When we finally realized we needed help for our son, we didn’t expect it to be so difficult to find
Because addiction treatment is separate from the rest of the health care system, finding quality treatment can be challenging.
A parent who is searching for some kind of “rehab” or “treatment” doesn’t know what they don’t know. The providers that pop up in a Google search are the ones who can pay for search engine optimization and a robust online presence – not necessarily the best option. The terror of having a child in crisis led us to choose the first one who answered the phone, seemed to know what they were talking about, demonstrated empathy, could send an interventionist and transport him to treatment the minute he said yes. We were worried about the cost and where we would get the money, but, at that moment, we were more worried about losing him for good.
After 30 days, he was physically detoxed, but his brain was still addicted. We could see it in his thought processes and in his inability to make a plan moving forward. But when we asked this gold-plated, award-winning service provider for advice on the next steps, it felt like one of those infomercials where you can’t really see the product until you fork over your credit card. When they learned we were tapped out, they handed us a printed list of sober homes and said, “good luck.” You don’t know what you don’t know. We naively thought he would be all fixed in 30 days, and these experts never clued us in that it wouldn’t be that easy.
It would be helpful if the journey to find help wasn’t marked by wrong information, stigmatizing opinions, predatory service providers and an uneducated medical community.