What is an Ethical Treatment Center?


We, unfortunately, do sometimes hear from our patients that before coming to receive help from the ethical treatment center at Opus Health, they went to a center that didn’t provide quality care.

When you decide to receive therapy for mental health disorders and substance abuse , it’s such a huge turning point for you in your life, and you want to go to a center that will provide you the best possible care in a morally and medically responsible way.

Whether you’re searching for a facility for yourself or someone you love, it can also be overwhelming.

There are so many options, and they might have similarities but also differences in their approach and credentials.

How do you know where to start?

How can you be sure that you are  choosing an ethical treatment center?

What Are Your Needs?

We’re all different, and everyone’s substance abuse and mental illnesses reflect those differences. 

  • You might also have dual diagnosis disorders treatment or specialized needs. For example, if you struggle with long-term drug abuse and mental health issues, such as depression or personality disorders, you’ll need a facility that can treat both simultaneously.
  • You might also prefer a center that’s single-gender or has a specific philosophy and approach.
  • There are inpatient and outpatient facilities, and the type of setting you choose can depend a lot on your needs. If you’ve never been to rehab before and have a milder substance use disorder or a shorter history with drugs or alcohol, you might go outpatient.
  • If you’ve tried other programs and relapsed or have a severe substance use disorder, an inpatient center could be better for you and more effective.

Watch Out For Red Flags

Unfortunately, any organization would take advantage of someone requiring therapy for a substance use disorder, but that can be the reality.

One red flag we always tell people to watch out for is hotlines that pretend to be independent helplines.

They encourage you to call and talk to experts, but what you might not realize is that those “helplines” are actually getting money to refer you to an unethical treatment program .

Another red flag that you might see as you search for rehab is that centers will try and create scenarios where you stay as long as possible.

Yes, the length of time you spend in therapy is important, but you don’t ever want to hear from a former patient that they felt like they were being incentivized in any way to stay longer than was needed.

The opioid epidemic has given rise to somewhat deceptive marketing tactics in the addiction treatment industry.


A significant factor you can use to determine an ethical facility is whether or not they have accreditations.

An accreditation goes beyond state licensing requirements.

There usually aren’t required accreditations, but instead, when a facility has them, it means they’ve gone through several evaluations from a third-party agency.

To receive accreditation, a center has to provide open access to reviewers to every part of its program.

This can include cognitive-behavioral therapy and rehab programs, the staff, client care, operations and policies, and even their business records.

An accredited facility will have staff that meets high training standards and maintain a sense of professionalism in their care.

Two of the most well-known accrediting organizations for addiction centers are the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission.

  • The CARF organization is a non-profit. CARF evaluates facilities, including dual diagnosis programs that offer a variety of mental health care services. CARF looks at programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe, granting accreditation to dozens of types of programs. Around 25,000 programs have a CARF accreditation.
  • The Joint Commission is the largest accrediting organization in the country for hospitals and health care facilities and the second largest for drug programs. There are more than 20,000 accredited facilities and health care programs.

When a program is accredited, it gives you the peace of mind that you will receive the best care.

It’s a pretty challenging process to go through accreditation, and when a center has accreditation, it means they’re utilizing evidence-based protocols.

Accreditation can also be helpful when it comes to insurance because insurance companies are more likely to agree to reimburse for services from reputable facilities.

Staff Credentials

Along with looking at the credentials of the center as a whole, you should also look at the staff credentials and licenses individually.

The clinical staff should be accredited and licensed. This will indicate they have the experience and training to provide high-level care.

There are a lot of credentials an addiction professional can have like:

  • Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LADC)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC)
  • Certified Co-Occurring Disorders Counselor (CCDP)

The staff should be a multidisciplinary care team in the ethical treatment center.

This means it’s made up of a variety of types of professionals, including health care providers, counselors, and perhaps social workers.

They will all work together to create an individualized program for you or your loved one.

The team could also include a nurse, a psychiatrist, a nutritionist, and a spiritual counselor.

Evidence-Based Treatment

We talked about this briefly above, but an ethical program should use evidence-based protocols.

This means that the facility and the staff treat patients aligned with current science and proven best practices.

Onsite Medical Care

Treatment plans for a substance use disorder require mental health care, but your physical health is also very involved.

Look for programs that have onsite medical staff, especially as you’re going through detox.

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Other Things To Look For

Along with the things above, some other things to look for in a quality addiction program, according to the mental health services administration, include:

  • Is the center in-network with your insurance provider? That means that not only will you pay less out-of-pocket, but also that the rehab center you’re considering has met your insurance company’s quality standard.
  • What are the outcomes? The success rate isn’t the only thing to think about, and it’s never going to be 100%, but it can be helpful to know what the measure of success is at the center and how well people do after they complete their program.
  • Is detox available? You might go through detox onsite at the center so that you have continuity in your care.
  • If it’s relevant to you, does the program offer medication-assisted treatment?
  • What are the roles of family and loved ones in the program?
  • Are there alumni programs that keep people connected after the program ends?
  • What is aftercare like? Does it include close follow-up and planning after you leave the program?

If you’re looking for an ethical treatment program that puts the needs of patients first and prioritizes research-backed programs, we encourage you to contact our team at Opus Health at 855-953-1345.

We are a transparent and ethical treatment center that always prioritizes the well-being of the patients and clients. 

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