What are the six important things to look for in effective treatment centers for substance use disorder? If you or a loved one struggles with a substance use problem, it\u2019s difficult to think straight, let alone make a big decision like finding the right treatment program.\u00a0 What does it look like to face such a big decision like treatment? Meet Tamika Tamika is tired, and that\u2019s an understatement. She\u2019s been dealing with her 18-year-old daughter\u2019s problem with drugs for the past two years. Last week, her daughter nearly died after overdosing on a combination of Xanax and fentanyl.\u00a0 Now, as she tries to digest the situation\u2019s heavy reality and take care of her other two children, Tamika must sort out insurance and narrow down the best addiction treatment program. Tamika is a single mom with little emotional or financial support. Her ex-husband, someone with an untreated substance use disorder, isn\u2019t in the picture. He was physically abusive to Tamika during their marriage, something the children witnessed. Tamika is overworked, exhausted and short on money. Finding an effective treatment center Fortunately, the courts intervened to force Tamika\u2019s adult-age daughter to participate in an inpatient substance use disorder treatment program. Otherwise, she probably wouldn\u2019t go. Deciding on an addiction treatment center for yourself or a loved one is a big life decision, and you want the choice to count. The Ranch Pennsylvania, is here to help you narrow down your choices by providing some easy-to-follow guidelines. Let\u2019s help Tamika make the right choice around an effective addiction treatment program. Priority 1 for effective treatment : Basic standards of care Is the program nationally accredited? Do they follow the standards set by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) or the Joint Commission? If not, keep looking. Accredited addiction treatment programs have passed evaluations that require a specific baseline level of patient care. You want to find a treatment program that meets or exceeds these standards. There are some easy boxes to tick off when it comes to the essential treatment program criteria. The easiest is accreditation. For more information about accreditation, visit the CARF website. Priority 2: Find an appropriate program for the substance Because Tamika\u2019s daughter mainly abuses opiates, the appropriate recovery program will include a specific treatment plan for opiate use disorder. The program will begin with opiate detoxification. In Tamika\u2019s case, her daughter will have started detox in her local hospital after the overdose. Still, transferring her to another facility requires a knowledgeable, experienced staff waiting to pick up where the local hospital left things. Quitting opiates should not be done without the care of a specialized team of treatment professionals. Choosing anything less could be fatal for Tamika\u2019s daughter. Opiate withdrawal is a serious undertaking. Because opiates cause physical addiction, detoxification means the body\u2019s nervous system must recover. Symptoms include excessive sweating, trouble sleeping, nausea, anxiety, body aches and more. Safely detoxing in the right environment with a team of medical and addiction treatment professionals is an absolute\u2014and another easy box to check.\u00a0 Make sure the program has a component for the specific drug problem. For example, alcohol addiction, opiate addiction and meth addiction all look a little different in terms of detox and treatment. Priority 3: Caring staff Recovery from any substance use disorder is a challenge. Most people in recovery find it the most challenging time in their lives. Make certain the staff at the inpatient substance use recovery program is caring.\u00a0 The last thing anyone needs as they try to navigate the world without the help of a substance is the shaming or insensitivity of the people around them.\u00a0 Addiction is a disease. No one sets out to harm themselves or loved ones. Recovery isn\u2019t a matter of willpower. Read this 2017 University of Michigan article, \u201cScience Says: Addiction Is a Chronic Disease, Not a Moral Failing,\u201d by Jillian Hardee, Ph.D., for more information. The staff of a decent treatment program will approach patients with kindness, compassion, and support. Tamika should feel she has gained a team of caring friends when she talks to staff about her daughter's situation. Both Tamika and her daughter must feel safe to heal. Primary therapists, nurses, resident assistants and treatment alumni specialists must all work diligently to create a safe space for healing to take place. Look for caring staff. Priority 4: Age and family considerations Tamika\u2019s daughter is only 18. Tamika needs a program giving her daughter the very best chance at long-term recovery. A program with addiction recovery professionals experienced with adolescents and young adults will be the most effective. Tamika will need support and education as her family moves forward.\u00a0 Look for a program with a substantial family element. Meaning, Tamika, and maybe even her younger children, will also learn about addiction. Everyone will get a beginning course on the recovery process. Family members should feel a part of the recovery process; this is especially true if Tamika\u2019s daughter plans on moving home at some point. Without the proper support, everyone in the family is vulnerable to falling back into old patterns. Family members need a recovery plan too. Tamika, especially as a single mom, will likely need counseling and outside support from other individuals in similar situations. Whether she gets this support through a 12-step program like Al-Anon or group therapy doesn\u2019t matter. What\u2019s important is that she knows where to find the help when she needs it. Plus, because of Tamika\u2019s adolescence, having other similarly-aged individuals around, who are also recovering from opiate use disorder, will allow Tamika\u2019s daughter to build a meaningful support team.\u00a0 If Tamika\u2019s daughter is placed in a recovery group with other recovering individuals all over the age of 50 years old, for example, she may not connect as well. Similarly, an addiction recovery professional who has only worked with an older population likely won\u2019t have the best approach. One end-goal of treatment is to give the recovering person a strong foundation of support as they move back out into the world. While she doesn\u2019t need to be entirely surrounded by adolescents, her age should factor into her care and patients\u2019 group. Priority 5: Interests and self-care for effective treatment Yes, looking at the yoga classes available for Tamika\u2019s daughter may seem like unnecessary criteria, given she nearly died. However, the nature of inpatient treatment means Tamika\u2019s daughter will gradually feel stronger. As she gets her strength back, having healthy hobbies and a means of self-care will play a big part in her recovery.\u00a0 In this case, anxiety played a part. Tamika\u2019s daughter often used substances to mask feelings of anxiety and panic attacks. When someone has been lost in the use of any drug, life gets turned upside down. Tamika\u2019s daughter is likely filled with plenty of self-loathing for her past behavior. A healthy lifestyle includes a turn away from this self-abuse with healthier, constructive activities like yoga, walking, meditating, and more.\u00a0 A solid addiction treatment recovery program will include activities like art therapy, exercise and mindfulness instruction. In this way, Tamika\u2019s daughter gets to try out her new coping mechanisms in a safe environment.\u00a0 Hopefully, some of this activity will provide relief and give her the confidence to continue after treatment. Learn more about the role exercise plays in addiction recovery in the article, \u201cGroup Exercise to Improve Quality of Life in Addiction Patients,\u201d published by Recovery Research Institute.\u00a0 Priority 6: Individualized care and aftercare plan Recovery from a substance use disorder is a chronic, lifelong condition. And, everyone\u2019s recovery looks a little different with different necessary ingredients for success. For Tamika\u2019s daughter, she needs an accredited program with a caring staff. The program must have a specific opiate use recovery program with experienced medical professionals managing detoxification. The staff should also have some experience working with adolescents. A program with some extra attention to family members and self-care activities is necessary for Tamika\u2019s family to have the best odds.\u00a0 There are other factors, though, which must be individualized to set up success.\u00a0 For instance, Tamika\u2019s daughter has a history of self-harm. Plus, Tamika\u2019s ex-husband was physically abusive to Tamika and still has an untreated substance use disorder himself. These issues play a big part in Tamika\u2019s current family issues.\u00a0 Tamika\u2019s daughter learns in treatment how to safely explore the feelings she has around the childhood trauma she experienced. Her individualized plan includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to work past some negative patterns of thinking Tamika\u2019s daughter carries about herself.\u00a0 For information on the recovery of trauma and substance use disorders, read \u201cPTSD and addiction: an integrated treatment approach,\u201d published by the Recovery Research Institute.\u00a0 Her doctors and addiction recovery therapist suggest daily meditation to ease some of the anxious thoughts, which used to lead to self-harm. This tailored plan isn\u2019t set in stone. Adjustments are made during treatment, depending on what works and what doesn\u2019t.\u00a0 A successful in-treatment plan helps with the creation of a solid aftercare plan. In aftercare, Tamika\u2019s daughter attends group therapy with other young women in addiction recovery. She also attends weekly individualized therapy sessions to deal with some past pain around her dad\u2019s abandonment. Non-addictive anxiety-reducing medication is also prescribed. If you\u2019re looking for an addiction treatment recovery program for yourself or a loved one, don\u2019t hesitate to ask for help. Ask questions, explore what\u2019s available. Give yourself plenty of self-love for taking these hard steps.\u00a0 At The Ranch Pennsylvania, we want you to have the best treatment experience possible and teach you the tools to live a healthy life afterward. We can help. Call us today at 717.969.9126.