Starting an Addiction Rehab: 5 Things to Know

There are many steps to opening up an addiction rehab, some of them simpler, others more complex and some of them obvious, others not so immediately obvious. If you knew the value of accreditation from companies for insurance, you would probably want to look into getting such an accreditation. There are many parts to opening up a rehab, here are 5 things you should know.


As with any enterprise such as a business one should always do as much research as possible before entering into such responsibility. You will want to determine exactly what is needed in the area that you want to open your facility in.

You can do this by conducting a survey to gather information so you know what the public in the area wants.

Next, you will want to determine the type of treatment center you would like to provide. If you know you are passionate about a specific type of addiction treatment such as Holistic Rehab, Faith-Based Rehab, or Detox Rehab, then you will of course factor that in as the main consideration.

There are many types of rehabs within even the aforementioned that you might want to take into consideration. Some of these are:

  • Full Continuum of Care
  • Partial Hospitalization Program
  • Residential Inpatient Care
  • Outpatient Care
  • Meeting Groups
  • Long-term Rehab
  • Short-term Rehab
  • Luxury Rehab
  • State Funded Program
  • Half Way Housing
  • Community-Based Programs

Finally, you will want to determine the size of your rehab facility. One way to decide this would be by coming up with a figure of how many patients at a time you will want to treat. You can turn this into how many beds you want to operate, which will sometimes depend on the area you chose for the drug rehab center. This can help you think with the feasibility of it all and provide necessary insight on how to plan the budget for the center.

A Solid Business Plan

It is crucial, as it is when starting up any business, to come up with a business plan and a standard financial document that utilizes a specific method for calculating financial results, like a Pro Forma.

Knowing what your mission statement is, how you see the rehab and the resources you have now and determining how you are going to get there, are all part and parcel to a well-established business plan. This would include, specifically, how your rehab is going to provide a valuable service to the addicted and how you would go about getting them recovered from addiction.

Accounting for expected and unexpected expenditure, judging predicted revenue and estimating billable income all fall under your Pro Forma. You will want to have enough planning in place to predict an accurate budget.

All of this will help you to understand all of the different types of investments needed to start up a drug rehab business.

Staff and Training

Part of your business plan for the recovery industry would really be a trained and competent staff. This can be it’s own section because essentially, you would have the prior parts of your business plan figured out.

You might inspect some of the other rehabilitation centers and see what they provide and the training their staff have. Some centers are better than others and some might be more aligned in goals and specific aspects to yours. You might even be able to work with another treatment center that you like and request that some of your staff ghost under that facility’s staff.

You will want competent, caring and knowledgeable staff who have a good bedside manner and know what they are doing. You will want background checks on them and for them not to be on drugs, of course.

You might come across someone who has fully recovered from addiction and is now passionate about helping others do the same, a person who is responsibly motivated like that might be a very valuable asset to your company.

One would, of course, want to ensure none of their staff weren’t underhandedly pushing drugs to their clients, no matter what their training qualifications are.

The following are some staff positions to hire for a rehab:

  • Executive Staff
  • Managers
  • Medical Director
  • Medical and/or Nutritional Staff
  • Clerical Staff
  • Administrators
  • Case Workers
  • Marketer
  • Intake Staff
  • Receptionist
  • Janitorial Workers

These are just some basic staff you may want to hire, and you could expand upon or alter that list depending on the operations of your treatment center.

Legal Rudiments

One of the most important elements to plan for and establish in any business is the legal ramifications. This is especially true for rehab treatment centers.

You want to know how to legally open a recovery center and to keep all of the legalization demands accounted for and the paperwork organized.

One common legality is that of licensure. Since opening a rehab center is similar to opening a private practice in medicine you need to be licensed to conduct business in the field of addiction and recovery.

This includes following regulations and much paperwork, but it all being done properly is necessary and rewarding. You will want a Policy and Procedures Manual as well as a clear program.

You will work with the Licensing Board and a Medical Director or Consultant to provide and review your Policy and Procedures Manual and to prepare the proper documentation to open up your rehab center. You will present the type of treatment center to the Licensing Board as well as your plans on how you will service the community. It is important to have this documentation readily available and accurate so you get approved and don’t have to repeat your efforts and have to wait even longer to open up your treatment center.

Another legal rudiment to ensure that is in place, is the zoning requirements. This will be part of what you will want to research when considering a location as in, “1. Research”, above. For example, if you want to open up a residential recovery center, the living location of your residents needs to be Commercially Zoned. However you do it, you will want to ensure proper zoning is in place.

There are other elements to consider when meeting legal standards and you will want to know them and provide clear documentation proving you have met the legal necessities.


The final implementation of your business plan would be Marketing. You will want a solid marketing plan established to keep your business profitable and open.

Part of this plan will be a marketing budget. You will want to determine if you are looking to build a massive lead generation platform or just one that will get you by and keep the place open.

Marketing is essentially promoting your service in an appealing way that will bring about substantial lead generation, resulting in clients for you to rehabilitate. It is best to begin marketing before you are open so that a few months before you open your facility is being made known to others, this can save you thousands of dollars.

Online marketing is especially important, as this is where most of your leads and clients will come from. Part of online marketing is promoting your brand, your specific identity that places you apart from other addiction rehab facilities.

Some key online marketing principles include:

  • Website
  • Blogs
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Youtube Videos
  • Podcast
  • Facebook
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Advertisement Banners
  • Paid Search

All business marketing is key to lead generation and a profitable operation.

Following all of these steps can help you on your way to a successful addiction rehab.

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Dan and his team of addiction professionals at Elevate, have helped hundreds of people to beat addiction every year.