As the opioid epidemic has exploded, so have treatment options. In the desperation of being personally trapped by addiction, or having a loved one on the brink of losing everything, it can be quite overwhelming to make an informed choice about the most appropriate treatment.

There are plenty of good, solid treatment programs out there, but how is it possible to make the best decision? A person can’t possibly vet every place they find on-line. Word of mouth can be helpful and, sadly, it is easier and easier to find people with personal testimonies to share.

Unfortunately, this crisis has also driven sub-par treatment programs to arise. Many practitioners with minimal experience in the addiction field have applied for and received the licensure to prescribe Suboxone, a long-acting partial opiate blocker. While Suboxone can be the right treatment choice, we frequently meet with patients who strongly believed they would be on this medication for a very short time, and now realize they are on ‘maintenance’ therapy, unable to stop it without extreme withdrawal symptoms.


It is very simple for providers to pass a test, hang out their shingle, prescribe Suboxone to people with an opiate addiction and leave it at that. This option is now so accessible, many people are left with the impression it is the only and the ultimate choice to treat their own or their loved one’s opioid addiction.

But there are other choices.

Dr. Coleman, in recovery himself for over 30 years, is an adamant believer that a detoxed person needs a strong recovery program. However, for patients who are ready to be off short or long-acting opiates, the first priority is a safe and effective detox.

For over 15 years, the Rapid Opioid Detox at The Coleman Institute has allowed people to quickly, comfortably, and confidentially get off pain medications or heroin, usually in 3-4 days. (People who come for a buprenorphine or methadone detox can usually finish in 8 days.) Our patients love that they have a family member by their side at all times, and they appreciate that the medications we provide will keep the worst of the withdrawal symptoms manageable. They do not have to be in the impersonal environment of a hospital and, after meeting daily with an experienced provider, they are free to return to the comfort of home or hotel.

While plenty of people with flexible schedules benefit from our unique detox procedure, we also fill a need for people who simply can’t miss work for more than a few days. Once the detox is over, most patients return to work within 48 hours. Our program includes a naltrexone implant that will block opiates for about two months for most patients. This allows them to make a quick return to their responsibilities and commitments, free from the dark cloud of physical craving.

The follow-up plan to keep people sober and in recovery is an equally important aspect of our treatment program. Each patient and their support person who complete a Rapid Opioid Detox at TCI meets with our Recovery Specialist to create a customized treatment plan to address their unique needs.

At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, we do have some of the most experienced and compassionate people on our staff. Any one of us would be very willing to spend some time to help you navigate through the maze of decisions inherent in treating an opiate addiction.

Joan Shepherd, FNP