When you search for addiction information on the internet, you become inundated with websites providing basic or introductory information and then promising to set you up with the right treatment center to fit your needs.
These are referral services, and despite offering some wording that may seem understanding, they don’t always have your best interests at heart. At Lumiere Healing Centers, we are not a referral service. We are a fully licensed medical facilitythat cares about helping you or your loved one get better.
Are Referral Services So Bad?
Some referral services are trustworthy. For instance, you have SAMHSA’s National Helpline, a free call service that helps refer you to treatment and provides information, or the SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, which allows you to search online. Also, you might find HelpGuide.org’s article helpful if you’re in the process of searching for the right treatment program.
But many referral services you find online are not out to simply guide you in the right direction as a public service. They benefit from your search and provide biased results. It’s not that these sites will be completely unhelpful to you. They can provide some useful information through written content and over the phone, and they can guide you in finding a center that focuses on battling addictions. The problem is that they may appear unbiased yet they direct you to specific treatment centers that offer them commissions.
The Narconon Reviews site explains that some referral sites direct you to a call center with pushy salespeople on the other end of the line. These salespeople try to direct you to certain facilities because they will get a commission when you sign up. They often try to get you to commit quickly, using scare tactics. For instance, they might say that the facility only has one opening that you might miss if you don’t commit, or worse, that you or your loved one could die if you wait.
These salespeople discourage you from performing research to compare facilities on your own and hurry you into committing to a program that might not give you the type of treatment you or your loved one needs. Generally, you’ll end up committing to an expensive program, possibly overpaying for the help you require simply because the salesperson wants to gain a large commission.
Narconon Reviews notes that it’s very easy for someone to start one of these websites quickly. A person who cares only about making money instead of truly helping people recover from an addiction would have no problem setting up a referral service and directing it to a call center.
Narconon Reviews says that a good referral service should:
- Offer you choices
- Allow you to take time to research and think about the right option
- Provide staff members who have credentials and/or experience to back up their recommendations
- Be willing to answer questions about their affiliations
- Give answers that you can validate with research
If the person you call does not follow these actions, you have found an unreliable and deceitful service. Don’t be pressured into choosing a facility right away because someone at a call center tells you to. Take your time to perform research and make the right decision for your recovery.
There are red flags that identify some of the shady treatment websites on the internet, explains John M. Grohol, Psy.D. for PsychCentral. A major one is that these sites often don’t have an About Us page giving more information about the source behind the creation of the website. Or if professionals are listed on an About Us page, there is no other credible trace of those people on the internet when you perform a quick search.
Alison Knopf highlights in Addiction Professional magazine unethical practices that are happening in the addiction treatment field. These include relying on call centers, offering payment for referrals and creating marketing scams online. Knopf notes that people and businesses following these unethical practices will end up harming the whole addiction treatment industry. In turn, this will harm the people who really need help.
How Is Lumiere Different?
The major difference is that we’re an actual facility trying to share how we would be able to help your family and how we stand apart from other facilities. And we make a strong effort to provide quality content that will answer your questions, clear up misconceptions about treatment and guide you or your loved one in getting help for an addiction.
We’re obviously biased toward ourselves because we care about our mission and our work. We want to educate you about our facility to combat any uncertainty you may feel and to help you make comparisons to other facilities. We welcome you to perform your own research, ask our qualified staff questions and take your time in choosing the facility that you feel comfortable with.
Our Lumiere website shares information about addiction treatment and tells you to contact us, but we are not a referral service. We are a fully licensed medical facility. We have accreditations from The Joint Commission and the Florida Department of Children and Families. We offer you a team of qualified addiction professionals, including physicians, clinicians, registered nurses and other team members. They work together to follow a customized recovery plan that will help you move forward in the recovery process. We provide a holistic approach, focusing on your physical health as well as your mental and emotional health.
When you call us, you won’t be talking to salespeople who are trying to get you to commit to treatment. Instead, you will talk to our knowledgeable staff members who provide more information about our services and answer all of your questions. We also perform an initial assessment to make sure you are right for our program. We don’t take anyone offering us money; instead, we make sure that we are able to provide the services you need for your unique circumstances.
A Caring Staff
At Lumiere, our treatment center is filled with staff members who truly care about their jobs and about helping the people who come through our doors. This sense of pride and desire to help is present in Lumiere staff members across departments. “We go those extra steps, but we’re compassionate,” says a Lumiere staff member. She expands that a lot of people want to leave when they first enter our detox program, but that by the end, they say “I wish I could stay here…because you guys are amazing. You actually care.”
We receive an abundance of comments from our patients who were touched by the way our staff cared about them and treated them like important people. A staff member at Lumiere says, “When you actually put the patient first, it’s really rewarding when they actually see it and they can feel it from you and whoever. Any of the staff members they can feel it. They know that we like our jobs. We’re here for them.”
We provide qualified individuals that have addiction education and experience under their belts. Many staff members also have personal experience from their own past substance use or that of their loved ones. In addition to their qualifications, they put their hearts into their jobs every day. An admissions coordinator for Lumiere says, “I feel that I was made for the position that I’m in…my heart’s there, my mind’s there…my energy is with this department and with Lumiere.”
You hear the same kinds of comments from different team members throughout our healing centers. “We’re all here because we care about the patients and we want to help. Whatever our capacity is in the organization, we’re all here for that reason. This is a tough environment to work in on a daily basis and so you have to be here for the right reasons. What I see, everyone is,” says a utilization review coordinator at Lumiere.
Choosing a treatment facility — whether you are looking for a detox program, a residential rehab program or another type of treatment — is an important decision and major commitment. It is important to try to find a good fit so you can have the best chance at succeeding with your recovery. At Lumiere, we are an accredited medical facility that stands behind its services. We don’t want you to come here because you were forced into it.
Our staff members truly want to see you or your loved one succeed with recovery. We have personal investments in the people that come through our doors, and we provide an alumni program that guides them after they leave. We make every effort we can to truly help people, and it personally means a lot to our staff every time we succeed.