How to Find the Best Drug or Alcohol Rehab in Colorado

If you have a drug addiction or are suffering from alcoholism, you may know that you need treatment. But the question is, how do you know how to find the best rehab center in Colorado?

If you were to do a Google search, you would find lots of possibilities. Many of them would be good, but it is not always easy to tell the good from the bad. The reality is that not all drug and alcohol rehab programs are beneficial. While it may seem hard to believe, some can even do more harm than good. It is also possible that you might be contacting a referral center, and not a treatment program at all.

The drug and alcohol treatment industry has been very poorly regulated. On September 14, 2017, Google started to restrict ads that would come up when someone searched for addiction treatment on its site. On May 30, 2018, the House Energy and Commerce Committee issued letters of investigation to eight major addiction rehab referral companies.

We want to help you avoid choosing a program that might not provide you with the help you need. In fact, if you are not careful, you may even choose one that could cause you harm. It is so important to know what your options are and what you should be looking for when you are researching treatment facilities.

What Type of Addiction Treatment is Right for You?

The first step is to decide which type of rehab is right for you. There are many ways to treat addiction, and this is not a one-size-fits-all situation. What worked for someone else may not be right for you, and vice versa.

In order to determine what course you should take for recovery, you may need to talk with a professional. You will find that you basically have two choices – inpatient or outpatient treatment. Both can work very well, but the key is to choose the one that is the right fit for your specific needs.

Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Again, both inpatient and outpatient rehab can work very well. But depending on your personal situation and needs, one might be better for you than the other. When you are making this decision, it is best to consider a number of different factors. You may need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long have I been using?
  • How much do I use at one time?
  • How much drugs or alcohol have I consumed overall?
  • How often do I use?
  • Am I suffering from any mental health issues, or do I think I could be?

The answers to these questions will largely determine the type of treatment you end up getting. Of course, there are other factors to consider as well.

Sometimes people choose an inpatient program because they have tried to stop using before, without success. They may worry that they might relapse again if they went into an outpatient facility for help. Some people may have disruptive home lives that would make recovering very difficult if they were to continue to live at home.

On the other hand, there are people with a lot of support at home. They have never been through any type of rehab before because this is their first time seeking treatment. They have never suffered from a relapse, and never tried to quit on their own. Also, these individuals may work full time and therefore, they are not able to take time off to attend an inpatient program. For them, an outpatient setting is the best option.

You need to decide for yourself which type of treatment you need. There are pros and cons to both inpatient and outpatient care. Both can be effective as long as you are compliant.

Your Options for Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Now that you know you have inpatient and outpatient options, we would like to break that down a little further. Within these two categories, there are even more choices.

Again, you need to consider each one carefully to determine which would be best for you. More than anything, you want to thrive within your treatment program.

Inpatient Rehab

An inpatient rehab facility is defined as a place that houses patients with a need for drug or alcohol addiction recovery. You will enter their program and stay there for a period of time. In most cases, this means getting treatment for around 28 days. There are some programs that run shorter or longer than that.

During your time in inpatient rehab, you will participate in different types of therapy. You will meet with a licensed rehab therapist in a one-on-one setting for individual counseling sessions. You will also participate in group therapy sessions, as well as other forms of treatment. Many times, families get involved, and this is beneficial for them as well as for the patient.

There are a lot of reasons why people choose to go to an inpatient program. They have often tried to quit on their own, or even go cold turkey in the past. Many do not really want to quit using, but they are forcing themselves to get help. As we stated early, there are also some people whose homes are not safe if they are determined to get clean and sober.

Long-Term or Residential Treatment

Some people know that they need to go to an inpatient program. But they also know that a short-term facility is not the answer for them. Many times, people need a longer period of time to recover, and this is completely normal.

For these individuals, long-term or residential rehab programs are the best solution. You may hear or see these referred to as sober living homes or halfway houses. This type of treatment can provide a lot of benefits to the patients who need them.

The reality is that some addicts and alcoholics have been using so long, they do not remember life without substances. For them, to go to a short-term facility would probably mean relapsing once they finished. A lot of these people have been using for years, and many live in dangerous home situations.

Residential treatment centers are all very different. Some provide in-house treatment options. Others require the residents to obtain their own treatment through a local outpatient program. Nonetheless, choosing this form of addiction recovery has made an incredible difference in many lives.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

A growing number of people in need of addiction treatment are choosing intensive outpatient programs. These are often referred to as IOPs. This is a type of outpatient treatment that requires participation several times a week for around twelve weeks. The length of time treatment is needed is dependent upon the patient's progress. There are programs that run during the daytime hours, but many of them operate in the evenings.

During one's time at an IOP, therapy is provided for the addiction. The patient will meet with a therapist, and they will also participate in group therapy sessions. Both are very important components of the treatment plan. Other methods may be utilized as well, depending on the individual's needs.

For many people, an IOP answers a very real need they have in their lives. They know they need treatment, but they may feel like they cannot get it. They may work, have to take care of their elderly parents, or have small children at home. Intensive outpatient treatment allows them the flexibility they need to take care of their responsibilities while still getting the help they need.

Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab

A more traditional outpatient rehab facility is one that usually only offers counseling services. This would involve sitting down with a therapist on a regular basis for therapy. Some therapists may offer support groups as well, but most of them do not. Instead, they will refer to other outpatient programs for peer therapy and counseling.

There is no doubt that a traditional outpatient program has its place in the recovery process. But it is usually not the best option for someone who is new to treatment, or who has a long history of addiction. This is usually best reserved for those who have already had a higher level of care first.

12-Step Programs

12-Step programs have become a major part of addiction treatment in the United States. If you are not familiar with the 12 Steps, this is a concept that comes from Alcoholics Anonymous. It was later adopted for use with Narcotics Anonymous as well. These organizations still use them, but they are also used in many drug and alcohol rehab facilities.

You can find AA meetings and NA meetings in nearly every city in the United States. Both of them offer peer therapy opportunities, and the groups are run by recovering addicts.

While this is a great way to get support during recovery, again, an outpatient 12-Step program probably is not the best solution for someone who is new to treatment. It can be an excellent source of help for someone who has been through an inpatient rehab or IOP.

Why Has There Been Such a Surge in Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facilities?

There is no denying that there has been a tremendous increase in the number of addiction rehab programs in Colorado. In fact, the same is true for the entire country. According to the treatment finder tool on the SAMHSA website, there are close to 400 of them in the state.

The question is, why? It turns out that there are several answers that can explain the sudden surge of addiction treatment centers.

Addiction Statistics in Colorado

The addiction rate in Colorado is at an all-time high overall. This is a problem that is not getting better; it is only getting worse with every passing year.

The latest addiction statistics tell us that:

  • 11.3% of people in Colorado aged 12 and older admit that have used at least one type of illicit drug.
  • This is shocking when you compare it to the national rate of 4%.
  • 4% of people in Colorado have reported that they used marijuana at least once in the past month in 2011.
  • By 2013, that percentage had increased to 7%, which is a 22% surge.
  • That means that during that year, around 530,000 people in Colorado had used during the last month.
  • By 2014, the state reported that 13.6% of adults 18 years of age and older currently use marijuana.
  • More than 33% of these individuals admit to using the drug daily.
  • Close to 19% admit that they have driven a motor vehicle after using.
  • These numbers are much higher than the national average.
  • Prescription opioid painkiller abuse continues to be on the rise in Colorado, and 35 people in Colorado die every month as a result.
  • The state is listed as number 12 for the abuse of prescription pain pills.
  • Close to 225,000 people abuse these drugs every single year.
  • Four out of ten people admit to abusing drugs, and most of them are prescription opioids.
  • The number of people abusing heroin in Colorado has increased substantially over the last few years.
  • NIDA reports that from 2012 to 2016, the number of heroin-related deaths increased from 91 to 234.
  • In 2014, heroin killed more people in Denver, Colorado than any other drug.
  • In 2014, federal agents seized 15,000 pounds of methamphetamine.
  • That was the largest amount ever seized.
  • Since 2010, arrests for the possession of meth have increased more than 140%.
  • Close to 20% of people seeking addiction treatment in Colorado need help for a meth addiction.

In regard to alcoholism in Colorado:

  • Colorado and its neighboring states have the highest death rates from alcohol in the entire country.
  • Close to half of the people between 18 and 25 years old admit to binge drinking within the last month.
  • That is in comparison to just over 41% nationwide.
  • One out of five people of all ages admit to binge drinking each month.
  • One out of every three people arrested for a DUI in Colorado has had a previous one.
  • The State of Colorado reports that 59% of young people have had at least one drink in their lifetime.

Clearly there is a need for appropriate drug and alcohol treatment in Colorado. However, the increase in the number of people with addictions is only one reason why.

Availability of Health Insurance Benefits to Cover Treatment

In 2010, The Affordable Care Act was passed, and this law is one that changed everything for people needing addiction treatment. Up until this point, many people had to pay for rehab themselves if they wanted to go. Many found themselves in state-run facilities that did not provide the best treatment options. Others attempted to quit on their own, or they just continued to use.

Today, health insurance companies are required to provide addiction treatment benefits to their customers. Many of them recognize how serious this problem has become, and they will even cover rehab in full.

For those who needed to go to rehab, learning about the benefits the ACA afforded them was miraculous. Finally, they could get help for their addictions. As a result, more treatment centers sprung up in an attempt to meeting the growing need.

The Ongoing Opioid Crisis in the United States

Our country's opioid epidemic is one that has been a long time coming. President Trump went on record to declare the problem a national health emergency, and rightly so. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that each day, more than 115 people in the U.S. die from an opioid overdose.

Back in the 1990s, the pharmaceutical companies that make drugs like Oxycodone and Vicodin assured doctors that their patients would not become addicted. The doctors saw the drugs as a reliable way to control pain, and so, they began prescribing them all the time.

Prescription painkillers can cause a sensation of euphoria, which led people to misuse them. As doctors continued to prescribe them long-term, addictions set in for many people. Today, we know that:

  • As many as 29% of people who get prescribed painkillers will misuse them.
  • As many as 12% of these individuals will eventually develop an opioid use disorder and need treatment.
  • The vast majority of people will not get the help they need to recover.
  • As many as 6% will transition to heroin when they can no longer obtain their prescriptions for opioids.
  • 80% of people with heroin addictions started by abusing prescription pain pills.
  • The number of opioid overdoses increased 30% between July 2016 and September 2017 in 45 different states.

There is a lot being done to help people who have gotten addicted to opioid drugs. One of those measures is increasing the number of treatment facilities that can help them.

This ABC News video gives an inside look at the reality of the opioid epidemic in the United States: https://youtu.be/s4LV0tBZncI

What is Patient Brokering?

Over the last several years, patient brokering has become commonplace all over the U.S. It is defined as when a drug rehab offers money or other types of compensation to a third party in exchange for patients. This might not sound as destructive as it is, but the reality is that many lives have been ruined because of this unethical practice.

The patient believes they are being referred by someone who wants to see them succeed in treatment. The problem is that the facility that is receiving them is not concerned about their recovery. They are only concerned about making money.

When an individual is in need of addiction treatment, that person is extremely vulnerable. The same is true for their family members. It is quite likely that they are completely unaware of what to look for in drug and alcohol rehabs. They are only looking for someone who promises to be able to help them. In addition, they want a quick answer for their dilemma.

This video offers even more information on patient brokering and how it has developed over the years: https://youtu.be/nZaByuek0qs

Who Can Run and Operate a Patient Brokering Business in Colorado?

Anyone can operate a patient brokering business, but that does not mean it is legal. In Colorado, lawmakers have taken a closer look at drug and alcohol rehabs and sober living homes in light of the opioid crisis. They are concerned about the prospect of limiting treatment options for those who need them.

At this point, they are looking for a way to regulate drug and alcohol treatment programs and sober living homes. When they are properly regulated, prospective patients will have a better idea of what to look for when researching rehabs.

One way to ensure that a facility is reputable is to require accreditation from the state trade association. This will make sure the program is meeting the ethical standards of care. Inspections would be required to open the facility, and additional inspections would be conducted over the next six months of its operation. Those would be unannounced.

What are Addiction Treatment Centers Allowed to Say When Advertising?

Even though research is ongoing into the best treatment methods, as of now, there is no cure for addiction. That does not and will not stop scammers from promising that they can provide one.

An actual cure would have to be backed up by clinical studies, and it would have to be FDA approved. Because no studies exist, any language in advertising that leads one to believe a cure has been found is extremely unethical, and even illegal.

Scientists have made great strides into providing the best forms of treatment for people with drug addictions and alcoholism. There is even an anti-drug vaccine in the works that may play a role in leading to an eventual cure.

Drug and alcohol rehabs should only be discussing their treatment options. They can provide evidence that a particular method works well, but they still must follow strict guidelines. An addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. That fact should be made clear because there is no magical or scientific cure.

How to Spot a Rehab Scam

The truth about patient brokering has come to light in recent years. Because of this, many people are scared to move forward with researching treatment options. Their fear paralyzes them.

We do not want this to happen to you. While you are right to be skeptical, if you do your due diligence, you can quickly learn how to spot a rehab scam.

Look Closely at the Treatment Program's Website

You may come across an ad for a treatment center on Facebook, or elsewhere online. Intrigued, you click on it and you are immediately taken to the program's website. Once you are there, it is important to know how to spot if the site (and the rehab center) are real.

First, you will want to look closely at the pages. Many scam rehab websites will only have a few of them. They will offer you very limited information, and instead, will encourage you to call them or even text them. On some of them, you will see a pop-up that is actually a chat window, allowing them to talk to you right then. While this is a pretty normal feature for websites to have, if the site does not offer you a lot of information, it is suspect.

Do not stop your research with the first page you come to. Look for a list of their staff members, along with pictures. Search to see if the site has a blog that has been regularly updated. If you do not see either of these, it is most likely a scammer's page.

Talking With Someone at the Facility

If you do talk with a staff member, you want it to be someone who actually works at the facility. Ask to speak to someone you see on the website, if possible. They should be able to give you a lot of information about the program, including their physical address. If that information is withheld from you, it is best to continue your research.

Check the Better Business Bureau

If an addiction rehab program seems legitimate to you, the Better Business Bureau is the first place you should go to be sure. If the company is reputable, they should have a listing on this website, along with a grade. You can also find information about former patient complaints and comments, as well as how complaints were resolved.

If they do not have a listing on the BBB website, it is best to look elsewhere for a rehab facility. They may try to convince you that because they are new, they just have not submitted any information to the BBB yet. But this is only a ploy to get you to change your mind and agree to work with them.

Look at Third Party Testimonials on Facebook, Yelp and Other Social Media Sites

Just like with the Better Business Bureau, drug and alcohol rehabs should have their own pages on social media sites. Facebook and Yelp are among the most popular, but there may be others. Go to their pages and read the reviews left by former patients. These are open and honest opinions about their experiences. You will get a really good idea about what you can expect from your treatment.

Also, be very wary of looking for reviews on other websites for a rehab program. You will be able to find them if you simply type in (treatment center's name) and then reviews into Google. These may or may not be fabricated, but it is best to err on the side of caution.

Interview Former Patients

Finally, you can learn a lot of information by talking with former patients yourself, personally. When you contact the program, as to speak to their alumni director. Most people do not realize that reputable facilities usually have someone to fill this role. They stay in touch with former patients and get their permission to speak with prospective ones.

The alumni director will be able to give you contact information for several former patients who are willing to talk with you. They will give you their honest assessment of the program, and that should build your confidence in it.

Is There Evidence to Support the Treatment of Addiction?

One of the concerns you may have is that you will not find an effective rehab program. You want to invest your time into one that will actually help you stop using successfully. Many patients have this fear, and you are certainly not alone.

Reputable addiction treatment programs will offer methods that are evidence-based. That means that they have been proven to be effective for others in the past. Each approach to treatment should address various aspects of the addiction. It should also address the consequences for the addict, society and the addict's family.

There are many types of therapies that have been proven to be effective in the treatment of addiction. For example:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Somatic Experiencing
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • Family Behavior Therapy and Counseling

The rehab program's goal should be to provide you with a treatment plan that lines with your needs. Each patient and each addiction are very different, and they require unique approaches. This is a fact that is supported by years of research.

How Will You Know if You Need Detox Prior to Rehab?

You may have heard the term drug detox before and been confused by it. If so, that is OK. Many people do not realize that this form of treatment is often a very important part of the recovery process.

There are some drugs that need detoxing before you can move on to a rehabilitation program. This is done purely for your safety to reduce your risk of complications as you recover. Some of these drugs include:

  • Heroin
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription opioid painkillers
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Depressants
  • Steroids
  • Prescription stimulants
  • Illegal stimulants

If you are using any of these, it is very likely that you will be required to go through a drug detoxification program. If so, know that it is for your own safety.

What is Detoxification?

Detoxification is the process of ridding your body of the toxins associated with your drug of choice. It helps you get through withdrawal feeling much more comfortable than you would if you were to quit using on your own. As we mentioned earlier, it can also reduce your risk of experiencing complications from withdrawal symptoms.

In some cases, withdrawal can lead to life threatening consequences. Alcohol withdrawal is an excellent example. When someone stops drinking, the symptoms they experience can become severe. In some cases, people develop a condition called delirium tremens, or DTs.

DTs can cause a number of symptoms, including seizures, psychosis, hallucinations and body tremors. It requires immediate treatment, and with that, the recovery rate is rather high. 25% of people who do not get treatment for it will find it to be fatal.

Because detox and treating withdrawals is so serious, it should always be done in an inpatient setting. You should be very wary of anyone who offers you an outpatient detox option.

Medical Detox

Medical detox programs are becoming much more common because they work very well to relieve withdrawal symptoms. Patients are given medications to help them feel better. These meds can help with cravings, anxiety, depression, tremors and many other symptoms.

For those who are addicted to opioid drugs, medicated assisted treatment may be started. This involves the use of other opioids that have been FDA approved to treat this type of addiction in most cases.

There is one drug called Vivitrol that has been approved to treat opioid addiction and alcoholism. It is a monthly injection, but it is not an opioid itself. People who have used it have found it to be very effective.

Holistic Detox

In addition to medical detox, holistic methods may also be used to help people through withdrawal. This will involve treatments like nutritional therapy, yoga, meditation and exercise.

Both of these methods are a very important part of recovery. When they are combined, they usually produce excellent results.

How is Detox Different From Rehab?

Detox and rehab are different because they address two different parts of addiction. Detox addresses the physical component, whereas rehab addresses the psychological component.

It is common for people to confuse these two types of treatment. They are both essential parts of the recovery process. Experts agree that the physical side of addiction needs to be addressed first because of the danger of withdrawal. Even someone who suffers only from mild symptoms might not do well in rehab without detoxing first.

Your Complete Addiction Treatment Center Checklist

Now that you know more about what to look for, we would like to offer you our addiction treatment checklist. This will give you a list of things to look for so that you will know you have found a reputable facility.

  • Staff Credentials – You want to be sure that the staff members all have a proper education. But more than that, you also want to look for experience.
  • Better Business Bureau – Again, make sure they are listed on the BBB website, and that they have a good grade. Read through the comments to get more information.
  • Time With Staff – Find out how often you will be able to meet with your therapist individually. Your therapy is going to be a vital part of your recovery, and you should be meeting with them often.
  • Patient Population – Find out how many patients the program will serve at one time. The best programs will have a limit on their patient load. This is done to ensure they are able to give time and attention to the people in the program.
  • Additional Therapies – Does the program offer any additional therapies beyond working with a therapist and group sessions? If so, you should ask what they are and what the benefits are.
  • Health Insurance – Make sure the program you choose participates with your health insurance company. This is going to dramatically cut down on your out of pocket costs.
  • Financing Options – Some programs will offer financing options, or they will have someone on staff who can help you apply for your own insurance. It does not hurt to ask them, and they may be able to guide you toward helpful resources.
  • Accreditation – You need to know that the program is accredited by The Joint Commission. This ensures that you are getting the best possible care available.
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment – Mental illness and addiction often go hand-in-hand. This is called having a co-occurring disorder. It is best to choose a program that treats these conditions. Otherwise, the addiction is likely to become active again shortly after you finish your treatment.
  • Aftercare Referrals – Your aftercare is a very important part of your overall recovery. It is not enough for you to go to a treatment program for 28 days. You will need additional follow up care. Your rehab should provide that for you, or at least give you a referral.

Are You Seeking Addiction Recovery? Get Help Right Away

If you are in need of drug or alcohol rehab, at AspenRidge Recovery, we can help you. We understand that at this point, you may be feeling scared of what is to come for you. You may have believed that you would never find yourself in this position. People often face a lot of challenges when it comes to going to rehab. But we are confident that together, we can face them head on and get you the help you need.

Do you have questions about how to find the best rehab in Colorado? Pleasecontact us today for more assistance.