What is the SAMHSA Treatment Locator? Can It Help Me Find a Quality Program?

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, provides a searchable database of treatment providers covering the nation. In order to use the database, it’s helpful to have already decided on what type of treatment you’re looking for, such as an intensive outpatient program or residential care. Read more on understanding the treatment options here.

    This four-minute tutorial on how to use the search tools is well worth your time if you haven’t used this resource before.

    In pull-down menus, you will find whether the provider focuses on mental health, substance use, or both; the type of care provided’ outpatient or inpatient settings’ types of payment accepted; languages spoken; ages served; and smoking policy.

    Once you have a list of treatment providers, it is important to call them and ask more questions to see if they meet your needs. For example, you may be looking for a 30- to 90-day residential treatment program, while the residential program listed in your search only offers 14 days of programming. You may need a program that also deals with trauma, self-harm behaviors, gambling, eating disorders, etc., so it’s important to ask if other issues are addressed as a track, a separate program or folded into the core curriculum. Additionally, some treatment facilities include the family in treatment, which usually results in better outcomes, while others don’t.

    While the facilities may state that they take private insurance, you’ll need to verify that your insurance company will authorize use of your benefits for the services you have selected. For example, you may have found a residential facility that takes your insurance, but your insurance company can either agree to pay for services or recommend a different level of care, even though your policy includes a residential benefit. It is also important to find out what your deductible and co-pay are for that facility.

    You may find working with a certified addictions professional helpful to sort through the treatment options and determine the best program for your loved one, given treatment needs and finances.

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