Unprecedented demand Blanding says the need for detox services this summer was like nothing he’s ever seen. He says often people will try to enter detox during the winter months as much for the help as for a warm place to sleep. But he says now they’re often booked two weeks out with people looking for a bed in the detox center. “It is so full, I’ve never seen it this full,” Blanding says. “By the time the calls come in, I’ll sometimes be on the third week because there’s such a need.” Blanding has several connections in New York and will reach out to any agency he can nd if the beds at Bergen are full. He says there’s nothing tougher than having to turn away someone who’s in need of help, so he works tirelessly to make sure they get into a detox program as quickly as possible. “You want to help them so bad, but if circumstances don’t allow it, there’s not much you can do,” Blanding says. “If I could, I’d try to take the whole neighborhood.” Beyond detox As Bergen is working to expand the number of beds available for detox, Bethel staff are concentrating on those returning from their stay in the hospital. They know that without continued treatment, many won’t be able to maintain their sobriety for long. “There’s a lot of individuals who can get clean, but staying clean, that’s the challenge right there,” Blanding says. “Sometimes it’s not always good to just detox them, you have to have a plan.” That’s why Bethel staff urge all of their detox clients to enroll in their intensive outpatient programs to learn the relapse prevention skills that may save their lives. As anyone who has been through the process knows, detox is only the beginning. “After the inpatient, it’s a lifelong process, you have to stay connected,” Blanding says. “We’re trying to get them to change their thinking and sometimes the outpatient program can really make a difference.”



Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator