When looking into addiction treatment centers, people frequently wonder what does and does not contribute to a quality addiction rehab experience. Anyone who has called two or more drug addiction treatment centers is all too familiar with this experience. Every time an addiction rehab center’s representative gives you a pitch, they point out a handful of things that makes their program stand out. Some of these elements really matter, like group sizes, the qualifications of the addiction therapists and addiction medicine providers. Others are red herrings, like access to massages or an onsite chef, which no research suggests contributes to successful recovery from addiction with or without co-occurring mental health disorders. Well, one thing you’ve probably never heard an addiction treatment center’s representative promote, is the value of a program design implemented by the drug rehab’s founding team.
Frequently, addiction treatment centers are founded by people whose qualifications consist of having found personal success with addiction recovery and feel a desire to share what they knew worked for them with others. Though a noble exercise for sure, unless every person that enters such a facility has the same exact needs as the founders, the benefits are limited and the detriments are potentially profound. Similarly, drug treatment centers that are founded by corporation-backed business-people looking to turn a profit, then even if they utilize evidence-based practices that can work for more people, their lack of knowledge about addiction recovery mixed with their desire to increase profit margin, will invariably lead to a strict system that lacks the flexibility and human-element that’s necessary for persons in addiction recovery.
At CMAR, we do have founders who share multiple decades of addiction recovery experience, however, they also share multiple Master’s degrees in clinical social work, social work policy & psychology. One has experience designing and developing successful evidence-based addiction treatment centers, and the other has spent years providing therapy as a dually licensed addiction treatment expert and implementing evidence-based clinical programming to a variety of patient populations. So, why does this matter? It matters because they use their expertise and wealth of experience and knowledge to develop programming, hire staff, manage departments, and consistently monitor, analyze and improve their organizational systems. They understand patient-centered addiction treatment, how to properly implement co-occurring mental health and addiction treatment, and how to run the operation ethically using purely evidenced practices. They understand how to manage employees in a way that models what they seek their staff to model to patients, how to implement family programming into a patient-driven program, how to combine medical, clinical & case management services to an outpatient treatment center, and so much more. CMAR’s success is owed to its staff, but without the design of CMAR’s founders, we wouldn’t have such an effective system for that staff to implement…
So, when you’re considering treatment, of course, it’s critical that you feel that the drug treatment program you’re considering is trustworthy, really listens to and understands your needs (or your loved one’s), that they employ fully licensed treatment providers that specialize in whatever they provide (addiction for addiction treatment staff, mental-health for mental-health treatment staff, family therapy for family therapy staff, etc.) and that they utilize evidence-based practices.