Medical Artistry... Kindness is our core value.
Frequently asked questions:
Why do I need medical detox from alcohol?
Alcohol withdrawal is not only uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous. Left untreated you can develop elevated blood pressure, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, seizures and even hallucinations. These can develop into profoundly serious problems that can cause severe illness and even death.
Fortunately, with close medical attention these symptoms can be prevented. Our 21-Day Medical Detoxification program is designed to prevent you from having any negative physical symptoms. You are monitored regularly, and if we see that you are having symptoms then we will treat them so you will be comfortable and safe.
How does the 21-Day Medical Detoxification program work?
On day #1 you will have a consultation with your doctor or provider who will design a detoxification regimen just for you. Based on your medical history and needs, you will be assigned a follow-up schedule with the doctor and the nurses.
How is your program different from other online alcohol addiction programs?
We are one of the only programs to offer true detoxification from alcohol online. Whereas other programs will treat addiction to help with cravings, we recognize that alcohol withdrawal cannot be treated with medication to treat cravings. Alcohol withdrawal results from the body's physical dependence from alcohol, and it can be very dangerous if left untreated. Medications to treat cravings (like naltrexone) can be very effective to address psychological dependence, but they do not help with acute withdrawal.
We take extra steps to keep you safe as you are going through our program. You will be monitored by a nurse several times a day, and you will have a visit with your provider every day that you are in the program.
You will also have 24/7 access to your team if you are experiencing an emergency.
What if I already have a prescription for a benzodiazepine, and I am struggling with alcohol use disorder? Will I have to stop my other medication?
The goal of our 21-Day detoxification program is to safely stop alcohol and to be detoxed from benzodiazepines concurrently. We do expect that you take no other benzodiazepines except what we are prescribing. The end goal is to be detoxed from both alcohol and benzodiazepines.
However, we will assess every patient's situation differently and consider this when prescribing your detoxification prescription.
How are you assessing me?
We are checking you for withdrawal symptoms based on an alcohol withdrawal assessment tool. If we see that you are experiencing withdrawal, we will adjust your medications so that you are comfortable and safe. After the initial consultation you will have focused visits with your doctor and nurse.
Why do I have to have a blood pressure cuff?
Part of our assessments requires checking your blood pressure and heart rate. A fast heart rate or high blood pressure can be a sign of withdrawal and may indicate that your medications must be adjusted.
Being able to check your blood pressure is VITAL part of your care. We will need for you to have this ready before the program begins.
Why do I have to have a breathalyzer?
We believe that best practice is to monitor you daily for relapse. It is safest to have an objective convenient measure of this. It is also easier for you than sending you to the lab for regular blood and urine tests. This is a very important part of your care. In order to be enrolled in the program, we need you to purchase this one the first day. You can get one at Walgreens or CVS for about $60.
Will you help me with my FMLA paperwork?
Yes, if you are enrolling in our 21-Day treatment program we will absolutely help you with this. We will try to complete it asap, but within one week of submitting it.
What if I start to get sick or develop withdrawal symptoms in between my visits?
When you enroll in our program you will have 24/7 access to your doctor. You will be able to call or text or email your doctor for help.
How do I get my medications?
After your initial visit, we will send an electronic prescription to your pharmacy to ensure that you can get started that day.
Why will you only prescribe 2 days worth of medications at a time?
Benzodiazepines work in a way similar to alcohol. They both bind the GABA receptor in the brain. Once this receptor is activated, it can cause sedation. Mixing benzodiazepines with alcohol can be dangerous.
Our approach is to find the lowest reasonable starting dose and to only give 2 days worth of medication at a time to minimize the risk of overdosing on the medication if one were to relapse on alcohol on our program.
Because we are home based, we have to be extremely careful which is why we monitor you frequently and why we give you our direct number and ask you to call if you are experiencing any side effects.
Aren't benzodiazepines addictive? Why are you using them to treat me.
Yes. Benzodiazepines are addictive, and they do have the potential to be abused. Many people who abuse alcohol and benzodiazepines struggle with underlying depression and anxiety which is why we will be evaluating you and treating you for this (with non-addictive forms if necessary).
Both alcohol and benzodiazepines work in a similar fashion, and people can struggle with withdrawal if they are tapered too quickly off of either which is why you are monitored frequently.
Benzodiazepines are the treatment of choice to treat alcohol withdrawal because it works in a way similar to alcohol on the brain. By allowing you to be slowly tapered off of the benzodiazepines we can treat and prevent withdrawal from happening.
Will you treat my other withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia and nausea?
Absolutely! We want you to be comfortable and well during this process because that will greatly improve your success with staying sober.
We do use other "prn" or as needed medications to treat insomnia, nausea, heart burn, a fast rate, hypertension, etc. We are very experienced in keeping patients comfortable during this process. Many times, once patients are settled in and on an appropriate detox regimen these other symptoms disappear.
What if I need help with my other medical conditions?
Fortunately, we are board certified medical doctors who can treat most illnesses. If you have unresolved medical issues, we can evaluate you, make recommendations, and treat you as needed. We are not replacing your primary care physician because you are only in our program for 21 days, but we can adjust your medications and create a treatment plan for you.
Will you communicate with my primary care physician or other doctors, therapists, or treatment team members?
Absolutely, once you complete the HIPPA Registration form and indicate whom we are allowed to communicate with, we can send them our initial consultation as well as our summary of care at the end of your program. This is nice because if we must adjust your other medications - for example, your diabetes or hypertension medications, then we can communicate that directly to your medical team.
Do you treat opioid addiction too?
Yes. We can treat opioid addiction with suboxone or buprenorphine while you are in our program.
Do you charge extra for treating non-addiction related issues?
No. As part of your initial medical consultation, we are doing a complete assessment of your medical needs. We will develop a comprehensive treatment plan for you based on this that is part of your service.
Will you help treat me for my underlying depression and anxiety?
Absolutely. This will be something that we will address as part of your initial consultation. Also, we will be screening you regularly for developing depression and anxiety. If it is an issue, it will be addressed.
Do you have psychiatrists and therapists as part of your program?
No. Currently, we are just a medical detoxification program. However, we have special arrangements with a psychiatric practice, and we can get you into see a therapist, substance abuse counselor, and a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner very soon if that is what you desire?
Is there an extra cost of see the psychiatrist or therapist?
Yes. This is a separate medical practice, but they do take insurance.
Do I have to be in therapy or attend NA or AA to be part of the program?
Yes. Medical detoxification is intended to get you through so that you
do not experience physical withdrawal, but we understand that it is extremely important to be in treatment with a therapist or in AA. If you choose not to do therapy, we ask that you attend NA or AA regularly. For the first 21 days of the program, we ask that you attend a meeting daily. It is ok to attend the meetings online.
Will you speak to my family?
If you would like we can include your family in the treatment plan and
updates. You need to complete the HIPPA registration form for this. If you like your family can be present during the evaluations and check in, but we ask that you include them on your HIPPA registration form for this.
Are there any medications that you will not prescribe?
Because we are focused on addiction, we do not prescribe any controlled substances that do not treat addiction. For example, we do not prescribe opioids or stimulants. However, if you are also struggling with opioid addiction, we can prescribe suboxone.
What if I relapse on the program? Will I be kicked out of the program?
Our primary interest is your safety and well-being. We will need to have a very frank discussion about safety and options. We may ask that we be allowed to speak with your therapist or a family member who can help you with this process. We will make every effort to keep you in the program, but at the end of the day we need to know that you will be safe in our program.
What if I get sick from withdrawal?
Typically, we will be able to prevent this from happening, and if it does happen, we will have to increase our monitoring frequency and adjust your medications. If, despite this, we do not feel that you are progressing in a safe way, we will refer you to the nearest ER for evaluation.
What if I change my mind, and I do not want to be in the program anymore?
If that occurs, then you will get a pro-rated refund back to your account. You will only be eligible for the refund if you change your mind within the first 72 hours of treatment.
We will ask you to sign a form that you are leaving the program Against Medical Advice.
How do I sign up for your program?
Please follow this link to our confidential patient portal. You will be prompted to enter some information and then we will call you for an assessment.
What is the process to use my insurance?
Currently, we accept Medicare B and PPO insurance. So, if you have any type of PPO insurance then we will bill your insurance.
We will need to verify your benefits before you start the program. If you have a deductible or co-pay, these will need to be paid to start the program. If you have met your deductible, then we will bill your insurance.
One caveat is that your PPO insurance must have out of network benefits for us to bill your insurance.
We do accept Medicare B or Original Medicare. If you have Medicare then you will not need to pay anything before your appointment.
We do accept cash payments as well. The cost of the 21-Day Detoxification Program is $3,000. If you pay cash, we will need full payment before you start the program.
Where do you provide these services?
We currently only provide alcohol detoxification services in the state of Florida.