9 Qualities to Look for in a California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility

qualities to look for in a substance abuse treatment facility
Published in Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a complex disease that affects the way you think, feel, and behave. It also comes with many life-altering consequences, ranging from job loss and financial issues to mental and physical health problems. The only way to recover and get your life back on track is to seek help from a trusted substance abuse treatment facility.

Choosing the right drug and alcohol rehab center in California can be difficult because all programs are slightly different. Although there are many high-quality treatment options available in California, some lack the necessary characteristics to provide treatment that works. So how do you choose the best addiction treatment center? You look for important qualities and characteristics that make for a reliable, trustworthy, and quality program.

Here are 9 qualities to look for in a California substance abuse treatment facility.

1. State Licensed

First, make sure the drug and alcohol rehab center you choose is licensed in the state it is in. For example, California rehab centers should be licensed with the California State Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). DHCS licensure is required by substance abuse treatment providers in California, so if the rehab center you are researching isn’t licensed, that is a reg flag that they cannot be trusted with your recovery.

2. Accredited

Anyone can open an addiction treatment program, but the best ones have earned third-party accreditation from either the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In order to receive accreditation, drug and alcohol rehab centers have to undergo extensive and ongoing evaluations to ensure they are providing a high standard of care.

California addiction treatment centers that are accredited, like Sheer Recovery, must:

  • Have trained and qualified staff members
  • Follow strict safety standards for staff and patients
  • Comply with HIPAA and other privacy laws
  • Use evidence-based treatments
  • Be inclusive and sensitive to different cultures and ethnicities

3. Licensed Staff

A high-quality substance abuse treatment center in California will employ staff members who have extensive training, credentials, and experience in the fields of addiction and mental health. The best drug rehab centers will also have a multidisciplinary team, involving mental health specialists, addiction specialists, medical providers, psychiatrists, and more.

Examples of licenses and certifications you should look for in staff members include:

  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
  • Nationally Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC)
  • Mater’s Level Certified Addiction Professional (MLCAP)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Medical Doctor (MD)

4. A Safe, Private, and Supportive Setting

During inpatient rehab, you may feel out of your element because you aren’t in the safety of your own home. However, it’s important that you feel safe and supported so you can be confident in your recovery. As a result, the rehab center you choose should offer treatment in a safe, private, and supportive setting.

5. Individualized Care

Some addiction treatment centers use a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. They provide all clients with the same treatments even if the individuals have different needs. However, an individualized approach is more effective, so you should choose a substance abuse treatment center in California that uses a custom-tailored approach.

Individualized care starts with a confidential evaluation. The clinical team will take you through several assessments to gain a complete understanding of your situation and determine your needs. You should be re-evaluated regularly to ensure you are making progress and to adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

6. Small Case Loads

An addiction treatment center that treats too many clients at one time can be distracting and less effective because therapists aren’t able to spend as much one-on-one time with you. As a result, it’s important to choose a rehab center that maintains small caseloads, only treating a few individuals at a time.

Sheer Recovery stands out from other drug and alcohol rehab centers because they embrace a 6-patient model, treating no more than six individuals at any given time. This ensures that everyone who attends treatment receives highly focused, personalized care.

7. A Focus on Mental Health

Drug and alcohol addiction rarely exist without mental health problems. Even if you don’t have a mental health diagnosis, you’re likely to experience some depression, anxiety, and mood swings when you get sober. The best way to deal with these is to attend a drug and alcohol rehab center that has a focus on mental health.

8. Rules for Safety and Structure

Rehabilitation is a life-saving service that can help you take back control over your life. However, treatment can only be effective if the rehab center implements rules for your safety and enforces structure.

All reputable drug and alcohol rehab centers in California have a set of rules that clients are expected to follow in order to keep everyone safe. Some of the most common rules include:

  • No drugs, alcohol, paraphernalia, weapons, or pornographic material allowed
  • A dress code (no inappropriate or revealing clothing or clothing with references to drugs/alcohol)
  • No visitors unless they are approved by your therapist or case manager
  • Be kind to other clients
  • Keep your space clean
  • Comply with randomized drug testing
  • Attend all scheduled therapy sessions
  • No phones during therapy sessions or group activities

Although rules aren’t always easy to follow, they are in place to promote a safe and supportive environment.

9. Aftercare Support Services

Drug rehab doesn’t cure addiction–it gives you the foundation and tools you need to achieve and maintain sobriety. But if you return to your old habits when you leave rehab, you’re likely to relapse. As a result, a quality drug and alcohol rehab center will offer comprehensive aftercare support services to keep you on the right path.

Examples of aftercare include:

  • Continued therapy in an outpatient program
  • Alumni program
  • Sober living
  • Support groups

Start Your Recovery at a High-Quality Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center in California

Sheer Recovery is licensed by DHCS, accredited by the Joint Commission, and dedicated to providing an environment that supports your recovery. Our safe and supportive facility allows you to enjoy scenic ocean views, private and semi-private rooms, weekend activities, and more. Our dual diagnosis program also has a focus on mental health because we know how important it is to address the root cause of your addiction and treat any mental health problems you may be struggling with.

If you’re looking for a trustworthy and effective substance abuse treatment program in California, you don’t need to look any further. Call us today to start the pre-assessment process and get placed in the right treatment program for you.


Still have questions? Give us a call today.

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