ROCKFORD – Responding to the growing trend of opiate abuse, Rosecrance has added detoxification services at the Griffin Williamson Campus to serve teenagers who enter treatment. The organization is the first to receive such a license in Illinois.
The license allows Rosecrance to provide medically monitored detoxification services to adolescents aged 12 to 19 at the campus, 1601 N. University Drive, Rockford, Illinois. Rosecrance has one of the state’s largest adult detoxification programs at its Harrison Campus, 3815 Harrison Ave., Rockford.
Teens needing residential services at Rosecrance previously might have detoxed at the adult facility before going to the Griffin Williamson Campus. Others detoxed in hospitals or at home, but about 40 percent did not move on to residential care after offsite detox. The Rosecrance clinical team determined that onsite detox offered better continuity of care and the best opportunity for lasting recovery.
Opiate detox is not necessarily life-threatening but typically very uncomfortable, which is one reason why clients might leave treatment early. Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton stressed the importance of having adolescent detox and residential services under one roof.
“Detox should not just be a medical procedure. It’s an intervention,” Eaton said. “Absent the intervention, all the detox does is medically stabilize – it does not motivate to treatment. Detox in and of itself has value, but the greater value is engaging the patient in treatment to begin recovery, not just detox.”
Eaton stressed that opiate withdrawal must be managed by medical staff around the clock, and the adolescent campus offers that level of care. Each case is staffed individually with the admitting physician. All major insurances are accepted.
“With well-trained physicians, nurses and technicians who know how to manage opiate withdrawal in a safe, comfortable environment, it multiplies the odds of someone then being engaged into a treatment program immediately following detox,” Eaton said.
Jason Gorham, administrator of residential services at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus, said the facility sees about 170 adolescents each year who require detox services, which is about 15 percent of the annual client total of about 1,100. Having that level of care at the adolescent campus allows young clients to interact from day one with the same clinical staff and peer group they will have in treatment.
“We individualize treatment, we remove obstacles and we focus on solutions,” Gorham said. “Our goal is that they participate in groups, and they go with their groups wherever the groups go. If they’re too sick to do that while they are detoxing, we understand. Meanwhile, the culture of our groups and the kids who are in the groups can be very supportive.”
David Gomel, Rosecrance’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, said the organization created the program in response to a clear need in the state. The heroin epidemic has increased demand for detox for clients of all ages. It particular, it highlighted the scarcity of such services for teens.
“It’s not going away,” Gomel said of the opiate epidemic. “Kids are dying from this, and they need detox services.”