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County striving to keep detox center operating

The 10-bed detoxification center in northwest Fergus Falls, operated by Productive Alternatives for close to 10 years, is closing the end of December. Financial challenges and difficulty in attracting and maintaining staff are the two main reason...

The 10-bed detoxification center in northwest Fergus Falls, operated by Productive Alternatives for close to 10 years, is closing the end of December. Financial challenges and difficulty in attracting and maintaining staff are the two main reasons for the closing.

Otter Tail County officials, however, are stepping up to the plate and are working behind the scenes to have the facility reopened in early 2016.

County officials, working in conjunction with the county board of commissioners, are funding the cost of license renewal on behalf of Productive Alternatives which owns the detox building.

On a temporary basis, the county will likely operate the detox program. The center meets the needs of not only Otter Tail County but also area counties.

This would include temporarily employing or contracting for a program director, nursing staff, a medical director and intermittent staff positions.

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For the long-term basis, the county would like to see the detox program run on a collaborative basis that could include area health care providers.

“The overall goal is to come to a general agreement as we work to find a way to keep the detox program going,” said County Public Health Director Diane Thorson.

The county plan has the backing of the Productive Alternatives board of directors which on Dec. 23 gave the go-ahead for the county to fund the detox center license renewal.

 

More about the

detox program

Once an individual has been admitted to the detox program, the monitoring and evaluation programs begin and are conducted over the next 40 to 72 hours.

In the first 24 hours, under a medical watch, alcohol or drugs are eliminated from the blood stream. Withdrawal is possible, and each individual is carefully monitored. Medication is given, when necessary.

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During the second 24 hours, a chemical use assessment takes place by a qualified assessor. Recommendations are based on individual patient needs.

In the third 24 hours, withdrawal needs are addressed in addition to legal and social service matters.

The detox center, in addition to the 10 beds, also has two seclusion rooms. The center was built a decade ago in light of the Regional Treatment Center closing, as a smoke free and secure facility.

Related Topics: OTTER TAIL COUNTY
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