Getting Sober, Stopping There: Addiction Experts See Growing Trend in Career Detoxers
Graduate Recounts Over 10 Visits a Year for Nearly a Decade
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – (March 21, 2016) – Around 80% of the clients that come into an Vertava Health facility require detoxification before treatment, whether it be from alcohol, heroin, prescription painkillers, or some other type of drug. These types of withdrawals can be medically taxing, sometimes even fatal. Some choose the option of entering detox at one of our locations with a 24 hour medical staff, and some choose to enter a hospital of their choice. Regardless, the process is painful and miserable for most.
Those who suffer alcohol withdrawals have to be medically monitored even closer than others because of the dangers associated with it. But what happens in the days following medical detoxification is crucial not only to the physical well being of that patient, but the care they take in themselves over the next phase of their recovery.
“Often times, we will talk to someone who goes into detox, starts feeling better, and puts their super cape on thinking ‘I’ve got this,’” says Vertava Health Director of Admissions Eric Miller. “Staying consistent in the message that detox alone doesn’t cure addiction, and that continued care is essential, is paramount to seeing a successful recovery.”
“I’ve gone in before, they would give me a heart medication, Clonidine, for opiates and that would stop the withdrawal,” says Board. “They would get you comfortable, and send you home. They never looked at the internal problem with me.”
Board says many people who are addicted to substances go through this cycle, because they are not getting healthier or working on the underlying causes and issues of their addiction. Board says her local hospital in Winona didn’t have many options for her to go to after medical detox. She says there is a lack of treatment beds in her area, and that in order to admit to a local treatment facility, the person must be a harm to himself or others to get admitted. Board says in her experience, people who verbalized suicidal thoughts were admitted, but otherwise – detox patients were comforted and sent on their way with no additional help.
“The first time I went in, I wanted to get help, had ran out of medication, and the withdrawal makes you want to die,” says Board. “They assessed me, slapped the Clonidine on me, I was there for a couple of hours and they sent me home. I don’t think that anybody understands it treats the physical, but doesn’t treat the underlying problem. It’s a band-aid. You can do it 675,000 times throughout your drug career, and you’re not going to get any better until somebody steps in and realizes that addiction is an underlying issue, not just physical.”
Board, whose father was addicted to meth, says if she hadn’t have finally made that decision to seek rehab, she would’ve just kept going back and forth to detox until she died. It was a vicious cycle for over a decade: Opiates, Xanax, detox. She says she would often last a week before something bad happened, and sought out the drugs again. Board says the key to truly beating the cycle of addiction was recognizing the underlying emotional problem – and treating it.
“My husband and I would switch up,” says Board. “I would go into detox while he took care of the kids and then a couple of weeks later he would need it. Back and forth.”
It’s a mistake Sally hopes others don’t repeat.
“When I went to treatment, I never felt judged. Not the first time,” says Board. “I thank God for the family I gained there. If there’s not a place in your area, get online. We live in a digital age. Use Google until you find somewhere that can take you. Because going in and out of detox is no way to live.”