What the Government Wants You To Know Before Purchasing Private Drug Rehab:
Alcohol and Drug Withdrawal Services
The following information is adapted from the Residential Treatment for Teens page of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s* (FTC) Consumer Information website. The following questions are equally appropriate to ask a Canadian private treatment provider for adults:
How do you handle medical issues like illness or injury? Is there a nurse or doctor on staff? On the premises? Will you contact family members? Will family members be notified or consulted if there’s a change in treatment or medication?
FTC: “Ask for copies of procedures the program follows on dealing with medical emergencies.”
At Sunshine Coast Health Centre, clients benefit from a medical unit staffed with medical professionals. Nurses are on site 7 days a week while a physician and psychiatrist are on site every Tuesday and Thursday. Unlike many treatment facilities, all clients see our physician within 24 hours of admission and the psychiatrist within 7 days of admission. Pending client consent, medical issues, injuries, and changes in medication will be communicated to family members upon request. Medical emergencies are dealt with as per provincial licensing regulations.
*The U.S. Federal Trade Commission works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them.
Upon arrival at our medical unit located in Powell River, BC, our nursing staff will promptly admit you to our 8-bed medical withdrawal management unit*. Having withdrawal management services on-site lets us provide immediate medical care to clients instead of waiting for them to withdraw from drugs and alcohol beforehand.
Within 24 hours, you will be examined by our Medical Director. During your examination, medications will be reviewed and a determination will be made whether you are ready to be discharged from the medical unit and moved to your room in residence. If you have come for our Withdrawal Management Program, our case managers will have a 7-day withdrawal management plan prepared for you upon arrival. While in withdrawal, integration with the peer community is permitted and encouraged.
Once stable, a medical, social, chemical and mental health history is obtained from each client to help generate a recovery plan best suited to their individual needs.
Many clients who come to us are people seeking a withdrawal management program or centre in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby and other cities in British Columbia or in Edmonton or Calgary, who quickly realize that a residential or inpatient detox program is a good option. By engaging in a residential or inpatient detox program, you can more easily begin the process or drug rehab or alcohol treatment and begin to reboot your life whether in our program or at a program of your choice.
*Clients registered for our drug rehab and alcohol treatment programs may not require medical withdrawal management services. Our Medical Director will determine whether a client needs withdrawal management prior to the primary program. Clients needing withdrawal management will only pay per night they are in the medical unit.
We understand your arrival at our alcohol and drug detox can be an anxious time. You have more questions than answers and you really don’t know what to expect. Our nursing staff appreciates your apprehension and is committed to making you feel comfortable the moment you arrive.
If you have been consuming excessive amounts of drugs or alcohol, you have the right to expect that your time in detox will be monitored by capable medical professionals. The first people you meet when you arrive will be the Nursing team who will immediately begin attending to your physical and mental health.
While drug and alcohol treatment centers can function without having a withdrawal management program on site, our clients soon come to appreciate the benefit of having an onsite detoxification unit, especially when medical professionals are involved.
Benefits of having a medical unit include immediate admission since we do not require you have a certain amount of “sober time” before entering treatment. Our clients also appreciate the slower pace in a medical detox program that allows for time to rest and consult with medical staff before transitioning into the demands of group therapy.
While in the detox program, many of our clients learn that they have medical conditions brought on by years of neglect or risky behaviour. While the diagnosis of disease is never easy, medical staff is here to provide comfort and education so that clients can begin to make positive changes in lifestyle to help manage their conditions.
If you’re looking for detox programs in Vancouver or other cities in British Columbia, you’ll find that not only is our detox centre one of the best, but that our relationship with a full-service drug rehab and alcohol treatment program is a plus, even though we provide detox for clients who feel that they will be better served elsewhere for their rehab needs.
While you get comfortable, your nurse will need to confirm your medical, substance use, and treatment history originally recorded on the Client Admission Form. Based on your nutritional needs and dietary preferences your nurse will formulate a nutritional plan and advise kitchen staff *.
A nurse will then check your weight and take your vital signs. You will also be asked to provide a urine sample to help nursing staff determine what drugs are in your system and a breathalyzer to determine blood alcohol content.
This information will help Nursing create a detox care plan, allowing them to reduce the discomfort you may experience during withdrawals.
*Sunshine Coast Health Centre does not have a halal- or kosher-approved kitchen. Therefore, food purchasing or preparation practices of these faiths are not observed. However, clients may substitute pork or beef dishes for another meat or vegetarian dish.
Part of feeling safe in drug detox and treatment means not having to worry that drugs or alcohol are being consumed or sold by staff or peers during your stay in drug rehabilitation. For the protection of you and your peers, all bags and belongings will be searched. Any open cigarette packs will be checked. All open bottles will be confiscated and destroyed. If you are bringing prescribed medications, please ensure it is kept in original prescription packaging*.
Although this may appear to be a lack of trust in clients just arriving in detox, it is really for your protection.
Be assured that you will NOT be subject to cavity or skin searches or pat-downs. We recognize that if someone is determined enough they will find a way to smuggle drugs or alcohol into the facility. Sunshine Coast Health Centre is a detox and treatment centre, not a lock-down facility. We are committed to a safe treatment environment while maintaining your dignity and trust.
*Please only bring 3 days worth of any prescription medications. Existing prescriptions will be assessed by the Medical Director and re-prescribed and packaged by SCHC’s pharmacy.
A Consent for Treatment form is reviewed with every client which gives medical staff permission to provide you with the care you need. If you have concerns about providing consent for treatment, please let us know before your scheduled admission.
All other paperwork will immediately follow until you’re medically stable to complete.
WHILE YOU ARE IN DETOX
While you are staying in our medical detox centre, nursing staff is busy monitoring your vital signs to ensure your withdrawal from alcohol and/or drugs is proceeding safely. The body handles the excretion of alcohol, opiates, and other drugs in different ways and our nurses follow guidelines (also known as withdrawal protocols) that are matched to the substances you have ingested prior to your admission.
Any medications currently subscribed to you will be reviewed by our Medical Director for any potential side effects that may complicate your stay in medical detoxification and residential treatment.
Nursing staff is dedicated to keeping you comfortable. Both non-narcotic and opiate-replacement protocols are available*. We understand our role in partnering with you in your recovery and are sensitive to your struggles with mood-altering substances, including prescription medications.
*Clients who use opiates/opioids as their primary drug choice or regularly go into our Suboxone Treatment program during detox and the rest of their stay. You can find more information on Suboxone Treatment on our Specialized Detox page.
Please contact Admissions toll-free at 1-866-487-9010 if you have concerns about medications, Suboxone, Methadone, or anything else during your stay in detox.
Within 24 to 36 hours of admission, you will be examined by the Medical Director who will be your physician during your stay at Sunshine Coast Health Centre. The Medical Director performs a physical exam and assessment to determine your ability to provide self-care. Until such time, nurses will continue to monitor your condition.
Your doctor is responsible for determining when it is appropriate for you to transition to the men’s residence. Your doctor is committed to your well-being so feel free to let him know if you have any questions about your medical condition or our medical detox program.
If quitting smoking is something you would like to start during your treatment stay, please let our medical staff know when you arrive in detox. We will support you in your efforts by providing a nicotine replacement program and monitoring your progress as you go smoke-free.
We are proud of the care we provide in our drug and alcohol detox. We offer private duty nursing that is no longer available in most hospitals. Many of our clients report being surprised at the amount of time our doctor spends getting to know and better understand our clients.
Our medical staff recognize that your commitment to recovery began when you first picked up the phone and called us for help. Treating your physical withdrawal symptoms in detox will now make room for treating your psychological dependence on substances. We are committed to laying a foundation of trust so important in allowing us to partner with you on your journey towards a lasting recovery.
Even after you are transferred out of detox to the residential program nursing staff is available for ongoing consultation during the remainder of your stay at Sunshine Coast Health Centre.
We hope this page has answered your questions directed specifically at the medical detoxification program at Sunshine Coast Health Centre. While we are located in Powell River, BC, we are known as one of the best detox programs in British Columbia and all of Canada. Men come to us having sought detox programs in big cities such as Vancouver, Edmonton, or Alberta, realizing that our residential setting might be the best choice for their first step in recovery.
For general information on alcohol and drug detox, refer to the Detox Facts section.
For more information on our medical and psychiatric services refer to the Medical & Psychiatric Services page.