Why do people love coming to The Coleman Institute? Partly it’s because our method of Rapid Non-Addictive, Medically Assisted Withdrawal from opioids just plain makes the experience tolerable. Our patients are generally highly motivated; they are exhausted from a life of dependence on pills or heroin or alcohol. They desperately want to stop, even though this desire is often coupled with overwhelming fear, anxiety and shame.

For patients and family members, this can be a terrifying time. Parents fear their child will be the next in the brutal statistics of unintended opioid overdoes. They wonder what they’ve done wrong and what they could have/should have done differently. Spouses wonder if their partners will ever be clean and trustworthy again. Friends want their friends back. Patients are uncomfortable. Many must be wondering, “Is this snake oil? We’ve tried so many things before, how do we know this will work?”


And from the moment they arrive, the fear, anxiety, and shame begin to dissolve.

The fact is, we care, and our patients feel it.

Our patients love being in an outpatient setting so friends and family members can be supportive and included in every step of treatment. The patient never has to be alone in a cold, impersonal hospital room.

And I work with some of the most intelligent, compassionate, non-judgmental people I’ve ever met. From the people who take the first phone calls, to the women behind the front desk, to the nurses and medical assistants specially trained to care for the patients from the moment they walk in the door until they leave, each one of our patients and their support person is warmly welcomed.

I and my Nurse Practitioner colleagues and Dr. Coleman himself couldn’t imagine work we’d rather be doing. Our Director of Recovery Services makes it a point to meet with all patients in our Richmond office one-on-one, to hear their story, and to help direct them to the most appropriate treatment when their Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) is completed.


We take our jobs incredibly seriously, and all patients are on monitors keeping track of vital signs throughout the final day of the detox. But that doesn’t blur the spirit of compassion and camaraderie that develops between the staff, the patients, and the support people. Laughs and cries are shared. Our patients are funny, intelligent, beloved people who are grateful to have the opportunity to finally get clean. We hear about their children, their jobs, and their passions. It is a privilege to help these folks begin to overcome an obstacle that has prevented them from honoring what they truly value in life.

Give us a call and we can supply you with all the technical and strategic details of how our Medically Assisted Treatment works through the use of a non-addictive opioid blocker called Naltrexone, but the best part of the treatment is what you’ll experience when you get here.

Joan Shepherd, FNP