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Five Steps to Find Addiction Treatment for Your Son or Daughter

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By: Renaissance Recovery

Medically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated: 7/1/2021

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Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

It’s every parent’s nightmare – your son or daughter is caught up in addiction. Substance abuse disorders can destroy a family in short order. The damage to your child’s health, career, and relationships can be devastating. Knowing how to find addiction treatment is the first step in addressing the problem. Here are five steps to find substance treatment services for your son or daughter:

Start With Researching All Options

This is going to take some research, but you need to start with an honest assessment of your child’s needs. Will your child need inpatient or outpatient substance treatment services? (Inpatient programs are those where you’re required to live at the treatment facility for the duration of the program, while outpatient treatment services allow you to receive treatment during the day and go home at night.)

You must first determine which treatment option is the best fit for your son or daughter before you can narrow down your search. Take a Look at the National Database The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) national treatment locator is a powerful ally that can provide referrals for local treatment facilities, recovery support groups, and community-based support organizations.

Their site can help you find providers who offer cost assistance or treatment on a sliding scale. Simply go to their site, click on your state and enter your zip code to find providers near you.

Next, find and click on their “select services” button and narrow down your search by looking for those providers who offer a sliding fee scale or payment assistance. You’ll need to contact each provider individually by phone to inquire about their specific services.

Examine State Programs In most states, cities, and even counties, there are a variety of inpatient and outpatient alcohol and drug treatment centers that are tax-supported and are free of charge.

These programs range from short-term rehab centers to long-term inpatient treatment centers and some cases, to individual outpatient counseling. SAMHSA also maintains a Directory of Single State Agencies (PDF) for substance treatment services to help you quickly access the right agency and group.

Look into Programs offered by Religious Groups Faith-based drug and alcohol treatment has been around pretty much longer than any professional treatment centers, surpassing even the well-known 12 step programs. Examples include drug addiction treatment centers offered by religious organizations include The Salvation Army, Goodwill, YMCA, and dozens of Christian recovery programs like Catholic Charities. Nearly every community offers a faith-based drug addiction treatment center and these programs are almost always free.

Other independent, for-profit, faith-based recovery centers advertise as being faith-based and while they are, they are not to be confused with The Salvation Army and others. Look into Rehab Scholarships Rehab scholarships are somewhat similar to an educational scholarship, but they are really third-party programs that provide funding for individuals who seeking treatment from free rehab service providers.

Scholarship organizations will primarily focus on helping one of three types of people: Individuals who are without medical insurance, those who are not able to pay for substance treatment services out of pocket, and those who are unable to qualify for a loan because of bad credit.

Candidly though, these scholarships are typically around $1,000, hardly enough to cover treatment of any length. There are several organizations in the U.S. that are currently offering rehab scholarships, from Second Chance to SAMHSA, and while every little bit helps, don’t expect a full ride. Exercise Caution

There are some treatment centers that put profit before care. Be extra vigilant when using a search engine to find treatment, especially using keywords like “free,” as unethical organizations might promise you anything to make money off of you and your child. Turn to support groups for input and recommendations.


Call Around – A Lot.

Take the time to call treatment centers you have identified as potentials. Have a list of questions to ask them when you get in touch. When you call, ask right away what programs can help cover the costs. If you have insurance that limits coverage on a detox or only covers a percentage of treatment, you need to disclose that immediately, as the facility may help you find ways to cover the remaining balance.

Remember that through the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, insurance companies are now required to treat your child’s mental health and substance use treatment the same as all other medical/surgical benefits.

When talking with all treatment providers, be sure to inquire as to whether or not they can help you access any state, county or city assistance programs to help pay for your substance treatment services there – they might have connections.

Seek Help from a Counselor

If finding treatment through SAMHSA or your state becomes difficult, or if waiting lists are ridiculously long, you should seek out recommendations from local drug and alcohol or addiction facilities.

Psychology Today maintains a listing of licensed counselors in your area — simply enter your zip code and choose from those specializing in substance abuse. Narrow down the selection based on your state and the type of service you need.

Chances are good that a therapist knows which facilities are successful and which are of questionable value.

Seek Help from Others

Your son or daughter should attend a few different meetings held for people in recovery. Examples of these types of groups include AA, NA, SMART Recovery, or other community meetings. Attending a variety of meetings from different groups can help your child find one that’s a good fit. These meetings do not require payment for participation and have shown long-term success rivaling other therapies. Another added bonus is that some of the people attending these meetings will be familiar with local treatment facilities, your child may learn about treatment options that you won’t find through SAMHSA. Still, their recommendation does not absolve you of the responsibility to call and check out any potential facility. Always call and ask the right questions to determine if it meets your family’s needs. If you’d like to go to a meeting yourself or along with your son or daughter, you should attend open meetings, which are identified on the websites of these groups. You can also consider attending local Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and Families Anonymous meetings for help locating treatment options and to help yourself obtain support during this trying time.

Get Creative with Funding

You’ve seen it before – crowdfunding. Some of the “causes” people posts are nothing short of absurd, but getting your child clean is among the most important causes around, so get over the perception of guilt. Addiction touches nearly everyone and if you’re trying your hardest, you’ll explore every option. Connect with your family and friends and ask for help, both emotionally and financially. You might be surprised to learn who might be willing to support recovery for your child. Websites such as GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, and Crowdrise allow you to create crowdfunding platforms to help you quickly raise the money you need. Personal loans through financial institutions, such as Prosper Healthcare Lending and My Treatment Lender, also cater to those seeking drug rehab financing. These loan companies typically offer special loan packages that are affordable and tailored to the costs of treatment, especially with good credit. Now that you know how to find addiction treatment, there’s no investment more worthwhile than the life of your son or daughter. 866.330.9449

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Diana Vo, LMFT

Diana is an addiction expert and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in the field of mental health for over 10 years.

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country