Using abstinence as the mandatory criterion for successful treatment is another aspect that can only be seen in highly effective addiction treatment facilities. Different rehabilitation settings define the treatment as successful in different ways. For some, a successful treatment implies a significant improvement in major areas of patient's life such as his family life, occupational functioning, and psychological health, regardless of the fact whether he is using the drugs or not. Some facilities measure success in terms of the frequency of drug-taking episodes while some assess the quality of treatment from the patient's willingness to stay in touch with the counseling process even after the indoor treatment. However, considering the fact that addiction is a primary, chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease, the only successful result of addiction treatment can be obtained with complete abstinence from drugs. The best addiction treatment programs in the world keep abstinence the priority and work with the patients on achieving this target in order to make the treatment successful.
Another element which makes a distinction between a first-class addiction treatment facility and an average facility is the fact that high quality treatment programs always provide their professional expertise to both the parties including the family and the patient as well. They always offer their services to educate not only the patient but also to his family as well regarding the nature of an illness and the role of a family in achieving the goal of abstinence and recovery by the patient. Although, the decision is entirely dependent on the family whether they are willing to get themselves into family counseling process or not, yet the treatment program always offers them the required professional help.
Lastly, whether the treatment program offers an extensive and constructive follow up plan for the patients after the indoor or outdoor treatment or not is also another prominent aspect which distinguishes between the programs with high quality and average quality. Since, addiction is a chronic disease; it is a manageable illness not curable one, so an aftercare or follow up plan becomes a key factor for recovery. All the best addiction treatment facilities offer a follow up plan for the patients which may include attending group sessions for a certain period of time prior to the indoor or outdoor treatment, and also an ongoing counseling process in which the issues like challenges of recovery, relapse prevention and lifestyle management are addressed.
To sum it up, it can be concluded that the emphasis on implementing disease model of addiction and achieving the clearly defined goals for the patients' recovery with effective treatment strategies are the highlights of a good treatment program. Serving the needs of the patients and their families instead of the needs of the institution is the hallmark of an effective addiction treatment facility.