A drug rehabilitation center is like every business in that it must be well planned, financed, staffed and marketed, and like every business, it must be profitable to keep the doors open. However, unlike most other businesses, drug rehabs serve a particularly vulnerable clientele with urgent, specific and potentially life-threatening addictions and must therefore prove adherence to stricter standards and regulations in order to open.
Know the Law
Federal laws including the Americans with Disabilities and Rehabilitations Acts govern all health service providers in the United States. However, many of the laws regulating rehab centers vary depending on where you intend to open. For example, state law in Pennsylvania dictates that centers administering methadone cannot be located within 500 feet of schools and other public buildings, while Rhode Island’s statutes do not restrict location. Research thoroughly and don’t overlook the municipal codes; while your state may not govern where you open a drug rehabilitation center, your city’s zoning board likely does.
Licenses & Certifications
While specific staffing and educational requirements also vary, every state mandates that a drug rehabilitation center have a variety of therapists, psychiatrists, nurses and other professionals on staff in order to open. Consider assembling the people that will hold legally required policymaking positions in the center as early as possible in the planning phase; their input will help ensure both compliance within their areas of expertise and broad perspectives on high quality client care.
The unique operating environment of a drug rehabilitation center makes it crucial to have comprehensive policies and procedures in place prior to opening. Seek the advice of rehab professionals to help ensure you have addressed issues like visits & smoking that are particular center operations. The Association for Addiction Professionals and The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers as well as professional networks like LinkedIn offer copious opportunities to connect. And in the addiction industry where every decision can have a dramatic impact on clients and their families, building a mentor network will help ensure you provide high quality and consistent care.
Complete your business plan, secure a location for the drug rehabilitation center and obtain all the required licenses. Pay careful attention to your marketing plan; remember potential clients are experiencing very difficult circumstances; it is important that your advertising convey safety and caring. Residential facilities are typically required to pass health and fire inspections and can open once they receive the required permits.
- CA.gov: Department of Rehabilitation: Disability Laws and Regulations
- Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia: Zoning Laws & Methadone Treatment
- gaebler.com Resources for Entrepreneurs: Starting an Alcohol & Drug Abuse Information & Treatment Center
- The Association for Addiction Professionals
- National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers: About NAATP
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