A rehab is often referred to as a clinical facility, where people who have a problem with alcohol or drugs can go to get help, and learn to rebuild their lives. The term clinical can sometimes be a bit offputting, as it is normally identified with a hospital or similar type of setting.
A rehab is clinical in the sense that there is an element of it that is staffed and overseen by qualified medical and nursing staff. This is important for two specific reasons.
Anyone entering a rehab who has had significant use or misuse of alcohol and or drugs for a period of time needs to be clinically assessed to see if they need a medical detox. The process of withdrawal or coming off drugs and alcohol can be an extremely serious one, and the individual needs to be assessed by a qualified medical personnel to see if a detox is necessary.
Sometimes it is and sometimes it is not. The important thing about a rehab is that it needs to have both staff and facilities to assess the need for a detox in the first place, and if a detox is needed, the staff and facilities to oversee and perform it.
There are some situations where a rehab does not have its own clinical facilities, but has an arrangement with a local hospital or similar setting which has the needed facilities to oversee and perform a detox. This arrangement is normally satisfactory but should be checked carefully prior to entering the rehab.
Rehab – clinical staff
The other reason that a rehab needs to employ qualified medical personnel both medical doctors, nurses, psychiatrists and various therapists is because a large amount of the time that an individual spends in rehab will be devoted to various therapeutic work.
The nature of this therapeutic work can vary significantly from rehab to rehab, but in the main will be underpinned by the twelve step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous, or an adaptation of the principles contained therein.
Most rehabs will ground their therapeutic programs in the principles embodied by Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as a significant understanding of the current medical literature and approach to addiction generally.
A rehab will be dealing with people who have had many years of sustained substance abuse by way of alcohol and/or drugs, as well as people who have quite serious emotional and mental health issues. Qualified medical staff as outlined above are a key component of a rehabs ability to address all of these issues, and the competency and qualifications of the clinical staff involved in a rehab should be one of the criteria assessed when deciding which rehab to enter.