In the United States, there are dozens of drug treatment centers. This leaves patients and their family members with many choices. If you’re looking for a place that offers a safe way to get weaned off of drugs or alcohol, there are several good medical detox options. Medical detox exists in several settings, including traditional medical detox centers, hospitals, and peer support detox centers that may or may not have a medical detox component. Most people prefer medical detox centers for their specially-trained staff and personal attention. But when you’re comparing apples to apples (or one facility to the next), how do you know if you’re getting quality care? Here’s what to look for in the staff as you’re scoping out your options.
What Training do Medical Detox Center Employees Have?
Training requirements for drug treatment centers vary by state, but every state is required to have its own requirements that provides a uniform standard for mental health and drug rehab counseling. No matter where you live, you can rest assured that mental health counseling is a field that’s taken quite seriously, considering that improper care can cost an individual’s life or prevent a full recovery. Therefore, any certified treatment facility that you choose is going to be highly regulated. Naturally, states vary in their requirements for employees, which means that you’ll have to look at the requirements that your selected state imposes. While the specifics vary, staff at medical detox centers generally have training in these basic core areas:
- Medical training
- Psychology or psychiatry
- Case management
As with any type of drug rehab center, there is a complex set of issues to deal with when you’re looking at an addiction that requires a medical detox. In addition to the addiction itself, there are sometimes additional problems that a patient faces, such as mental health issues. Most medical detox centers have a well-rounded staff that can collectively provide thorough and comprehensive care. For instance, staff members might include a team of psychiatrists, counselors, nutritionists, and medical doctors. Sometimes, centers will hire specialists who are cross-trained in multiple areas related to alcohol and drug abuse treatment. The educational and practical training required for these positions varies, and is based on the core educational standards that apply to graduates entering work in any setting.
However, staff members who want to become counselors are generally required to take an additional licensing exam to become state-certified. They might also be required to complete internships specifically in a drug rehab center. For instance, a psychologist or doctor who graduates and then wants to work specifically in a detox center must normally take an exam to do so. Depending on the center, he or she may also have to have relevant work experience in that setting. Some restrictions apply based on the state’s own requirements. In addition to passing an exam, staff members must clear a background check and have a record that’s clear of felony charges.
As with many professions, there is also a national-level certification for counselors. Mental health professionals can be certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors, or NBCC. Although not always required, passing this exam shows that a counselor has reached an additional level of professional training, and is therefore more marketable to a rehab center. Since people like you, who are searching for the best place for inpatient medical detox care, are looking closely at credentials of staff members, any bit of additional training gives a detox center more prestige.
What to Expect From a Medical Detox Center
Going through a drug detox can be scary, emotional, and even painful for both patients and their family members. But even if this experience is new for you, rest assured that the staff at a good detox facility has seen it all many times before. For that reason, professionals have developed a general overview of what to expect. Most medical detox programs last anywhere from 3-5 days. They are compassionate but rigorous programs that provide around-the-clock care for patients (assuming they are admitted to an inpatient facility) that are designed to provide physical and psychological support while also preparing patients for a longer-term detox program, since many long-term programs require a physical detox from drugs or alcohol before admitting patients.
The Importance of Medical Care
- Fast, efficient care
- Physical safety
- Enables patients to progress
- Prevents relapse
One thing that distinguishes medical detox drug rehab centers from other rehab facilities is the medical component. It might seem minor, especially since medical detox generally lasts less than a week. But medical detox is actually one of the most important parts of successful drug rehab treatment. This is due to several reasons, including that medical detox significantly reduces the likelihood of a relapse. A medical detox can also be physically dangerous, depending on how severe the addiction was to begin with. For instance, withdrawal from alcohol and other substance use can produce life-threatening symptoms that need to be carefully managed and monitored by a trained professional. Only a trained professional should be trusted to administer the correct medicine based on the patient’s personal history of drug abuse and the severity of symptoms. Some facilities choose to extend the stay for patients who are dealing with withdrawal instead of upping the dosage of medication they receive, as the medications themselves can be habit-forming and produce unwanted physical side effects.
The Advantage of a Medical Detox Facility
When you’re choosing where to go for drug addiction support, there are many options available. Medical detox is recommended for people who have developed a physical dependency on a substance, either from long-term use or from taking the substance in a high quality. It gets to a point where, without proper medical oversight and intervention, the patient cannot be safely or successfully weaned off a substance. A medical detox facility contains a staff created with highly trained professionals who understand, and know how to manage, both the physical and emotional side effects of addiction.
Drug and alcohol addiction can be scary and frustrating for both the patient and his or her family. But luckily, there are many great medical detox facilities in the United States to provide the support and proper care needed to help patients start on the path to recovery. Each state has its own licensing requirements, but you’ll find highly-regulated facilities with well-trained professionals nationwide. If you’re ready to get help for yourself or a loved one, don’t wait! Drug addiction can be deadly. Call us today with questions or to get more information at 877-497-6180.