Here’s 6 Ways to Know Whether or Not You Can Trust
the Drug Rehab Referral You Receive
The service industry tends to rely heavily on word-of-mouth from past clients to refer others to their business or service. Sure, businesses advertise to get their name known, but the mark of a truly great business is providing such a wonderful service or experience that people will advertise for them. In today’s digital age, there isn’t much people buy without at least looking online to see if there are reviews from others, to make sure they are getting the best deal for their money or the services are as stated.
The drug and alcohol rehab industry is no different. With an array of choices around the globe from which to choose, families are often lost about how to begin. And once begun the end game is to make an informed final decision, one that could be potentially life-saving. This is likely one of the most vulnerable and emotional times for a family trying to choose a drug treatment center for a loved one or themselves. Who do you trust? Are all referrals reliable? In fact, there are some recruiting organizations driven to direct people— not necessarily in the direction that is best for them, but towards the drug treatment center that will give the greatest payoff for a referral. The New York Times article “How Staten Island’s Drug Problem Made It a Target for Poaching Patients” by Megan Julia shines a light on a disturbing practice that many states do not regulate: incentivizing referrals for drug treatment programs. Many people are disturbed to think that some recruiters might care more about their own bottom line than what is best for the one needing addiction recovery. The referral may not necessarily be based on the actual services that are provided by the center that is recommended, and that could be a high stakes gamble that could be avoided.
The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, a national organization dedicated to being a leader for addiction services since 1978 weighs in: under no circumstances should a drug rehab facility engage in “patient brokering” or pay for patient referrals. Marvin Ventrell, executive director for the NAATP was quoted in the Times’ piece as saying, “There are enough people doing it who seem to think it’s O.K., or know that it’s not and don’t care”. So how can families know whether or not they can trust the referral they get? There certainly are legitimate professionals in a variety of businesses who take into account the needs and preferences of those who call them, who guide them to the best of their ability.
Here are a few hints to help you figure out whether you are on the right path to finding the drug rehab that’s right for you.
1. Consider the source.
Is the referral coming from someone you know and trust? People you know are far less likely to steer you in the wrong direction intentionally. Ask them how and what they know about the drug treatment facility. If they haven’t had any direct contact with the facility, maybe they know and trust an employee. Get as many details as possible.
2. Check references.
Check references on all of the services you use, even for referral services, if possible. If you don’t know them personally, perhaps you called a service you found online or through a toll free number? Check the name of the referral service online and see if they have any reviews, and browse their website. Legitimate referral services are often government subsidized, like SAMHSA or local addiction treatment counseling services, but even if they are not, they should have a website that clearly states their purpose.
3. Multiple options should be given.
There are over 14,000 drug treatment facilities in the United States, so if someone is pressuring you to only look at one, it could be problematic. If you have preferences for things like a non-traditional program on the beach, make sure the referrals you are getting match your preferences.
4. Ask around.
Maybe a friend or friend of a friend has personal experience with a particular drug rehab facility. Personal experience from a past guest can be worth 100 referrals, as they can often tell you things outsiders cannot.
5. Be direct.
If you’re feeling unsure, ask point blank what the person gains from their referral. Ask if they are being paid or compensated to review or recommend a certain facility. Even if you can’t be sure if they are totally honest here, it may give you a better idea of whether or not you trust their advice. Anyone who has been through it before will likely understand if you are blunt about this, because the primary goal is to find the right drug or alcohol treatment for a life-threatening issue.
6. Look for more than just words.
Once you have a few facilities in mind, check out their website, their social media, and their reviews. Anyone can type up deeply moving testimonials from “emotional parents”, but do they have video testimonials from real guests? Do the testimonials seem sincere or scripted? Are there any reviews that are on a third-party website, and not mode rated by the facility itself? Do they offer webcams or virtual tours to allow you to see the facility rather than just photos that could easily be edited?
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction call us at 855-433-4480 for more information about how
Gulf Breeze Recovery could help you or your loved ones today.
Disclaimer: Gulf Breeze Recovery is a member of the NAATP and does not utilize services or patient brokering. We are honored and grateful for every genuine referral we receive from past guests and their loved ones, and we are committed to continuing to serve our guests with caring and respect.