When it comes to opioid addiction, most people might say that the magic words are treatment and recovery. There’s plenty of truth there—treatment and recovery can counteract the harm of opioid addiction. But we sometimes forget a crucial question: how can we find safe opioid addiction treatment?
This question can mean treatment in opioid addiction treatment centers. These rehab programs involve medically-assisted treatments, comprehensive counseling, and peer group therapy sessions. This combination can help you begin the long-term recovery journey (look here for our in-depth explanation of opioid treatment centers).
But there are thousands of opioid treatment centers across the country, and they all claim to give just the help that you or your loved one needs. And if you’re looking on behalf or your loved one, how can you choose one that you can trust with their recovery chances and your money?
Primarily, you’ll need to begin your search with the help of a medical professional. That’s how you can begin to name and understand your loved one’s opioid recovery needs, which should inform where they go for addiction treatment.
There are two main considerations in finding the best opioid addiction treatment center: credibility and feasibility.
Before you decide to put your trust and money into an opioid treatment center, make sure that the facility and its staff are worth trusting. Unfortunately, some “treatment” programs will try to deceive you if it means they’ll get your money.
Opioid treatment centers receive certifications from their respective states, but that doesn’t always mean much (state requirements change depending on which state you’re in). If the center is reputable, it’ll have accreditation from The Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, two independent nonprofits which measure treatment centers by their results, standards, and quality. Also keep in mind how long an opioid treatment center has existed, and whether there’s a large body of negative reviews—a long-standing center persists for a reason, and people leave online complaints for a reason. And if you contact them and don’t get a response for a while, that might also be a red flag.
It’s the same way with the opioid treatment center’s staff. National certifications on a doctor’s wall tell you whether they meet those national treatment standards. Without that proof, you can’t quite know whether they can give the most effective care for opioid addiction treatment. Here are some credentials you could look for:
The most important question at any opioid treatment center is whether its staff can get your loved one started on your opioid recovery: Do its treatment bring solid results?
Some treatment centers answer that question by touting their successes, usually a percentage: 95% success rate! But you can’t just look at that figure and accept it. Some opioid treatment centers will measure themselves with their own standards, and so what they tell potential patients can mislead them. Not to mention that high opioid relapse rates makes huge success rates unlikely.
You’ll have to verify whether an opioid treatment center actually succeeds. Look for online reviews, call its staff to ask about how they measure success, and ask around to find anyone who’d received treatment there before. And if you’re lucky, you might find an opioid treatment center that’s certified through the Trac9 system, which independent researchers created to track rehab centers’ actual success rates.
Always remember that an opioid treatment center will only have success if its staff provides patients with evidence-based treatments. Notice the word evidence; it means that the treatment has been studied and proven to give addiction care. For opioid addiction, medically-assisted treatments (MATs) are the best example of an evidence-based treatments. Here are the medications to look for:
Before you trust an opioid rehab center with your loved one, you have to know if it’ll be able to fully help them. Can it support all their needs? Can they receive treatment with as few obstacles as possible?
When you consider an opioid addiction center, make sure you know what treatments it can give. This question has a little overlap with the accreditation concern—if the opioid rehab center is credible, how extensive are its treatments?
You can learn a little about this by scrolling through the center’s website. What kind of staff do you see listed there? Mental health counselors? Addiction counselors? A doctor licensed to give buprenorphine or methadone treatments? Variety in a clinic’s staff usually means the treatment program can give a variety of treatments.
This question might be the most important for many people. What should you pay for opioid addiction treatment, after all?
Maybe the better question is How are the center’s credibility and capabilities? Make sure that the program aligns with your loved one’s addiction needs and recovery goals. Then you can ask, What do I pay, and how do I pay it?
An opioid addiction treatment can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $60,000. The exact cost depends on what your addiction needs from treatment. But whatever it is, it’ll mean an investment.
Luckily, many opioid rehab centers accept insurance. Those accepted forms can include:
If you or your loved one don’t have an accepted insurance, you can either find a cost-free rehab center or consider other financing options. Which you choose to do depends on what you can do.
No one wants loans, but at a free addiction treatment center you might face long waitlists and longer lines. If you choose to take out a loan, you might consider it an investment towards your loved one’s long-term recovery. It’s hard to put a cost on what that might someday mean for you and for them. The discretion is up to you and what you can pay for.
All these considerations might be well and good, but you should also know whether it’s possible for your loved one to physically complete the treatment.
How far you live from an opioid rehab center should be something you consider. The farther away it is, the farther your loved one will be from you. If you can avoid a clinic that’s too far to be feasibly reached or comfortable for your loved one, maybe you should.
But if you can’t find an opioid treatment center closer than that, consider how the nearest center can accommodate you. If your loved one couldn’t handle a residential program far away, then perhaps they can regularly travel to the clinic to receive Suboxone doses (outpatient treatment is non-residential treatment, while inpatient means you stay in the center for all your treatment). Check in with a center to see whether it offers this flexibility.
Begin looking for the opioid treatment center that you can trust to give affordable results and accommodating flexibility for your loved one’s treatment. Be careful to verify any claims a clinic might make. Because opioid addiction recovery is so crucial, you’ll have to search carefully.
And here at Buprenorphine Doctors, we can help you begin this search. We provide a directory full of opioid treatment centers for readers exactly like you. Take a look, but remember that simply finding an opioid treatment center near you isn’t the end of the search. Be careful with your trust and money, but remember that you might find the best first step towards your loved one’s opioid addiction recovery.