The number of people suffering from drug addiction continues to grow by the day. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency recently reported that more than 22 million Americans above the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol and other substances. The most shocking thing is that the majority of these people don’t seek help at an addiction treatment facility. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that less than 2.5 million people received treatment for alcohol addiction in 2012.
Despite the decline in the number of people visiting addiction treatment centers, the number of treatment facilities across the country continues to grow. Currently, the addiction treatment market generates over $35 billion per year. With such returns, there is no doubt that alcohol treatment centers will continue to crop up from every corner of the country. It, therefore, calls for strict regulation to ensure that alcohol rehabs are established not just to make profits, but also to help people to overcome their addiction problems. So, what are some of the regulations governing alcohol treatment centers in the country?
In the past, addiction treatment facilities were left to set their own guidelines. It, however, changed in 1970, when the states were asked to establish Single State Authority (SSA) and State Alcohol Authority (SAC) for drug abuse. The two entities would help in monitoring the activities of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers to ensure that they provided professional services. Each state was allowed to set their regulations so that the services provided by addiction treatment centers would meet the needs of citizens living in these regions.
In most states, you will need a license to operate an alcohol rehabilitation facility. There are, however, a few states where accreditation is voluntary. In other states, they will only require certification for specific programs such as inpatient programs. Generally, the majority of the states will ask for the following requirements before allowing an addiction facility to open doors to the public.
• Certificate of need
• Compliance with building codes and zoning ordinances
• Compliance with fire laws
• Obtaining insurance
• Statements of ownership and operation
A substance abuse counselor is a crucial figure in the life of an individual struggling with alcohol addiction. Substance abuse counselors specialize in treating individuals with a heavy dependency on drugs or alcohol. They also work closely with the family members since the addiction problem affects both the patient and their loved ones.
Each state has a unique set of requirements for addiction specialists. Majority of the states haven’t set mandatory requirements for counselor certification. However, six states have made it compulsory for addiction specialists to have a minimum of bachelor’s degree.
Staffing requirements ensure that patients are getting help from the appropriate experts. It also ensures that the minimum staff-to-patient ratio is met. Generally, an alcohol rehabilitation facility must have adequate staff to cater to the needs of patients in the facility. Also, the majority of the staff members in an addiction treatment facility are required to know the basics of physical health care and what do to when there is a medical emergency. In some states, alcohol rehabilitation centers are required to partner with nearby medical facilities and hospitals. These partnerships are critical in case of life-threatening emergencies.
Alcohol rehabs do not just admit anyone into their facilities. Before accepting a patient, these facilities must ensure that they have the appropriate experts to lean on in case of emergencies. Before allowing a client through their doors, alcohol rehabs must assess the following:
• Education and employment history of the patient
• Physical health
• Psychological health
• Financial health
• History of substance abuse
• Housing needs
Observing the patient’s rights
People who seek help at addiction treatment centers for their alcohol problems must be handled with the utmost respect. Clients have specific rights, which dictate how they are treated inside the facility. Just like other patients, the opinion of alcohol addicts must be taken into consideration during treatment. For instance, they have the right to know about the treatment program and even request for a change if it doesn’t work for them.
Upholding confidentiality and privacy guidelines
Every alcohol rehab in the country must strive to safeguard personal and medical information of patients who seek treatment in their facilities. A patient’s health information must be held in the strictest confidence unless where it required by law. Every patient visiting alcohol rehab has a right to privacy and must be treated using approved and evidence-based practices. Alcohol addiction is a severe health problem, and the last thing a patient should be concerned with is their privacy.
If you have been thinking about seeking addiction treatment for alcohol, but you are apprehensive about your welfare, contact us now at 866-300-6707 for an immediate and confidential consultation. We will answer your questions on alcohol addiction and anything else you would like to know about the available treatment options.