Treatment At Home – How Are We Different?
So you have come to realize that you – or a loved one – is addicted to alcohol, opioids or to sedatives like Xanax. I understand how painful this realization can be. Moreover, the stigma society places on addiction only adds to the helplessness you may be feeling. My goal as a Board Certified Addiction Medicine physician is to educate you about addiction and to underscore the fact that the disease of Addiction can be successfully treated by employing evidence-based medications and therapies. In fact, the prognosis is actually quite good once you find the right treatment.
The first step in treatment is the safe detoxification (which may include ongoing medication assisted treatment) from the addictive drug. Historically, this detoxification has been performed in a hospital, a setting that is still recommended when an individual has concurrent serious medical problems or multiple addictions. However, with an appropriately selected patient an addiction medicine physician may elect to perform ambulatory detoxification, where the patient detoxes in the comfort of his/her own home surrounded by his/her family if he/she so chooses. Instead of removing someone from the family and putting him/her in the hospital, I work directly with the patient and family (if desired) to perform a safe detox, educate about addiction and to address personal and family dynamics that may contribute to continued substance use.
Of course, detoxification (or stabilization if the goal is maintenance therapy such as Suboxone) is only the first step in the Recovery Process. Depending on the patient’s needs I will likely recommend that treatment continue post-detox in a high-quality outpatient treatment program, or with private therapists and Recovery Coaches if the patient prefers, while I continue to manage the medications prescribed to assist with long-term recovery.