If you’ve decided to get help for your addiction, you’ve made one of the most important decisions of your life. However, making the commitment to seek treatment is just the first step of the process. For the best chance of long-lasting recovery, you also need to make sure you choose a high-quality treatment center.

Knowing what to look for in an addiction treatment center and what questions to ask can guide your search and help you to steer clear of questionable facilities. In this article, we’ll talk about how to spot low-quality addiction treatment centers and find one you can trust.

Know the Warning Signs of Low-Quality Addiction Treatment Centers

When you’re doing your research, keep an eye out for indications of low-quality addiction treatment centers. Some of these warning signs are obvious, while others are more subtle. The most common red flags include:

  • Vague, generic ads that don’t clearly state what treatment program they’re offering or where they’re located. These websites and advertisements are often run by companies who will collect your contact information and then direct you to one of the treatment centers they’ve partnered with. If they’re matching you to whichever treatment center is next in rotation and not which one is the best match for your individual needs, this is a red flag.
  • Free travel offers. If someone offers to pay for your travel to California, Florida, or another state, call the facility to make sure the individual is actually an employee. In many states, incentives like these are also illegal. Treatment centers that are ready to accept you without detailed information about your situation. Without in-depth information, it’s impossible for a center to determine if you’re a good fit for their program
  • Lack of accreditation or certification. High-quality treatment centers will be registered and licensed by the state they operate in. Additionally, Accreditation by The Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities are positive indicators to look for.

Ask the Right Questions

A few questions can also help you spot low-quality treatment centers. When you speak to representatives at different treatment facilities, be sure to ask:

  1. What’s the staff-to-client ratio?
  2. Does the center have medical staff or a doctor?
  3. Are your psychiatrists experienced in addiction treatment?
  4. Is the center equipped to handle medical issues or to provide treatment for co-existing mental health disorders?
  5. What type of support does center offer after treatment is complete? Do they help clients and their loved ones create an aftercare plan or offer an alumni group?

Effective, Compassionate Help Is Available

Addiction has reached epidemic proportions in this country—studies show that at least 21 million people in the United States struggle with some form of substance use disorder. While many treatment centers exist to treat addiction, it’s important to remember that they’re not all created equal. However, if you know what to look for and what questions to ask, you’ll be well on your way toward finding a quality treatment center that can meet your needs and help you start on the road to recovery.