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Rehab: Find Treatment Now!

By Lucky Balaraman

At the beginning it is important to know that drug addiction can be conquered with rehab. It takes hope, determination and treatment by skilled specialists. It is a difficult task, akin to steadily climbing a hill with a heavy load, other physical hardships and constant fear. But the good news is that reaching the top of the hill is a 100% certainty!

Emergency Help

First and foremost, if at this moment you are in a state of crisis, call any of these numbers NOW for immediate help and guidance:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) (800) 662-HELP

National Institute on Drug Abuse Hotline (800) 662-4357

Cocaine Anonymous (800) 347-8998

National Help Line for substance abuse (800) 262-2463

Finding a Rehab Center

If you are not in a crisis situation, you should find a nearby quality rehab center by emailing or phoning the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities ("CARF"). Their email address is, their web address is; their telephone numbers and postal addresses are:

CARF International

4891 E. Grant Road

Tucson, AZ 85712 USA

(520) 325-1044 or toll-free (888) 281-6531 voice/TTY

(520) 318-1129 fax

CARF Canada

10665 Jasper Avenue, Suite 1400A

Edmonton, AB T5J 3S9 Canada

(780) 429-2538 voice

(780) 426-7274 fax


1730 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Suite 209

Washington, DC 20036 USA

(202) 587-5001 or toll-free (866) 888-1122 voice

(202) 587-5009 fax

In the unlikely event that CARF does not know of nearby rehab centers, go back to the emergency phone numbers and ask them for this information.

Types of Rehab Programs

Rehab programs are offered in many formats. They can be inpatient (long or short stay), outpatient or residential. The nature, severity and stage of the affliction usually determine which one is most suitable.

Rehab programs administered in licensed hospitals are always better than those administered at home because in a hospital all treatment must meet rigorous standards.

Evaluating a RehabCenter

The first step in evaluating a rehab center is to telephone them and inquire about their services. Here are some suggested questions:

What are the programs you have available?

How long have you been operating?

In which geographical area are you? Is there a bus stop or train station nearby?

What are your working hours and days?

Do your staff members speak my language? Are there bilingual staff members? If I'm deaf, do they know sign language?

How will your programs help solve my addiction problem?

Am I eligible for your programs?

Are the applicable programs covered by any funding agencies (like insurance, Medicare or Medicaid)?

What will I have to pay for myself?

Could you give me patient references so that I can ask them about their experience with you?

Do not consider centers whose answers were indifferent, rude, hazy, unsympathetic or poorly worded, and in this way arrive at a shortlist of centers. You will have to visit centers on the shortlist to further evaluate them, so keep the size of the shortlist within practical limits.

When you visit a center to check it out, here are the aspects you should consider (it is advisable to take a family member or close friend with you so that you will have more than your own opinion to consider when making your evaluation of the center):

Do the staff members treat patients with respect and compassion?

Do the staff members respect differences in culture?

Are the premises clean? Are the fittings in good repair?

Are there necessary facilities for patients such as adequate medical specialists, medical drugs and equipment?

Here are questions to ask of staff members in the center you are visiting:

What programs are available here?

Once I sign up, how long does it take to start?

Could I see a schedule of activities connected with my program?

How will the services be customized to my particular situation?

What type of residential accommodation do you have, if my program requires it?

What part will I play in configuring my program?

How can my family and dear ones be involved in the program?

What facilities do you provide for patient complaints and corresponding program correction?

Do you provide transportation if required?

Is personal nurse or orderly care available in case I am physically incapable of attending to basic needs?

Finally, address the issue of quality by asking these questions:

Could you show me examples of how your programs have succeeded?

Do you consult former patients when revising or expanding your programs?

How are you involved with your community?

What are the qualifications of your staff members?

Could I please see your accreditations?

Based on the answers, the most suitable center will most likely be self-evident, and you would have made a highly informed decision.


I hope and pray for your successful rehabilitation and again assure you that although your situation may seem hopeless now, your feelings are typical; there is hard data to prove you CAN resume a normal, happy life, and that is just what you are going to do.

Good luck, and may triumph soon be yours !

Copyright 2005 Lucky Balaraman

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