Drug Rehabilitation Blog


Should a Rehab Facility Be Certified?

Drug rehabilitation is the process of treating an individual suffering from dependency on addictive substances like alcohol, prescription drugs or street drugs. This can include therapy, holistic practices, drug detox, and help through withdrawal. Many of the methods used to aid individuals going through rehab require the skill of trained and certified professionals.

Individuals working in the field of drug rehabilitation should be properly certified. Certification and accreditation of a rehab facility gives one special assurance that services and facilities will be up to specified standards. While many states have specific standards which all rehab facilities in that state must comply with, additional accreditation of rehabilitation centers raises the bar and makes for a better facility.Certified

State Regulations vs. Certification/Accreditation

Each state has their own laws and regulations when it comes to standards of treatment. Here are a few with which rehabilitation facilities in the State of Michigan must comply:

  • Programs must have defined intake procedures, admission criteria, reasons and methods of discharge or termination, after-care procedures, as well as patient rights.

  • Rehabs must comply with federal, state, and local statutes and regulations to ensure provision is made for handicapped individuals receiving service.

  • Program evaluation methods must measure progress and results as they relate to written and measurable goals and objectives.

  • In a residential rehab, clients who have not had a medical exam within 6 months prior to admission are required to get one under the supervision of a licensed physician no later than 14 days after admission.

  • In a residential rehab, clients’ social and psychological needs must be assessed as part of treatment. Additionally, there must be a treatment plan made in writing based upon clients’ needs.

  • In a residential rehab, services and therapeutic treatments must be defined and must follow a sequence.

Those are just a few of the requirements a rehabilitation center in Michigan must comply with in order to be properly licensed. These regulations deal with the common sense, safety, procedural, and legal aspects of starting and maintaining a rehabilitation facility. The intention is that anyone admitted can safely detoxify from drug or alcohol dependence, have a positive experience dealing systematically with their addiction issues, and emerge a drug-free individual with a new outlook on life.

Accreditation from a third party often concentrates more narrowly on the quality of care a facility is able to provide. Recognition, inspection, and training from such third-party groups can mean the difference between a truly effective rehabilitation program and one which produces less than stellar results. Here are just a few standards a rehabilitation center must have in place in order to be officially recognized by an independent, nonprofit accreditor for health and human services: The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF International):

  • Treatment programs follow rehabilitation stages lasting a sufficient length of time to meet the needs of the person served.

  • CARF may conduct unannounced monitoring visits for accredited suppliers.

  • Required credentials of professional licensed/certified personnel are verified by the facility and are kept up-to-date.

  • The rehab must ensure any equipment provided for client use can be used safely and effectively.

  • Rehab tailors training, instructional manuals, and approaches to clients’ needs, abilities, learning preferences, and language.

  • Rehab provides follow-up services for the client that are consistent with the type of service received and provides recommendations from team members as well as any physician recommendations.

  • Detoxification services are intended to help the persons served reduce or eliminate their use of illicit drugs while improving their quality of life and functioning.

  • Residential treatment services are organized to provide environments in which persons with behavioral health disorders or related problems can reside and receive services from personnel who are specialty trained in service delivery for said persons.

  • Rehab must submit annual conformance to quality reports.

As you can see from this list, the concentration when it comes to accreditation is consistent, high-quality care. There is significantly more oversight and accountability when a facility has been accredited than when it has just been licensed.

Benefits of Certification/Accreditation

When a rehab facility has attained certification and accreditation, they have been verified as having met specifically defined standards. These standards can be found by researching the third party accreditor and by learning the details of the certification process.Service

Additionally, the exemplary quality shown by certification and accreditation is expected to be continuously maintained. An accreditor like CARF requires continuous quality reports and investigates any reported changes in quality.

Accreditation is in force for a specified period of time. This means a rehab must continuously earn their accreditation. A facility which has been licensed by the state must keep up licensing fees, keep their legal requirements, and do any required continuing education to keep their license. Maintaining accreditation requires remaining accountable to a third party source on a clearly defined, consistent basis.

Because of the need to remain accountable, the quality of care in accredited and certified facilities is often better than that found in centers and clinics which do not have to hold themselves to the stringent standards required for accreditation.

How Can I Find Out if a Rehabilitation Facility is Certified or Accredited?

Many rehabilitation centers are proud of their high standards and note the accreditation and certification on their websites. You can also call and simply ask what certification and accreditation the facility has attained.

If you wish to locate a provider accredited by a specific group, like CARF, you can look them up on the accreditor’s website. CARF International provides a “find an accredited provider” section.

Overall, accredited and certified rehabilitation centers maintain standards of continuous quality that centers which are merely licensed do not have to maintain. Accredited centers are expected to consistently provide services which adhere to these stringent standards. It follows that superior standards and quality will make for happier, drug-free clients.









  • Diane C

    This is very good to know. I would not have known the difference between the 2. I would just figure if the center was licensed, then they were accredited. I had no idea that this was something else entirely. I would definitely want my friend of loved one to be in an accredited facility so that I could feel that they were getting the best of care.

  • Amanda

    That is very interesting and I did not have a lot of that information. It amazing to think that there are people that are out in the world that would set up a facility to help people overcome drug addiction and not be full licensed or accredited. Being accredited is very important because it make the person accountable for the space and staff. This is great data to know! Keep your loves one safe.

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