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How to Choose a Rehab Center

When the decision is made to send someone struggling with substance abuse to a rehab center, another decision quickly follows. Which rehab center should you choose?

There are several things to consider when evaluating treatment centers, including the staff members, program structure, therapy methods, and the center’s overall environment. In some parts of the country, including South Florida, deceptive recovery centers charge high fees while offering little to no actual clinical treatment. Recovering addicts who get trapped in these scams can leave in worse shape than when they arrived.

Choosing the right rehabilitation center can mean the difference between a complete recovery and someone relapsing back into substance abuse. Those choosing the treatment center must be well informed about what makes an effective program.

For friends, families, and partners of those with substance abuse problems, it can feel overwhelming when choosing between countless options. Luckily, there are some simple ways to ensure you are picking the best treatment option for your loved one. Look out for these qualities that every professional treatment center should have.

Background image of ocean waves representing Florida rehab location.

Infographic detailing the Florida Shuffle for rehab services and therapy treatment.

Licensed staff members

Therapists and other rehab staff members will define the patient’s treatment experience. Credible treatment centers have licensed therapists and doctors at the facility. The staff should be experienced and professional, but also kind. Top-notch facilities will also be sufficiently staffed. If there are too few therapists on staff, it might not be easy to get one-on-one time with a therapist regularly. Patients should be meeting for individual therapy at least one time a week. You should meet with the individuals who plan to make a care plan for your loved one so you can learn about their qualifications and expertise before settling on a center.

Small group sessions

While in rehabilitation, patients will frequently participate in group therapy. The size of the therapy sessions should be small so that therapists can give appropriate attention to each of the participants. If the group is too big, the patient’s needs might not be met. Group sessions should ideally have no more than 10 participants. If the group size exceeds that number, more than one therapist should be present.

They don’t allow bad habits.

A rehabilitation center should not allow its patients to continue bad habits. Patients should not be permitted to browse social media, for example, constantly, and the continued use of addictive substances should be severely restricted. Reputable treatment centers will put the kibosh on old habits and help patients actively develop new, healthy habits.

Clean, safe facilities

To properly heal, patients should be in a clean, stress-free environment. Patients who feel comfortable in their living quarters and therapy rooms are better equipped to face their addictions. Visit the facilities ahead of time, check out where the patients sleep, and spend most of their time. The facility should prioritize patient safety by monitoring them and offering fun, productive activities.


One thing all quality treatment facilities must-have is a certification from an accrediting organization. The two main organizations, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission, inspect treatment centers to ensure they are up to standard and do everything they can to help their patients. There might also be a local accrediting organization that verifies treatment centers in your area. In South Florida, the South County Recovery Residence Association is a watchdog for recovery centers.

Trusted testimonials

First-hand accounts are a great way better to understand the treatment center and its therapy methods. See what people are saying by reading reviews online and watching testimonials on the center’s website. Some problematic recovery centers might fake reviews by writing them, so videos are always preferred.

Allow visitors

Family and friends should be able to visit patients on a limited basis. Sometimes, treatment centers trying to deceive people might claim that family members are not allowed at the facility. They likely don’t want to get caught doing a poor job treating patients, so they keep visitors away. Check their visitor policy before selecting a treatment center.