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Are All Drug Treatment Centers the Same?

The short answer, no.

The number of treatment options available for those with a substance use disorder has never been higher. In the United States alone, there are currently over 14,000 drug treatment centers. For those looking to enter into one of these programs, this can be a really intimidating task.

What most commonly refer to as a drug treatment center falls into several categories. It can be a detox, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), or an outpatient program (OP). Additionally, many sober homes or transitional living programs are included in aftercare for drug treatment centers.

Most drug treatment centers offer many of the same services, however, not all programs are created equal. What’s important to look for is the differences. Those differences can be types of therapies, types of activities, food, amenities, staff to client ratio, accreditations, and certifications. Here is a list of a few things to look out for when trying to find the best choice for you or a loved one:

  • Therapy – What types of therapies do they offer?

Make sure whatever therapies are available offer a good mix for your individual needs. If you’ve had a positive experience with a specific type of therapy before, look to see if that’s available.


  • Activities – What types of activities are available?

Some drug treatment centers have full gyms and recreational outings while others don’t even let you out of the building. If you’re an active person or interested in making fitness a part your recovery, make sure you have options.


  • Amenities – What amenities can I expect during my stay?

Amenities are an important consideration when choosing a center. Some places make you feel like you’re camping on a budget while other drug treatment centers have private chefs. Housing, nutritional programs, cleanliness, personal touches, and small day to day comforts can make the difference between a good experience and great one.


  • Staff and Accreditations – Who can I talk to when I need help? How do I know they’re qualified?

The more staff and the better educated, trained and experienced they are, the more you will get out of your days in treatment. Most centers are only licensed, which is the bare minimum. Royal Life Centers at Chapter 5 holds top accreditations from national accrediting bodies, our hours of operation are 24/7, and we hire the most qualified nurses, doctors, and ARNPs. Truly qualified drug treatment centers have accreditations and certifications from nationally recognized institutions which translates to better quality services for you.


  • Facility – Is the facility modern and updated or not so good?

Showing up to a facility only to find out the pictures in their brochure are from a fancy hotel can be upsetting to say the least. Make sure when you call the facility you ask any questions you have about their buildings and furnishings. Hop on the internet and search for their website to see if they have any recent pictures of their drug treatment center posted. If possible, ask friends who have been there how they liked it and their experience.

With thousands of treatment centers in America, there is definitely one that meets your needs. You may find you want to detox and do inpatient at one facility and then transfer to another for more extended treatment. Regardless of where you choose, find a drug treatment center that will individualize your treatment, meet your needs, and is affordable for you.

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