As if addiction isn’t devastating enough, there has to be a dark side to the addiction treatment industry.

As if being an addict isn’t life-threatening enough, there has to be a small group of unethical, bad people who prey on those fighting addiction for the purpose of making a profit.

As if families aren’t suffering enough, there has to be an indifferent call center with untrained people answering the phones.

It’s true, all of the above it true, but thankfully there are ethical, honest, caring people working hard in the addiction recovery industry to help individuals and families who are battling the realities of addiction.

So this begs the question for families and individuals…”How can you tell if you’re speaking with someone who will be able to help and who wants to help, or if you’re speaking with someone who’s just there to funnel your call to a pre-chosen treatment center?

The answer is simple. You can’t. Unless you ask the right questions.

Don’t allow them to start with the first question about your insurance. You need to take control. This is YOUR life or the life of your loved one.

Ask who the person on the other end of the call who they represent. Ask them about their treatment program. Ask them for details, how long they’ve been in business, how many clients they have at one time, how long the program is, etc.

Most important, make certain YOU are making the decision about where to go. Don’t allow them to direct you to a program (which means they aren’t a program). Accept several possible choices, do your research, make your own choice.

Yes, there’s a dark side to the addiction treatment industry, but you don’t have to listen to it.