Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dog Therapy

OK, sometimes I admit I go for forgiveness rather than permission.

Last week the CEO of The Coleman Institute saw a large boxy head with dangling tongue sticking out from the door of one of our beautiful treatment rooms. He’s a smart guy and recognized instantly it was not a human, but a very large dog’s head.

A charming patient (I’ll refer to her as Melissa from Minnesota) was here to detox from oxycodone. She wasn’t taking as high a dose as we have seen many patients take. Nonetheless, she was unable to get free from the 40-60mg a day she’d escalated to after a fairly routine knee surgery two years prior to her contacting us.

Melissa-like all of the clients we serve at TCI-had several reasons for wanting to be opiate free. Most everyone who comes through is just sick of the lifestyle of being a slave to the addiction. Work, money, relationships, and general vitality all take a toll when a person is physically dependent on narcotics. But the other thing driving Melissa was a deadline looming two weeks from her detox: she had a book signing with Barnes and Noble as her first novel is being published.

She had traveled across the country with her husband and Butch, her well behaved canine to do a detox with us and get a naltrexone implant.

It is so fun to come into a room all day long and see a sweet dog! And even though our detox process makes things very tolerable, I think it really helps to have your beloved dog with you. In the two years I’ve been at TCI, I’ve seen a toy poodle, 2 mastiffs, a beagle, a bull terrier and a couple others I can’t identify. I wish someone would come in with a Bernese Mountain Dog.

I suspect Butch will be accompanying Melissa on her book signing tour; he’s that kind of dog.

If you or someone you love needs some help getting off narcotics, benzos or alcohol, please—just show up with your dog—don’t call ahead to get permission. There may be some sort of regulation if we have to ask.

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