Criteria to Use When Comparing Drug & Alcohol Rehabs

Find the Right Fit

The most important part of choosing a drug and alcohol treatment center is selecting one that fits an individual’s unique situation and needs. Finding the right treatment options and chemistry with the staff is essential for long-term recovery.

  • Questions to Ask

    • Consider asking the following questions when visiting a facility or speaking with a representative by phone or online chat:
    • What federal, state and local licenses and accreditation do you hold?
    • Do you have certified addiction physicians, nurses and therapists?
    • How many clients does the facility treat on-site at one time?
    • How long is the program?
    • How much one-on-one therapy will you provide?
    • How many hours of group therapy occur daily?
    • Do you offer evidence-based treatment and what options do you offer?
    • Can you provide me with a sample treatment plan?
    • Is effective treatment available for clients with co-occurring disorders?
    • Can you describe and provide photos of the living arrangements?
    • What is your success rate?
    • Do you have a waiting list?
    • Do you have a formal aftercare program? If so, tell me about it. If not, do you help clients arrange for aftercare before discharge?
    • Are there relapse prevention groups available to clients?
    • Does your facility have an active alumni program?
    • Do you offer a family support program?
    • Do you require clients to enter rehab voluntarily?
    • What is your visitation policy?
    • Do you discharge clients who relapse during treatment?
    • What are your payment policies and procedures?

  • Criteria to Consider

    At the very least, an addiction treatment facility must be able to address each client’s unique needs at every level of care — from intake to treatment to aftercare. Here are some of the major factors to consider when deciding on a drug and alcohol rehab facility.


    Just like educational or medical institutions, drug and alcohol rehab facilities should too be accredited. When browsing facilities, look for Joint Commission Behavioral Health accreditation, which is the highest accreditation level for mental health and addiction service organizations.

    Accreditation by the Joint Commission is like a rating from the Better Business Bureau. It signals that a addiction treatment center has opened its doors in transparency to a panel of outside experts for review. The panel will validate the care, treatment and services provided at the center.

    This certification also creates a culture of excellence in the rehab and assists the center’s staff and administration in developing programs that provide clients with long-term success and improved outcomes.

    We are accredited by The Joint Commission and licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

    Levels of Care

    Research has shown adequate treatment length to be a primary predictor of treatment success. However, treatment duration is dependent on many variables such as the type of drugs used, length of time using, and if there is an underlying co-occurring disorder or trauma. The continuum of care describes the levels of intensity of treatment offered to clients. Usually, doctors will determine where on the continuum the client should begin treatment based on a series of evaluations. A quality rehab facility should offer a continuum of care with variable treatment lengths based on each client’s needs rather than a single duration for all clients.

    Our levels of care include partial hospitalization program (“PHP”), intensive outpatient program (“IOP”), and outpatient program (“OP”). Once a client completes any of our levels of care she or he are eligible for our aftercare program, a free program of ongoing recovery throughout an individual’s life. Aftercare participation is one of the most influential factors in sustained recovery. We also have one of the most active and passionate alumni programs.

    Addiction Treatment

    When researching treatment centers, know that some facilities specialize in specific types of addictions. Some focus only on alcohol addiction, some drug addiction and others specialize in certain types of behavioral disorders such as sex, gambling or eating disorders. If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder, then you should only consider a drug or alcohol treatment center.

    We offer a traditional substance use treatment program, as well as a co-occurring program for those who have both a substance use disorder and a mental health diagnosis. For those individuals with a co-occurring disorder, the mental health history will be more severe and will require our more specialized treatment approach. Whereas some rehabs have the idea of breaking clients down and building them back up again, we “meet them where they’re at.” We build on the strengths that the client already has and work to make them stronger and more resilient. We provide non-judgmental therapy. We don’t believe in guilt trips; we believe in the healing power of recovery and the client’s capacity to change.

    Personal Recovery Paths

    Not every rehab facility approaches addiction treatment in the same way. Some provide therapies that are based on a religious belief or one that is more spiritually focused. Some offer a more secular approach. When evaluating alcohol or drug treatment centers, you should investigate the treatment focus to determine if that rehab will be a good fit based on an individual’s personal beliefs.

    We offer a variety of treatment programs and in many cases our clients attend multiple types of support groups to figure out which approach works best for them. Our clients can choose to attend faith-based, spiritual, secular, or evidence-based therapy sessions.

    Quality and Quantity of Staff

    One of the complaints we hear most from our clients is the lack of personalized attention they received from other facilities. That’s one of the main reasons why they relapsed or sought a drug and alcohol treatment center with more of a “small town feel”. This means that every staff member is available to a client every day and we’re all working out of the same playbook. No one is overlooked.

    Our staff-to-client ratio is among the highest in Florida, and we maintain the latest in industry certifications. The staff at Cornerstone includes Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Behavioral Health Technicians, Psychiatrist, and Medical Doctor who all share the passion for helping people get their lives back and the ability to do it.


    According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are more than 14,000 drug and alcohol treatment centers in the U.S. It’s not uncommon for those seeking treatment to travel out of state. Sometimes a change of scenery will provide an individual with the necessary distance from the people and places associated with substance use. A fresh start may provide an opportunity for the individual to focus on their treatment and recovery.

    Our treatment center is only 4.5 miles from downtown Fort Lauderdale and our male and female residences are both within walking distance to the beach. Both offer views of the Intracoastal Waterways and private pools. Location is important because it should provide a safe and comfortable environment for introspection and peace. Plus, 75-degree weather and sun can help lift our spirits. We want our clients to know that treatment can be a positive and active experience.

    Lifestyle & Orientation

    It’s also important to account for various lifestyle considerations when choosing a rehab as well. Treatment centers that specialize in these areas can make a positive difference in the recovery of each individual. Facilities like ours accommodate those that identify as LGBTQI have mental or physical disabilities or need to maintain certain religious observances. This provides a safe and nurturing environment void of perceived discrimination or bullying.

    Costs and Payment Options

    The method of payment and ability to pay for drug or alcohol treatment is another deciding factor for clients and their families. The right treatment program must be financially feasible. A recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health study found that 30.6 percent of people who needed addiction treatment but didn’t seek it said they didn’t go to rehab because they didn’t have insurance or they didn’t believe they could afford it. Cash pay and insurance are two of the more common ways to of pay for treatment. The amount of insurance coverage depends on the insurer and what the health provider accepts. Not everyone has insurance, but there are still ways to get the help. One way is to look into programs that offer financing options.

    There is a big divide in the price of inpatient and outpatient programs. The costs of inpatient residential programs are higher because the costs of housing and intensive care are higher. The cost of these programs also depends on the length of the program and location. A center in a state with a higher cost of living, like California or New York, can be more expensive than Florida.



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