Making the decision to find a drug and alcohol treatment center isn’t easy. However, taking this step means the road to recovery can begin and you can get control over your life. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. There are many substance abuse counselors out there than help you every step of the way.

That being said, choosing the right treatment center and substance abuse counselor can be difficult. You need to find one that aligns with your goals and values while delivering the best possible care. Before you decide on one, consider the following factors.

Here are some initial questions that you can ask a substance abuse counselor:

  • What are their credentials?
    This is an obvious, but important question. You need to know if the people in charge of your therapy are licensed and experienced. Look for someone with an MA or higher and is a licensed addiction counselor. The best drug rehabs list impressive credentials like LADC (licensed alcohol and drug counselor), CCDP (certified co-occurring disorders counselor), CAP (certified addiction professional), CAC (certified addictions counselor) LPC (licensed professional counselor), LCSW (licensed clinical social worker) and LAC (Licensed Associate Counselor). Plus does their treatment center have a physician and psychiatrist on staff?


  • What is their treatment approach?
    Many drug and alcohol treatment centers tailor plans based on an individual’s needs. A lot of these plans involve the 12-Step approach, a widely used method. However, you may or may not want a center that uses that plan. A great facility will use a multidisciplinary approach that may include relapse prevention, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, art therapy, yoga, psychodrama, and more. These centers should also have verified data on hand to show the long-term effectiveness for provided treatments. Knowing this information puts more power into your hands toward making the best decision.


  • What is their experience working with families?
    Unfortunately, addiction affects everyone in the family. Understanding the drug-recovery process helps families heal while building a strong support system for you. Treatment facilities should provide education, guidance, and support programs for family members of all ages. Even children should have access to counseling that show them how to cope with the challenges of drug and alcohol addiction.


  • Do they drug test and send the results to a lab?
    Many rehab centers make random drug testing a routine part of their programs. Outpatient rehabs place more emphasis on this to ensure participants stay clean despite being exposed to triggers and drugs in the outside world. Since testing might be a crucial part of care, it’s important for counselors to position it as a positive tool in a patient’s journey. These tests will make sure that you can get help needed as soon as possible. They also enhance accountability while maintaining a safe treatment facility, all with the goal of making progress.Also how often do they send results to a lab? Any more frequently than two times a week might be a red flag for excessive expense.


  • What are their payment options?
    Ask if they submit insurance claims for you or if you have to pay cash and submit the claims yourself. Great rehab facilities will make care accessible and affordable in an insurance-friendly environment. This means that they should accept most insurances and will work with companies to find the right payment options for your budget.


Doing your homework and diligence while searching for the right substance-abuse counselor is key. With so many extensive options, it’s easy to get lost in the details. However, when you’re armed with the right questions, you’ll be set up for success. This is your time for a fresh start, so it’s important to choose a treatment center that will be by your side throughout the entire journey.

If you have any questions or want to get started on the path to sobriety, please call us at Center For Healing 888–500–9279.

Erica Franco Mortimer, MA, LPC, LCADC
Founder and CEO
Center for Healing
Evan Berk Erica is a licensed therapist with over twenty-years experience in mental health. Erica offers practical and straight forward advice to those struggling with addiction and their families. Having deep insight and understanding of addiction, Erica is able to offer guidance to those looking to regain control of their lives.

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