Choosing a detox center, whether for yourself or for a loved one, can be an overwhelming experience. Although thousands of people complete a drug detox every year, there’s often an insufficient amount of information available about what to expect and how to choose a suitable facility. Knowing what to look for can help individuals in need of help secure a spot in the best accredited detox centers in the country.
Pharmacological Assistance During Withdrawal
During a detox, withdrawal symptoms can become severe, and in many cases the best way to handle the process is through medication. However, there are a few detox facilities that don’t offer pharmacological assistance to patients, instead requiring them to complete their withdrawal cold turkey.
For many drug detoxes, pharmacological assistance can be used to wean patients from their drug of choice. These synthetic drugs won’t replicate the highs, but they will convince the brain that a small dosage is being consumed. This means that withdrawal symptoms will be less pronounced, and patients can be weaned from the medications themselves. In a matter of one to two weeks, patients in a medical detox can be weaned from both drugs and synthetic medications, and their withdrawal symptoms will be far less uncomfortable (and far less dangerous) than a cold turkey detox on its own.
Admission Assessment Upon Arrival
One of the things that can separate a great detox facility from an inferior one is the existence of an admissions evaluation. This is a comprehensive look at incoming patients and their health. Some of the things that a physician or admissions medical professional might require could include a history of medical problems, any relevant family health history and information about drug use and dosage.
This admission evaluation is an integral part of a successful detox. No two patients are the same, and they can have varied health histories, mental health concerns and drug use habits. The initial evaluation can help determine what kind of treatment will be the most appropriate and how to help individuals overcome addiction in the most effective way.
Individualized Treatment Plans
Another hallmark of an excellent detox center is one that provides individualized treatment plans for patients. Although detox is a short program, lasting just one to two weeks, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Some patients with severe addictions may require medication to wean themselves from their addictions, but others may only require mild sedatives to get through the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.
It’s also important that detox centers are flexible enough to change treatment plans as and when they are needed by patients. For instance, some patients may require more medication than initially expected, or they may need emergency assistance as a result of seizures or extreme confusion. Accredited, reputable detox centers will adjust their timelines and actions with patients, helping them to get up-to-the-minute assistance rather than just actions from a set, inflexible plan.
Recovery Plans That Go Beyond Detox
Detox is the first step of recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, but the best detox centers will understand that recovery doesn’t end after a one- or two-week program. When choosing a detox center, prospective patients and their loved ones should look ahead at what future treatment will be available. Some detox centers do an excellent job of combining detox and rehab in one facility, allowing patients to have a seamless transition from one to the next on the same campus.
Detox centers can also offer patients a comprehensive recovery plan with information on how to move to the next step on the journey to recovery. This will typically include rehabilitation of some kind, whether that’s inpatient or outpatient, but it may also consist of sober living or sober companionship.
Accepts Major Health Insurance Plans
Choosing a detox center should always revolve around the quality, reputation and treatments available at a facility, but there’s no denying the financial factor. A large portion of those patients who decide to attend detox for a drug or alcohol addiction will have either health insurance or Medicaid, so it’s necessary that their center of choice accepts health insurance from multiple major providers.
Detox centers that readily accept major health insurance plans from many providers are more than just financially within reach. A strong working relationship with health insurance companies is also a sign that the center in question is reputable and has accreditation from major governing bodies, which is a good thing for any prospective patients.
Attractive and Inviting Facilities
It’s easy to dismiss the aesthetics of a detox center, because the evidence-based treatment is considered to be far more important. In many ways, however, the quality of the facility itself can play a major role in the recovery of patients. When patients feel comfortable, safe and secure, they are less likely to struggle with issues like anxiety, and there’s even some research to suggest that they may sleep better.
At the very least, detox centers should be clean and comfortable. Ideally, there would also be communal living spaces where patients can gather to share meals and experiences, and there should also be some outside space to enjoy the fresh air. Fitness facilities that encourage physical activity can also be helpful during detox and rehab.
Understanding of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
An often overlooked element of detox is the mental health component. While many rehab centers will begin treatment with a mental health assessment, it’s important to take this into consideration during detox as well. Unfortunately, some detox centers only focus on the physical symptoms of patients, overlooking the potential for mental health disorders.
Some withdrawal symptoms during detox can mimic mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, so it’s vital that medical professionals understand whether these symptoms are underlying factors or just temporary conditions. Proper evaluations, and an overall awareness of dual diagnosis, can help detox centers better serve patients.
Choosing a detox center isn’t easy, considering the sheer number of choices available. When making a selection, prospective patients need to factor in dual diagnosis treatment, facilities, availability of medical detox and accreditation.