In order to participate in outpatient ALCOHOL detox an individual must be physically able to move about easily, have a low risk for withdrawal complications, and have a strong support system consisting of family members or significant others.
Exclusions to ALCOHOL Detox:
1) Outpatient detoxification is potentially too dangerous for individuals over sixty years of age.
2) Anyone with serious medical conditions such as organ transplant, hx of arrhythmia or cardiac disease, liver or kidney failure, COPD, or sickle cell disease.
After the initial evaluation is completed, appropriate medications will be prescribed and instructions given to your friend or family member, who is monitoring your detoxification. Your friend or family member will be giving you medicine (usually a benzodiazepine e.g. Librium) for the withdrawal symptoms. Appropriate medications for sleep, plus vitamins and minerals will be prescribed.
Follow-up visits will include an appropriate examination and an interview of the relative or friend, who is dispensing the medicines. This is to determine the appropriate dosing schedule for the next few days. Telephone calls to the treating doctor will also be possible when appropriate or necessary to adjust the dose of medication.
Some basic laboratory tests will be ordered at the time of the initial visit. We do not have a lab and the global fee does not include these tests. Most insurance plans will pay for them. These tests are essential to evaluate your liver and blood systems, to see if alcohol has caused significant damage that may require further medical treatment.
There are medications that can be used after detoxification to reduce the risk of relapse (eg. Campral or Naltrexone). These medicines will only be prescribed if you are involved in an ongoing structured program. If you are on these medicines after detox, you will need ongoing medical follow-up (usually monthly) at Dr. Scanlan’s private practice or the office of your own psychiatrist. These subsequent visits are not covered by the detoxification fee.
CHECKLIST FOR FIRST VISIT:
- Arrive experiencing mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms.
- Bring completed forms (or come 30 minutes early). See our Patient Forms or Contact Us for the required forms.
- Bring ALL medication bottles.
- Bring any recent lab work or medical reports from your physician.
Fee due at time of first visit (Visa, Mastercard, Amex or Cash). PBOD may accept your insurance…please call for insurance verification of benefits.
You will have several follow up visits to determine the detox taper schedule. Also, the last visit will be at the end of the long-acting benzodiazepine taper. Non habit-forming medications will be prescribed to target mild withdrawal symptoms, if they are experienced after stopping the taper. These medications will not be needed for longer than a week or two. Unfortunately, most detox facilities do not discuss what a patient experiences after completing the detox. Dr. Scanlan knows that the first week after detox is the most critical and the highest rate of relapse occurs during this time. It is our priority that a patient will not get sick after completing his detox so he has the best chance of beginning his/her recovery program.
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