On June 1, EAMC-Lanier launched a new inpatient detox unit, which provides a controlled and medically supervised withdrawal from drugs and alcohol for patients who are ready to begin recovery.

The detox unit is a 10-bed voluntary unit where patients can stay between 5-7 days, depending on their needs. When someone addicted to drugs or alcohol decides to stop using, the symptoms can be severe and may include vomiting and even seizures. Inpatient detoxification allows the patient to be closely monitored throughout the process and given appropriate medication to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms.

Cindy Daniel, director of Inpatient Services at EAMC-Lanier explains that for patients who are addicted to substances, the first step to recovery is often the hardest.

“Many rehabilitation facilities require that patients be clean before they are admitted, and if a patient tries to stop using on their own before going to rehab, they often fail because the symptoms are so painful,” Daniel notes.  “At our inpatient detox, patients are under the supervision of a physician and nursing staff, and we ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible during their detoxification.

Additionally, our program is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and many other insurance providers will cover this service. Since our unit is voluntary, the patients who are here want to be here, and they want to get better. We do everything we can to help them succeed.”

In addition to medically supervised detoxification, the inpatient unit at EAMC-Lanier also provides another crucial element of recovery—support. EAMC-Lanier has partnered with The Journey, a company based out of Anniston, Ala., that specializes in inpatient detox units and manages the process for patients as they transition from an inpatient detox to a rehabilitation facility.

The Journey opened in 2012 and is co-owned by Lamar Ward and Kathy Evans. Currently, The Journey partners with five hospitals throughout the state that offer inpatient detox units.

“Our primary purpose is to help the still suffering addict or alcoholic to find a way to manage their recovery, stay clean and sober, and to better understand the disease of addiction,” Ward says. “We help patients with coping skills and prevention, in addition to helping them transition to a long-term treatment center. We do this by providing one-on-one and group counseling services each day they are in the detox unit, beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing throughout the day.”

“During patients’ stay in our detox unit, they do not have access to phones or TV and no visitors are allowed on the unit,” Daniel explains. “These rules help the patient as they begin recovery, and allows them to step away from their normal environment.

However, even though the patients don’t have access to the outside world during treatment, they have constant support. The Journey provides on-site support staff who offer group sessions multiple times each day to the patients in the unit. Patients are also encouraged to spend most of their day in the unit day room, where they can interact with other patients on the unit and participate in the group session.”

“The feedback from patients has been amazing,” Daniel says. “In addition to the medical treatment, the patients have all had positive things to say about their experience and how it has helped them on their journey to recovery. They have been impressed by the staff, including the medical team and The Journey’s support staff.

An important part of this program is to always treat each patient with respect and we strive to show that respect to each patient on the unit. We’re so happy that these patients are taking the first step to get better, and we want them to feel supported. Patients have also expressed that interacting with other patients who are going through a similar situation has had positive effects.”

Eve Milner, vice president of Clinical Services at EAMC-Lanier explains that the decision to open this unit was based on the needs of the region, and the state.

“This service provides a much-needed resource, and local patients no longer have to look outside of our area for medical detoxification. So many people in our area struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, and this is a completely confidential, safe way for patients to start the journey to recovery.

We are excited about the future of this program and our partnership with The Journey. Since opening, we have had an excellent response from our community and those seeking treatment. This unit will be able to help so many people who are ready to take their first step toward recovery.”

To learn more about the EAMC-Lanier Inpatient Detox or to talk to a representative about enrolling in the program, you can contact The Journey at 334-756-1636 or 1-800-583-2197.

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