Drug rehabilitation referral can have slightly different meanings, depending on whether a person is doing or receiving the referral. A drug rehabilitation referral helps a person know which drug or alcohol center to use. A drug addict can be referred to a particular center by their insurance company, their employer, a therapist or doctor, a hospital, or other medical professional. A friend, family member, or coworker may also refer a person to a particular rehab center. There are also professional referral services that work with a person to find the best facility for his or her situation. In legal situations, a person may be court-ordered to a particular rehab facility.
When deciding whether to enter a facility or not, there are several important considerations and questions to ask to ensure it will be the best solution for the situation. However, for many people the most important questions center on the affordability and cost. This includes whether the facility accepts insurance, what the amount of the co-payment or payment is, and any other specifics that affect cost.
Statistics of Rehabilitation Referral
According to the latest data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), around 22 million Americans have a substance abuse or addiction problem. About 2.8 percent of the population meets the criteria for illicit drug dependence or abuse. The most common illicit drug abused is marijuana, with 1.7 percent of the population or 4.3 million people having a problem. The second highest abused illicit drug is prescription medication, with 2.5 million (1 percent) having a problem, and the largest problem is with pain relievers (2 million people abuse these drugs). Around 17 million people (6.8 percent) have a problem with alcohol, and almost 3 million people have a problem with both.
About 8 million people abusing illicit drugs need treatment, but only 1.5 million received it, which is 19 percent. For alcohol, the numbers are even worse. About 18 million people need treatment, but only 1.4 million received it, which is only 8.2 percent.
The majority of people who received treatment for illicit drug use (68.8 percent) underwent outpatient services at a rehabilitation center. About 57.9 went to a self-help group, 38.3 underwent treatment as an outpatient at a mental health center, 37.9 percent were an inpatient at a rehab facility, and 30 percent were an inpatient in a hospital. Other treatment services were in the emergency room, with a private doctor, or in prison and jail. The percentage breakdown was similar for those needing alcohol treatment.
Insurance referrals are the most important for some patients. Under the Affordable Healthcare Act, behavioral health services, including rehab, are one of the 10 required benefits for all insurance plans. The actual benefits differ depending on a person's plan. Typically, in order for an insurance to pay for the treatment services, a center must be in network. If a person has an HMO plan, they may need their primary care physical to prescribe the services and refer a person to a particular center. Then, the paperwork will have to go through the HMO referral system before a patient can begin services. In some cases, the insurance approval can be expedited to get the treatment started right away.
How to Find the Right Treatment Center
When a person suffers from drug or alcohol addiction, it can be difficult to maneuver through the research to try to find the right location. Friends and family members often take on the responsibility of searching for a center, based on the recommendations from doctors, friends, family, insurance companies, and other referral sources. However, it can be difficult to know how to find the right treatment center for the situation. There is a list of questions and considerations that can help a person narrow down the search. Some of these questions are just to be considered by the family and addict, while others need to be asked of the potential facility. These questions can help discover the right facility for the situation.
There are many referral services available that provide assistance in finding the right treatment center. These professionals have already performed much of the research for the addict and his or her family. The staff members know the right questions to ask to adequately assess the situation and discover the right program fit. Although they have significant experience connecting addicts with facilities, it always helps to be prepared with a list of questions and some basic knowledge to ensure that their assessment and judgment is sound.
Type of Facility
When it comes time for a referral, one of the most important issues upon which to decide is the level of treatment needed. There are several types of treatment facilities, including hospitalization, partial hospitalization, residential, and intensive outpatient programs. Insurance coverage may play a role in the type of service, but the most important decision should be based on the need of the person.
Hospitalization is the most intensive setting, as this takes place in a hospital. Some hospitals only offer detox services, rather than the associated treatment options such as psychotherapy and education on coping mechanisms. Partial hospitalization includes intensive treatment during the day, but the person will continue to reside at his or her home. Residential rehab facilities provide 24/7 care for a person in a dedicated rehab facility rather than a hospital. The person will undergo intensive program all day, and then sleep in special facilities under the care of a house manager or similar person. Intensive outpatient programs provide intensive treatment services for between ten and fifteen hours a week. A person lives at home and can continue working while attending the programming the evening. Some people go through a step down progression, beginning at the most intensive form of treatment and working their way down through the other levels of care until they are ready to be on their own.
The initial form of treatment will depend on many factors, including the intensity of the problem, the length of use, the drug or substance of choice, and the insurance coverage and affordability of the programs. If a person is unsure the best level of care, it is best to discuss it with a medial or behavioral health professional.
What are the Different Types of Services Offered?
Another important factor to consider when searching through the different treatment facilities is the types of services offered. A good rehab center will offer a variety of services that complement one another and enrich the overall treatment process. Some facilities will offer detox as well as the treatment programs, while others will refer a patient to a detox facility for the withdrawal process and then enroll the person once the detox is complete.
One of the most important services a center should offer is psychotherapy. People with drug and alcohol problems often have underlying or co-occurring mental or emotional problems. Substance abuse has a high comorbiity rate with mental health conditions, especially anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and eating disorders. In order to overcome the condition, a person must have concurrent treatment. However, even if a person does not meet the diagnostic criteria for a mental illness, there are often underlying issues needing to be addressed in order to facilitate a full recovery.
Treatment programs will also provide support for learning healthy coping mechanisms, stress relief techniques, and ways to manage cravings. Before deciding upon a facility, a person should ask about the treatment modalities used to ensure the person will have sufficient care.
Some facilities offer specialized services, such as dual diagnosis, female-only, special support for GLBT, spiritual guidance, and more. These centers are perfect for those who require a particular specialized service to help facilitate their treatment. For example, a woman who has undergone certain sexual trauma will not want to go through treatment with men. A person struggling through sexuality issues that triggered an addiction might need additional support to reconcile these issues. A person with a strong spiritual belief might benefit from a treatment program associated with that belief. A person suffering from a mental health condition requires dual diagnosis treatment, or treatment for both conditions concurrently.
When searching for the right facility, it is important to have these ideas in mind to ensure it will handle these special situations, when applicable. It might also be helpful to know if a facility has any restrictions to patients. For examples, some facilities are unable to assist patients with eating disorders, schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts, violent behavior, or other problems.
Additionally, some facilities provide holistic and alternative complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, art therapy, equine therapy, music therapy, yoga, meditation, nutrition education, and exercise opportunities to provide a well balanced treatment approach. These programs provide lifestyle education for healthy changes that can support the treatment program and help a person remain in recovery longer. Some facilities also offer family support, either special programs or counseling services. These programs help to rebuild relationships damaged by the drugs or alcohol.
Asking about the variety and types of programs provides a better idea of what the treatment will look like, and whether it seems like a good fit for the situation. Asking for a daily schedule can also help to learn about the day-to-day life of the program.
Studies have shown that people who enter an aftercare program after leaving a drug rehab have a reduced risk for relapse. These programs offer continued education and support during the early days of recovery and the difficult transition back home. Many facilities offer an aftercare program as part of their services.
Support group meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, provide important support for people once they have finished rehab. These groups provide a group of people that have gone through a similar experience and can provide advice, and they also offer a safe space free of judgment in which to discuss the problem. Many treatment programs include support group meetings as part of the process in order to help a person get used to the routine so they will continue the habit once they leave. If a person feels that support groups will play a role in his or her treatment, he will want a facility that offers this service.
Sober living facilities provide a transitional living situation. They have less rules and guidance than a residential rehab facility, but they still offer structure and support. Recovering addicts live together in the home, sometimes with another person monitoring them. The residence does not have many rules and restrictions, except that no addictive substances are allowed in the home. The residents are expected to go about their daily life, go to work or school, but live in the home with the additional support of others to help them transition successfully back to their regular lives.
Learning more about the staff members and their background can help a person decide whether a facility is a good fit for the situation. Having staff members with expertise in a variety of disciplines can ensure that regardless of the condition, the person will find the right help. This is especially important if a person requires dual diagnosis treatment. If a potential patient knows the specific condition for which he or she needs help, then it would benefit him or her to find a facility with an expert in that condition.
Many staff member profiles are available online, and will include their education and qualifications. In the behavioral health community, there are a few different levels of degrees a therapist might hold. Psychologists will have a doctorate of philosophy (PhD) in psychology, a doctorate of psychology (PsyD), or a doctorate of marriage and family therapy (DMFT). Some facilities may have master level psychologists as well.
Many facilities work with certified drug counselors and psychologists. Some facilities also have medical staff on site, including a doctor, psychiatrist, nurses, and other medical professionals. If a person is undergoing detox and/or has a pre-existing medical condition, then it would be important that there is medical staff on site.
Other professionals on staff could include nutritionists, yoga instructors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and more. Some of these areas require practitioners to have certifications or other documentation showing they meet the requirements for that field.
Certifications and Licenses
The staff members are not the only ones who should have their certifications up to date; the facility should also be licensed and registered by the state or other overriding body of government. They could also be accredited, which means they go above and beyond the standard requirements. The best accreditation is by the Joint Commission, which means a facility meets the highest standards for patient safety and care. License and accreditation ensures compliance and patient protection.
Location of Services
One of the first questions a person must ask when choosing the right rehab facility is the location. There are quality rehab facilities around the country in a variety of locations. There are two main questions about location a person needs to consider: close to home or far away and city or country.
Going to rehab near home and far away both have their benefits. Some people cannot afford the transportation costs of going to rehab far away. Many people also only can afford to do intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization programs, rather than staying overnight somewhere. In these instances, a person will have to remain at home while undergoing treatment, so they will want a facility nearby.
A facility nearby provides many benefits, but the most important is that it can help a person receive treatment while they are still near their regular life. They do not feel apart from everything, so they can more readily use the coping mechanisms and stress techniques they learn while still in a safe environment. This also provides an opportunity for a continuum of care, especially if the therapists at the facility also offer private therapy. Although going to rehab close to home can be beneficial, some people have a better experience undergoing treatment further away.
For some people, getting away from their normal environment allows them to better engage in therapy and the other elements of treatment to overcome their problems. By being in a residential facility far away from home, they are cut off from any enabling friends and family, they do not have the temptation to return to their own life, and they are not surrounded by or reminded of the stressors that triggered the addiction. This allows them to really focus on the treatment. This also benefits people who feel ashamed and do not want anyone to know about their rehab stay, especially if they work closely with the behavioral health community.
There are also compromises between the two. For example, a person can gain the benefits of both locations by going to a facility just a few hours away. Their friends or family members can come to any family counseling sessions or family programs, but the person will still be isolated from any potentially triggering events.
Many facilities are located in picturesque locations surrounded by nature, such as in the mountains, country, near the ocean, or the serene desert. The most rehab centers in one general location are in southern California and Florida, due to the sunshine and beachscapes. Studies have shown that natural surroundings and sunshine can boost a person's mood, which facilitates the treatment program. Being away from the city and surrounded by nature provides a calm, tranquil atmosphere in which to work on a person's inner issues. Therefore, many people find the best treatment options to be in centers located in rural environments, close to nature.
There are also options available in the city, including large cities such as New York or Los Angeles. It is not just the free government run facilities in the inner cities; many luxury facilities also have a facility in the city. These provide busy working professionals to undergo intensive outpatient treatment close to home. Additionally, they provide an atmosphere that is busy and stressful, similar to the lifestyle with which many people live. This allows a person to work through their issues in an environment much closer to their regular life. Additionally, some people actually relax better in a city, rather than a country.
Some locations also exist in suburban areas, providing a compromise between natural surrounding and a bustling city life. A person has to decide which environment will provide the best atmosphere for him or her to work on overcoming his or her addiction.
Referral Services for Professionals
Professionals do not always know where to send their patients when they cannot provide the services necessary. This might be a primary care physician with a client in need of rehab, a detox center with a patient needing treatment services beyond detox, a psychiatrist with a patient needing residential treatment, or a facility with a patient who needs more care than they can provide. Many rehab facilities have people on staff to work specifically with other medical and behavioral health professionals to assist with the referral process. They understand the need for a community of people working together to ensure the patients receive a continuum of care, and receive the right treatment for their problem. Many of these facilities will work closely with the referring physicians or psychologists to ensure a continuum of care, including discharge planning if the patient is returning to their care after the treatment program.
Some companies have an employee assistant program. This is either in addition to or instead of an insurance plan. For healthcare services, including rehab treatment, the company pays for a particular amount of the cost, as long as the employee goes to facilities chosen by the employers. Some employers will have a relationship with certain residential rehab facilities, making it easy for employees to enter the program. Many residential rehabs will work closely with the employee programs to help make the process easier for everyone involved.