Excerpted from Chapter 5 of The Recovery Book.
When a baby is born, doctors do a quick assessment of its condition using what is known as an APGAR score. You can do a quick screening of treatment programs using our Recovery APGAR system, which rates treatment programs on a scale of 0 to 10 on the basis of whether or not the most critical components are present. Any program that gets a score of 7 or higher is probably good.
You should be able to get the answers from websites or program materials, or by asking a program director, counselor, or admissions person the following questions. Award one point for each positive response. Unknown, ambivalent, and negative responses all score zero.
Alcoholism as a primary disease:
Does written program material state that the staff believe that addictive illness is a primary disease? ___
During the program is a patient required to complete a written life history? ___
Are at least half the doctors on the attending medical staff certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine? ___
Are at least half the counselors in the program certified or licensed as addiction counselors? ___
Groups specially designed for addiction treatment:
Does the program have group meetings to discuss the 12 steps of AA and NA? ___
Does the program have group meetings for families and to meet other special needs of patients? ___
Are more than 90 percent of patients discharged abstinent from all mood-altering drugs and medications? ___
Is there a hospital policy that clinical staff remain abstinent from alcohol and other mood-altering drugs? ___
Recovery priority of the program:
Are more than one third of the clinical staff recovering from alcohol or drug problems themselves? ___
Are patients given the opportunity to attend and join AA or NA during treatment? ___
To read more about how to find a quality addiction treatment program, see The Recovery Book: Answers to All Your Questions About Addiction and Alcoholism and Finding Health and Happiness in Sobriety.