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Finding Quality Treatment


When choosing a treatment program, look for signs of quality treatment. Not all health care professionals or programs provide quality care in healthy settings.

You can use this checklist to compare your options. You can ask a trusted person to help you with this.

Licensed and accredited. All programs and their health care professionals should be licensed and accredited. Learn about licensing and accreditation.

Evidence-based practices, such as:

  • Motivational interviewing or motivational enhancement therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive processing therapy (CPT)
  • Education about your condition (psychoeducation)
  • Supportive therapy
  • Social skills training
  • Behavioral management training for youth

Families. Family members can be included in the treatment process as desired by the person in care. Families can have an important role in understanding the impact of mental health, drug, or alcohol issues and offering support.

Support for other parts of your life. For example, many programs will help you get care for other medical needs and benefits like housing, food assistance, job placement, supported employment, and long-term recovery.

Specifically for drug or alcohol use, ask about:

Treatment using medications. A health care professional or program should only provide FDA-approved medication for treating alcohol, tobacco, or opioid use. Note: Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications to help prevent returning to use from other problem substances such as methamphetamines and cocaine. Any clinical trials are listed on

This worksheet can help you take notes to compare treatment options (PDF | 146 KB).

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“There is help out there. I had to be patient and ask for my friend and doctor to help. It took a few tries, but the work was worth it. ”

Last Updated
Last Updated: 04/24/2023
Last Updated