What credentials does the program’s clinical staff hold, and how much education was needed to acquire those credentials? – Credentials and licenses ensure that the person providing treatment meets nationally recognized standards for professional practice. It is important to know that some credentials can be obtaining by just doing an online course, so ask how long it took staff to acquire their credentials and what was involved.

Is the clinical staff part of a multi-disciplinary team? – Most multi-disciplinary teams consist of many different clinical backgrounds such as physicians, professional counselors, registered nurses, social work, massage therapists, acupuncturists etc. Rule of thumb being the more disciplines involved, the more comprehensive the care will be.

Does the Centre have established policies and procedures to ensure consistent and successful application of the program components? – It is important to identify if a Centre has a system in place to address any circumstances that may come up. Without policies and procedures in place staff are left without direction which can cause confusion, inconsistency and conflict.

Have there been studies to measure the effectiveness of the program’s addiction treatment methods? – A treatment center should be measuring how effective their services are by using research-based methods as well as keeping statistics and using program evaluation tools.

What is the client-to-counselor ratio? – It is important to maintain a client-to-counselor ratio that helps ensure people receive the personalized care and attention required to effectively address their addictions and other related areas of concern.

Is medical detoxification (“detox”) offered as a part of inpatient treatment? – Some detoxing can be extremely dangerous without the appropriate management. Comprehensive, medically supervised detoxification ensures that people are medically stabilized before beginning the multi-dimensional treatment process.

Does the program offer an individualized addiction treatment program? – Each person’s needs are unique and require an individualized treatment plan based on specific history, issues and needs. One single approach will not work for every person.

What type of help is available for families? – Ensure there are programs provided to families as part of regular programming. Understanding the recovery process not only helps families heal, but is also important for building a healthy support system for those in early recovery.

Do you address any medical needs? – Aside from detox, many people enter treatment with pre-existing medical conditions. Ask if there is access to a physician on site. Many Centres take clients to walk-in clinics that can be uncomfortable for the client and encounter long wait lists.

Is there ongoing support after leaving treatment? – Treatment by itself is not enough to sustain recovery for most people. An aftercare program that maintains on-going contact from the Centre and includes participation in some type of program (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) or other groups is crucial. A good treatment program will actively help the client move into the next appropriate level of care.

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