*Did you have the option to leave?
*Yes. You could either sign out AMA (against medical advice) or just walk out the door. All doors to the floor opened outwards (as in you could get out), but once it closed it was locked and you’d have to go through the intake process again.
If you did, what methods did they use to insure you stayed?
Not sure I understand, unless you meant didn’t.
What are the different steps of the process?
Make an appointment if it was non-emergency. Then paper work and waivers. Then vitals (BP, pulse rate, temperature). Then an initial evaluation with a nurse/social worker who did a full history of the abuse, why it ramped up/why you were there now. Then you get a brief physical from an NP. Then they go through your belongings for contraband (see below), then a body exam/strip search.
*Which step was most difficult? *
Making the appointment.
How long were you there? Was it a true short-term medical detox, or more of a rehab facility?
Got there Tuesday at 10:30am, was out by Friday at ~2pm. The center was a rehab facility, we were all on the detox ward. Many of us wanted to “go down stairs” to the rehab after, but for some fucked up reason, if you have private insurance they will only pay for inpatient rehab if you go through detox, outpatient rehab, and relapse. Medicaid patients can go straight away after detox.
Were you there under your own volition, or was it court-ordered?
I was there on under my own volition.
How many people do you think were court-ordered to be there?
The last day I was there, there were about 15 of us, IIRC 5-6 were court ordered. 2-3 more were there pretty much because they were homeless, still covered by their parents insurance, broke, and wanted to get high.
*What did you do all day? Was there a lot of counseling? *
There was absolutely no 1-1 counseling. There were a few group sessions, but since it was detox, they were all voluntary. For the most part we sat in the common room, watched TV, did puzzles, read the paper, ate. Vitals were taken every 4 hours. Meds at 6am, after lunch, and 9pm. We got to go outside for about 30 minutes every other day. The non-voluntary/drug seekers sat around talking about drugs, which doctors are dirty, better ways to shoot up. Ironically, I had to go to rehab to learn how to do drugs. It was sickening.
*Will you be doing more counseling now that you’re out? *
I have to look into which out-patient rehab my insurance will cover, if only so that if I relapse I can go away for intensive rehabilitation. I think what will work best for me is 1-1 to work on some of the underlying depression, social anxiety, and incredibly low self-esteem that comes from having had a drunken abusive bully of a father.
What personal belongings were you allowed to have there?
Much more than I would have thought. The only thing they took away from me were keys, my wallet, deodorant, phone, and they kept my contact solution at the nurses station. I brought about 7 books (I didn’t know if I’d be there for the month), my non-internet/camera capable Ipod, someone had a kindle. I thought they would have taken away belts or anything you could hang yourself with, but they didn’t.
Do you think being there helped you?
Yes, but in a very weird way. [ol]
[li]The guy I spent most of my time with (checked in and out on the same day) was there voluntarily for snorting heroin. Smart guy, really nice, but an addict. He checked out a few hours before me, was incredibly disappointed he couldn’t get inpatient, but signed up for outpatient at the same facility to be weaned off the methadone. We said goodbye, exchanged numbers, I gave him a hug, but almost started to cry cause I could tell all he was thinking about was getting high and he’d be back in a month, if he made it back. I texted him yesterday but haven’t heard back.[/li][li]The night before I left my roommate got into a fight with his father during the 5 minute phone call you’re allowed everyday. He then attempted/committed suicide. They put us in lock down and couldn’t tell us whether he lived or died.[/li][/ol]
Don’t want to wind up there.
What was your choice of poison, and how long and how much were you drinking?
It depended on how flush I was. Lately it was anything brown: good beer and bourbon mostly. In med-school it was $8 liters of vodka.
I started drinking when I was 18 (freshman year). Stayed mostly in control until late 2004, after I’d moved across country for a job was living along and had no one around. Then it became a problem and I would self-detox every so often (terrible idea, I’m lucky I’m alive) and would stay sober for a month or two, and at one point 6 months.
The more direct answer, is that I realized I had been drinking every day for the past 3 years, and was “pants shitting drunk” every night since early March. 12-18 beers was a typical weeknight where I’d be able to function at work. Weekends, who knows? Add another 10 beers plus shots.
Get any family support?
My mom and my aunt took me in. My sisters and some cousins have texted me. My grandma is psychic with things like this. She had no idea I was in, but when I called my mom to tell her I was being discharged she was there and asked how I was because for the past few days she just kept thinking and worrying about me and was saying prayers to St. Whoever for me. <Carl Spackler>So I got that going for me.<Carl Spackler>
How long have you been sober? Also, congrats by the way for going.
I stopped drinking at 11:58 Monday night because they said I had to stop by midnight if I wanted to go in Tuesday. Apparently that’s a rookie rehab mistake, because by the time I finally got to the ward 14 hours later I had the DT’s so bad that when everyone asked what I was in for and I said booze, they thought I said ‘blues’, slang for injecting oxycodone. And Thanks.