If you’re going to study the way something works, you want to study the best in the field. And similarly, when you’re looking at drug treatment centers, you’re searching for the one that stands above the rest. We’ve combined both of those philosophies, and we’re going to take you through how the best drug rehab centers are so good at what they do.
To do that, let’s break drug treatment centers down into their components: Their location, staff, organization, methods, and funding. Let’s go through each one of these and study how the best drug rehab centers help their clients get healthy.
The old real estate adage of “location, location, location” definitely applies here. However, the way it matters to the best drug rehab centers might surprise you. Hint: The best drug rehab centers aren’t necessarily on the coasts or in big cities.
We’ve previously written about how the decision to go to a drug treatment center near or far is a key step in finding the right one. That’s a main consideration in finding the best drug rehab centers for you. The ones that suit your needs might not be in your area, and that means the best location for you is going to require a bit of a trip. On the flip side, if you have a strong support system in place, the right location for you is going to be closer to home. It’s true that there are a lot of stunning drug treatment centers out in California, but that’s not the only place to receive quality care.
Another aspect of the best drug treatment centers’ locations are the buildings themselves. What their priorities are will be apparent from how the building is setup. There should be sufficient space for the activities you’ll partake in. Equine therapy, for instance, is growing in popularity, but it’s not suited to all areas — a rehab in the heart of a city is probably not going to have area for horses to roam. There needs to be adequate facilities for the kinds of care you’ll receive.
Along with the building is what kind of space is inside. Will you get a private bathroom, or will you have to share? Extra amenities like these are not usually make-or-break considerations, but if you can afford it, entering treatment at a rehab center where you’re going to feel most comfortable can help you stick with it long enough to complete your treatment program.
Obviously, the people employed by the best drug rehab centers are the best in the field, but what fields, specifically? When you’re looking into drug treatment centers, you’re going to want to know what kinds of credentials the people treating you have. Not to mention the executive and administrative staff who run other parts of the operation.
Most drug treatment centers employ a wide range of medical professionals. For example, they might only have one psychiatrist, but they’ll also have a wide array of nurses and counselors on the team. The best drug rehab centers have experts in their fields and staff with a high degree of experience. That includes having the right certifications and degrees, which will differ for each role. Requirements for these kinds of positions vary from state to state, so look into your state’s guidelines if that’s something you’re interested in.
Keep in mind that this will also depend heavily on what kind of drug treatment center it is. Are you looking at inpatient options? Then there will also be support staff involved, like residence managers and housekeepers. Is equine therapy on your must-have list? Then there will have to be staff to look after the horses. The best drug rehab centers have specialists in all the right areas, and they have the right staff for the kinds of services they provide.
Luxury drug treatment centers have a lot more staff than more bare-bones operations. At one of those, you might find a chef, a life coach, or a message therapist, among other types of support staff. The best drug treatment centers care for their clients’ entire wellbeing, not just their substance use disorder, and having staff members dedicated to those other areas of health can be a good sign.
This one goes hand-in-hand with the last heading. The staff has to be organized somehow — a hierarchy, different teams, etc. And there will have to be some kind of leadership organizing the rest of the facility. The best drug rehab centers have experienced professionals at the helm. To work in the drug treatment industry, you have to have a lot of specialized knowledge. This wraps back to what we were saying about the staff — everyone, especially leadership, needs to have the right kinds of credentials, degrees, and background.
Multidisciplinary treatment teams are often an effective way of organizing the staff at drug treatment centers. When one person occupies several different roles, that might be a sign that the rehab doesn’t have enough staff, or that they don’t have the right staff for what they’re trying to accomplish.
A multidisciplinary treatment team consists of a different professional to address each different aspect of your recovery. That can include a chemical dependency counselor, a medical doctor, a nurse, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a nutritionist, a wellness specialist, and a spiritual counselor. All those specialists come together and create an individualized treatment plan for you. That’s what sets the best drug rehab centers apart from the others: You’ll have a team of experts putting their heads together to design a course of treatment that’s personalized to your needs.
While the very best drug rehab centers will have all of these services in-house, some other drug treatment centers will coordinate with other facilities. If you need a dual diagnosis, make sure to ask about what the center provides. They might partner with other providers in the community to fill in any gaps.
Some people will undergo detoxification at a hospital or other facility before entering rehab. That works for many folks, but the absolute best drug rehab centers have teams devoted to detox. It can be beneficial to start the rehab process simultaneously with the detox one. That’s why many people prefer to have their medically assisted detox happen at the drug treatment center where they’ll also complete an inpatient program.
This relates to the organization of drug treatment centers because if you’re looking for an all-encompassing facility, you’ll want to make sure they have a detox team.
What techniques and therapies the drug treatment center uses is probably the number one aspect of care to look into when you’re searching for the best drug rehab centers.
We’ve written in-depth on the different types of methods drug treatment centers use here, if you’re interested in a more granular look at what rehab can look like. For our purposes here, though, it serves us best to be brief. There is a myriad of different therapies out there for substance use disorders. They range from long-standing treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy to newer (and less proven) methods like art therapy.
The best drug rehab centers stay up-to-date on best practices in their chosen therapies. They should be keeping track of current research and always aiming to improve their approach, no matter which kinds of methods they use. You can always do your own research into the kinds of therapies on offer, but do keep in mind that you’re not an expert. It’s safe to say, though, that well-proven therapies with long and successful track records tend to be a better bet than newer types of treatment.
The importance of the methods used by the best drug rehab centers doesn’t stop when your treatment ends. The best rehabs offer ongoing support in a variety of areas. This can include vocational support or getting you set up with a support group. Make sure the center has a plan to help you with the transition from treatment to the real world.
You’ll need a facility that caters to your specific needs — a drug treatment center could be the top-rated in the whole world, but if they don’t treat your kind of addiction, they’re not going to be any help. The best drug rehab centers will combine different treatments and therapies to treat your substance use disorder as well as any co-occurring conditions you might have.
They should want to address any issues you’re having in your personal or professional life that might be affecting your substance use. That can mean getting your family involved. Each person’s recovery is different, and the best drug treatment centers recognize that.
Having a steady stream of funding is crucial to maintaining the operations at drug treatment centers. All of those staff members want to be paid, but where does that money come from? You can break drug treatment centers into two groups: State-funded and privately funded.
State-Funded Drug Treatment Centers
The government funds these facilities. If you meet certain eligibility requirements, then you can attend these types of programs for free. How much funding the government provides these types of centers varies from state to state, and the quality often varies accordingly.
These types of facilities have a much lower financial barrier to entry than private ones do. That means there’s often a wait list to receive treatment. That can be detrimental to people who will lose the motivation to go to treatment once the wait is up. It can also be a big problem for those whose need is so dire that they cannot wait that long.
State-funded drug treatment centers typically do not have as much funding as private ones, which often puts them in tough positions. As long as they can afford it, most people would rather opt for a private program.
Private Rehab Programs
These drug treatment centers are funded by the patients — most private health insurance plans will cover part of your treatment. Some will cover the entire cost. As we mentioned in the last section, this means that private programs often have more funding than state-funded ones.
The simple conclusion is that the best drug rehab centers are private ones, but that’s not true for everyone. Yes, private programs tend to have a wider variety of treatments available. That’s a huge plus for a lot of people because it leads to a higher degree of personalization. That’s important in creating a treatment plan that works for you. They also tend to have a lower staff to patient ratio, meaning there are more opportunities for individualized care. All of these things have a price tag attached, and it’s usually more than a state-funded center can afford.
However, that also means private rehabs are not as accessible as state-funded ones. Many people simply cannot afford that level of care. Private rehab facilities are not an option for lots of people who need help with a substance use disorder. For them, a state-funded center can be an absolute life changer.
The best drug rehab centers work for you.
We’ve gone through a bunch of different criteria for what makes the best drug rehab centers, but none of it means anything if those criteria don’t work for you. It doesn’t matter if they have all the funding in the world for the best staff, leadership, methods, and location — if they aren’t effective in addressing your unique needs, it won’t work.
At the end of the day, drug treatment centers are there to serve you. The best drug rehab centers are the ones that will help you on your road to recovery, and those requirements are different for everyone. Lists of the best drug rehab centers are good places to start, but you should always place your unique needs first.
Flexibility and personalization are the key features you’re looking for in drug treatment centers. All of the different areas we’ve detailed (location, staff, organization, methods, and funding) work together to create limitations on what a facility can accomplish. If there’s not enough space for a large staff, for example, then you’re not going to have as many experts on hand to help combine different methods to create an individualized treatment plan.