I’m sure you’re all wondering.
I wrote this post a long time ago without outing who treated me. At the time I still thought they might actually be honest people who had simply erred in ignorance. That is still probably true for the majority of the staff, but I have now collected enough information to know they do stuff by design so that people, in general, make it out of their clinic before falling apart.
I’ve now become aware of 2 others who were at Novus Detox at the same time as I was who are now also bed bound and crippled due to the withdrawal methods used at Novus. While I was very ill before being admitted these two people WERE NOT. They fell apart due to the rapid and dangerous detox they went through at Novus.
Also I encountered someone who was also grossly abused in a very similar fashion as I was here in my home town a different state than where Novus Detox Center is. That’s a bit odd, don’t you think, since they only have a maximum of 12 people at a time and usually it’s not full to maximum. And I randomly ran into someone who also felt they almost died at Novus and had to escape in similar fashion as myself when Novus refused to treat emerging psychosis in this poor woman?
Novus Detox is hurting people by essentially cold-turkeying them off dangerous drugs that should be weaned very slowly over months and sometimes years. The recipe in the nutrient cocktail they use to allegedly mitigate withdrawal symptoms is also extremely weak and they do things in such a way as to render the most important nutrient, Glutathione, inert, while also using such a tiny amount as to be negligible in any case. This is information I found when it was too late.
I hope only to be able to stop these people from hurting others.
Below is the original post. I didn’t want this at the top of my blog so it’s buried in the archives. I’m hoping those who need to know Novus Detox will bilk you of thousands of dollars and leave you disabled will find it. (The fact is some people do fine coming off cold-turkey by their method—the criminal dimension is that they do not pay attention to those of us who DO NOT and it seems we are a large percentage of the people they see whether it’s a minority percentage or not) I’m still actively struggling to get off the Valium 2 months later. I’m down to 9 mg so I’m making progress but no thanks to them.
This is a letter I wrote to Steve the director of Novus who never answered, though he did reply with this one line: “Gianna, I am pulling together information and will send you a detailed response. Steve”
That response never arrived and you’ll see, though angry I gave him the benefit of the doubt and offered him a chance to pay me back and to learn from my experience so he would not hurt others. He did not take that opportunity to do right. It’s now well over a month since I wrote him. This is the next step. Especially since I’ve found others since then too. I don’t want anyone else to be hurt by him and his center.
this is the original post:
Basically after being sucked in by seductively nice people (who were genuinely nice, but criminally ignorant) –the fact that they were nice people was validated by a key person in our movement who knew the director and my husband who spoke with them before I decided to go to their clinic. In any case I trusted them and I got heavily screwed and traumatized.
They had acknowledged to me on the phone after I really pushed it that no they had never worked with someone with as extensive and mind-blowing a history on psych meds and so I asked them to be my partner and trust me as well.
But in the end they determined they knew what was best and pushed a far too rapid withdrawal. (Frankly I think it had to do with my limited funds as a man there who clearly had more means than I was scheduled to be there three times as long and had 2/3s less drug to come off of—that makes no sense whatsoever!! unless one concludes they are figuring out how to bilk us and it seems pretty clear that that is the case. When he laters asked for the records of the withdrawal itself they took him off all the drug in the last week—the first two weeks they only reduced about 1/9th of the total amount which also speaks to them arranging by design that he not fall apart until AFTER he left.)
The bottom line is there is no one in any of the more enlightened detox centers who have worked with people with my history, but I know had I been able to make it out to my friend’s detox center that this would never have happened. I now know several people who have gone through that program and they do NOT ALLOW psychosis because it’s simply not necessary and they KNOW that psych med withdrawal is different and people MUST go at an individualized pace and not be pushed into a dangerously fast detox. These people told me psychosis was sometimes inevitable!! And refused to make it stop! Which would have simply involved reinstating some of the benzo had they listened to me when I first raised the alarm. Their program was all about “protocol” and though they gave lip service to “individualized” care it was bullshit.
If I was well enough to travel by air I would have gone to my dear friend’s detox center and I still hope to do his sauna detox once I’m drug free and if I’m ever well enough to travel again.
In any case here where I am, I insisted on changing the pace of the withdrawal and they refused turning into illicit drug rehab monsters claiming I was drug seeking as I slipped into psychosis. I went on like that for over 48 hours perhaps closer to 72 but it’s all a blur at this point. I ran. Literally bolted out of there. My mom being my savior in this instance.
I’m fine but deeply re-traumatized and in a new way because these people were nice and respectful in general and so the mind-fuck is more delicate and complicated.
Because they were also arrogant assholes who deemed to know my truth and basically did not believe me when I told them I was headed to psychosis ONLY because of their WAY TOO RAPID withdrawal schedule. THIS DID NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN!!! They basically told me I wasn’t hanging tough enough—you had to be tough to get off benzos and I apparently didn’t have what it took. Nice way to shame me. Pretty.
Forget about the fact that I’ve been hanging tough for 5 years coming off all this shit. That fact was lost on these losers who couldn’t understand I didn’t fit in their nice little box of people who do well in their program. And it’s clear people do alright in their program. I cringe though to think how many people are left to be re-traumatized alone in their rooms because that’s “part of the deal,” rather than having enough staff so that someone can be with them in their darkest hours of withdrawal. Illicit drug addict or not, we all deserve that sort of care and they neither had enough staff nor appropriately trained staff for trauma care.
It was that whole reformed drug addict mentality. It’s gotta hurt real bad coming off drugs. That’s just part of the deal. All the staff were ex-addicts. That’s what they learned and that is what they went through. But none of them had my psychiatric and trauma history and didn’t know jack shit about how to deal with someone regressing into PTSD land and eventually what was going to turn into toxic psychosis.
They had NO TRAUMA informed care. As I slipped into crisis and despair they left me alone in a room with no support for hours on end. Cruel ass fucks who thought they were doing good. Most frightening couple of days in my life.
I escaped on Thursday of last week, so it’s still fresh and painful and I’m tender and raw.
So what is good here? I will salvage the good. A few good things have come out of it.
1) I finished the crossover to Valium.
2) I’m on less of a total dose of benzos than when I started the program even though I had to take emergency measures to maintain my sanity including two days of .5 mg of Risperdal. (I’m a pragmatist, people…I preferred that rather than going into a TOXIC psychosis—an organic psychosis is something altogether different which I would have entertained going into and through had I had the proper supports.) I only took the extra drug for two days and now I’m down to a lower level of benzos than when I made my way down here.
Crises such as these are really the only time these drugs can be used responsibly—of course this would never have happened had I not been irresponsibly put on drugs in the first place!
3) My bodily pain, the pain I feel mostly in my limbs and spine has almost completely abated. I don’t know if that is because it was the Klonopin detox causing it and I am no longer on Klonopin or because the IV therapy, but I’m in very little pain anymore.
Granted I still can’t walk around or sit up much because of weakness and low blood pressure but often it was pain that kept me down. So as long as the pain relief continues it’s one less hurdle to being up and about.
4) I still believe I’ve found a doctor I can work with down here who is good, but that remains to be seen. I see her today and tomorrow for IV nutrients and on Thursday I have a follow up appointment with her.
I’ve had dozens of tests done and my clearly screwed up endocrinology system may finally be addressed appropriately.
5) IV nutrients DO actually seem to be very good stuff. Where they fucked up was in taking me off the benzo way too fast. The fact that I am on a lower dose of benzos than I would have been otherwise attests to this fact. I can continue getting IV nutrients and aminos on an outpatient basis even when I return home.
6) I have a new, deeper and profound appreciation of my husband who heroically drove down here over night after he talked to the staff and realized they had their heads up their asses. He too thought they sounded grounded and safe before I entered the program but when a nurse suggested I was drug seeking while I was in crisis he knew they were way off base and he came down here, my hero.
7) My mom too has once again proven her deep and abiding love for me and been by my side.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone here among my readers for respecting my privacy so profoundly. I put moderation on on purpose in case anyone got nosy before I was ready to talk. This has been painful and humiliating really. The trauma feels like a rape. Before this morning I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever speak of it.