Addiction can be an uncomfortable subject for many. However, silence isn’t going to solve anything. The truth is that there are millions of people across the globe suffering from the throes of addiction.
In fact, 90 Americans die every day due to opioid abuse alone. But while this statistic is alarming, there is hope.
It takes a special kind of person to want to reach out and help those suffering from addiction. Attending an addiction recovery center can be a turning point for an addict.
That is, of course, assuming it’s run in a patient-oriented direction. And while that may seem fairly simple, it isn’t always as easy as many think.
Anyone looking to start their own addiction recovery center should read on. Here are six great tips for running a patient-oriented recovery center.
1. The Patient Always Comes First
Above all else, anyone considering opening a rehab center needs to remember one thing: it’s all about the patients.
There may be days where they drive the staff absolutely crazy.
A patient-focused center needs to set the patient as the priority in every way. Every program, therapy session, even every meal time should be in their best interest.
The Recovery Village does a fantastic job of this. They’re a world-class recovery center with locations across the country. What sets them apart is the sheer amount of addictions they cover.
From mental illness issues to alcoholism, they’ve managed to put every patient’s first. Those looking to run a center need to follow this model.
Before committing to running a recovery center, consider everything a patient would need.
2. Expect Chaos, Remain Calm
Running a recovery center isn’t exactly the easiest job in the world, particularly when patients are in detox. They may become rude, aggressive, and flat-out mean.
However, it’s important to always take the high ground in these situations. Having a clear understanding of addiction can make a huge difference.
Physically and mentally, the patient is in a state of turmoil during detox. They’re likely experiencing intense bouts of pain that could make them lash out. Don’t take it personally, the patient likely has nothing against any member of the staff.
For that matter, it’s important to remember the staff’s feelings matter. Prep the team ahead of time and let them know what to expect, and always give them a breather if need be.
If need be, work on some coping mechanics together with the patients. It could actually be a fantastic way to bring the entire center together.
3. Practice Empathy
Perhaps no trait is more desirable in an owner and operator of an addiction recovery center than empathy. Defined as the ability to recognize another’s thoughts and feelings, a patient-focused center needs to truly practice empathy each and every day.
In fact, without empathy, it’s near impossible to truly run a patient-focused center or any business for that matter.
Even during the toughest days, place the patient first. Consider what they may be thinking or feeling before acting. Often, the patient will appreciate the length a staff member is willing to go to in order to understand.
Remember, the staff is pretty much a patient’s only connection to the outside world. They’re all that they have during their time of need. That connection may not seem like much, but it means a tremendous amount to the patients.
Be kind. It costs nothing and can make a tremendous difference in patients’ lives.
4. Get To Know The Patients
So far, we’ve talked a lot about forming connections with the patients through empathy and care. But now let’s focus on getting to know the patients on a personal level.
It’s the connections one forms with his or her patients that will set their center apart. While many would advise against getting too attached to patients, it’s fine to show a human side.
Talk to the patients whenever the opportunity arises. Get to know the patients on a deeper level. Not just why they’re addicts, but their hopes and dreams.
Talk to them about the future and remind them that hope exists outside of the walls of the center. For many, that small glimmer of hope can be the difference between a relapse and recovery.
5. Prepare Them For The Outside World
At the end of the day, the job of an addiction recovery center isn’t just to help patients detox. It’s to help prepare them for the unique challenges they’ll face once they leave.
Accordingly, it isn’t a bad idea to create some classes to let patients know what to expect. Anything from managing finances to avoiding temptation will be huge obstacles in their lives.
Or hold a mock job fair for the patients. The staff can help patients create resumes and hone their interviewing skills.
Remember the old saying knowledge is power? Sure, it’s a bit cheesy, but it’s apropos in this situation. The more a center arms its patients with knowledge and preparation, the better they’ll do when they leave.
Make sure to focus on applicable, real-world things patients are going to need. They may not care for it in the immediate future, but they’ll be thankful for it later.
6. Focus On Healing
Detox is about a lot more than just terrible physical symptoms. It’s about healing emotional wounds, as well.
Encourage reflection among the patients through therapy sessions, both individual and group. Many addicts have had a troubled past that requires extensive therapy to overcome.
Make sure to provide patients with all of the coping skills and resources they’ll need to heal. Give each patient a personal journal to record their thoughts in. They’ll seem hesitant at first, but journaling is a fantastic resource for reflection.
Final Thoughts On Running A Patient-Focused Addiction Recovery Center
When push comes to shove, a recovery center is still a business. But that doesn’t mean that it needs to be cold or heartless. Make a center a warm home for patients and prepare to watch them live their best lives.