Addiction is a serious disease. Even if it seems manageable when you first realize you have a problem, it’s often progressive, taking over multiple aspects of your life. However, taking the first steps in addiction treatment can be intimidating. Even when you’ve found a treatment center that’s right for you, there are many things to consider before your first day in treatment. But it’s important to start as soon as possible since each day in active addiction can be dangerous.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), treatment needs to be ready and available for those who need it. A quick start is ideal. Many treatment programs will try to get you started within 24 hours of your decision to begin treatment.

But what can you expect from your first days in an addiction treatment program at California Highlands? What should you bring? How will you pay for treatment? Our goal will be to make the admissions process as smooth as possible. When you start treatment, you will have a therapist working with you through the process and a case manager who can help you navigate the details of your life in recovery. Depending on your level of care, you may also have medical staff treating or monitoring you.

Learn more about addiction treatment and how you can prepare for your first steps on the road to recovery.

How Does Treatment Begin?

You may start your recovery in many ways. You may reach out to a family member who can help you find treatment options, you may talk to your doctor about your substance use problems, or you may call a treatment center directly to learn more about your options. However, one of the first parts of treatment is always assessment.

Addiction is a complex disease that comes with many related causes and consequences, including mental health problems, physical health issues, and social challenges. It’s important to begin with a medical assessment. People who seek treatment after a period of active addiction may have significant medical needs. Plus, quitting some substances can cause uncomfortable or dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Substance use problems also come with mental health disorders, especially common problems such as anxiety and depression. Mental and behavioral health problems can also affect your social health, leading to feelings of isolation, which can worsen addiction. During your assessment process, you may meet with your therapist to go through a biopsychosocial, which is an hourlong interview designed to identify biological, psychological, and social needs.

You and your therapist will also create a personalized treatment program early on in the treatment process. Ideally, you will receive a treatment plan on your first day, so you can begin to work toward your goals.

Your first few days in treatment will largely depend on the level of care you need. If you need high-level medical services, you may start with medically managed treatment. If you don’t have high-level medical needs, you may begin working through psychotherapies and behavioral therapies. However, your treatment experience will be tailored to your needs, so your treatment process may be unique to you.

What to Bring to Treatment

California Highlands offers inpatient treatment services, which means you will be spending time on-campus and away from home. You’ll have to prepare by packing several things that you might need on a trip. During detox, inpatient, and residential services, many of your needs will be taken care of as a part of your treatment services. But there will be some things you need to bring with you and other things you will want as comforts from home.

You’ll need to pack clothes and toiletries, and you may want some form of entertainment, such as a book or magazine. There are also some things you should not bring to treatment for various reasons. While some of the items you should and shouldn’t bring will be apparent, others may not be, so it’s important to review the following list to best prepare.

Of course, your admissions team at California Highlands will work with you to make sure you have what you need before arriving. If you have questions about what you should bring, call and ask anytime.

What Should You Bring to Addiction Treatment?

While you’re packing for addiction treatment, here are a few things you will want to make room for. This may not be everything you can or might want to bring, but these are some of the basic items that will help you prepare for treatment. This also includes items you will need for the admissions process:

  • Picture ID
  • Prescription card
  • Insurance card
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • A credit or debit card
  • Emergency contact information
  • Contact information for doctors and attorneys
  • A week’s worth of clothing
  • Personal care items
  • Toiletries
  • Appropriate reading material
  • Journal
  • Cell phone

While you’re packing clothing, it’s important to consider the location and season you’ll be in treatment. California Highlands is located in Riverside County, California. It’s generally a warm, temperate climate, but it can get chilly during the winter months, especially at night and in the early morning.

You will need a credit or debit card, but you won’t need more than one, and you also won’t need excessive amounts of cash. When it comes to reading materials and other personal items, you should keep in mind that you may be sharing space with other people in recovery. Avoid bringing inappropriate or offensive reading material.

What Should You Not Bring to Addiction Treatment?

When you come to treatment, you’ll be there to work on yourself and your health alongside other people. For that reason, it’s important to understand that there are things you should not bring to treatment. Since you will be sharing space with other people, it’s important to keep them in mind. For instance, inappropriate clothing or reading material can be a distraction. Plus, some items may threaten your sobriety or the sobriety of other people. Some things on the list of items not to bring will be apparent, but others may not be. Again, when in doubt, feel free to call and ask. Here are some examples of items you shouldn’t bring to treatment.

  • Weapons
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Jewelry
  • Other valuables
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Perfume and spray deodorant
  • Inappropriate clothing
  • Mouthwash
  • Products that contain alcohol
  • Food
  • Lewd or inappropriate reading material

Some items may directly threaten your sobriety or someone else’s sobriety. Of course, drugs and alcohol should be avoided, but other things like mouthwash and aerosol sprays may be used to achieve a high, especially by people going through severe cravings. Other things can be left at home because you won’t need them in treatment. Food is unnecessary to bring since meals and snacks will be provided as a part of your inpatient treatment program.

Paying for Addiction Treatment

The cost of addiction treatment can be pricey. It is similar to other forms of long-term healthcare, and it’s more expensive at higher levels of care. However, addiction is a disease that can affect your finances along with your health. People in active addiction often need to spend more and more time maintaining their substance use problems. Eventually, maintaining employment and financial stability may become extremely difficult. So how can you pay for addiction treatment? Are there ways to make rehab more affordable?

You have few options when looking for ways to make treatment more affordable. At California Highlands, you can go through your insurance provider or use private pay options. Insurance is one of the common ways to help pay for treatment. Even if your treatment plan doesn’t cover 100% of your treatment costs, it may make treatment much more affordable. The final cost of treatment will depend on several factors, including your level of care, medications, therapies, your insurance plan, and the types of therapies that your plan covers.

It can be challenging to navigate insurance and other payment options, but California Highlands is ready to help you. Cost is a common barrier to treatment for many people, but we will do what we can to help get you past that barrier.

The following are things to consider when you’re looking for ways to pay for treatment.

Navigating Insurance

A health insurance plan from a reputable insurance company will offer you the most options in addiction treatment. California Highlands accepts coverage from most private insurance providers. Federal health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid will offer you fewer options, and your insurance wouldn’t be eligible at California Highlands. However, even with government-funded insurance, there are addiction treatment options available.

Private insurance may be obtained individually, as a group, or from your employer. Since addiction is a disease, most insurance companies offer some coverage for substance use disorder treatment along with other mental and behavioral services. Health insurance companies that offer coverage for mental and behavioral health issues must offer similar levels of care that they do for medical services. Some of the regulations from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and mental health parity laws have made mental and behavioral health insurance coverage more robust.

Still, the amount of coverage you receive will depend on your insurance company and your specific plan.

In-Network Insurance Plans

When you’re trying to pay for any healthcare services, you may hear the term “in-network.” In-network providers and healthcare providers have an existing relationship with your insurance company. It usually means they have negotiated a discount for services in exchange for an easier process of getting coverage. For clients and patients, going with an in-network provider usually means saving money and having an easier time with getting coverage or reimbursements.

California Highlands has an in-network relationship with several insurance providers, including the following:

  • Anthem BCBS
  • Cigna
  • Holman Group
  • Sierra Healthcare Options (SHO)
  • Sierra Health & Life (SHL)
  • Health Plan of Nevada (HPN) HMO

If you have one of these insurance providers, getting coverage for treatment at California Highlands may be easier, but it is not necessary for eligibility. You may still be able to get coverage for treatment, even if you have an out-of-network provider. To learn more about insurance eligibility at California Highlands, call anytime.

What Is Covered By Insurance?

The services, therapies, and treatment approaches your insurance plan covers will vary based on your plan, but most mental and behavioral health insurance plans are likely to cover some approaches to treatment. Insurance companies may offer coverage for inpatient and outpatient mental and behavioral health treatment.

Insurance companies typically favor evidence-based therapies and treatment options. Evidence-based treatment options are therapies that have been tested in scientific settings and found to be more effective than no treatment or placebos. Your insurance company may be more likely to cover treatment at a facility that builds your treatment plan around evidence-based approaches

Common evidence-based therapies include:

  • Medical detoxification (detox)
  • Residential care
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Outpatient care

In some cases, your treatment center may offer alternative therapies, and robust insurance plans may cover them. Alternative therapies aren’t evidence-based, but they may help some people, as long as they’re reserved as supplemental to evidence-based approaches.

Addiction Treatment Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re thinking of taking the first steps toward treatment, you may have some questions that need to be answered. Here are some answers to common questions about addiction treatment:

What Is Addiction Treatment?

Addiction treatment involves multiple levels of care designed to address several types of needs you may have. Addiction can cause physical, mental, and social problems. You may need medical treatment, psychotherapy, and help to repair relationships. Addiction treatment is complex and effective treatment will be tailored to your individual needs.

Treatment is often done in stages, from high to low levels of care. When you first enter addiction treatment, you may experience withdrawal or other acute medical issues that require 24-hour medical care. As you progress in treatment, you may need less intense care.

You may start with medical care when you first begin treatment, but addiction treatment also involves regular meetings with a therapist and group therapy sessions. You may go through several different kinds of therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and others.

How Effective Is Addiction Treatment?

According to the NIDA, addiction treatment is effective in reducing drug use and other consequences of addiction like criminal activity. It can also help increase your social, psychological, and occupational functioning. Addiction treatment isn’t a silver bullet for substance use problems. For most people, recovery is a lifelong process. Treatment that is too short in duration can be ineffective, and even people who complete treatment may relapse, especially if they become complacent in their recovery.

Addiction relapse rates are similar to the relapse rates of other chronic diseases at 40% to 60%. However, many people achieve long-term sobriety after going through one or more relapses.

How Does It Work?

Addiction treatment is a multidimensional process involving a personalized treatment plan. Your treatment can involve medical care, psychological treatment, and other therapies. Treatment starts with an assessment process to determine the level of care you need and the therapies you could benefit from. At each step, your progress will be reassessed, and you’ll meet with the same therapist each week. You may go through detoxification, behavioral therapies, group therapy, mental health treatment, and relapse prevention planning.

Treatment also involves four major levels of care, including medically managed intensive inpatient treatment, inpatient and residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment.

What If I Relapse?

A relapse can be frustrating and even dangerous, but it’s often a part of the recovery process. Despite the relapse rates, it’s important to realize that relapse isn’t inevitable, and many people who seek treatment achieve lasting sobriety. However, many people who achieve sobriety experience one or more releases. A relapse may feel like you’ve lost all the progress you’ve made, but every day in treatment and out of active addiction is valuable. Going through treatment allows you to learn important things about recovery.

For that reason, a relapse doesn’t mean addiction treatment has failed. Instead, it means you may need to return to treatment and reexamine your relapse prevention plan.

What Is Inpatient Addiction Treatment?

California Highlands offers an inpatient level of care, which means you will have access to 24-hour care. But there are also several levels of inpatient care. Medical detox is the highest level of care with 24-hour medically managed services. Inpatient and residential services also involve 24-hour care but at a lower level. It may include medical monitoring or clinically managed treatment services.

Inpatient treatment is generally reserved for people with severe substance use disorders that can’t live on their own safely without a significant threat of a relapse.

How Long Is Treatment?

Like other aspects of treatment, the length of time you spend in rehab will depend on your needs. However, spending too little time in treatment may offer limited results. According to the NIDA, treatment shorter than 90 days may not be effective, leading to an increased risk of relapse. The time you spend in treatment may span several levels of care based on your needs and progress in treatment. There is no cap on the amount of time you should spend on each level of care. Rather, it’s important to take as much time as you need.

Will Treatment Cure My Addiction?

Treatment is a chronic disease with no known cure, but it can be treated. Addiction treatment can lead to lasting sobriety and freedom from active addiction and its most severe consequences. Treatment is intended to give you the tools and support to manage the symptoms of addiction like ravings and compulsions to use.

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