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Your Loved One Needs Addiction Treatment. How to Vet Quality Rehabs and Addiction Treatment Programs

Although it’s difficult to figure out exact numbers, the thought process is that in the United States over 24 million people deal with addiction and meet criteria for needing treatment for a substance use disorder. Of that number of people in need of help, only about 10% receive services or access treatment.  There is certainly a great need for addiction treatment services taking place in the United States due to the opioid crisis and overall addiction epidemic impacting American society. And of those individuals and families that do seek help for addiction through treatment, many if not most seek out help during a crisis, due to the secrecy, shame and stigma of addiction. This creates an incredible opportunity for shady operators and unethical practices to occur, as those out for a quick buck prey on the individuals and families in crisis that are unsuspecting and trusting, uneducated to what help they are seeking out and unfortunately ripe to be taken advantage of and exploited.

Patient brokering, enticements, bait and switch tactics, overbilling of insurance, double billing for services, outrageous bills to insurance and families for toxicology services. All these are examples of unethical, immoral or illegal practices that take place in addiction treatment. However, this is another example that many people don’t often think about or doesn’t garner as many media headlines as the other: Low quality treatment services. There are many operators in the addiction treatment space who, while may not be engaging in the most egregious business practices, simply are not putting out a quality product in terms of the treatment services they are offering.

So how does a mother, a father, a spouse, a loved one or an individual seeking treatment themselves vet a treatment program? How to do they know they are finding a high quality, clinically-appropriate rehab that will meet the clinical needs of the individual suffering from addiction or co-occurring disorders? Unfortunately, there is no fool proof way. However, here is some information to consider when searching for a facility and also some important questions to ask in order to gather information from a potential treatment center you are considering sending your loved one to:

Again, this is not a full proof way of making sure that a treatment center you are considering caring for your loved one is operating above board at the highest quality of standards and practices. Many unethical addiction treatment operators take great lengths to hide from public view how they are operating. However, these questions will go a long way in helping you to determine the level of quality a rehab is providing. Although clearly not an apples-to-apples comparison, think of this analogy: Instead of addiction, let’s say your loved one was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. How would you handle that situation? You are not a doctor or an expert on cancer treatment, but you would take great steps to understand everything that went into your loved one’s treatment and care. If you living in Atlanta, Georgia and you were considering Johns Hopkins as the treatment provider your loved one would be going to for their cancer treatment, what would you do? You would go with your loved one, tour the hospital, meet the specialists, ask a million questions about the diagnosis, the treatment and the follow-up care. You would ask why the doctors were recommending the course of treatment they were recommending and they would take the time to explain to you why this course of treatment was going to set up your loved one with the best chance to not only overcome cancer and be cancer free but also set them up for long-term success and quality of life. You would go see, touch, smell the facility and make sure you had a comfort level with the doctors who were treating your loved one as well as the recommended treatment. Addiction care is no different, which is why we need to stop and breath, research, not make life-saving treatment decisions in a crisis based on a Google search, a quick visit to a web site and a single phone call. Addiction is a life-threatening disease and the more families and loved ones research and ask the right questions, the more their loved ones will get to the most clinically-appropriate rehab that will meet their needs, treat their illness and set them up for long-term, sustainable recovery, and quality of life.

If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at

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