If you or a loved one have decided to enter into a recovery center for the treatment of addiction or another mental illness, you may be overwhelmed by the options available to you. There are scores of recovery centers with different approaches and treatment philosophies, some of which may actually employ deceitful or harmful practices in order to make a fast buck.

So, what should you look for when selecting a treatment center? To make things a little simpler, here are a few factors to consider.

Accreditations & Licensing

The first thing you should look for in any addiction or mental health treatment center is the proper licensing and accreditation.

Accreditation is more than just a piece of paper – it’s a testament that a center is reputable, safe, and meets industry standards for performance and ethical practices. Accreditation and licensing boards vary according to country, state, or province, but are generally a non-profit or governmental body that hand out ratings to different treatment facilities.

In the United States, centers should either be recognized by the non-profit Joint Commission or CARF International. You should check your individual state or provincial requirements for licensing, too.

Many places also have specific rules for how drug rehab facilities can operate, making it important to verify the center you choose is following the rules. Don’t be afraid to ask about a center’s credentials if you’re unsure. A reputable place will be happy to share proof of their up-to-date licensing and accreditation.

Who They Serve

While some recovery centers treat patients of all ages, many focus only on a certain demographic. This is because issues like addiction or mental illness can manifest differently in people depending on their age, what stage they’re at in their life, or even their gender.

Children and teens have different needs than seniors, for example, as do men and women. Doctors, addiction specialists, and mental health professionals sometimes only work with people of a certain demographic.

Before seeking admission, check to make sure you’re eligible or that the center is equipped to handle someone of your age and gender. It can also help recovery to be surrounded by people similar to you. This is especially true for teens needing after care.

Treatment Types

Once you know a center caters to your age group and is properly accredited, it’s time to dig deep into their treatment offerings. This will require a little introspection on your end. Ask yourself about what kind of treatment you want or if the center you’re considering has programs and plans that interest you.

Do you want inpatient or outpatient mental health options? Extended stay or choose-your-own-length plans? Medical detox or emotional support groups? Gender-specific programs? Faith-based or secular?

Some centers have specific guiding principles, like incorporating certain religious teachings into all treatment plans and requiring minimum stay lengths. It’s certainly okay if you prefer that approach, but make sure they have a variety of well-rounded and evidence-based options depending on your needs. Good recovery centers focus on addressing how mental illness and addiction impact all facets of life, including nutrition, basic life skills, career, and relationships.

An Individualized Approach to Treatment

Does the center you’re considering take a “one-size-fits-all” approach to treatment or does it prescribe the same course of action for each and every patient? What does their continuum of care look like?

Ultimately, while many facilities may use similar techniques for each patient they see, your treatment center should take an individualized approach to your recovery. Plans should be tailored according to your specific circumstances, needs, and preferences. You should have the ability to meet with doctors and treatment professionals one-on-one to discuss how you’re progressing, what’s working, and what isn’t. You should also be able to work with your care team to develop a plan for after leaving formal treatment.

Good recovery centers will recognize that each patient is unique and that different things will work for different people. Recovering from addiction requires a two-step process, but many rehab facilities that you can check out such as DesertHopeTreatment.