Yesterday I shared three of the six most important questions you should be asking when calling a rehab center. These are all important and should only take a few minutes to ask. If the center can’t answer the questions, then you should move on to the next one — without hesitation.
- What is the family program like? If it doesn’t exist, hang up the phone. With people coming from all over the country to Southern California rehabs, it’s easy to excuse the cost of a family program. But family involvement in critical to helping someone get sober. Ask if there is a family therapist. With today’s technology (ever heard of Skype?), there is no excuse for not having some sort of family involvement. Part of the family program is directing and encouraging the family to seek therapy or support themselves.
- What kind of follow up, after-care programs are offered? Most rehabs don’t have after-care because they aren’t interested in helping once the insurance money runs out. But a transparent, good rehab should have an ongoing aftercare program. I still lead an aftercare group at Alo Recovery Center on Tuesday nights that is open to the community and alumni. It was started about a month after Alo opened. Being in touch with alumni is important to helping them stay sober.
- What is the average length of stay? The answer to this one will tell you a lot about the motives of the facility. If the facility tells you that don’t know their average length of stay, they are lying. They know it to the exact hour. You want to see the percentage of people that are completing a 90-day program. When you have average length of stays in the 30 to 40 days range, it means that the insurance is dictating length of stay. When the insurance runs out, the addict either gets kicked out because the center isn’t making enough gross revenue or leaves because the quality of care is poor. Either way, short length of stay does not bode well for a treatment center.
Here’s a recap of the first three questions: How long has the facility been in operation? How many licensed professionals work full-time at the facility? What do they specialize in?
The thing that these six questions have in common is profit motivation. Unfortunately, the cost of doing business for rehab centers is very high. I understand this because I have been a part of several. So, when you put profit motivation on top of the high cost of doing business, you are constantly watching the bottom line. There is no two ways about it. Most rehab centers are in it for the money. But you will really scare a shitty treatment center by asking these questions. Take the time to get informed on these questions and the treatment center will know you know what’s up.