The Dayton Daily News visited a local treatment center that has one of the top international accreditations to see how its operation differs from smaller facilities that don’t have those credentials.
Woodhaven Residential Treatment Center, located at Elizabeth Place in Dayton, was granted a three-year accreditation in 2017 by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), considered the highest level of accreditation a treatment facility can achieve.
“It’s the gold standard,” said Woodhaven President Jade Chandler.
The other CARF-accredited treatment programs in Dayton are Nova Behavioral Health Inc., Eastway Corp., Samaritan Behavioral Health, South Community Inc. and Mahajan Therapeutics.
Drug treatment programs aren’t required to get any accreditation, but Chandler said doing so shows they meet high standards.
“We made the decision to be CARF certified because there’s something to be said about accountability and about the level of care,” Chandler said.
The 96-bed center focuses on people in need of intensive, in-patient treatment for 60 to 90 days, followed by outpatient services and then recovery housing. Some clients work with Woodhaven for more than a year.
To get its three-year CARF accreditation, the staff had to meet more than 2,000 standards, compliance director Tracy Brown said.
That includes things like staff training requirements, how to document training, what kind of records should be kept, how often clients should be assessed and what skills clients should learn during treatment.
“Those that have been through treatment before or work in the industry, they understand the amount of effort to maintain such a high standard,” said Charles Townsend, Woodhaven’s clinical supervisor.
They also hired a consultant who has been in the field for 30 years.
Accrediting agencies often update their best practices as the science of treating addiction changes.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” Brown said. “It has raised the quality of our services tremendously.”
The requirements are much more in-depth than state standards to open a smaller Suboxone clinic, Brown said. And they’ve had patients come to them to get off Suboxone after being treated elsewhere.
Woodhaven focuses on abstinence, with medication only as a tool to manage withdrawal.
“Suboxone on a long-term basis is a Band-Aid,” Chandler said. “When it comes to addiction, maybe that will block some cravings and maybe prevent me from being able to get high off of heroin, but what about the guy that I’m still living with that’s doing meth every day?”
The region needs programs using best practices for behavioral therapy and counseling to overcome its addiction crisis, he said, because it’s not just heroin that people are abusing.