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Information on CARF-Accredited Drug Rehab & Other Accreditations

Last updated on: Wednesday, 18 October 2023
  • What You'll Learn

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or CARF, is an accreditation that drug rehabs can get to illustrate they provide quality care. When looking for treatment it is important the facility you choose has high standards and expertise, whether it be CARF accreditation or any other accreditation or licensures. Below, you can use the filter and choose a state in order to find a CARF-accredited drug rehab.

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List of CARF-Accredited Drug Rehabs by State

Here is access to our entire CARF-accredited drug rehabilitation database. Please select a state first. If you need help locating the right treatment for you, do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists.


Type of Treatment

CARF accreditation covers a wide range of health and human services, and is an accrediting body, meaning that when a service provider has applied for a CARF accreditation, they have met the CARF standards for the quality of their business and service delivery practices. The CARF accreditation process can be lengthy and can often take nine to twelve months for a first-time applicant. The length of time, however, does demonstrate the commitment needed by the facility to achieve accreditation. The service provider will complete an internal examination of its programs and business practices. CARF will send a team of experts to complete an on-site survey, and the service provider must demonstrate that it can conform to the rigorous and internationally recognized CARF standards. The ongoing consultation process and in-depth reviews help the service provider achieve the highest level of quality of care for their clients.

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The CARF accreditation does benefit people receiving treatment because it can guarantee top-level industry standards through accountability and risk reduction. There will be patient-focused treatment using internationally recognized standards of care, and there will be knowledge that the program has met consumer standards, and insurance companies recognize and accept CARF accreditations. An accredited CARF service provider is committed to reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, and providing the best quality of care possible. When an addiction treatment program is accredited this will mean that the facility has gone through a series of evaluations. CARF grants accreditation to more than 90 specific types of programs, more than 25,000 individual programs in 3000 organizations, for programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services has shown there are over 14,000 different types of drug rehabilitation services throughout the United States. CARF has provided accreditation for roughly 22% of the programs that operate in the country.

Accreditation can be important for a drug treatment center in the United States because when someone is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, it will be important for them to choose an effective drug rehab center. An accreditation can ensure that an addict can be admitted to a facility with research-based therapy, and families will know which programs, they see online will provide safe and quality care. Accredited facilities can assure the patient that they will receive treatment that is strictly monitored for its level of care. The accreditation process is a continuous process of staying up to date with the latest findings in addiction treatment. Benefits for accreditation can include insurance reimbursement, as third-party payers like insurance companies will use CARF accreditation to determine which facilities, they will reimburse for. These facilities will be safe therapeutic environments, along with risk management and safety, whereby service providers meet specific underwriting guidelines, which make them a lower risk for insurance coverage because they are accredited by CARF. Accredited drug and alcohol treatment services in the United States can give families peace of mind knowing they are attending a facility that has set standards and professionals working there to help its clients.

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  • What does a CARF certification mean for a drug rehab center?

    A CARF certification for a drug rehab center means that when a drug rehab center displays the CARF seal, it has undergone extensive auditing. The drug rehab center received an inspection to ensure its services are of the highest quality.

  • Why would a CARF accreditation matter for a drug rehab center?

    A CARF accreditation matters for a drug rehab center because it demonstrates the facility is committed to continuous improvement in its rehabilitation and treatment process. In addition, the facility ensures that each client receives the highest quality of care per CARF standards.

  • Is CARF accreditation something I should look for when searching for drug rehab programs?

    A CARF accreditation is a good sign that the drug rehab center is taking reasonable steps to ensure client satisfaction. However, it does not mean that the drug rehab center is the perfect fit for you or your loved one. It is essential to visit the facility, speak with staff, read reviews, or speak to healthcare providers to receive an assessment to help determine the best fit for substance use treatment.

  • What is the Joint Commission?

    The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations continuously improves the safety and quality of care provided to the public. It operates as an independent non-profit organization. Over 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States are accredited by the Joint Commission. Founded in 1951, it works to inspire healthcare organizations to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.

  • What does accreditation really mean?

    Anytime someone is searching for a drug rehab center, they will hear the words accreditation. But what does it actually mean when the program says they are accredited? Along with being licensed by the state, some drug rehab centers become accredited by a third-party organization. Despite the lengthy application process and the requirements needed to be met. Does accreditation ensure the quality of care? Much of it relies on how well organized the program is and how it operates. Accreditation does ensure the quality of care, but not always. Finding the best drug rehab center is important. Yet, a program that is accredited may not be the best fit for your loved one. Which means they may not receive the quality of care and treatment they need. Most accreditation services require the facility to incorporate current research. This means evidence-based practices, which are peer-reviewed scientific health publications. These are clinical practice guidelines and expert professional consensus. There are also specific written policies in place for individualized treatment services. Over the past decade, studies have shown accreditation is a valuable measure of quality. However, there are still gaps that many drug rehab centers struggle to fill. Staff qualifications are often one area where many programs have the necessary qualified staff or don’t. For example, any facility accredited by CARF requires physician oversight in certain services. Staff working at these centers must be licensed or certified. When searching for drug rehab centers, it is important to inquire what the staff qualifications are. Accreditation requires quality assurance. For example, the Joint Commission and CARF have quality assurance requirements. This is often an analysis of patient outcomes to ensure effectiveness. Or collecting data and monitoring opportunities to improve performance. This is again another good question to ask a drug rehab center. Which is how they evaluate the effectiveness and monitor patient outcomes. However, within the different accrediting bodies there are no uniform requirements imposed on drug rehab centers. Accreditation is a good thing, but families should still ask questions and seek out the information they need.

  • Want to know more?

    The questions from Addicted.org’s “Learn from our Experts” are answered by Michael Leach, CCMA. If you need further clarification on any of the questions above or have any other questions you can contact him directly at mike@addicted.org.

Addiction Association & Accredited Rehabs in the United States

The private drug and alcohol treatment services and programs within the United States is a billion-dollar industry, and when individuals and their families are seeking help for their addiction, they will often come across hundreds of different ads for addiction treatment. Because all this information is accessed via the Internet, it can be difficult to pinpoint the best possible treatment service or locate one that will meet the needs and requirements of the addict. Rehabilitation referral services such as DRS will help families and addicts narrow their search and get into immediate contact with the treatment programs they need. However, other families who do contact referral agencies are left filtering through different programs attempting to find the one that will suit their needs. It is also important for families and addicts to know what services offer effective treatment services, because some programs may be exaggerating their claims. DRS can help families determine this, but those who do not contact DRS, they will be looking for programs that will have accreditation. Many families will want to know where they can find substance abuse treatment programs that are acknowledged by industry professionals as a legitimate and effective rehab options. They may also want to know is there a facility with licensed, credentialed professionals who have experience in substance use disorders. Within the United States, the way for families and addicts to ensure these types of requirements are met is to choose an accredited facility, which DRS can help them locate. In addition to state licensing procedures and requirements, many addiction and mental health treatment programs undergo the process of accreditation.

When a substance abuse treatment center is accredited in the United States, this will mean that the program/facility will have gone through a series of evaluations to achieve specific standards for client care. The process for a drug treatment program to become accredited is quite lengthy, whereby the programs and therapy practices are objectively evaluated per the standards provided by accreditation agencies such as CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or The Joint Commission, which is Americas largest accreditor of health care services. These accreditation agencies are third-party organizations, which will help an accredited treatment program ensure a person-centered approach to client care, provision of safe rehabilitation practices, adherence to policy and procedure standards, and cultural competence with special populations. Accreditation will also ensure that a treatment program will have an integrated service and coordination plan of care, medical stabilization and support, research-based intervention, and all the staff meet the training standards along with all the current health and safety standards. During the accreditation process, the facility will have received onsite visits to audit management, staff credentials, program practices, and treatment outcomes. Much of this process will also include ensuring the staff is well trained with educational requirements that meet accreditation standards, along with efficient programs of addiction and co-occurring mental health disorder treatment.

There are two primary accrediting bodies within the United States, which are the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities CARF and the Joint Commission. Most of the drug and alcohol treatment centers in the United States will seek out accreditation from these two organizations. CARF for example will grant accreditation to more than 90 specific types of programs, 25,000 individual programs, and 3000 organizations for not only the United States but also Canada and Europe. The Joint Commission is the nation’s largest accrediting body for hospitals and medical facilities. The Joint Commission is also the second-largest accrediting organization for addiction rehabilitation programs in the United States. In 2013, over 13,000 addiction treatment programs voluntarily supplied information about their programs for the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services. Roughly over 21% of these addiction treatment programs were accredited by CARF, slightly over 19% were accredited by the Joint Commission, and over 56% were not accredited by either accreditation agency. State licensing is different from state to state, but the accreditation process provides specific standards across the board, and as of 2018, there is more of a push for substance abuse treatment programs in the United States to become accredited. Accreditation matters for drug treatment programs because it does demonstrate their commitment to being among the best drug rehab facilities in the country. Accredited bodies will have higher standards than the state licensing requirements, and will enact guidelines to continually improve treatment options and services.

Drug Rehabilitation Accreditation and Certification

During the 2018 survey done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, they gathered information about facility licensing, certification, and accreditation. Various licensing and accreditation agencies in the nation include state substance abuse agencies, state mental health departments, and state departments of health. Other licensing agencies recognized include hospital licensing authorities, the Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance. SAMHSA also included the Council on Accreditation, the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, and federal, state, and local agencies. Per the SAMHSA survey, over 94% of all treatment facilities were licensed, certified, or accredited by one or more agencies/organizations. A state substance abuse agency licensed approximately 79% of the treatment facilities, and over 45% had a license through a state department of health. Around 40% of programs had a state mental health department license, while CARF accredited roughly 30%. The Joint Commission approved over 20% of the drug treatment programs in the nation. Other treatment centers and facilities have licenses and accreditations through other agencies. For example, over 81% of residential facilities had a license, certification, or accreditation. Close to 80% of outpatient centers in the nation had the proper certification and accreditation. Over 55% of hospital inpatient services in the country had the appropriate licenses, accreditation, and or certification.




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.