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What to Look for in a Drug Rehab Center

What to Look for in a Drug Rehab Center | Turning Point of Tampa

If you, or a loved one, are struggling with alcoholism, drug abuse or an eating disorder, and need help to untangle the mess that life has become, drug and alcohol rehab centers can offer a way out. If this is the case for you, it is very important to do some research first, because the options and choices can be overwhelming.

Choosing to enter an addiction treatment program for any addiction is not an easy decision. Of course, a certain level of desperation has to be reached first. Desperation can in turn contribute to a willingness for change to occur. This, combined with a recognition that you need help to do so, is the first step.

Change at this level can be an extremely daunting prospect, therefore doing some research first can really help you to know where and how to begin to choose a drug and alcohol treatment center that’s right for you. From the associated costs of treatment, to the comfort of the surroundings, it is important to choose a rehab program that aligns with your needs.

There are a variety of things to consider when looking at drug and alcohol rehab centers, some of which are more important than others. But keep in mind that if you’re struggling with substance abuse, an eating disorder, or dual diagnosis – this is your life we are talking about.

Addiction Resources | Turning Point of Tampa

How to Find a Treatment Center

The first thing you will need to determine is which drug rehab facilities are appropriate for your particular situation. There are a wide variety of treatment rehab centers in Tampa, some of which specialize in various disorders, such as mental health issues or drug and alcohol abuse, for example.

It is important to know what you are looking for, and what type of treatment you may need. It is also important to get help to determine if you are suffering from a mental disorder first, and self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol; or if your abusing substances, and are experiencing some mental heath issues as a result – there is a big difference. It takes courage to take this step, however any recovery journey, whether it is recovery from substance abuse, an eating disorder or dual diagnosis, begins with an evaluation by qualified professional.

Visit the Treatment Center

If possible, visit the drug rehab and talk to the admissions department personnel about what services they offer. Take some time to schedule an assessment if possible during your treatment center visit.

During the assessment process, you will be asked about what factors have actually brought you to seek treatment. Understanding how you ended up in their office, they might inquire how you heard about them. It is important for most rehab centers in the Tampa area to learn what referral service or local resources brought you to their programs.

They will focus on your history of drug and/or alcohol use and will want to know if you have been in therapy or recovery before. Inquiring about current medication and any Tampa, Florida doctors that you might want to participate in your addiction treatment.

You will then receive a recommendation by addiction professionals about where to find treatment and what type of treatment center you can get the most benefit.

Addiction Treatment Centers

Many substance abuse addiction treatment rehab centers employ a 12-step based philosophy in the recovery process. Basically, this means you will be attending either Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings for substance abuse support, or a 12-step eating disorders support group, such as Overeaters Anonymous, Eating Disorders Anonymous or Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous.

Even though there are a variety of treatment options available, generally speaking, the 12-step process has been far and away the most successful program for many people seeking recovery from addiction, as well as for people who struggle with eating disorders.

The Admissions Process

In addition to checking your health insurance plan to determine what benefits are available to you, the Admissions Department at the rehab can also take you through the process of completing the initial assessment as we discussed above, and let you know what to expect from the treatment process itself.

The initial assessment, which is basically a history your of alcohol and drug use, employment and family history, and other factors such as any past or present legal issues, will give the clinical staff a good idea of what course of treatment will give you the most chance of being successful.

Please know that the results of the assessment are considered to be confidential, and the details should only be used to determine what course of treatment is appropriate for you. Assessment results are considered to be Protected Health Information, a category that falls under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this law:

…provides federal protections for personal health information held by covered entities and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of personal health information needed for patient care…

Levels of Care

After you have decided on a particular treatment center, and completed the assessment, the Admissions Department personnel can advise you on what level of care, which is determined by the clinical staff, will be the most suitable for your situation.

Generally, most treatment centers offer several levels of patient care.

Intensive Outpatient Program

IOP meets three days a week and involves group and family therapy, lectures, attendance at 12-step meetings and information about addiction.

PHP or Day Treatment

The PHP level of outpatient care involves coming to the rehab for the day, and not living on the property. Some individuals chose this option as a step down, after completion of residential treatment.

Residential Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers

This is generally the level of care recommended to most individuals that have a fairly severe history of substance abuse, or a persistent problem with addiction, as well as some mental health issues. Many individuals find they may need to be in a safe environment for a short while, to begin the process of changing their lives.

Florida drug rehab programs will often include daily group counseling, support groups, individual counseling, life skills and case management programs.


Aftercare is a setting in which Alumni of the program meet once per week to discuss their ongoing recovery and get input and help from a therapist, as well as the group, to solve problems and issues that crop up in early recovery.

A Holistic Approach

A rehab program, or most any worthwhile treatment programs, should address not only the addiction, but focus on the entire individual – from physical needs, to emotional support, as well as include some sort of spiritual philosophy. A holistic approach takes into account the whole person, including any underlying issues, and gives people a better chance of maintaining recovery, post treatment.

Additionally, in order to obtain a full picture of the affect addiction has had on you – both mentally and physically – you will need to undergo a physical evaluation by a nurse and physician, as well as mental health evaluation by a counselor, and a qualified psychiatrist, all of whom are knowledgeable about addiction.

A reputable treatment center recovery process should include:

  • An introduction to support groups
  • an introduction to 12-step recovery process
  • Responsibility and life skills training
  • Individual talk therapy with a qualified therapist
  • For the suffering person, drug abuse and alcohol addiction, as well as eating disorders, can become a solitary prison. It is extremely important for the addicted person to become re-socialized, to learn new life and social skills, by problem solving and interacting with others in a safe environment.

Alcohol Detox

Abruptly halting the intake of alcohol, or prescription medication and non-prescription drugs, can occasionally involve the risk of seizure, or the occurrence of some other medical emergency, such as dangerously high blood pressure, or severe withdrawal symptoms.

Because of this, it is important to be be aware that many individuals that have been abusing drugs and alcohol for a prolonged period, will generally require some time in a medical detox, prior to beginning any course of treatment.

When you contact the rehab, they will most likely check your health insurance plan benefits to make sure you have insurance coverage for drug or alcohol detox, if needed. Many health insurance plans cover alcohol or drug detox as well as some, if not all, treatment services.

Is This Facility in My Health Insurance Network?

Be aware that some rehab facilities may to tell you they accept your health insurance, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are actually considered to be in your network. In other words, it is the practice of some facilities to tell you that they are “in-network” with your health insurance, when they are not.

To avoid any surprises, and keep the cost of services down, it is a good idea to begin by asking your health insurance company for in-network referrals, and begin your search from there. Also, most rehab websites will tell you what health insurance plans they work with. This does not mean they are contracted as an in-network provider.

Another resource for information on health insurance, or substance abuse disorder and how to locate rehab facilities is SAMHSA – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. SAMHSA also provides a helpline where you can connect with a knowledgeable person and ask questions, anonymously. Additionally, you can find information on addiction treatment providers in Florida by using the Treatment Atlas, offered by Shatterproof – a national non-profit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States.

What Licenses Does This Facility Have?

It is also very important to ask what level of care the facility is licensed to provide.

Because licensing for residential/in-patient care requires the rehab to meet a higher standard and obtain additional licensing with the Department of Children and Families, some facilities are only licensed for PHP or day treatment.

Again, make sure the facility you are receiving information from is being completely transparent with you. Double check and do research online about any licenses and online reviews of your prospective facility. It is also a good idea to check their website for some background and credentials of their clinical staff. For example, the therapists should have a Masters Degree in addiction counseling at minimum, as well as some experience in dealing with issues related to addiction.

Has This Facility Received Any Accreditations?

Accreditation is the process by which the services at a rehab are evaluated by an independent third party that is qualified to do so. For drug rehabs those entities are The Joint Commission and CARF.

Be sure to find out if the facility you are interested in is accredited by either, or both. These two accrediting bodies have strict standards to ensure high quality of care, and by performing a thorough survey of the facility every three years, they guarantee that the rehab is abiding by them.

What Other Types of Treatment Programs Are Available?

In addition to the treatment options outlined previously, the choices offered will vary from center to center. Make sure to ask what type of treatment programs each prospective facility offers. Some options to look for are: individual, group and family counseling, life skills, and mental health treatment, for example.

It is also important for patients to recognize that many facilities practice abstinence-based treatment. This means that during treatment, they don’t support patients taking any medications that could be considered to be addictive. This includes most pain medications, as well as all benzodiazepines, which are used to relieve anxiety.

Rehab Centers

Because many rehab facilities are now farming out calls, the people on the other end of the phone may be located in a call center, and may not have actually seen or visited the facility you are interested in. It is recommended that, after you do your research, and if it is geographically possible, ask for a site visit prior to admission.

Choosing the right facility can be one of the most important steps you take in your life. Because many of the facilities in our industry are now going public, and are owned by large conglomerate corporations, be sure to ask if the person you are speaking to is physically located at the facility, or in a call center.

Rehab Centers in the Tampa FL Area

Turning Point of Tampa is located in close proximity to Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, Wesley Chapel, Clearwater and Saint Petersburg, FL. Tampa International Airport is a 10 minute drive away. Turning Point of Tampa offers assessments as well as on-site tours.

Additionally, you can get a pretty good idea about the rehab by viewing their website. Check out Turning Point of Tampa at We are in network with most health insurance carriers, and also offer an affordable self-pay rate to those who prefer to pay in cash.

Additionally, some type of transitional housing may be required after treatment has been completed. There are many sober living residences that offer assistance with transitional living as well, in the Tampa Bay area.

If you choose to go to a sober home or halfway house after detox or treatment, make sure the residence is accredited by FARR – The Florida Association of Recovery Residences.

Turning Point of Tampa

Located in Hillsborough County, FL, Turning Point of Tampa now not only offers a full continuum of care with Residential Treatment, Day Treatment, and Intensive Outpatient Treatment, we also offer inpatient detox for alcohol and drug addiction, as well as treatment for eating disorders and dual diagnosis.

We are accredited by The Joint Commission and are licensed by the Department of Children and Families.

The medical Team at TPOT consists of:

Hardeep Singh, MD, FASAM, Medical Director**

Dr. Hardeep Singh received his medical degree from King George’s Medical College and has been in practice for more than 30 years. Dr. Singh was named Top Addiction Medicine Doctor by Tampa Magazine in 2022, which was the fourth time he received that honor. 

Ryan Estevez, MD, PHD, MPH, FASAM,** Director of Psychiatric Services

Dr Estevez has earned several advanced degrees in health and behavioral sciences. They include a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and master’s degrees in both social psychology & public health.

Both Dr Singh and Dr Estevez are members of The American Society of Addiction Medicine. Founded in 1954, ASAM is a professional medical society representing over 6,000 physicians, clinicians and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. 

In Closing

Rehab centers in Tampa, Florida like ours have every admission go through a nursing assessment which is reviewed by the medical director to learn about the clients’ substance abuse history as well as any medical needs or mental health issues, in order to establish an appropriate level of treatment services to ensure the client’s over all success in recovery. 

Turning Point of Tampa’s goal is to always provide a safe environment and a solid foundation in 12-Step recovery, in tandem with quality individual therapy and group therapy. We have been offering Residential Treatment for Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa, Florida since 1987.

If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department. If you have questions or want more information, you can contact Turning Point of Tampa.

Turning Point of Tampa Addiction Treatment Tampa Florida

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