Addiction Recovery Center
Do all addiction recovery centers have an ethical practice?
There are hundreds of addiction recovery centers around the country. Some of these are state-funded and others are private, offering a recovery service for what is often a significantly high payment. These centers promise to help people get on the path to recovery and get clean of the drugs or substances that have led to a problem. Regardless of where people live, they have a wide variety of choices, as centers have become a popular business option. The question to be considered is whether these centers are as effective as many claim to be, whether they offer an ethical service, and how can the patient looking to enter rehab choose the best center for them.
First of all, it is important to note that some centers have been involved in fraud investigations. There are several ways in which some addiction recovery centers have been involved.
There were cases of “patient brokering”. Centers have employed brokers, often people with addictions themselves, to recruit individuals off the street to enter into these centers, focusing more on people with insurance. The recruiters would receive a payment of several hundred dollars for getting a patient into the program.
What’s worse, the recruiters would provide the patients with drugs to ensure that the substances would show in the urine test done in the center. When the patients were in the center, however, they would not receive the best attention. Rather, patients would not have access to all the treatment that was needed, would experience a revolving door, and would be pushed to leave before treatment completion. Patients would also be offered money or incentives (like gadgets) to enter affiliated programs or would have people pay less for services if they committed to entering an affiliated program.
Some centers would send in “moles” who would enter other recovery centers as patients and attempt to get them to move to the other program. For centers practicing these types of recruitment, it would be more convenient to favor relapse, so recruiters could give drugs and induce relapses to get people to sign up for the program. There is record of this happening in Florida, and it is one situation that has unfortunately occurred in addiction recovery centers.
Another type of fraud is on “behalf” of the patient. Several addiction recovery centers have been caught falsifying results to change the patient’s progress in the treatment. These results would be sent to court if the person was there due to a criminal case. The patient would pay the providers to change the results of drug tests and the overall evaluation, so that the court would receive a more positive assessment.
These cases of fraud are a little more extreme and not that common. Most centers have not been implicated in fraudulent activity. However, there are other issues to watch out for when choosing a center.
One possibility to look out for is centers that use unsupported methods for treatment. Some centers offer treatment options that are based on cult practices or are unsupported and not used commonly. For instance, some centers promise a miracle solution for addiction that in reality involves an ineffectual practice. Usually, these centers might promise the ultimate, quick, or miracle solution for addiction that is based on certain teachings or the founder’s own developments. While some centers might be legitimate, any center that promises a guaranteed addiction solution should be viewed with suspicion. These centers often also are more expensive, so they trick the person into giving up more money for a treatment that doesn’t help. It’s better to stick with evidence-based treatments and practices, at least, as the main solution.
Another problem related to addiction recovery centers is that the effectiveness may vary. Many centers, especially those that are state-funded, tend to have limited resources and rely on a single method that may not fit every patient. Quality of care may vary significantly, as can the qualifications of the employed staff. Some facilities have a low number of staff that doesn’t manage to meet the needs of all the patients, as the patient-staff ratio becomes very low. This means that the staff’s time and energy is not enough for all the patients and is stretched thin. Sometimes, the centers may employ less qualified people too. Some centers, those with lower funding or with an interest in profit only, might have inadequate facilities that can’t house as many patients or allow patients to receive the service they need. For example, if housing is in one place and therapy in the other, a center may have difficulties ensuring transportation for all the patients to get there every day.
Another consideration is that even the best addiction recovery center is not the end-all solution. It is the first step for recovery, but not the last step, so the center can not guarantee life-long sobriety. It can offer the medical services needed to overcome withdrawal, coping tools, solutions to help the person get back on track, however, abstinence depends on the individual’s motivation to stay sober and their pursuit of continued support and treatment.
Having said all that, however, addiction recovery centers are still important. They should be chosen carefully, but they can provide a good option. Even if the care and treatment isn’t perfect, it’s still much better than no treatment. The patient needs to examine the options and make sure they are not entering a center that operates under false pretenses or with a low quality of care.
Here are some ideas to consider for someone looking for a good rehab center:
- Patients should not be paid or incentivized with money for entering the center. If someone is recruiting for the center and offering money or other rewards (especially if they are offering options to pass the drug test), the center is likely to have unethical practices.
- If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. There are no miracle cures for addiction, so any center promising this, especially if they charge a lot of money, should be regarded with suspicion.
- Centers should have adequate facilities and staffing. A center that appears to lack the basics or that offers a reality very different from the marketing prospects may not be the best solution.
- No rehab center can guarantee a 100% recovery rate due to the reality of addiction. Centers that guarantee recovery or assure that the people who enter will end up cured are not telling the truth.
- Centers should offer evidence-based practice as the main treatment. Things like meditation or spiritual practices are great to complement these evidence-based practices, but should not be the main focus of the treatment. Even if some centers offer older treatment options, these may still be effective. It’s a good idea to examine the treatment options offered by the center.
- It’s worth looking into both private and state-funded center options. Private centers tend to be more expensive, but offer a higher quality of care. State-funded centers usually target people who don’t have insurance or can’t afford a private center. Both options can be good and valid. State-funded center options are more likely to use evidence-based practice, but also tend to have fewer staff members and less funding. With private centers, there is a higher risk of running into an unethical practice, but the quality of care can be higher. The right choice depends on the patient’s situation.