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Questions About Substance Use Treatment Programs

Overview

When visiting a treatment center to see whether the program offered there meets your and your family member's needs, ask the following questions.

  • Are the counselors certified chemical dependency counselors (CDC)? Counselors who are certified have special training in counseling people who have substance use problems.
  • Are any medical doctors associated with the program? If so, are they certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)? Doctors who are certified have special training in dealing with people who have substance use problems.
  • What treatment therapies are used in the program? Is it a 12-step program alone or does the program contain cognitive therapy and/or medicine therapy?
  • How much time do you spend in the program a day, and how many weeks or months does the program last? Does the program have aftercare?
  • What has been the success rate for people going through the program? How has success been evaluated (number completing the program, years not drinking)?
  • Does the treatment program offer special services to meet women's needs, such as female therapists, female-only groups, or assistance with child care?
  • Does the treatment program address any special concerns that a person from a particular culture or religious background (such as Native Americans or Catholics) might have?
  • Does the program evaluate and treat people who also have other conditions such as depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or long-term pain disorders?
  • Are family members involved in the program? In what ways are they involved?

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: February 11, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Peter Monti PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health