Community detox at Equinox Mitcham Park

Posted by on 2 July 2014 | 0 Comments

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7 days before Christmas 2013, Simon* was referred to Equinox Mitcham Park for a community detox.  In this article, Equinox Service Manager, Walter Boyle, describes Simon’s progress and explains the background to this pilot Equinox project.

For 6 months before his referral to Equinox Mitcham Park, Simon had been living on the streets in Merton. He was very undernourished when he came to Equinox Care, physically and mentally unwell, in part due to his alcohol dependence.

Simon met staff at a local day centre, who referred him to the Merton Drug and Alcohol Team at the Wilson Hospital in Mitcham. After a clinical assessment the team agreed that Simon would be suitable for a community detox at the newly opened community detox provision at Equinox Mitcham Park. The service is a short distance from the Wilson Hospital.

This pilot provision for community detox at Equinox Mitcham Park started in November 2013. It was developed to cater for homeless men in Merton, who might  benefit from a combination of community detox and housing to stabilise their life situation. The main aim is to enable them to move on to a more independent and healthier lifestyle.

Staff from the Wilson Hospital assess the potential service users to make sure that a community detox is safe for them before they come to Equinox Mitcham Park.

Simon followed the 5 day community detox programme, attending the local pharmacy to receive his daily medication. He was supervised throughout by the local clinical team at the Wilson Hospital.

As part of the new community detox initiative, Equinox staff trained one of the long stay residents at Equinox Mitcham Park to become the Responsible Adult (this resident had himself undergone treatment and achieved a stable recovery). The role of the Responsible Adult was to provide peer support for Simon during his first days of treatment and monitor any changes in behaviour when staff were not present during evening hours.  The Responsible Adult had access to members of staff at all times and was able to speak to the Equinox nurse, team leader at Equinox Brook Drive (Equinox’s residential detoxification service in South East London).

Christmas and New Year passed for Simon without relapse. Simon successfully followed the intensive in-house CBT and psychosocial treatment programmes. 

In early spring, Simon was  ready to move on to another housing  project where he now lives. Simon is sober and healthy; he now enjoys a much more independent and secure life, compared to his life before treatment.

Equinox Mitcham Park continues to work in partnership with the Merton Drug and Alcohol Team situated at the Wilson Hospital.  This team offers and arranges community detox for those who do not need a residential detox.

*Simon’s name has been changed for confidentiality reasons.

For more information about Equinox Mitcham Park, contact Walter Boyle, / 07939 624742. 

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