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What is Treatment at Fora Health – Part 3: Withdrawal Management

What is the treatment for addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD)? How do I know what’s right for me or my loved one? What do all these acronyms mean? What options are available at Fora Health?

It’s easy for misinformation and misunderstanding to be infused with our ideas of what treatment is. It’s also easy to feel lost when first learning about your options.

We wanted to give you a little insight and lift the curtain because treatment for Substance Use Disorder (addiction) has many levels of care and options to meet patients exactly where they are and support their next step in their recovery journey!

This is part three in a series that reviews different types of treatment and how we approach it at Fora Health. If you haven’t already, check out our first part here on inpatient/residential treatment and our second part here on outpatient.

Let’s dive into Withdrawal Management  

Withdrawal Management, commonly called “detox”, is designed to ensure a safe and medically supervised transition through the most intense phase of withdrawal from drugs and/or alcohol. In this phase, known as acute withdrawal, a person can expect to be in withdrawal management for an average of 3-5 days. The length of stay varies from person to person and depends on use history and type of substance.

The sustained use of some substances, including alcohol, causes changes within the body. Once the use of those substances ends, those changes can result in discomfort, pain, and sometimes life-threatening complications. These are known as acute withdrawal symptoms and may include anxiety, restlessness, joint pain, stomach cramps, nausea, insomnia, and others. The goal of withdrawal management is to alleviate these symptoms and help patients safely and effectively cease their use of drugs or alcohol.

We prioritize high-quality rest and recovery for patients so that not only do their symptoms diminish, but their overall health improves. This means having them drink plenty of fluids and nourishing their body with 3 in-house meals plus snacks each day. A nurse is assigned to patients at each shift, and everyone receives 24/7 support during treatment. The environment is calm, quiet, and lacks stimulation. However, games, puzzles, television, and reading materials are available. We provide medication management to help with symptoms.

Despite not having the longevity of our residential program, our staff care for and dedicate themselves to each patient and their respective needs as if they were a longtime resident. Moreover, our Medical Director for Withdrawal Management, Dr. Jennifer Hartley, is both a regional and national leader in the development of protocols to help people withdraw safely and comfortably from substances like fentanyl. So, patients are getting the highest care possible in this environment.

Upon completion of withdrawal management, patients meet one-on-one with a Case Manager or Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor to determine the next steps. In some cases, patients transition to Fora’s residential program after. However, completion of withdrawal management is difficult, and a residential bed is not always immediately available due to our waitlists. But even if that’s the case, we will follow up with patients consistently – especially for those who need medication. And all patients are given medication they can continue using – in addition to Naloxone in case of emergencies. They can also remain in touch with us when should a bed become available or if they need to return to withdrawal management for additional help should they return to use. Fora Health acknowledges the dignity and humanity of all people who struggle with substance use disorders. We believe it is our responsibility to provide compassionate, non-judgmental care and to help minimize the negative consequences of substance use. We are here to support patients in achieving their goals whether they include complete abstinence or reduction.

Fora offers the full continuum of care for substance use treatment, and in many cases, patients move on to residential or outpatient care with us.

This is something we can offer the community on a walk-in basis almost every day and is a great way to help many people stabilize and find their next steps in recovery. People can and are encouraged to visit our facility by 7:30 am Monday–Saturday to admit.

For more information about Withdrawal Management at Fora, click here.