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Guide to McLean Hospital in Belmont Massachusetts

McLean Hospital Detox Program Overview

McLean’s Hospital offers the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Inpatient Program for you or a loved one who are struggling with substance abuse, including the misuse of alcohol, prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or opioids such as Oxycontin or Percocet. It addresses a wide range of diagnoses, provides individualized treatment, and identifies support and resources for you and your family.

Serving for more than 40 years, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Inpatient Program has been providing care for patients with substance use disorders with and without other coexisting mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The facility is situated in Proctor House on McLean’s Belmont campus that offers a safe and secure environment conducive to helping patients focus on addiction treatment and recovery. The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Inpatient Program is ideal for patients who are seeking short-term addiction care focused on stabilization and detoxification and are ready to start on the path to recovery.

They have a team of highly trained clinicians and support staff specializing in treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. They are devoted to helping improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Their 24-hour care also includes available emergency psychiatric and medical personnel.

They offer a program covered by most health insurance providers, and is helpful for individuals ages 18 and older who are living with addiction. The average length of stay for the inpatient program is 3-5 days.

They work in conjunction with a broad range of programs across McLean’s Substance Use Disorders Division in order to provide extensive substance abuse treatment for patients at every level of care. The division’s most popular programs are their residential Signature Recovery Programs: Fernside and Borden Cottage. The Fernside program is a restored historic inn located near Wachusett Mountain in scenic Princeton, Massachusetts. Located in Camden Maine, Borden Cottage offers discreet care in a setting that offers a 270° view of Penobscot Bay. Each self-pay location is beautifully furnished and all rooms are private with full baths.

McLean Hospital Alcohol Detox Program

Alcohol detoxification is an important first step in recovery. However, it’s not only important to take that first step, but it’s also important to do it safely.

When someone requires alcohol detox, the patient’s alcohol intake is stopped fairly abruptly. In order to moderate the effects of this quick stoppage, McLean Hospital gives them a medication that alleviates severe symptoms and helps prevent the more dangerous symptoms of withdrawal. Typically, the medications used for alcohol detox are benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), lorazepam (Ativan), and oxazepam (Serax). Sometimes, other classes of medications are also used for alcohol detox, such as anti-seizure medications and barbiturates.

The detox program at McLean Hospital starts with a 24-hour evaluation. During evaluation, they check the patient’s blood pressure, pulse, respiration, ability to walk and stand, and other factors to determine how much medication should be used at the start. Then, the dosage is reduced significantly each day. In most cases the patient has been detoxed from alcohol by the end of four to five days.

The patient gets 24-hour care in a medical detox setting. Nurses and doctors check vital signs, make sure that the patient’s blood alcohol level is coming down safely, evaluate liver function, and do whatever they can to ensure that the detox process is as comfortable as possible to the patient. Nobody likes to experience pain, so this focus on safety and comfort significantly helps people on their journey to recovery. By getting through this first step without feeling terribly uncomfortable, it helps the patients to develop a mindset that they can stay substance-free, that there truly is recovery at the end of the road.

McLean Hospital Drug Detox Program

Detoxification from drugs is an important first step in drug addiction recovery. It’s not only important to take that first step, but it’s also important to do it safely.

The detox program at McLean Hospital starts with a 24-hour evaluation. During evaluation, they check the patient’s blood pressure, pulse, respiration, ability to walk and stand, and other factors to determine how much medication should be used at the start.

In order to detox from benzodiazepines, the standard approach is to gradually reduce the patient’s intake of benzodiazepines. Benzo detox is generally a much lengthier process than detoxing from alcohol, usually taking place over the course of weeks or several months as an outpatient. Vital signs will be monitored throughout treatment, and non-benzodiazepine medications may be used to alleviate withdrawal discomfort.

For opioid detoxification, the general approach is to replace the illicit opioids a patient is using with safely prescribed opioid medications, such as buprenorphine or methadone. At McLean, they use buprenorphine. It is proven that patients must maintain on these medications for extended periods to stabilize recovery. However, for patients who decline this or do not have access to medication maintenance, opioid detox may last for four to fourteen days, depending on the medication used.

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