Rey Starr, Director of Business Development
Medical Detox Program
Memorial Hospital Pembroke
Q: As a director with of the new Medical Detox Program, what do you do in your role?
A: We have a medical detox program at Memorial Hospital Pembroke. I speak to people who are interested in coming in for detox, explain the program to them in more detail, then help them get the treatment they need and also connect them to aftercare. Once they complete the program, we provide safe discharge, so if the patient is looking for rehab or an outpatient program, we link them up with that.
Q: What type of patients seek treatment at the detox program?
A: We treat a lot of professionals, seniors, middle and upper-middle class individuals, people from all walks of life who have fallen addicted to a substance for some reason or other. It's the mission of our program to help these individuals get off of those substances and help them get back on the road to recovery.
Q: What is the typical duration of the program?
A: Anywhere from 2-5 days. It depends on the individual.
Q: What do you find most fulfilling about your job?
A: What I find most fulfilling is getting people who feel they have no way out to know that there's help out there. It fuels me to do everything that I do for them. What we do here can help people save their lives.
Datasource: Medical Detox
Q: What led you to a career in the healthcare field?
A: Eleven years ago, I was a manager for a children's unit where there was a lot of substance abuse in the community. I switched from mental health to substance abuse because of this epidemic, which has increasingly gotten worse. Seeing the desperation in the community is what prompted me to make the change and start working in detox. I also lost a very dear friend to substance abuse and mental health. That had a great impact on me.
Q: I’ve read that in many cases it's not just substance abuse but addiction and/or mental health issues too. How do you handle those individuals?
A: Absolutely. I try to encourage them to get help, it's never too late and it's never too soon. Those of us who have the capability of providing them help need to step up and show them it can be done and provide them with the necessary resources.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I enjoy photography; it's my little escape. As cliché as that may sound, I enjoy recognizing the beautiful things around us that some people may take for granted, including myself. I also like participating in car shows. I have a little sports car I enter into exhibits, where you can also meet people with the same passion. It's a great, safe and very positive group. We go to car shows and feel that nostalgia for these older cars.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: For those of us who work in this industry, I believe every time we are able to help someone and then hear later on that they are successfully on the road to recovery, it honestly gives us life.