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How to Evaluate Addiction Centres and Pick One that Works

How to Evaluate Addiction Centres and Pick One that Works
Written by Seth Fletcher on August 5, 2020
Last update: February 26, 2024
Facing the hard conclusion that you, or someone you care about, needs addiction counselling or rehabilitation can be daunting, scary, and overwhelming all at the same time. So with such a large and life changing decision, how do you find the addiction centre that is reputable, responsible, modern in treatment, and right for you? Choosing to seek help is not an easy decision and with that big decision comes a lot of additional concerns that can affect - or deter - someone from getting the help they need: 
  • the actual desire to get sober, 
  • concerns over who will take care of the family (especially when children are involved) during a client’s stay, 
  • the cost of private rehabilitation, 
  • the ability to get immediate help or surviving a lengthy waiting period for government-funded help
  • The availability of after-care support for stressful situations or relapses
When evaluating private clinics (which may be able to provide more immediate treatment without the process of going onto a lengthy waiting list) you are looking at these five things to make the best choice for you and your family.

Because private addiction clinics are not overseen by a government body, reputable clinics should seek to apply and hold accreditation from professional and identifiable healthcare governing bodies (such as Accreditation Canada) that hold rehabilitation centres to a high level of standards across a number of categories including rigorous healthcare standards as well as on-going education of clinic staff and the upholding of both ethics and professionalism. The Canadian Centre for Addictions holds accreditation from three notable bodies that include Accreditation Canada, the Better Business Bureau, and the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers.

The retention of dependable, professional, and ethical clinicians and counselors should always be a priority of any private rehabilitation centre. This means asking the centre you are interviewing what are the qualifications of their clinical and medical staff and what Certifications in their field do they possess.  It is also important to ask what is the average tenure of their counsellors as the retention of key personnel is important should recidivism occur. Clients potentially returning due to a lapse have a better chance of continuing success if they are met with familiar faces where trust has been established.

Like any healthcare provider, evolution and refinement of rehab treatment are paramount. As such, the continual adaptation of treatments based on clinical findings should be showcased for potential clients. Treatment specific and specialized to the individual needs and addiction should also be reviewed. Can the centre provide you with a variety of treatment options during inpatient support, outpatient support, and ongoing aftercare to reduce the rate of relapse?

The location of the centre you’ll be attending doesn’t seem like a large concern but any centre that offers a well-rounded addiction program understands that the setting of your healing matters. A calm, well-groomed environment that feels inviting, rather than institutional or sterile, will provide a better opportunity for the client to relax and be open to addressing the issues they are facing.  When you call to speak to a representative, you are entitled to ask what amenities are available at the centre. Are there gardens or outside recreational areas? Is there a gym or exercise facility? What are the bedrooms like? What is the expectation of privacy, and how are meals prepared?  A reputable centre understands that rehabilitation is a holistic approach that includes not just medical detox and group therapy but also the environment in which a person seeks to heal themself.

Once your 30, 45, or 60-day treatment is complete, what guidance and support does the centre provide? Clients entering back into the real world with no tangible tools to help navigate their new found sobriety is not only reckless but it sets the client up for relapse should the stress and strain of everyday life begin to weigh down on them again. Always ask about what type of aftercare is provided by the centre. Is it included in their treatment or is it an additional cost? Is it in person or via online so that accessibility is there no matter where or when the patient needs it?No one should ever be more concerned about their own health than themselves however, finding a trustworthy and reputable clinic with long-term success rates means finding a supportive partner who will care about your health as much as you do.If you should have any questions about what you need in an addiction counsellor, centre, or treatment, please reach out to us at [email protected]
Certified Addiction Counsellor

Seth brings many years of professional experience working the front lines of addiction in both the government and privatized sectors.

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