Accreditation: What is Means and Why it is Important?

Close-up of psychiatrist hands together holding palm of her patient

When evaluating the various types of substance abuse treatment programmes, consider the fact that no two people have the same needs. Generally speaking, the longer and more dependent the drug use, the longer and more concentrated the treatment you need.

Regardless of the length (in weeks or months) required for a treatment, support and long-term follow-up are essential for full recovery. A quality treatment programme should address both drug abuse and emotional discomfort, including other life conditions that add to your addiction.

What to Look for in a substance abuse treatment programme

When you start looking for substance abuse treatment, you may see several adverts for programmes in peaceful recreational facilities with awesome views. Places like that are nice to have, but they may likely come with a hefty price tag. It is more important to focus on what matters; quality of care during treatment, follow-up services, staff credentials and accreditation. Especially accreditation.

Make sure the treatment is accredited by the state or province it is located in. It is also imperative to check that the programme is operated by licensed, highly-trained mental health professionals and addiction specialists.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is a licensed authorisation conferred on a facility to practise substance abuse treatment, due to its experience, qualified personnel and the quality of amenities available.

An accreditation is often given by relevant authorities on health and substance control, at national and international levels.

Accreditation is important for a substance abuse treatment facility and here are some things to consider:

  • Accreditation standards are high

Before they can receive an accreditation, a treatment facility must get authorisation from an external accrediting body. This processes comprises confirmation of conforming to several standards for providing top-notch care in the area of addiction treatment and recovery. Residential treatment centres are also required to meet additional strict standards for safety, health, corporate compliance, business practice and administration.

  • Types of accreditation

National accreditation programmes include

  • National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse
  • Healthcare Accreditation & Quality Unit

In the U.S. there are

  • Joint Commission
  • National Committee for Quality Assurance
  • All-States
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)

Founded in 1966, the CARF is an international, independent, non-profit organisation focused on the advancement of quality services facilities provide to their clients in order to achieve maximum outcomes. CARF accreditation services are given worldwide upon the request of providers of health and human services.

The various types of accreditation include one-year accreditation, provisional, non-accreditation, preliminary and accreditation with stipulations.

One-year accreditation: When organisations meet CARF accreditation requirements and demonstrate conformance to standards in spite of certain deficiencies. However, CARF believes these can be corrected with progress.

Provisional accreditation: When a facility exceeds it one-year accreditation a provisional-accreditation is often issued. It must operate for 3 years under this status before it can be promoted to the next level or it may get a non-accreditation status.

Non-accreditation: As the name suggests, this means an organisation has several major deficiencies which make it unfit to operate as a treatment centre. It may also result from a failure to conform to stipulated standards over time.

Preliminary accreditation: Usually given to new organisations, preliminary accreditation allows them demonstrate use and execution standards.

Accreditation with stipulations: This status means CARF may require continuous reporting or other actions from the provider in relation to its ability to maintain conformance to CARF accreditation standards.

Value CARF accreditation: This is the highest level of CARF accreditation given to a deserving organisation that has satisfied all requirements and compliance exhaustively.

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