Medical Assessment and Individualized Treatment Planning
As soon as a patient arrives at Caron, a physician or nurse practitioner conducts a medical
assessment. This assessment, which includes blood and urine screenings; analyses
of an individual’s medical history; medical and psychological assessments; and HIV and STD
testing (if applicable), provides valuable insight into the patient’s overall health. Assessments
identify concerns such as chronic pain, diabetes, or cardiac problems so
that they can be addressed in a patient’s individualized treatment plan. They
also allow clinicians to determine whether the patient would benefit from medical
detoxification or adjunctive medications, such as anti-craving medications.
In some cases, a patient’s
medical assessment suggests that detoxification (detox)—the process of
ridding the body of drugs or alcohol while managing symptoms and stabilizing
overall health—is necessary. Medical detox may sound scary; but, in reality, its
purpose is to help the patient remain comfortable throughout the withdrawal
During medical detox,
patients receive 24-hour care from nursing staff. Levels of withdraw, physical and emotional health will be evaluated by the medical staff on a daily basis. Nursing staff will monitor patients for the need for withdrawal medications. The medical staff will determine when a patient is ready to progress to the next level of care and join their peers in the Caron treatment community.
At Caron Pennsylvania, patients
undergo detox in an on-site, self-contained detoxification unit. Caron Renaissance is not
an acute care facility but can arrange for transfers from hospitals and other
healthcare centers once individuals have been stabilized. When clinically appropriate, Renaissance Case Specialists will work closely with patients and their families to make those
Anti-craving medications are
prescribed to reduce cravings that occur when an individual abruptly stops
using alcohol or drugs. Research shows that anti-craving medications work best
as part of a program that also includes counseling and group support.
Anti-craving medications typically work by:
- Reducing one’s
experience of craving drugs
pleasure induced by drugs
- Causing severe
physical reactions, thus making the consumption of drugs a very negative
Caron’s approach to prescribing psychiatric medications, including anti-craving drugs, is conservative. Our medical staff and addiction specialists work together to diagnose each patient carefully, thus ensuring that all prescriptions are medically justified.
Treating Co-Occurring Disorders
Caron’s medical services
team works with on-site, licensed psychologists to address co-occurring disorders
such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Patients who require
specialized medical care may be referred to outside providers for services.
These outside providers have long-standing relationships with Caron and are well
versed in treating addicted individuals.
Our full-time, onsite medical team of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other skilled clinicians, most of whom are double-board certified, is experienced in handling complex medical cases. From chronic pain to diabetes to heart disease, we are proficient in treating multiple issues and prescribing psychiatric medications judiciously.
The medical team is integrated throughout an individual’s entire treatment process. The team works with other Caron staff members to address the medical, psychological, psychiatric, and spiritual components of addiction and behavioral health treatment.