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What Do You Want out of Treatment? Not Sure? Here’s a 50 Item Checklist of Options to Consider

What do you want from treatment? What kind of treatment do you need? What do you want to learn: what skills do you want to acquire?

If you’re like most people – other than knowing you have a big problem and you need some help, you have no idea what else you need or want from treatment!

So if you don't know what you want, you just know that you need to stop drinking or drugs, then you’re in good company – it’s a normal way to start treatment and you don’t require all the answers, you just need a desire change.

However, by thinking about what you want from treatment, you have a better chance of getting more of what you need. With all the treatment options out there, you can probably get most of the services you want, you just need to know what to ask for. This list of treatment options should help you with this.1

Print off the list and circle any items you know (or think) you want. Then, with your list in hand, when contacting drug rehabs or other treatment providers, you can ask for specific services – or for referrals to rehabs that offer the specific services you need/want. If nothing else, it helps you start the process as an informed consumer taking an active role in the healthcare process – which is always a good thing.

What Do You Need/Want from Treatment?

Circle any options that apply to you.

  1. Do you want to find out if you have a drinking or drug problem, and if so, how serious it is?
  2. Do you feel confused about your options and just want to talk to someone?
  3. Do you need a medical detoxification to help with withdrawal symptoms and for stabilization?
  4. Do you need to fulfill a court order or requirement?
  5. Do you want to stop drinking or using drugs?
  6. Do you want to cut down (rather than stop) your drinking or drug use?
  7. Do you want help for an eating disorder?
  8. Do you want help to stop gambling?
  9. Do you want help for another behavioral problem (sexual addiction, technology addiction, etc.)?
  10. Do you want help stopping tobacco?
  11. Do you want to take a medication that helps with alcohol cravings or withdrawal symptoms?
  12. Do you want to take methadone (for opioid addiction)?
  13. Do you want to take Suboxone (for opioid addiction)?
  14. Do you want to take naltrexone (for opioid addiction)?
  15. Do you want an introduction to the 12 steps and to AA or NA meetings?
  16. Do you want to learn relapse prevention skills?
  17. Do you want therapy to work through personal problems?
  18. Do you want couples therapy or addiction focused couples therapy to work through relationship problems?
  19. Do you want to attend treatment with your spouse or partner?
  20. Do you want to address past or present sexual, emotional and/or physical abuse?
  21. Do you want faith-based treatment?
  22. Do you want treatment that focuses on spiritual growth?
  23. Do you want treatment for physical health problems?
  24. Do you want treatment for dental health problems?
  25. Do you want to improve your health with fitness and nutrition programs?
  26. Do you want help dealing with depression?
  27. Do you need help dealing with grief?
  28. Do you have suicidal thoughts or plans?
  29. Do you want help dealing with anxiety?
  30. Do you need help dealing with shyness or socializing?
  31. Do you want to learn to manage stress?
  32. Do you want to learn anger management skills?
  33. Do you want to learn better problem solving skills?
  34. Do you want to learn how to be assertive?
  35. Do you want to improve your self esteem?
  36. Do you want to work on dealing with loneliness?
  37. Do you want help with sexual problems?
  38. Do you need help with legal problems?
  39. Do you need help handling financial problems?
  40. Do you need help getting government benefits or services that you may qualify for?
  41. Do you need help getting a job or receiving job training?
  42. Do you need child care services while you receive treatment?
  43. Do you want to learn better parenting skills?
  44. Do you want to get custody of children that have been taken from you?
  45. Do you want to get tested for HIV and other STDs?
  46. Do you want to learn how to have fun without using drugs and alcohol?
  47. Do you want treatment in a single gender environment?
  48. Do you want to see a doctor about physical health problems?
  49. Do you want short duration treatment?
  50. Do you want long duration treatment?

Using Your List

Once you’ve gone through this list and circled all of that you want out of your treatment experience, you have a document in hand to work from when contacting treatment providers. When you can tell an admissions professional specifics about what you want or need, they can quickly:

  1. Inform you whether or not their program fulfills your requirements.
  2. If it doesn’t, they can direct you to other treatment options that meet your needs.

Of course, you probably can’t have everything you want or need at the outset, but by asking for the services that you think you need, you take control of your healthcare and you increase the odds of a meaningful and satisfying treatment experience.

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