Anyone can open a substance abuse treatment program provided they have appropriate credentials that are required by your particular state, and they can prove to the appropriate licensing agency they are capable of running such operation.
If you want to know what the credentials are, please visit your state website. In general states usually, require at a minimum alcohol and drug addiction certificate with some experience in the field of substance abuse. These requirements might vary somewhat for each state and are more complex for others. As a general rule though they usually differ depending on the type of intervention, you want to be able to offer to the clients.
Types of programs
Some programs only offer assessments and/or education and others offer a full range of treatment programs from an outpatient to the residential.
Depending on the type of a program you are planning to offer your application will differ and your documentation for the clients will also differ.
If you are in the state of Illinois, you can either obtain an intervention license that allows you to provide DUI evaluation, DUI Risk Education, and a recovery home or a treatment license that allows you to provide a full range of treatment services from outpatient to residential. The recovery home license has an additional requirement regarding the facility since the clients will reside there for an extended period of time. This is not a treatment facility. Therefore, a treatment license is not required.
General Application requirements for all licenses in Illinois
Depending on the legal entity your business is you need to provide proper documentation explaining its legal functioning.
It could be anything from a sole proprietorship to a corporation. If you are incorporated, you need to present articles of incorporation and a certificate of good standing from the Secretary of State office.
Additionally, each facility has to comply with a specific building code and has to be approved by the architect who signs off on its required specifications.
If your facility does not meet specific state requirements, it might be denied. Make sure you hire an architect who is familiar with commercial buildings and Life Safety Inspection procedures.
For treatment licenses, you are also required to hire a medical director who will review clients’ files and sign off on their diagnoses, treatment planning, and continuing stay review. The clinical director will also help design the medical screening for the clients including the infectious disease control procedures for your agency.
The next part of the application is the description of your proposed services fulfilling the need for the community in which you are going to practice. This includes the types of clients you are going to see and the projection of the business growth.
In the state of Illinois, the Department of Human Services expects you to write an entire policy and procedure manual incorporating the state administrative rules (part 2060, subpart C).
After the application is completed, the department will schedule an interview with an applicant that may be in person or by phone to discuss the policy and procedure manual and its practical application within the organization. Additionally, the applicant has to provide a letter of agreement with the courts ensuring referrals of offenders to the new program.
So now you have accomplished your task of opening a substance abuse program and now what?
How do you get clients? How do you advertise?