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Addiction Treatment Center Resources - Georgia

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Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

1. What kinds of facilities require a license?

Any substance abuse facility which offers treatment services for substance abuse requires a license from Georgia Department of Community Health. Substance abuse facilities are licensed according to the level of care and services they are capable of providing to their clients and different regulators govern different types of services.  View More

2. What kinds of facilities provide addiction services in Georgia?

The following programs offer treatment and education services to alcohol and drug addicted individuals in Georgia.  View More

3. What does it mean to be 'licensed' or 'accredited' in this industry?

Licensing means that the facility has been granted a written notice conveying to the public that the regulator has issued its permission to operate authorized services. View More

4. What are the staffing requirements of a substance abuse facility?

Facilities must ensure adequate staff to meet client needs, and that individuals employed are appropriately vetted to insure they do not pose a risk to clients. View More

5. Are there any other organizations where we could find more information?

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

http://www.samhsa.gov/  View More

Treatment/Rehabilitation Programs

Overview

6. What kinds of facilities require a license?

Any substance abuse facility which offers treatment services for substance abuse requires a license from Georgia Department of Community Health. View More

7. What kinds of facilities provide addiction services in Georgia?

The following programs offer treatment and education services to alcohol and drug addicted individuals in Georgia. View More

8. What does it mean to be 'licensed' or 'accredited' in this industry?

Licensing means that the facility has been granted a written notice conveying to the public that the regulator has issued its permission to operate authorized services. View More


Licensing

9. Which body authorizes and oversees substance abuse treatment facilities in the State of Georgia?

The Georgia Department of Community Health is responsible for ensuring that persons who abuse or are dependent on alcohol and/or substances and their families are provided with care and treatment that is effective and of high quality. View More


10. What information must be provided in my initial application for a license?

Drug abuse treatment and education programs should apply for licensure using the following form:  View More

11. What are the different types of license which may be issued?

There are two types of license: provisional and regular. View More

 

On-site Review

12. What kinds of inspections might there be for licensure determination?

The Georgia Department of Community Health (GDCH) may enter and inspect any and all program premises which, includes access to all parts of the facility, staff, clients, and books, documents or records pertinent to initial and continued licensure, including but not limited to all clinical records maintained on clients. View More

13. How can a facility prepare for inspections, on-site reviews and audits?

While the criteria are periodically updated, key subjects of review may include:

(a) Medication management (security and storage, self-administration, logging of administration, labeling, and destruction); View More

14. Why might a licensing application be unsuccessful or a license revoked?

A license application will be denied by Georgia Department of Community Health (GDCH) when a program fails to meet the standards set out in the licensing rules, and no variances or waivers have been approved. View More

Zoning and Land Use


15. What are the protections afforded to small group homes used for the purpose of residential substance abuse treatment?

Sober homes and other transitional living facilities for those recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction are generally subject to local zoning laws and regulations.  View More

16. Are there any proximity restrictions regulating how close treatment centers may be to each other? Can I open a residential treatment center right next to one that is already there?

There is no statewide rule or regulation preventing multiple facilities from operating in close proximity.  View More 

17. What are the basic physical plant requirements for treatment facilities?

Treatment facilities should be in compliance with all applicable local health, sanitation,
building, and zoning requirements, and also in compliance with all applicable laws and rules issued by the State Fire Marshall, the proper local fire marshal or state inspector, and have a certificate of occupancy if required. View More

18. Is a facility able to provide food to its clients?

A residential program which provides food service must provide each client with meals and snacks of food groups and serving sizes which meet the nutritional guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture. View More

Care, Treatment and Services

Admissions Agreement

19. What information must be disclosed to the client during intake and what must we put in our admissions agreement?

Clients or their responsible parties have a right to obtain information about the client’s treatment.  View More

Placement

20. How does a facility decide whether a client meets criteria for placement in a particular level of care?

In order to make a determination on whether the services offered by the facility are an appropriate fit to meet the treatment requirements of the client, the facility carries out a screening and an assessment of the client's treatment and rehabilitation needs. View More

Contact

21. What services must be offered at each different type of facility?

Substance abuse treatment facilities must meet the needs of admitted clients as identified during the admission assessment process. View More

Treatment Planning

22. How does a program plan for a client's treatment?

There are two stages of treatment planning for clients undergoing treatment within licensed programs. View More

23. How should a program monitor a client's progress?

A program should document the services received by the client and document chronologically observations of the client's clinical course of treatment which includes the client's response to treatment and progress towards achieving individual goals and desired outcomes. View More

Medication

24. What rules govern administration of client medications?

All Drug Treatment and Education Programs

Prescription

Medications must be prescribed by a physician, and/or other practitioners as allowed by state law, and the risks and benefits of the prescribed medication are explained to the client (and parent, guardian, or responsible party if applicable) by the physician or a staff person who has been delegated responsibility in writing by the physician to explain the risks and benefits. View More

Client Rights

25. What rights are guaranteed to clients?

Clients' rights must be respected and protected. Each facility has a responsibility to provide clients, or their representatives, with a copy of their rights, in a language they can understand during orientation, and inform them of the complaint process and how complaints are addressed and/or resolved. View More

Seclusion and Restraint

26. What are the rules about restrictive practices of behavior control?

A program may not admit someone it cannot safely manage. View More

27. What are the rules about emergency safety interventions?

Emergency safety interventions, which are defined as those behavioral intervention techniques that are authorized under an approved emergency safety intervention plan and are utilized by properly trained staff in an urgent situation to prevent a client from doing immediate harm to self or others may be used only by staff trained in the proper use of such interventions when it can be reasonably anticipated from a client's behavioral history, that a client may require the use of emergency safety interventions to keep either the client or others safe from immediate physical harm, and less restrictive means of dealing with the injurious behavior have not proven successful or may subject the client or others to greater risk of injury. View More

28. What Should Facilities Consider When Designing An Emergency Safety Intervention Program?

The emergency safety intervention program that is utilized should include the following:

  • Techniques for de-escalating problem behavior including client and staff debriefings; View More

29. What are manual holds, mechanical restraints, seclusion and time out?

Emergency safety interventions may include manual holds, mechanical restraints, seclusion and time-out. View More

30. Under What Circumstances May Emergency Safety Interventions be Used?

Where emergency safety interventions are used, the following rules must be observed:  View More

Discharge

31. What grounds are needed in order to dismiss a client from a program?

There are four types of discharge. View More

32. What type of paperwork must accompany a client discharge?

A program must complete, in accordance with accepted standards of practice, an individual discharge and aftercare plan prior to discharge for clients who leave the program with notice. View More

33. I need to discharge a client that relapsed, but am I at risk if he or she overdoses tonight and how can I protect myself?

The discharge of a client must be handled carefully given the risks if a client suffers negative health consequences in the aftermath of discharge.  View More

Privacy

34. How must clients' privacy be protected?

It is important that clients feel safe to seek help for their addiction issues, so records which deal with the identity, diagnosis, prognosis or treatment of a client are confidential and may not be disclosed without their express written consent, except in limited circumstances, for which a compliance professional should be consulted. Information which identifies those seeking services must be protected to the same degree as existing and former clients. View More

Payment

35. How must I respond to clients who are unable to pay the required deductibles? Can I waive a program participant's financial responsibility?

Many patients seeking alcohol and drug treatment services face financial difficulties, and request or require reductions in program fees, or waiver of their deductibles, copays, or coinsurance before they can afford treatment. View More


36. What are the key issues insurers raise to demand recoupment of fees from substance abuse treatment programs?


Insurers may demand recoupment of fees based on any defect in the billing claim or supporting documentation and/or based on any noncompliance with federal or state laws.  View More

Governance and Staffing

37. What are the staffing requirements of a substance abuse facility?

Facilities must ensure adequate staff to meet client needs, and that individuals employed are appropriately vetted to insure they do not pose a risk to clients. Additionally, facilities must meet the following minimum staffing requirements: View More

Marketing

38. What marketing practices are prohibited?

The most widespread prohibited marketing practices in addiction treatment appear to revolve around inappropriate inducements and inaccurate marketing claims. View More

39. What are the limits of gift giving to potential referral sources?

State and federal regulators prohibit the exchange of items of value to induce referrals so the exchange of any item of value, whether it is cash or in kind, must be carefully monitored.  View More

40. What kind of benefits can I offer existing or new clients?

 Facilities must avoid giving gifts to clients or referral sources based on anti-kickback statutes which prohibit client brokering.  View More

41. Are there any other organizations where we could find more information?

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
http://www.samhsa.gov/  View More

Recovery Residences

Licensing

42. What is a recovery home?

Recovery Homes are transitional alcohol and drug free housing with rules, peer-led groups, activities and/or other structured operations which are directed toward maintenance of sobriety for persons who exhibit treatment resistance, relapse potential and/or lack of suitable recovery living environments or who recently have completed substance abuse treatment services or who may be receiving such treatment services at another licensed facility. View More

43. Do we need a license to open a recovery home?

Recovery homes which do not offer or purport to offer Drug Abuse Treatment and Education Programs do not have to be licensed, and are not regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health. View More

44. In the absence of licensing, how can recovery homes demonstrate their commitment to meeting minimum quality standards?

The Georgia Association of Recovery Residences (GARR) is a peer driven not-for-profit organization. View More

45. What is the process through which a sober home can be accepted as a member of Georgia Association of Recovery Residences?

To be accepted as a member of Georgia Association of Recovery Residences, the facility should meet the following standards:  View More

46. What kinds of services can a recovery home offer?

Recovery Homes provide a structured alcohol and drug free environment for congregate living that offers regularly scheduled peer-led or community gatherings (self-help groups, etc.). View More

Zoning and Land Use

47. What are the protections afforded by federal law to small group homes used for the purpose of residential drug rehabilitation?

Sober homes and other transitional living facilities for those recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction are generally subject to local zoning laws and regulations.  View More

48. Can local governments put special restrictions on recovery homes?

Recovery homes in some communities have found growing efforts to regulate them by local ordinance, including registration requirements, concentration (spacing) limits, and other requirements. View More

49. What other aspects must I consider before choosing a location for our recovery home?

In siting a recovery home, attention must be paid to potential hostility from neighbors. While federal and state law may protect the right to operate recovery homes of six or fewer in any residential community depending upon a variety of circumstances, operators must be prepared to deal with the stress and expense of combating hostile neighbors and potentially hostile cities in litigation. View More

Resident's Rights and Responsibilities

50. What kind of agreement can we ask our residents to sign?

Any agreement residents sign must comply with landlord and tenant laws of Georgia. View More

51. Can we insist on drug tests and searches?

No, recovery homes do not have the right to impose testing or searches without consent. View More

52. Can we make residents' obligations contractually enforceable?

Yes, as long as the obligations are enforceable under Georgia law in general, and the law relating to landlord and tenants.  View More

Governance and Staffing

53. What kind of ownership and staffing structures are common with these types of residential arrangements?

A recovery housing facility may be structured as a nonprofit corporation, a for-profit corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or a sole owner arrangement. View More

54. Are there any other organizations where we could find more information?

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
http://www.samhsa.gov/  View More

 

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