Entering treatment for a substance use issue is life-changing decision – one that could mean the difference between life and death. When choosing treatment center it’s important to make sure that the facility offers the care that will help you lay the foundation to your recovery.

1. Is the treatment facility licensed and accredited?

Making sure the facility is licensed to provide services is vital. Properly accredited facilities are committed to providing quality treatment and undergo routine monitoring to ensure they meet the accrediting body’s standards. Licensure is usually provided by the state the facility is in, while accreditation is provided by independent organizations. The two predominant accrediting bodies for addiction treatment facilities are the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission.

2. What kind of credentials does the staff maintain?

When deciding on a treatment center, it’s important to understand who will be providing care to you or your loved one. Ask about what types of medical, clinical, and support professionals are available to the program’s participants. If you are interested in specialized treatment options, also considering asking if any of the staff have relevant experience in that area. A quality treatment program will also ensure that its staff members maintain any necessary credentials and training requirements set forth by the state or other accrediting bodies.

3. What types of treatment does the facility offer?

There are a plethora of different treatment programs and treatment modalities throughout the country. Different facilities will offer different pathways to recovery, different recovery supports, and different treatment modalities. It’s important to ask what levels of care the provider offers. Examples of different programs offered are medical detox, inpatient treatment, residential programs, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient.   It is also important to find out the core beliefs of the treatment program and to make sure they align with your recovery goals. Some questions to consider – Do they subscribe to the disease model? Are they supportive of the 12-steps? Is there a religious or spiritual component to the program? Additionally, you can ask what types of evidence-based treatments are offered in the program. 

4. What is the average length of stay?

Most people are curious about the length of a program prior to admission. While everyone’s treatment needs will be different, ask about the program’s length prior to enrolling to make sure you are comfortable with the time commitment. Research has shown that the length of a treatment program makes a difference in recovery success rates1. Participation in treatment for less than 90 days has limited effectiveness, while remaining active in treatment for longer has better results in achieving long-term recovery1. 

5. Does the facility offer treatment options for co-occurring disorders?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 17 million U.S. adults experienced both a substance use disorder and a mental illness in 20202. The program you choose should be able to provide services that address any mental health concerns you may have, or that may arise during the treatment process. Co-Occurring capable treatment programs are able to offer treatment that addresses both conditions, allowing participants to achieve a full recovery.

6. Does the facility accept insurance?

The cost of treatment is usually a large factor for most people seeking care. In many cases, health insurance is able to cover a large portion of the treatment program. Ask the treatment provider if they are in-network with your insurance carrier or if they are able to accept out-of-network benefits. It may also be wise to contact your insurance carrier directly to determine what behavioral health benefits are available to you.

7. What will the cost be?

Whether you will be using health insurance or paying out of pocket, determining what the cost of enrolling with a provider is important. If you are planning to utilize your insurance coverage, ask the provider what portion of the program you will be responsible for. This may come in the form of a deductible or co-pay. If you are planning to cover the cost of treatment on your own, ask the treatment provider to provide an estimate. The cost of treatment will vary based on what type of care you are receiving and the length of the treatment program.

8. Is the treatment program individualized?

Recovery from a substance use disorder is a very personal journey. A personalized treatment plan will address your individual recovery needs and help you meet your recovery goals. Working through an individualized treatment plan with addiction professionals is an essential part of the treatment process.

9. Is there an aftercare program?

Ask your treatment provider what aftercare options are available upon completion of treatment. Many treatment providers will have alumni groups available to those who have successfully completed treatment. Aftercare programs provide vital on-going support that help sustain long-term recovery efforts. Recovery from a substance use disorder is a life-long journey, so the support that a treatment center provides after graduation can be just as important as the services you receive while actively in treatment.

10. Does the treatment program include family support?

Family involvement is a very important part of recovery from a substance use disorder. Including family members, or other concerned loved ones, in the treatment process will strengthen individual recovery and help heal any damage caused by the active substance use. Quality treatment programs will offer support for family members, which could include family therapy sessions or family programs that provide education, therapeutic interventions, or group work. 

There are many different factors to consider when choosing an appropriate treatment provider. Use the above list to help you choose the best provider for you. Take some time and reflect on what other elements of a treatment program are important to you, such as location of the program or available amenities. 

At Greenbriar Treatment Center, we offer the tools and resources necessary to create a positive life in recovery. Greenbriar Treatment Center is licensed in the state of Pennsylvania and accredited by the Joint Commission. Our dedicated staff is well equipped to provide high quality treatment in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. For more information on Greenbriar’s comprehensive treatment options, visit our services page or contact us at 1-800-637-HOPE (4673).


  1. NIDA. 2020, June 3. How long does drug addiction treatment usually last?. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-long-does-drug-addiction-treatment-usually-last on 2022, January 26
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP21-07-01-003, NSDUH Series H-56). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/