Failings in drug control practices across detox facilities endanger patients’ lives

Failings in drug control practices across detox facilities endanger patients’ lives

Poor drug control practices have become quite rampant across different medical facilities, including detox and rehab centers. The increased dependence on drugs is turning quite disastrous for patients. Due to an exposure to highly addictive drugs during treatment, the risk of developing chronic diseases and suffering from fatal consequences has increased multiple times among patients.

A number of studies have revealed that patients generally experience remarkably higher levels of drug activity while undergoing treatment. Such an eye-opening revelation has become a topic of debate among medical practitioners and health care providers. In fact, it once again hit the headlines when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted the issue following a series of inspections. During the inspections, the CQC found over six out of 10 rehab centers offering alcohol and drug addiction treatment to be unsafe.

Generally, a range of medications, including antidepressants, painkillers, anti-nausea medicines, etc., is prescribed to patients during the critical phase of detox and recovery. Depending on the type of drug abused and the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, each patient is given a carefully chosen combination of the above-mentioned modalities. There is an increased risk of exacerbation of the side effects of most of these prescribed drugs, especially in the case of a long-term regimen.

Non-existent drug control practices increase patients’ vulnerability

With growing apprehensions over the role of treatment or rehabilitation centers, regulators have called upon them to review their current drug control practices. Since most of the medications prescribed during treatment are addictive in nature, the need of the hour is to exercise caution while prescribing such drugs to patients.

The lackadaisical approach of medical practitioners towards the entire issue can prove dangerous for the patients. Therefore, they should avoid prescribing controlled drugs by telephone or email to users whom they have never met face-to-face. While medications like methadone and benzodiazipines increase the risk of addiction among those suffering from an addiction, drugs like paracetamol prove perilous to the already damaged liver.

Lack of trained staff adds to perils

The findings of the inspection of 68 clinics operated by the private sector conducted by the CQC concluded that nearly 63 percent facilities were not providing safe care and treatment. Moreover, around three of four rehab centers failed in at least one standard of care. Additionally, researchers witnessed major gaps in the training of the staff members, especially in the administration of medications and determining the ways to cope with the common implications of withdrawal. There were many who lacked training in basic life support (BLS).

In order to ensure safe care and avoid major implications that may turn fatal, medical practitioners need to follow guidelines governing the way to prescribe drugs during the phase of detox and recovery. Being a risky procedure, it is essential that the staff members undergo appropriate training to enhance their skills. By overcoming these lacunas in the entire treatment system for alcohol and drug abuse, one can avoid exposing patients to unwarranted complications and risks.

Patients may suffer from dual diagnosis

Another significant problem before such centers is the sensitivity toward the issue that people with an addiction to alcohol or drugs also tend to simultaneously suffer from mental disorders. This is known as dual diagnosis. Therefore, staff members need to be trained and sensitized about the possibility of the co-presence of addiction and a mental disorder, either prompting or exacerbating the addiction or vice versa, to ensure holistic treatment of patients.

Further, the staff should be trained to follow the national clinical guidelines and ensure 24/7 medical care to foresee and manage any complications.

Ensure right treatment to enable early recovery

To overcome the above-mentioned harms in the medically supervised treatment at residential settings, the medical facilities need to undertake remedial measures on an urgent basis. Based on the findings of the CQC inspections, many treatment centers were reproached for the breach of regulations. Moreover, four of the services are no longer operating.

Inpatient medical detoxification from alcohol and drugs is one of the first steps towards recovery. If you or your loved one is suffering from alcohol or drug abuse, contact the Rapid Detox Helpline. Call our 24/7 detox and treatment helpline number 866-403-5591 or chat online to access state-of-the-art detox treatment centers or detox treatment near you.