Recovery is possible. We are open 24/7. (866) 242-3814

Medically Reviewed

What Types of Medical Professionals Work at Addiction Detox Centers?

- 7 sections

Medically Verified: November 29, 2022

Medical Reviewer:

Sahil Talwar, PA-C, MBA


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that affects millions of Americans each year. According to the National Institutes of Health, “10 percent of US adults have drug use disorder at some point in their lives.”[1]

When you struggle with addiction, your body begins to rely on the substance to function properly. As a result, if you stop using that drug you will experience symptoms of withdrawal. This is why it is always recommended that individuals attend a drug and alcohol detox center when they decide to begin recovery from addiction.

Addiction detox centers go to great lengths to create the right atmosphere and environment for their patients. One of the ways this is accomplished is by employing highly qualified medical professionals to work in the facility. These medical professionals are trained and experienced in helping people overcome the withdrawal phase of addiction recovery, making the process safe and comfortable for every patient.

Choosing to enter a drug and alcohol detox program can be a difficult and even scary decision, especially if you’ve never attended one before. Knowing what kind of medical professionals will be assisting you throughout the detox process can put your mind at ease.

Types of Medical Professionals That Work in Addiction Detox Centers

Drug and alcohol detox centers are medical facilities that help you overcome withdrawal and prepare you for inpatient addiction treatment. Because detoxification is a medical process, these facilities employ the most experienced, licensed medical staff members. Being aware of the medical professionals that work in drug and alcohol detox programs and what role they play in your recovery can help you feel more comfortable with the idea of attending one.


Drug or alcohol dependency causes your mind and body to rely on the substance for basic functioning. When you stop using the substance you are addicted to, you will begin experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms can be scary, painful, and even life-threatening in certain situations.

Because withdrawal can cause dangerous symptoms like seizures or severe dehydration, medical doctors are essential staff members within detox programs. When you are in detox, medical doctors will examine your substance abuse history, determine whether you have any pre-existing medical conditions, identify the proper treatment regimen for your situation, and even prescribe you medications to soothe your symptoms of withdrawal.

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses are also imperative to the addiction detox process. Nurses will work alongside doctors to keep you healthy and safe throughout your entire stay. Typically, doctors will provide nurses with instructions on how to care for each patient they are assigned.

In a medical detox facility, nurses help monitor a patient’s vital signs, provide first aid measures in cases of emergencies, and examine a patient’s physical conditions and state consistently to determine their progress. Nurses may be also tasked with calming patients down who are experiencing psychological withdrawal symptoms or providing patients with medications in the absence of a doctor.

Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

Oftentimes, people suffering from addiction have co-occurring mental health conditions. According to SAMHSA, “approximately 9.2 million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder.”[2] Additionally, withdrawal can cause you to experience psychological symptoms that require treatment.

Because of the probability of mental health conditions and psychological withdrawal symptoms, detox facilities employ psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses. These medical professionals determine whether you require care for psychiatric disorders when you arrive at the facility and create an individualized treatment plan to address your needs. If needed, they will provide you with medication to manage your symptoms and keep you stable during detox.

Certified Addiction Counselors and Therapists

Detox is the process of weaning the body off of a substance you were addicted to. Unfortunately, detox alone cannot cure you of your substance use disorder. Because of this, experts recommend addiction counseling alongside detox to help you unpack the causes of your addiction and learn how to cope with your emotions.

Certified addiction counselors and therapists are employed by detox centers to support you and help you understand your addiction on a deeper level. It is important to note that therapy during detox is not extensive, as the main focus is ridding your body of drugs and alcohol. However, the therapy provided during this time does prepare you for further addiction treatment.

Clinical Social Workers

When you enter medical detox, you are most likely not in the right state of mind to be caring for your other responsibilities or planning for the future. For example, some people who attend detox facilities have legal issues like probation or drug court to navigate. Because of this, drug and alcohol detox centers hire clinical social workers.

Clinical social workers in detox centers act as a liaison for your family, yourself, and the treatment team. Social workers can help coordinate admission and discharge plans, referrals to other programs for specialty conditions, handle legal issues, and offer support to your family. Additionally, your clinical social worker will deal with your insurance to ensure that your stay in detox is covered.

Get Connected With a Drug and Alcohol Detox Center in Charlotte, North Carolina

Medical detox programs employ a myriad of medical professionals to ensure that you are well taken care of throughout the entire process. From prescribing medications and issuing treatments to providing you with emotional support and assistance in discharge planning, the medical staff in detox facilities are essential to your recovery.

At Charlotte Detox Center, we hire only the most experienced and qualified medical professionals to ensure that you are being provided with a high level of care and support. Contact us today for more information on our drug and alcohol detox program in North Carolina.