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How do I Choose the Best Residential Treatment Facility?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Selecting a residential treatment facility for yourself or a loved one can be a difficult task. People with mental illnesses, eating disorders, or substance abuse problems that are severe enough to require intensive treatment are particularly vulnerable. It is important to find a residential treatment facility or rehab center that can provide compassionate, effective care. Finding the best residential treatment facility typically involves considering the institution's specialty and treatment approach, its accreditations and reputation, as well as its costs and payment options.

Residential care centers often specialize in treating specific conditions. Some offer treatment for the mentally ill, while others might specialize in addictions, eating disorders, or treating those who have experienced significant trauma. In cases where a person may have more than one disorder, such as both a mental illness and a drug dependency, he or she will need a center that is capable of treating someone with a dual diagnosis. When contacting a residential treatment facility, ask about the facility's experience in treating people with your, or your loved one's, condition. Some residential treatment facilities are religiously oriented, and it is a good idea to ask about the role religion plays in the program.

Word-of-mouth referrals from trusted individuals and professionals are an important part of selecting a residential treatment facility. Ask your doctor or therapist for recommendations. If you participate in a self-help or support group, ask fellow participants about their experiences. You may also want to check with consumer advocacy groups, such as the Better Business Bureau, about a residential treatment center's reputation. Contact the government agency in your state that licenses residential programs to find out if the institution is in good standing. Finally, ask if it is accredited either by the Joint Commission, Council on Accreditation, or Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

It is essential to find out whether a residential treatment facility is affordable. Ask the facility about the types of insurance that it accepts. Contact your insurer to confirm that a stay is covered under your, or your loved one's, policy. If you are uninsured or the facility does not accept your insurance, clarify financial arrangements before beginning treatment. Get a rough estimate as to how long the treatment program might last so that you can budget accordingly. If the program cannot be completed on the funds you have available, look for other, less expensive treatment options.

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.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen , Former Writer
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.

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Lainie Petersen

Lainie Petersen

Former Writer

Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
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