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Press Releases

Statement from Mitchell Katz, MD, NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO on Transitioning to a New Detox Model to Help New Yorkers with Substance Use Disorder

Dec 04, 2019

“At NYC Health + Hospitals, we are committed to providing New Yorkers effective treatment for substance use disorder in a safe and compassionate environment that supports recovery, which is why we are making a transition to a more comprehensive model of care at seven of our hospitals. This new model replaces an outdated and ineffective inpatient Substance Use Disorder detox practice that has failed patients for many years. No one believes that three days in a hospital is the most effective way to overcome addiction. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other municipalities across the nation have not used this type of care in decades.

The new detox model both destigmatizes the process and ensures patients with complex medical needs are treated for all of their needs at once. Patients who need hospitalization because they are detoxing will still be admitted to the hospital, but they will be admitted to the medicine service. There is no decrease in service or staffing. This new model is an important part of our health system transformation and will offer better, more clinically effective services that are in-line with best practices, improved patient outcomes, and reduce relapse.

This is a phased transition to ensure patient continuity of care and that new services are responsive to patient and community needs. We are making investments to ensure our hospitals also have new teams of addiction counselors, peers, physicians or nurse practitioners to engage patients with co-occurring substance use disorder, start them in treatment, including medications, and coordinate follow-up outpatient care at the hospital or in the community based on their needs.

With more than half of our 131 detox beds empty every day, it was clear that we had to create a detox service that made sense for our patients – where recovery is possible. I am confident that they will truly benefit from this transition as they will receive the treatment they need in an environment that is most appropriate for them.”