Alcohol detox programs are often placed into two separate groups, depending on who owns the program and who pays the bills to keep those programs running. In this scheme, a public alcohol detox program is paid for through taxes and other public funding sources, while private alcohol detox programs are paid for through donations and fees paid by participants. Public facilities might be designated as nonprofit entities, allowing them to take advantage of a tax-free rate, while private facilities might work toward earning a profit. The differences between a public and a private institution might go deeper than issues of funding, however. In fact, an article published in Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Services Research suggests that different types of people tend to use public and private addiction facilities. In essence, these facilities serve two different types of clientele. This article will outline what a private alcohol detox program is designed to do, and who might benefit from participating in such a program.
Detox Importance and Barriers to Care
During detox from alcohol, people are providing their bodies with the opportunity to process any and all alcohol remaining within the tissues. The body can then learn how to function normally in the absence of alcohol, and this might be something the body hasn’t done for years or even decades. It’s an important, and healing, time for the alcoholic in recovery, and it can be incredibly beneficial. However, even though the outcome of detox can be overwhelmingly positive, many people simply want to keep their detox issues private.
For people struggling with alcoholism, shame may be a central part of their lives. They may feel terrible about their inability to control their drinking, and they may be ashamed of the things they have done while they were drinking. According to a study in the journal Addictive Behaviors, the tendency to feel shame in the first place is associated with drinking problems, implying that those who feel shame on a regular basis may be at a greater risk for developing the addictions that might later cause them shame. The idea of entering a treatment program, and perhaps admitting publically that addiction is an issue, might seem like a hurdle that’s almost too big to leap over.
This shame and fear of stigmatization by the community could keep some people from getting the addiction care they so desperately need, according to an article produced by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and this might be particularly true for women. If they fear that their entrance into detox might become public knowledge, they might never even agree to get care.
Those who have resisted the concept of alcohol detox due to concerns about privacy might be reassured to learn that these medical facilities are required to protect the identities and the personal information of the people they treat. The health care privacy act, commonly known as HIPAA, applies to both public and private detox facilities, and it’s designed to protect a patient’s:
- Social security number
- Medical history
- Current diagnosis
- Payment information
The penalties for breaking these rules can be severe, and as a result, detox facilities work hard to ensure that the identities and medical details surrounding their patients are completely secure. As a result, both public and private facilities don’t release patient names or any other verifiable information, and they may even restrict the amount of information shared with family members. With these steps, privacy can be assured.
Both public and private detox facilities are required to release their privacy policies on a regular basis, per HIPAA, and it is hoped that this release will help people feel more comfortable that their privacy will be protected in detox. Currently, this remains a prime concern for addicted people and their families. For example, in a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 42 percent of respondents felt that primary care treatment for addiction didn’t provide adequate privacy controls, and 45.2 percent thought specialty treatment wasn’t private enough. If more people learned about privacy policies, perhaps they could leave these fears behind.
Some private facilities take these steps yet further, providing an intense level of protection. Landscaping is built up and maintained, allowing people to come and go through secured entrances that aren’t visible from the street. Clients are asked to sign nondisclosure statements, ensuring that they won’t discuss the names or private information of other people in care. And sometimes, clients are provided with private rooms, so they can move forward with healing in a completely safe and private environment.
These advanced options might not be required for all people, but there are some people who find these extra steps to be vital. These people include:
- Corporate executives
- Public figures
While these people might very well not face any retaliation at all for entering an alcohol detox program, especially as doing so seems to indicate that the people have a willingness to get better, alleviating their concerns about privacy might encourage them to enter detox programs, and this might be well worth the effort. Removing roadblocks to care is always best.
Finding the Right Fit
In the past, some people who needed help with alcohol detox had to spend time waiting for space to open up in treatment facilities. According to a study in the journal Health Services Research, this issue has been addressed, and immediate care services increased twofold between 1990 and 2000. As a result, people who need to get alcohol detox care are quite likely to get that care, especially if they go to private clinics. This study found that private clinics were twice as likely to provide on-demand treatment, when compared to public programs.
People who want to get care immediately, allowing them to build upon momentum they’ve received in an intervention and begin on their sober journey right away, might find it easier to obtain care in a private facility. Here, they can get the help they need without being placed on a waiting list. People who are quite concerned about privacy issues in their alcohol detox programs can ask the program directors for information about how they protect the privacy of people in their care. If facility directors can point to specific interventions, such as those mentioned above, that might indicate that privacy is of the highest priority to that specific facility, and it might be the best place for the person to get care.
It’s important to remember that amenities, such as immaculate landscaping, security cameras, and private rooms, sometimes call for higher fees. Alcohol detox facilities that provide this level of care may have a higher per-day charge than facilities that do not. While this might not be a consideration for some people, as they remain consumed with protecting their privacy above and beyond all other considerations, cost can be a factor for some people who need addiction care. It’s best to discuss all cost concerns well before you enroll in addiction care.
At Michael’s House, we take the privacy of our clients quite seriously, and we never share treatment information with others. In addition, we work hard to keep our fees reasonable. Even though we’re a private detox and rehab facility, offering a detox process supervised by consulting physicians, we believe that all people who need addiction care should be able to access that care, and we’ve set our pricing accordingly. To find out more about our program, please call our operators today at 760-548-4032.