necessarily prepared to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other mental health disorders that so often accompany drug addiction. The good news is that many residential rehab facilities have psychotherapists on their staff for just this reason.

Find out a little bit about the residential drug treatment center's policies and what types of treatment it utilizes. Once you are admitted to a treatment facility, you are expected to follow its rules, so before you enter a treatment center, make sure you can abide by its policies. You also want to make sure that your values generally align with the residential drug treatment center you choose. Some facilities incorporate different religious practices, so make sure you are comfortable with them or choose a secular facility if that is more consistent with your values.

Another good thing to consider when deciding on the best residential drug treatment center for you is the length of the program. In general, residential facilities require a minimum stay of 30 days. If this is too long for you, then consider an outpatient drug treatment program, which is less intrusive but often also less effective for serious addictions. If you are looking for a serious break from your lifestyle in order to recover, you may benefit most from a six-month program.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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