In September 2017, Ohlhoff Psychiatrist, Dr. Lennart Moller, was interviewed by San Francisco Magazine about working on the front lines of addiction in San Francisco. Scroll down to his testimonial to see what he says about the realities of withdrawal, the physical and mental strain, and its affect on the treatment we provide here at Ohlhoff! The article contains several other compassionate professionals' experiences, as well.
This is Dr. Moller's excerpt and you can read the rest of the article here.
"We have an acute 30-day program. I mostly work with those clients. They sometimes want to have one last hurrah, so we don’t end up seeing them for a few days after they said they would be here. That’s very common. By the time they come in, it might be that they have lost everything—their job, housing, all their money. A lot of times they use up the last money they had for their last fix. They come in here, and the first week is inevitably hard. For most substances, detox is the opposite of what the intoxication is, only more intense. If a person did heroin, the withdrawal might start to come on about eight hours after they last used it. It might consist of feeling achy in joints and bones. Any sort of [previous] injury they had, they’re going to feel that injury now. They’ll feel restless, like they have to move their legs. They’ll feel anxious, they’ll have trouble sleeping. Their blood pressure and pulse will go up somewhat. Interesting thing, a lot of them will have runny nose or watery eyes. Some might get the hairs on their body standing up. That sometimes happens, if it gets bad enough. They will also get diarrhea. A lot of times it might be hard to tease out [if] the depression that they’re experiencing at that point is actually a withdrawal symptom or an underlying problem. The first three days are especially hard for most people. After that, they realize they’re with nice staff working with them, and their peers are nice people. Some patients when they finish, if they have been an especially tight group, I have heard that the group will continue to meet up and support each other, and encourage each other, and go to AA and NA meetings together. That’s really nice to hear. There are certain situations in life where it is possible to form these intense bonds rather quickly."
If you haven't read Dr. Moller's previous insight into the Opioid epidemic, you can check it out at ohlhoff.org/dr-moller-opioid-article
Thank you, San Francisco Magazine, for the insightful article which conveys the complexities, difficulties, and triumphs addiction service providers endure.