There are over 14 000 rehabilitation facilities in America. When you or your loved one is ready for help, how are you supposed to choose one? With this in mind we’ve written our take on what to look for in a drug rehabilitation center.

Naturally, some facilities are better than others.

There are lots of things to consider when choosing a center. The types of programs offered, the credibility of the center, and their options for detox, to name a few. Then there’s the price and if it’s covered by insurance.

Basically, there’s a lot to consider before you can go to treatment. We’ve made it easy for you by compiling all those factors in one place. Keep reading for help choosing a drug rehabilitation center.

9 Things to Consider When Choosing a Facility

Each rehab center is unique in its approaches, reputation, and effectiveness. And, each addict has a unique background, substance of choice, and psychology.

Finding a treatment center that suits the addict doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are nine things to consider before you make your decision.

1. Credentials and Licenses

First, you need to ensure the facility you’re interested in is certified and licensed. This means it can legally operate and advertise as a rehabilitation center.

Unfortunately, there are some facilities that say they’re credible when they aren’t.

There are a handful of accreditation organizations for rehabilitation facilities. If a facility is accredited, they can accept insurance and advertise their services.

They include:

– the Joint Commission Accreditation

– the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

– the LegitScript Certification

You should also ensure the staff that work at the facility are licensed. They should have ample training and experience as well as official certifications. Some examples are Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LDAC) and Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC).

Lastly, see what the facility specializes in. It’s unlikely that any facility can treat every addiction disorder effectively. That’s why specializing in a few is more promising.

Some centers specialize in alcohol addiction and heroin addiction. Others in prescription pill addiction or methamphetamine addiction.

2. On-Site Detox

The first phase of getting sober is going through a detoxification process. This is when the body runs out of substances and doesn’t get replenished.

Also called withdrawal, the detox process can sometimes be painful, distressing, and stressful.

You need a facility that is experienced in administering detoxes. Users in this state need constant monitoring and on-call emergency services.

Ensure the facility you choose offers 24-hour care for detox patients. You should also inquire if they offer medication for certain addictions, like opioids. In these cases, going cold turkey off the substance isn’t the safest option.

3. In-Patient vs. Out-Patient

In-patient programs are when patients live in the facility full-time. They eat, sleep, and complete the program on-site.

Out-patient programs allow the patient to sleep and spend time out of the center. They will often come to the center for treatment and therapy.

You must decide if an in-patient or out-patient program is best for you. Often, the counselors at the rehabilitation facility can help you decide. As can your doctor.

In-patient programs are often for users who can’t fulfill regular tasks, like going to work. Or, if the user has tried many different out-patient programs without success.

4. Individualized Care and Programs

There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment program. So, if the facility offers a generic program for all patients, stay away.

A reputable center will offer a customized program based on the patient. They will combine different therapies and treatments that will benefit each unique patient.

The facility should also only use evidence-based programs. These are programs that have ample research proving their effectiveness. Some examples would be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or 12-Step Facilitation.

You may also want to inquire about gender-based treatment. Some facilities offer treatment for men, women, teens, or specific religions.

5. Mental Health Services

Did you know that 25 percent of addicts also have mental health illnesses? Mental illnesses go hand in hand with addiction.

So, it’s beneficial for the patient if the facility can treat both problems.

They might offer addictions counselling as well as counselling for depression or anxiety. This is sometimes called dual diagnosis treatment.

No two dual diagnosis are the same, so these patients need customized treatment plans.

Inquire how the facility creates their treatment plans for these patients especially. What kinds of assessments do they do first? How many licensed professionals contribute to creating their program?

It’s important to have mental health professionals handling these conditions. Not just a general counselor.

6. Diverse Treatment Team

Find out the patient to staff member ratio. When the patients outnumber the staff, it’s likely that your loved one won’t get the attention they need.

And, there shouldn’t be a few staff members wearing all the hats.

Effective treatment requires expertise in many different fields. That’s why reputable facilities will have medical doctors, nurses, counselors, and psychiatrists. They also often have wellness experts, like nutritionists and spiritual counselors.

Additionally, there will be property managers, groundskeepers, and cleaners. A well-staffed and diverse facility runs like a well-oiled machine. Patients get all the attention and help they need.

7. Services & Amenities

The top rehabilitation centers don’t spend 24-hours a day focused on the addiction. They give patients time to explore new hobbies and activities.

It might seem strange for a treatment center to offer fun activities. But these services and amenities give addicts the opportunities to develop new interests.

Some centers will have fitness rooms, a pool, or an art room. There might be musical instruments, lessons, and even pet therapy.

Meditation and mindfulness are often helpful during addiction recovery. So, there might be yoga classes and meditation sessions.

Remember that luxury amenities don’t always equate to quality. Some centers boast having the top amenities. But, their ability to treat addiction is less than par.

Focus on quality treatment first, amenities second.

8. Family Participation

As you likely know, addiction doesn’t just affect the user. It affects everyone in their life that loves them.

Often, the family of a user needs treatment as much as the addict does.

For that reason, many facilities will incorporate families into the recovery process. That could mean sitting in on meetings or doing therapy with the recovering addict.

Perhaps there are wounds your family needs to heal. Or, perhaps your family needs to learn how to adjust to your loved one’s sober lifestyle.

Look for facilities that acknowledge the role of the family in addiction. And, are willing to incorporate it into the addict’s program.

9. Post-Treatment Support

What happens when the patient completes their program? Are they kicked out? How can you ensure they don’t relapse?

Many rehabilitation centers will offer post-treatment support services. These are programs that continue treating the addiction, but not necessarily on-site.

They might include phone coaching, accountability apps, or even support groups. Attending support groups can be very helpful for the recovering addict to find peers who understand their past.

There are also sober living homes where patients can go after in-patient programs. These homes offer a transition period before heading back to the real world. It’s where they can learn how to adjust and continue to heal in a safe environment.

It’s a good idea to arrange support services before the patient leaves the program. This could mean planning for ongoing counseling and career counseling. Or, continuation of the hobbies they enjoyed during treatment.

How to Find a Drug Rehabilitation Center

Now that you know some of the things to consider when choosing a facility, here are the steps to pick one.

First, do lots of research.

Pay attention to how long each facility has been in business. You should look for one with many years of experience. And, one that specializes in the type of addiction you or your loved one has.

Look at the online reviews. Read their success stories.

Keep in mind that if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Beware of centers that promise or guarantee success.

Next, ask lots of questions. Book phone interviews with facility managers who will answer all your questions. Take notes and pay attention to the manager’s friendliness and professionalism.

Last, tour the facility in person. Look for cleanliness, safety hazards, and the staff to patient ratio. Talk to different staff members if possible and observe different activities in progress.

Looking for the Right Addiction Treatment Center for You?

As mentioned above, treatment centers vary in quality, price, and effectiveness. It’s important to weed out the ones that won’t serve you well. And, investigate the ones that seem promising.

Pathfinders Recovery Center is a highly reputable drug rehabilitation center in Colorado and Arizona. Our team of licensed experts help patients recover from certain addictions.Contact us to learn more about our addiction recovery services.


  • 7580 E Gray Rd Suite 201 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7
  • Mon-Fri: 8:00AM – 4:00PM

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