In what’s essentially a shady insurance scam, numerous fake drug rehab centers have popped up across the country in recent years. These “fake” rehabs have become so prevalent, in fact, that Google placed restrictions on online rehab center ads in mid-2017, as a means of ensuring accountability in an industry that’s sometimes poorly regulated.
Unfortunately, Google’s addiction treatment ad regulations have hurt ethical drug rehab centers as well as their illegitimate counterparts. Many mental health professionals advocate a different approach – instead of a total ban, Google should implement a vetting process that allows advertising or sponsored links solely by accredited rehab facilities.
Addiction treatment is a multi-billion-dollar business, and that’s a major problem. Drug addicts are an extremely vulnerable chunk of the population, some of whom are so desperate for relief that they’ll try anything – even sobriety. Many unscrupulous companies maraud as drug rehab programs in order to prey on addicts and their families, jeopardizing numerous lives in the process.
So how can you discern a “fake” drug rehab from a legitimate addiction treatment facility?
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Finding Reputable Drug Rehab Centers
Whether you’re looking to make a positive life change on your own or thanks to the nudge of a friend or family member, you’ll find that recovery is akin to a full-time job. Treatment at a quality facility such as Ocean Hills Recovery takes on a multi-faceted, personalized approach to substance abuse therapy.
Most recovering addicts attend a variety of counseling sessions, including group and individual therapy. You’ll also be encouraged to replace the time you once spent locating your fix and getting high with hobbies or similar types of positive activities. You may find music therapy to be beneficial, or you may choose to release endorphins via an exercise or yoga class. These are added benefits of many rehab centers, though they shouldn’t be the only appeal in finding a rehab. A strong program should be the first focus.
Even if you haven’t been formally diagnosed with anything, it can be especially helpful to find a drug rehab that specializes in dual diagnosis. More often than not, a person struggling with addiction will also be dealing with a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety. By locating a rehab that offers dual diagnosis treatment, you can be sure that you will receive treatment not only for your physical addiction, but also the underlying cause of it.
California Substance Abuse Facility Regulations
According to the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), a license is required in any facility that provides 24-hour residential nonmedical services to adults seeking treatment for drug or alcohol misuse or abuse.
Individual cities and/or counties may also have regulations in place that pertain to residential treatment facilities. Permits, business taxes or local fees may be required in your area, but it’s important to note that holding a county or city permit does not necessarily mean that a drug rehab facility is legitimate.
To ensure that a drug rehab center is legitimate and will provide the necessary care and treatment to those seeking recovery from substance abuse, it’s best to look for certification and/or accreditation from a third party. For instance, DHCS certification is given to those rehab facilities that meet minimum quality and state alcohol and/or other drug certification standards.
You can also look for a rehab center that’s endorsed by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The nonprofit organization boasts a stringent certification process, and the initial accreditation takes between 9 – 12 months. If a facility holds CARF status, you can rest assured that the rehab center is legitimate.
Is a Sober Living House the Same as Drug Rehab?
When conducting your initial search for an ethical rehab facility, you’ve likely come across the term “recovery house.” But what does it mean? Also referred to as sober living houses, these facilities differ greatly from drug rehab – recovery houses often serve as a positive, post-rehab environment for newly sober individuals.
Regrettably, the fake rehab industry has also targeted sober living houses, giving them a bad name. It’s easy to spot a fraudulent sober house, however: In general, a sober living house has a zero-tolerance policy for drug or alcohol use. Further, residents of these houses aren’t given a free ride.
Once accepted into a recovery home, addicts are subject to a number of requirements, from paying rent to seeking and maintaining employment. If you’re looking into a “sober living house” that advertises free rent or allows occasional substance abuse, chances are that it’s a scam.
Instead, finding a sober living home that is affiliated with an accredited addiction treatment program is your best best. This will ensure that you will be entering a safe, drug-free environment that will allow you to transition into a life of recovery.
We’re Here to Help
At Ocean Hills Recovery, we’re fully accredited by CARF International, and our programs are tailored to meet your individual needs. You may be a prime candidate for our structured residential program, or you may find our less stringent, long-term transitional program to be a better fit. No matter your history or the circumstances that led you to seek recovery, we’ll work towards helping you achieve long-term freedom from drugs and alcohol.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.