By Alfa · Sep 11, 2004 ·
  1. Alfa

    A pilot project that helps people kick addictions at home is showing
    positive results but it won't be called a success until after a follow-up.

    Maple Cottage Detox ran a trial in Tri-City, Burnaby and New Westminster
    that provided daily nursing support at home for 30 people withdrawing from
    addictions to alcohol, cocaine, prescription or other drugs.

    "I'm very pleased, so far, with the results," said Susan McKela, manager of
    health services at the detox centre. "So far, it's at least 60 per cent
    successful, which is better than I anticipated."

    People with family members prepared and available to help were eligible for
    the home withdrawal project. They spent one or two days at Maple Cottage,
    then completed the withdrawal at home with the help of daily visits from one
    of two nurses. Their work with clients and family members during the four-to
    seven-day withdrawal period is the reason for the pilot's success, McKela

    Depending on what substances were abused, physical symptoms could include
    increased blood pressure and pulse, anxiety, nausea and cramps. Nurses
    helped clients deal with their body's reaction with advice on nutrition and
    ways to relieve the discomfort through hot baths, relaxation and other
    coping techniques.

    "It's cost-effective and the clients do like it because they're more
    comfortable in their home environment, and the family members are directly
    involved," McKela said. "I think the other value added is that the family
    members are directly involved and they get an education as to what is
    happening within their own family dynamics and it helps them move forward."

    Clients could call nurses during working hours and had 24-hour telephone
    access to nurses working at Maple Cottage. Once the physical withdrawal is
    complete, clients are connected with recovery services in the community. The
    home option won't replace Maple Cottage, she said, because some people
    require 24-hour medical supervision during their withdrawal.

    The Fraser Health Authority pilot program ran in Burnaby, Port Coquitlam,
    Coquitlam and New Westminster and will likely resume once a nurse is hired
    to replace one who has taken another position.

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