Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to find addiction treatment centers across the country. With that being said, not all such facilities are created equal. While there are top-notch rehab facilities in most major metro areas, the field is also crowded with fly-by-night facilities that don’t necessarily have patients’ best interests at heart. Those who are suffering from substance abuse and their loved ones are often so desperate for help that they overlook any glaring red flags. Given the importance of this step, however, due diligence is a must. The simplest part of that is seeking out rehab centers that are accredited by reputable accreditation bodies. Read on to learn more and for tips for finding such facilities.
The Importance of Accreditation
When seeking addiction treatment, people understandably focus on things like areas of specialization, location and price. As long as an addiction treatment center is licensed by the state, they assume that the facility is up to par. However, licensing is not required in all states. Furthermore, state licensing standards tend to be far laxer than those of the best accreditation bodies. To earn accreditation from an organization like CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, a facility must undergo a rigorous, months-long process. In doing so, a rehab center demonstrates its ongoing commitment to quality care.
Accreditation Bodies for Addiction Treatment Centers
It is important to be familiar with the accreditation bodies that most commonly grant accreditation to substance abuse treatment centers. That way, you can know at a glance whether a facility’s credentials are truly up to today’s most rigorous standards. Addiction treatment facilities typically seek accreditation from one of two accreditation bodies: CARF and the Joint Commission, which was formerly known as JCAHO. According to a recent study, 56.9 percent of treatment facilities lacked accreditation entirely. Around 19.2 percent held accreditations from the Joint Commission while around 21.8 percent were accredited by CARF.
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The Accreditation Process for Rehabs
Like some people, you might wonder if accreditation in the industry is just another way for facilities to market themselves. As long as the accreditation comes from a reputable body like CARF or the Joint Commission, however, you can rest assured that the facility had to endure a rigorous, in-depth accreditation process to get there. Facilities must open their doors and allow such organizations to investigate their processes, practices, structure, clinical programming and patient outcomes. They must also invest money into the accreditation process, and they must renew their accreditation every one to three years, depending on the type that they hold.
How to Find an Accredited Addiction Treatment Center
Whether you’d like to enter treatment near home or elsewhere in the country, make finding an accredited facility your top priority. Finding a program that is properly accredited is just one piece of the puzzle; here are some tips for finding an accredited center with the right attributes:
First and foremost, seek out rehab centers that hold accreditations from CARF or the Joint Commission. One way to do this by searching for facilities first and then eliminating those that do not hold such credentials. A faster option is to visit the official website of the Joint Commission or CARF and to perform a search from there. That way, you can rest assured that every facility that appears in the results is currently accredited by that organization. Ask how long they have been accredited for and when they are due for re-certification. Any facility that is serious about maintaining its accreditation will be able to answer those questions without any trouble.
While accreditation standards for organizations like CARF are rigorous, they only go so far. Typically, accreditation bodies have standards in place in terms of the level of education and training of employees. However, these tend to be fairly minimal, and different facilities have different standards when it comes to the employees whom they hire. Therefore, always inquire about the kind of training and education that employees are required to possess. It is also wise to find out the level of involvement of the facility’s physicians and medical directors as some programs only have such professionals on board in name only.
Make sure that any addiction treatment center that you consider offers programs and treatments that cater to your specific substance abuse issues. Some facilities offer treatment for a dizzying array of substances while others focus on only a handful. Since addiction often goes hand in hand with mental illness, it may also be smart to select a facility that offers dual diagnosis treatments.
Accredited treatment facilities are typically required to have policies in place for evaluating the effectiveness of the treatments and programs that they offer. Even if a facility is accredited, however, be sure to ask about how they go about doing this. The right facility will also take care to monitor patient outcomes, so always ask about that too. These things demonstrate a facility’s commitment to continual improvement, which is crucial.
In a perfect world, the only substance abuse treatment programs out there would be of the utmost quality. In reality, however, some really miss the mark when it comes to providing adequate care. If you are looking for addiction treatment facilities in the state of California, insist on a treatment center that possesses accreditations from reputable organizations. Ocean Hills Recovery is proud to be accredited by CARF, and we are here to help.
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATCI). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.