Adding Love, Compassion and Support to Detox Treatment Goes a Long Way

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We operate the Skagit Community Detox (SCD) facility in Burlington, Washington. The center is a 16-bed sub-acute detox program and serves North Sound regional residents in need of alcohol and/or drug detox, in addition to providing services for residents experiencing a crisis related to their substance use disorders (SUD). 

Nicole “Cocoa” Rivera (pictured), substance use disorder professional trainee (SUDPT), shared a client’s story that gives an example of the compassionate care our staff provide when clients are in crisis and in need of help.

Cocoa shared, “Over the summer, we served Chuck who was a former client that returned to SCD for services. This time, he was at our door in the middle of the night with torn-up clothes, bruises on his face and tangled in a hammock. Chuck shared that he had been physically attacked and didn’t know where to turn.” 

Cocoa added, “While Chuck was at SCD, he detoxed safely from alcohol and meth, and our team quickly went to bat for him for his aftercare. He met with our medical director and was closely monitored by our residential treatments specialists and clinical staff. He slept in his own room for several days.” 

Because Chuck did not have the mental/emotional capacity to obtain the required SUD assessment elsewhere, one of Pioneer’s clinicians that he was familiar with stayed late to conduct an assessment with him. This in-house SUD assessment allowed for a door-to-door placement to Pioneer Center North (PCN), a residential SUD treatment facility. Meanwhile, clinicians worked diligently to request a three-day extension to Chuck’s insurance provider and it was eventually approved.

On Chuck’s last day, our staff was notified that PCN was full and could not accept him for admittance. Since one of our other client’s declined his bed date, we requested that Chuck take this client’s place due to his fragile state,” said Cocoa.

PCN approved this request and Chuck was ready to be moved. Even though the SCD team serving Chuck was short-staffed, all agreed that a SCD clinician should transport him to PCN to help decrease his anxiety. That same day, Chuck showered and was given clothing from our donations. He left with a Pioneer backpack and a smile.

Cocoa stated, “Chuck has a long history of drug abuse and on-and-off mental health counseling due to other physical assaults and childhood trauma. While we may not be mental health providers at SCD, the staff here have a lot of love, compassion and support to give. In the midst of someone’s sobering and healing process, that level of client-centered care goes a long way and ultimately makes a significant impact on people’s lives.”