We built this non-profit organization to help people like you. Its really pretty simple. I have a son who has been to 12 treatment centers. Yes, that’s right, 12 treatment Centers! It took a year and a half, over 20 airline tickets, hours on the phone, the depletion of Coles’ college fund, a second mortgage on our home, and almost a complete loss of hope to find a place that could actually help Cole. Now I am not telling you this to scare you. I am telling you this so that you can avoid making the same mistakes that I made when trying to help Cole. I consider myself a pretty smart women. I pride myself on being good at researching and finding anything I need on Google. That is where our problem began. There are many things that my husband and I learned along the way that could have saved thousands of dollars and lots of heart ache.
Here is what we know now.
1. The best treatment facilities are not necessarily the ones that have the money to spend on becoming first on google. The drug treatment industry is highly predatorial. Like most industries, where there is money to be made, the wrong people driven by financial gain rather then a drive to help others begin to get involved. These companies spend up to 100k a month to appear first on Google. Beware of places that appear to be hiding behind pictures of nice rooms, beautiful photographs and fancy accomodations.
2. Many treatment industry professionals consider 90% failure rate to be acceptable but won’t tell you this until your son has failed at their center. Many places will out right lie to you on the phone if you ask them what their success rate is. We had many places that we called tell us that everyone of their clients gets sober and stays sober forever. At the time my husband and I were acting out of fear and would have believed whatever was told that would have given us hope. Understand that most treatment centers have a 10% success rate with their clients and most treatment centers consider this to be acceptable. You want to avoid these places at all costs. The drug and alcohol treatment industry is rampant with professionals who act as though treating addiction is a lost cause and that there job is merely to maintain a revolving door. These were perhaps the most difficult lessons to learn for us as they reeked havoc on our emotions and hope that Cole would ever get well.
3. The Good News: there are good treatment centers out there They are few and far between, but thy are definitely good centers out there. They are just hard to find. Good treatment centers are primarily fueled by referrals not by add campaigns. Most of these rehabs don’t need to advertise much or simply don’t use their money to be visible on Google. These places are usually small, with a low patient to staff ratio, and generally have a very clear approach to helping their clients.
4. If you don’t have an out of network health insurance policy, get one! If you have a PPO insurance policy your child can go to almost any treatment center in the country with little to no cost to you. Basically, if you can afford the slightly higher premium every month you will save thousands on out of pocket expenses for your child. This is probably the single most important lesson that we learned. Unfortunately this came after we got a second mortgage on our house. We had spent $56,000.00 on Coles treatment before our yearly insurance renewal came up. It was by accident that I decided to ask our group insurance provider about plans that would cover substance abuse. Our rep told us that we should go with an “out of network” policy. We did, and it cost us an extra 140.00 per month but was well worth it. That policy ended up paying out $150,000.00 for Coles treatment and literally saved us from going bankrupt. GET THE BEST HEALTH INSURANCE YOU CAN… AND MAKE SURE IT HAS OUT OF NETWORK BENEFITS COVERING MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE.
5. Beware of treatment centers that use psych meds to get people off of drugs I will never forget when Cole came home from this place in Arizona with a plastic bag containing over 16 different psych meds. He told us that he knew what was wrong with him now. He was “mentally ill”. Well this worked for a month or so until we realized that we could never sustain what Cole was taking without him sacrificing the quality of his life. A family friend of ours who is a psychiatrist came over one night and we showed him Coles’ prescriptions. He was deeply disturbed. He taught us about the game that health care providers play with insurance companies using medications to elongate the patients stay which in the end equals more money for the rehab. It was a sad fact but our son had become a casualty of the pharmaceutical industry. The truth is that a good treatment center does not need to use psych meds to get your child sober. Places that do are really just avoiding the root cause of the problems at hand.
There are many more things I could tell you but those five things mentioned above are the most important things you need to know. Use this information when calling any treatment center or rehab to arm yourself with information that will let them know that you know what you are doing. This information should help you get closer to what you are looking for. If you have questions I will do my best to answer them on the blog link available this site. If you are looking for a treatment center, go to the tab with your state and select the closest city to your location. The site is going to ask for your insurance information. If you have a PPO policy (out of network policy) great. If not, get one. Either way, one of my specialists will help you out when you call.
All the best,