Congratulations from all of us at Driver’s License Restorers. If you’re reading this, you’ve taken the first step towards regaining control of your life and living a healthier lifestyle free of alcohol and substance abuse.
For many of us, it’s often hard to seek help, particularly from complete strangers. For those suffering from substance abuse, the weight of addiction can almost feel insurmountable. To then have to seek help to remove, what society paints as an ugly burden, from your shoulders, it can feel near impossible.
However, if you’ve identified that you:
- may be suffering from addiction; and
- need help to overcome your disease
Understand that you’ve now taken two of the most important steps towards getting your life back on track.
In 2009, the National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits report indicated that 2.1 million emergency room patient visits were associated in some way to substance abuse or misuse.
To further break that down, think of it this way:
- For every 100,000 people in the United States, 674.4 visited the emergency room because of a drug-related incident that year
- More than 5,000 visits per day are attributed to drug abuse
Unfortunately, many of these same people likely didn’t seek professional help.
We know this because the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, indicated that 23.5 million people suffered from alcohol or drug abuse in 2009. Of those 23.5 million suffering, only 11.2 percent, or roughly 2.1 million received professional help from a treatment center.
In 2007, that number was 1.8 million. So while you may not be alone in your effort to attain sobriety, understand that you are part of a special and rare club. This is something to be proud of as you embark on your journey to recovery.
To help, we’ve created a list of 5 of the most important things to look for in a treatment center.
- Accreditation and Success
It’s very important that when you begin to look for a treatment facility, the first thing you do is check the following:
- Accreditation within their state
- Success rate of their treatment program
There are a wide range of facilities across the country, some created specifically for one gender in mind, others for a particular religious background, and even some that act as more of a quick stop to detox and withdrawal. Depending on your needs, you’ll be able to eliminate quite a few centers from consideration fairly quickly.
Once you’ve done this, the next step will be to make sure that each center on your list is accredited in their state. You should request names and qualifications of their staff, particularly the doctors, and ensure that each doctor has a current license.
The last thing you want to do is admit yourself into a facility where your health could potentially be further compromised. Now that you have ensured accreditation and licensing, be sure to ask for information about the facility’s success rate with their treatment program.
This is a common request and most facilities are more than willing to share this information with potential patients. It is actually a requirement that they track and frequently update the record of the success rate of their program.
If you find that a treatment center, doesn’t wish to share this information with you, immediately eliminate them from consideration. Reason being, in all likelihood, they have a poor success rate and they would rather you admit yourself without knowing this information beforehand.
- Be Mindful of the Location
We are all very different in the types of environments that we thrive in. However, when it comes to treatment and rehabilitation, often the best type of environment for a patient is to be in a beautifully, secluded, natural space.This means somewhere that is disconnected from temptation, allowing you to focus entirely on healing.For some of you reading this, the thought of a secluded environment may seem intimidating or quite the opposite of what you prefer.
However, you should know that in such an environment you aren’t alone.Many treatment centers, create a sense of togetherness and unity amongst their patients. They often encourage group outings and activities, giving you a sense of family with others who are going through similar circumstances.This means, you are in a safe environment that not only encourages healing, but also allows you to socialize with people who can directly relate to your problems.
Additionally, being in a natural space, where you wake up to beautiful views and spend a significant amount of time in the outdoors, rewires your brain to associate sobriety with beauty.
- Nutritional Element within Treatment Program
As you’re looking over the details of each treatment program, one thing you particularly want to look for is that the program includes a nutritional element. This means a focus on diet, lifestyle, and exercise regime. Typically, those who attend treatment centers, suffer from poor physical and mental health as a result of their addiction. It’s not uncommon for patients to be malnourished, depressed, and lethargic upon admittance.
Add in the withdrawal symptoms that are bound to occur, and it may feel like your body’s turning against you. Facilities that promote healthier eating habits and routine exercise into their programs, will allow you to counter many of the withdrawal symptoms and heal your body faster. For many in recovery, exercise is an excellent way to not only relieve stress and improve physical health, but also to combat cravings.
Create a healthy body and you’ll be able to unlock a healthy mind. These two working hand in hand, give you the capacity to live drug-free once your treatment program is completed.
- Personal and Professional Life Skills
Treatment is more than simply kicking your substance abuse problem. It is also rehabilitation back into a healthy lifestyle, which means rediscovering personal and professional life skills. A common occurrence for substance abusers, is the deterioration of relationships with others, whether family, friends, or lovers, and also the collapse of your career.
Look for treatment programs that incorporate activities and training focused on:
- Resume and professional skill building
- Job search and interviews
- Financial education
- Building healthy relationships
- Coping mechanisms
These training’s rewire your brain so that once you’ve completed your treatment you’re able to function under the additional pressures that a normal life can put on you. They also restore a sense of confidence and independence. While you’ll likely have continued support outside of treatment, it’s important that you have the tools to find your way in life again. This prevents feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety, which often cause relapse.
- Support and Aftercare Treatment
Relapse is very common for substance abusers who simply do not have the support they need once they’ve completed their treatment programs.
There are many facilities, particularly those who are a quick stop shop for detox and withdrawal, that don’t provide additional support once you leave their program. Patients who attend such treatment centers, have a far greater chance of relapsing without aftercare support, meaning repeated trips to rehab or worse.
When you’re thinking of entering a treatment program, you want to give yourself the best chance at living a long and healthy lifestyle drug-free.
To do just that, ask yourself what you’ll need in order to be a healthy, thriving member of society. One of the most natural thoughts, is the desire to have support from not only family and friends, but also people who are like you. This could be any of the following:
- Support Groups
- 1-on-1 coaching and advisement
- Continued outpatient services
A reputable treatment facility will be able to at least provide you with information and referrals to support in your city. Some even offer aftercare treatment, which may include group meetings and calls to simply check-in on you.
At the end of the day, whichever facility you choose, should be invested in you. Take caution of the list above when choosing your treatment center, and also do what will be best for you to live a healthy lifestyle without the presence of alcohol and drugs.