5 Red Flags To Warn You of a Bad Rehab Center

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Making the decision to go to a New Jersey rehab center is one of the most important choices you will make. However, not all addiction treatment programs are the same. Not only that, but addiction and recovery are difficult to measure, so success rates can be confusing and good marketing could make a corrupt rehab center look like the best one in the state. As a result, it’s important to be able to identify the warning signs of a bad rehab center.

Here are 5 red flags to watch out for that indicate the rehab center you are interested in may not be all it’s made out to be.

1. There Aren’t Any Licensed Medical Staff On-Site

A worthwhile addiction treatment center will have doctors, nurses, and psychiatrists on-site to evaluate, diagnose, and treat your condition(s). Addiction is a disease that affects both the mind and the body, so you may need both physical and mental health treatment.

As soon as detox begins, a medical professional should conduct an evaluation to help you start treatment. Then, you should be monitored by the clinical team throughout detox so that if an emergency occurs, you can get life-saving care.

If a rehab center doesn’t have licensed medical staff, that is a red flag that you should run the other way. You never know when you could need a doctor or psychiatrist – especially when your body is going through substantial changes in early sobriety. This is a matter of both safety and legitimacy.

2. Every Patient Follows The Same Treatment Plan

Another warning sign of a bad rehab center is if they have a “cure-all” or “one-size-fits-all” approach to treating addiction. Everyone experiences addiction differently and has unique needs. As a result, each person who attends treatment should have an individualized treatment plan.

When you arrive at rehab, the clinical team should perform an initial evaluation or assessment of your condition, your treatment goals, and your medical history. The team should then use this information to develop a treatment plan that targets your specific needs.

If a rehab center claims that their treatment approach works for everyone, you should do some more research to find a rehab center that offers individualized substance abuse treatment plans for all patients.

3. There Are No Licenses and Accreditations

The best rehab centers in New Jersey will be accredited. Accreditation is earned when an outside body or entity comes in to evaluate the treatment offered and grant their seal of approval. A seal of approval verifies that the treatment provided meets or exceeds a certain standard of care.

Two of the most renowned accreditations are provided by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and Joint Commission Accreditation Health Care Organization (JCAHO). There are also smaller, state-wide accreditations and licenses that are offered.

If a drug and alcohol rehab center is not CARF or JCAHO accredited, it doesn’t necessarily mean the treatment offered is bad. It just means you need to do more research to see what other licenses and accreditations have been earned by the rehab facility to determine whether or not they are trustworthy.

4. They Promise You Free Rent At Their Sober Homes

One warning sign of a bad rehab center is that they offer you free rent at their sober living homes. In addition to or in place of free rent, you may be offered gift cards or other forms of reward in exchange for going to the treatment center.

While it may be tempting to accept such “gifts,” it’s important to beware of what this may indicate. A treatment center that offers something for free may be partnering with corrupt sober homes or businesses to try and find patients with good health insurance so they can get money off of your referral.

To make sure you’re going to a good rehab center, be sure you aren’t working with a paid broker and do your own, independent research, instead. And, if they try to entice you with free things, run as fast as you can!

Shady treatment operators know you are broke and desperate for help – so they may use that against you. Just remember, high-quality treatment costs money, but it is covered by your insurance.

5. You Are Required To Take Daily Drug Tests

Another scam that corrupt treatment centers participate in is daily drug tests. This is because rehab centers can bill your insurance for drug tests and lab screenings – sometimes for thousands of dollars per test.

If the treatment center you are considering is going to drug test you every day, this is a warning sign that they are just in it for the money and they are a bad rehab center. Drug testing should only happen 1-2 times a week. Daily testing is not necessary nor is it standard practice for a reliable treatment program.

Find The Right Rehab Center in New Jersey

Addiction is difficult to overcome – and the last thing you want is to have to overcome it twice. Finding the right rehab center can make the difference between your sobriety and a relapse, so it’s important to weed out all the bad options so you can choose the best facility.

At New Jersey Addiction Intervention, our experts have several years of experience in the local addiction treatment community, so we know which rehab centers have the accommodations required for successful treatment. Let us help you find a reliable, trustworthy rehab center for you or your loved one today. Call now to get started.

Medically Reviewed: March 17, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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