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 counsellors, registered nurses, social work, massage therapists, acupuncturists etc. Rule of thumb being the more disciplines involved, the more comprehensive the care will be.

How much therapy will I receive? – Determine how much individual time is spent with qualified counsellors in advance. Many centres don’t have a structured program that designates specific times allotted for individual therapy.

Have there been studies to measure the effectiveness of the program’s addiction treatment methods? – A treatment centre 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-counsellor ratio? – It is important to maintain a client-to-counsellor 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. Medically supervised detoxification by appropriate staff 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 co-occurring conditions? – Many people enter treatment with pre-existing medical conditions. It is common for people to have underlying mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD etc. Ask if staff at the facility are qualified to assess and manage such illnesses. 

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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