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Questions About Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Topic 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.

About the staff

  • Are the counselors certified chemical dependency counselors (CDC)? Counselors who are certified have special training in counseling people with substance abuse.
  • 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 abuse problems.

About the program

  • 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?

Other questions

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
Last Revised January 18, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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