Addiction Resource

What to ask when inquiring about treatment

Use the following questions as a checklist to help you evaluate and compare the treatment centers that you are considering.


Questions about how the program is designed and what it includes:

  1. What is the goal of the addiction treatment program? What is the philosophy behind it?
  2. Is the treatment program customizable for individual patients’ needs?
  3. Does the program address my full range of needs, including my medical, psychological, spiritual, social, and health and wellness needs?
  4. Which therapeutic models or theories are used in your treatment program? E.g. cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), medication assisted therapy (MAT), mindfulness, prolonged exposure therapy (PET).
  5. Which medical services are available if patients need them? E.g. supervised detoxification or assistance with pain management.
  6. What activities are part of the program? E.g. individual counseling, group counseling, 12-step programs, art therapy.
  7. Are extra services or activities available through the program, such as massage therapy or fitness programs?
  8. (If applicable) is the treatment program designed to treat an addiction disorder together with a concurrent psychological disorder?

Questions about the program’s efficacy and quality of service at the treatment center:

  1. Have there been studies to measure the effectiveness of the program’s addiction treatment methods? What is the program’s success rate?
  2. Which licenses, certifications, and accreditation are held by the treatment center and its staff?
  3. Does the treatment center have staff members who have experience dealing with my specific disorder or combination of concurrent disorders?
  4. What is the ratio of patients to staff?
  5. What is the environment and culture like at the treatment center?

Questions about practical details of entering the program:

  1. What is the cost of the program? Is it covered by insurance? Is financing available?
  2. Are all the services included in the fees or do some services cost extra?
  3. Is there a waiting list to enter the program and, if so, how long is the wait?
  4. Is the program inpatient or outpatient? For inpatient programs, what is the duration?

Questions about family involvement in the program:

  1. Will family and friends be able to contact or visit me during inpatient programs?
  2. Will family and friends be asked to participate in any counseling with me?
  3. Do you offer any support services for patients’ families?

Questions about recovery maintenance and helping patients return to normal life after the program:

  1. What will you do to prepare me for my return to the real world?
  2. Will you work with me on a discharge plan to ensure I maintain my recovery?
  3. Do you provide follow-up care or ongoing support after I’m discharged and, if so, for how long?
  4. If I don’t live close to the treatment center, will you help me find resources for continuing care in my own community?
  5. Does your program help me transition into active 12-step participation or other addiction support groups?

Questions about distinguishing features or areas of excellence:

  1. What makes makes your treatment center special, different, or provide a better experience than other treatment centers?
  2. What makes the treatment program special, different, or more effective than other treatment programs?