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Determining the Quality of Drug Rehab

Marcel Gemme By Marcel Gemme | Last Updated: 29 February 2024
  • What You'll Learn

General Criteria for Selecting a Quality Drug Rehab

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “No single treatment is appropriate for everyone”, and “Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse”

It has been our experience that drug rehab should meet the following general criteria:

More than one rehabilitation methodology to work from:

Each drug or alcohol user experiences something different. The selected rehabilitation program should tailor most counseling or therapy services to meet individual needs.

The facility should have beds available for new clients:

Putting aside state-funded services, which generally come with wait lists. A quality drug rehab center should always have a bed available for new patients, especially in private facilities.

Quality drug rehab attends to multiple needs:

Co-occurring disorders are the most common problem. A good drug rehab center addresses all issues.

Certification and Licensed Staff:

The clinical staff working at the facility should be qualified. The drug rehab center should have proper credentials, licenses, and certifications.

Reputation and Reviews:

The internet is good for finding consumer reviews and experiences. While online reviews can be helpful, do not let one bad review determine your viewpoint. Look at the overall level of care provided to the clients.

Evidence-based therapy approaches

Behavioral therapies (individual, group, and family) are the most common, along with 12-step facilitation. Overall, quality rehab should offer multiple evidence-based practices.

Clinical or medical detox:

Detoxification is the first step. A quality drug rehab center should be part of a clinical or medical detox program. This makes it easier for the client to transition from detox to therapy.

Ongoing assessment and change:

Clinical staff at any quality drug rehab center should provide ongoing assessments, ensuring therapy meets the client’s needs. The team should communicate this to the family regularly.

Extensive aftercare support:

An alumni program or aftercare support is critical. Any quality drug rehab center provides ongoing support for every person upon completing their program.

It is important to note that this is a general criterion. Not all drug rehab centers provide all of this. However, the best quality programs offer much of this to their clients.

Accreditations, certifications, and licenses

Accreditations, certifications, and licenses are a sign of a quality treatment center, and we have listed some common ones to help you determine if a facility is trusted.

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

CARF International is an independent non-profit organization that focuses on advancing the quality of services to meet individual needs. The organization provides accreditation services worldwide. When a drug rehab center receives a CARF accreditation, the facility must continually improve its standards.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

The Joint Commission is one of the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting bodies in health care. In addition, it is a non-profit organization. An accreditation from the Joint Commission means that the drug rehab center maintains a level of care across all of its services.


LegitScript is a certification process for rehabs that lets prospective clients know that they are who they say they are. The rehab industry has a troubled past that involved predatory practices. LegitScript helps mitigate the risk associated with searching for help online. Overall, it means that the business provides a high level of commercial integrity.

Licensed Centers and Staff

Every state has a different licensing process for drug rehab centers. Generally, the licenses are provided by a state health department or local agency. Quality drug rehab will display their licenses on their website or at the facility.

Quality drug rehab centers will also have adequately licensed and qualified staff, including; addiction counselors, therapists, nurses, physicians, psychologists, spiritual guides, social workers, etc. A trusted center will readily provide this information to any potential client.




More Information

Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.