7 Things to Look for in a Quality Addiction Recovery Center

Mar 24, 2022

Your loved one has admitted they have an alcohol or drug addiction and have asked for your help finding a substance abuse recovery center. However, a simple online search yields an overwhelming number of different facilities in your area, and they all look good to you, or at least their websites do.

Addiction Recovery Center

How do you choose?

We have narrowed the list down to some key things: Accreditation, training and licensing, insurance coverage, use of evidence-based therapy practices, family support, specialized programs, and post-treatment support.

1. Accreditation

Two central governing bodies accredit substance abuse rehab facilities, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Both institutions focus on continuously improving healthcare through stringent evaluation processes. Once accredited, these bodies also encourage continuous improvement practices.

Accreditation is not mandatory, which means that each healthcare provider voluntarily seeks out accreditation and certification to show their commitment to maintaining a high standard of care. Look for a center that carries the JCAHO gold seal or the CARF Aspire to Excellence logo.

2. Provider Licensing, Training, and Background

Take a look at the individual treatment providers to ensure they are licensed, certified, or have the educational training to provide informed care. These are usually identifiable by the acronyms after their names, including Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC), and Master of Social Work (MSW), to name a few.

We also recommend reading their bios and looking for information such as how long they have been practicing, do they have a lot of experience with addiction and mental health therapies, and are they graduates of a recovery program themselves. While that last one doesn’t necessarily need to be a requirement, it certainly can be beneficial to receive help from someone who has walked in your loved one’s shoes and come out on the other side of their addiction.

3. Insurance Coverage

This is a biggie, as addiction treatment is not cheap. First, you’ll want to find out if the drug rehab center you’re considering is in your network. If it is, it’s worth a phone call to your insurance company to see exactly what’s covered in your plan and what’s not. Often, but not always, residential detox programs have a per-day, all-inclusive cost, so it’s also essential to find out how the center structures its billing. Some numbers you’ll need to know include the amount of your deductible, the cost of co-pays for specialized care, and your out-of-pocket maximum before insurance starts paying 100 percent of your bill.

While high cost can present a substantial barrier to seeking drug and alcohol addiction treatment, especially if you’re uninsured, don’t be deterred. The Affordable Care Act mandates that all Marketplace healthcare plans cover alcohol and drug rehab treatments, including those required by pre-existing conditions. Insurers also are not allowed to impose yearly or lifetime spending limits on the services you receive. You can get more information on this by going to the Healthcare.gov website.

Most states have some financial assistance for those who can’t afford rehab, or your state health agency may offer low-cost or free addiction and mental health services. Finally, check with the substance abuse recovery center itself, as many have sliding scales for different income brackets and may offer grants and scholarships.

4. Use of Evidence-Based Therapy Practices

Evidence-based practices have extensive scientific research and study roots and typically yield the most effective treatment outcomes. These modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, 12-Step treatment facilitation, Medication-Assisted Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and Experiential and Outdoor therapies. While the facility you choose doesn’t need to have every therapy modality imaginable, it should have most of the basics mentioned above.

5. Family Support

Addiction affects not only the person using but also everyone close to him. It strains and even destroys family ties, leaving the people closest to the user feeling alienated and helpless. Family members want to offer support, but they often don’t know how or feel too tired and hopeless to think anything they do will make a difference. On the contrary, research shows that families make a tremendous difference in clearing the way for lasting sobriety.

When looking at different treatment options, ask about their family support offerings. Do they have support groups for spouses, children, and parents? What about family education classes? Does the facility actively plan for family involvement? For example, our Christian-based rehabilitation centers in Utah and Idaho provide numerous resources for family members. These include weekly education classes, webinars, and processing groups.

6. Specialized Programs

Addiction treatment works best when those in recovery have the opportunity to open up and make connections. A great way to facilitate that process is to offer a specialized program where people feel that they’re in the company of others in similar situations. For instance, your son seeking help might consider a rehab for men. Often men and women come into treatment for different types of substance abuse or have gender-specific needs that can’t be met in a co-ed environment. Other rehab specializations include faith-based treatment centers and programs solely focused on specific age groups like adults over 50 or children and teens.

7. Post-Treatment Support

The recovery journey doesn’t end after graduating from residential treatment. Quite the opposite. Once inpatient detoxification and treatment concludes, the real work of maintaining sobriety begins. Treatment often demands that we seek out new friend groups and steer clear of old associations that will tempt us to start using again. This is why choosing an addiction recovery center with a strong aftercare program is so critical.

Aftercare resources can include continued individual therapy, 12-Step model support groups, and active alumni associations. Your loved one will have made strong connections while in residential treatment and will most likely want to keep those people in his life. A good alumni program will offer regular activities and opportunities to connect.

If you would like some assistance in beginning your recovery or that of a loved one, chat with us on our website or give us a call at (855) 736-7262.