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[ Opinion ]

Drug Addiction Treatment Centers

A guide to helping you filter through the noise and find the right rehab.

Navigating one’s way to find a rehab for a loved one struggling with a substance abuse or alcohol disorder is no easy task. Finding a treatment center is easy, finding the right facility is a whole different story. After all, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that would suggest that America has a superlative addiction treatment system in place.

The good news is that there are many great addiction treatment centers, and there are millions of addicts (including this one) that started their road to recovery in such a setting. The bad news is that there’s a ton of money in the ever growing drug rehab industry, and where there’s riches to be made, there’s a myriad of bad actors to be found.

Unfortunately the business of recovery is a highly unregulated enterprise, and the $55 billion-a-year treatment industry is far from impervious to the greed of which many rehabs exploit at the cost of their patients.

Sure, there are “accreditation” programs, but nearly all of these accrediting bodies are privately owned, and independent of any legal or national standard. One could argue that the majority of these programs are useless, seeing how they are funded by the rehab facilities themselves. Even the more reputable accreditation programs like “CARF” (Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) continue to fail in their top responsibility to make sure patients and residents of treatment centers are kept safe.

One of many examples can be found in an article from Prospect.org. A treatment center “denied medical care, starved, and beat” some of their residents who happened to be adolescents. The agency had been given an exemplary rating by CARF, which is often considered the #1 accreditation body in the country.

It’s important to realize, that just because a facility comes up high on a search engine’s results, and has a beautiful website with all the amenities, this shouldn’t be considered a sign that the rehab will be the answer to your problems. Do some additional research before you check yourself in.