Delaware’s newest drug detoxification center in Harrington is employing a new approach to help people beat their addictions for good.
Detoxification centers used to be places where you went to quit drugs and alcohol cold turkey. The model worked, but in many cases fell short when it came to long-term recovery.
“There were people who would go to detox, they’d go, and they’d get clean, and they’d come back out they wouldn’t ever get any additional recovery support, said Cathy McKay, CEO of Connections Community Support Programs, which runs the new detox facility in Harrington. “They eventually use again, sometimes in a matter of days they’d go back to detox, they’d repeat the cycle.”
McKay said some would detox 40 times in a single year and be no better off in their recovery, prompting state health leaders to update the state’s approach to treating addiction.
Their idea was to set up facilities with levels of care consolidated in one place. With that in mind, the state opened Connections’ Comprehensive Withdrawal Management Center in Harrington last November, which employs this new model of care.
The 28-bed drug detox center offers 23-hour beds where patients are observed and medically managed to treat their withdrawal symptoms. After the initial assessment, depending on what the individual was using, he could move to an inpatient bed or move over to the facility’s intensive outpatient program.
“That’s such a big step just to walk through the door and say, ‘I need help,’ said Daphne Chaniz-Rico, who is the director of the downstate facility. “We make them aware of our intensive outpatient programs and that when they’re done the detoxification period, it’s not over. We’re still going to be here for them as far as resources and support.”
Chaniz-Rico hopes that sort of convenience to get clean and stay clean is what will make a difference long-term for her clients.
Connections has also added people in recovery to its payroll. McKay said about half of her employees working downstate struggled with addiction.
“These centers used to be very medical and mostly nurses, and we do have a lot of nurses here as well, but the concept of having those “recovery coaches,” which is what we call them, to really help you to think about what do you need to do for the long term to make a difference in your life, that’s new,” McKay said.
“I am the hope, I am the physical evidence that recovery works and our goal is to give them the hope that they can do it as well,” recovery coach Carolyn Faust said.
McKay estimated it will cost about $2.5 million a year to run the detox center.