I was riding my bike when a huge flatbed roared past me. Stenciled onto the back of the cab were big red letters: TOWING and RECOVERY.

I thought, “Now that would be an interesting way to tout our own services at the Coleman Institute…”

I looked up a couple definitions of Towing:

“The act of hauling something (as a vehicle) by means of a hitch or rope” and another, “assisting a vessel unable to maneuver by pulling, pushing or towing alongside”.

Either of these makes a nice metaphor.

While most of the clients we work with come of their own free will, there is still a bit of reluctance to leave the familiar, albeit miserable, life of opioid, alcohol, or benzodiazepine addiction. Ambivalence is a very normal part of the process to commit to making a huge life change. After all, these substances are doing their job of alleviating anxiety, depression, reality and the perception of pain…if only for a brief time.

We are delighted to do our part to ‘tow’ you along as you navigate one of the more formidable parts of entering Recovery: the withdrawal process (aka detoxification).

We make an uncomfortable process decidedly more tolerable, and there is a sense of release and relief for the person who has reached out for help and put himself in our hands.

Consider our program at the Coleman Institute if you need a Tow job, whether you need pulling, pushing, or towing alongside. We call our Tow Job an Accelerated Outpatient Detox.

Once you go through a screening process to be sure we are the best choice for your medically-supervised detox, we get you into our office very quickly. Your support person will be instructed on how to safely give you medication throughout your time with us to minimize discomfort. Generally our opioid detox takes three to four days for people who are using up to 2mg of heroin—even if much of the heroin is laced with—or turns out to be completely—fentanyl, which we are seeing more and more. We assess your progress daily, adjusting medications as needed and providing whatever assistance your support person may need. On the final day of the detox we insert the Naltrexone implant, and the body’s opioid receptors are blocked for about two months. The Tow Job is done. The door to begin the Recovery phase is open.

Our Recovery Support team will meet with you throughout your visit in Richmond and work with you to have a plan in place once you leave us. Your recovery plan will look different from anyone else’s because of your unique situation, but it’s important to know that high quality treatment exists in many variations.

I hope you will consider our Tow and Recovery services. Our reputation as leaders in using Naltrexone as a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder continues to grow, as it has been the bedrock of the Coleman Institute’s program for close to twenty years. Unlike the other forms of MAT, buprenorphine and methadone, Naltrexone is a non-addictive opiate blocker. Please give us a call to learn more.

Joan R. Shepherd, NP