how to chose the best addiction treatment center

If you or a loved one are looking for an addiction recovery guide to navigate the overwhelming and confusing information, step back and do to two things: 

  • Define the success you are seeking in recovery 
  • Find the most appropriate for you depending on the extent and nature of your problem.

The relapse statistics are high and would scare anyone trying to get help.

Lapsing to the substance use is not an indication of failure, this is an indication that the treatment used may not have been the right treatment and will need to be adjusted or changed to a different model.

Leading addiction treatment models

There are different models and each is significantly different from the other and choosing the right model will determine the success of the treatment. The are three main models in addiction treatment.

Medical model treatment, popularly referred to as the disease model. There is a big addition on the MAT(Medically assisted Treatment) which combines traditional therapy with medication. Some of the Cost for the treatment maybe covered by insurance

Therapeutic model. This will be mostly referred to as EBT or evidence based treatment. This includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Contingency Management. Depending on how endowed the facility is, they may use one of the above, a combination or all of them. In choosing a place to get help from, its important to find out if this is applied. Some of the Cost for the treatment maybe covered by insurance

Educational model. This is a newer model and does not apply any of the above even though it applies behavior modification. The Model has been popularized by groups like the Delancey foundation which was started in San Francisco in 1971. This model has gained its place in successful treatment. It also has a long term commitment than most treatment where the person has to commit to stay for minimum of 2 years. There is no cost to the individual and because of the entrepreneur nature of the model, the recovering person will be able to save while going through treatment. See more details on Delancey street.

The drug addiction cure promise

Irrespective of the model that you chose to address the individual need, the US National institute of drug abuse warns on any program that promises cure for the addiction. They maintain that addiction is a relapsing chronic disease. The relapse rates compare with other chronic diseases like heart problems, cancer and diabetes.

A word of caution while seeking help is to be diligence in educating yourself before choosing a treatment center. The addiction treatment is a billion-dollar industry. There is little regulation on the rehab centers and even though there few good for nothing addiction treatment programs a bad treatment center will be dangerous and worth avoiding at all costs.

Addiction treatment planning and expectations

Educating yourself on addiction and having a basic understanding of the individual needs and background of the user is a critical step in choosing a treatment program that is right for them.


Defining realistic success expectation is the most important step towards recovery. It prepares the addict and the family to prepare for any relapse that might happen.

Lifetime recovery should be the goal for anyone who seeks treatment, knowing that the condition will always require to be managed. There is no model, including the medically assisted treatment that will cure and make addiction disappear. This is part of the understanding of the addiction that most people fail to understand and keep getting disappointed or give up when the cure is not achieved and relapse happens.

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing your information. We’ve been looking for a treatment center for my cousin but we want to try something more therapeutic. You really explain everything well here which makes it easier to know what best for choosing a center. I’ll book mark this and show it to my sister. Thanks again.

  2. Wow! Once again, great information. Thanks for the education. I may be able to help someone out one day with the knowledge you provide here on your site.
    I would share your site with them for sure!


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