Our program is designed to assist your safe withdrawal from alcohol and other substances* you may have abused. Patients and their families will receive counseling and education to help them understand their illness and in making plans for discharge and continued rehabilitation. (*We are unable to admit patients who are suffering withdrawal from crack/cocaine or marijuana, and Federal Regulations permit only two detoxification episodes using methadone in any 12-month period).

Your treatment team will include your physician, allied health professionals, nurses, counselors, and therapy aides. They are supported by other Chemical Dependency Services staff and by a number of Hospital departments. The team's goal is to help you take that important first step toward recovery. (Upon admission, you will receive a handbook that includes more details on each of the topics below). 


Detoxification Unit Leadership:
Adam Bullock, Director, Behavioral Health Services
Shara Tacchino, Assistant Director, Behavioral Health Services

Medical Leadership:
John Dewar, MD, Medical Director

Admission to Detoxification Services:
The Unit should be called ahead to determine availability. On the day of your admission, please check in at patient registration and proceed to 3rd floor for your personal assessment. This process takes about one hour to complete.

You will find your unit set up in a way that promotes privacy and confidentiality for you and your family. There is a lounge for meetings, visits, and activities. Other areas of the unit include the nurses' station, counseling rooms, and patient rooms. As you will have a room-mate, please remember to be respectful of his/her needs. Special needs will be addressed on an individualized basis.

Patients are admitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All patients need to have valid, current insurance coverage and all corresponding insurance cards in addition to any/all medications currently being taken. Arrangements can be made for patients who are self-paying.

For everyone's health, effective July 1, 2008, CPH has become a tobacco-free facility. Smoking is prohibited in or on any Hospital property, including parking lots. 

Your First 24 Hours With Us:

  1. You will be expected to give a urine sample upon admission.
  2. Female patients will need to take a pregnancy test.
  3. You will be given a tour of the unit.
  4. If you are here for alcohol withdrawal, your vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, temp) are taken every two hours during the first 8 hours.
  5. The Physician or Allied Health Professional will see you in the first 12 hours.
  6. The medical practitioner who is assigned to you will see you once during your stay.
  7. For fasting blood test(s) in the morning, you will be permitted only water after midnight. Laboratory professionals visit the unit to draw blood at 7 a.m.
  8. If your condition allows, you will be expected to attend Alcholics' Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous (AA/NA) meetings on the unit. After the first 24 hours, if your condition allows, you will be expected to attend AA/NA meetings held off the unit.
  9. A professional counselor will see you to conduct an initial interview with you.

Dress Code and Use of Personal Items:
Patients who are ordered to bed rest by their physician will be asked to wear hospital attire and will be assisted with personal hygiene. As your physical condition allows you freedom to move around on the unit, you may dress in street clothes that are appropriate and presentable. All pieces of clothing, etc. will be searched thoroughly for your safety and that of others on the Unit. Please plan to bring just enough for a three or four day stay. Pillows, quilts, and stuffed animals from home are NOT permitted. 

We believe in minimal use of medication in the detoxification process. One of the goals of treatment is to help you live free from all mood-altering drugs. Any medications brought with you, whether prescribed or not, must be given to the nurse upon admission. Patients will receive any prescribed medications from the nurse as ordered by the physician. 

Length of Your Stay:
The average length of stay is three to five days. Before being discharged by the physician supervising your care, your counselor will explain any final aftercare plans. Your
counseling staff will work with you to prepare for additional inpatient and/or outpatient plans once you are ready to leave the detox unit. 

Family, AA members and significant others are welcome to visit you. Hours are:

Mondays and Tuesdays: 6-7:45 p.m.
Wednesdays and Fridays 6-7 p.m.
Thursdays 6-8 p.m.
Saturdays 2-5 p.m. and 6-7 p.m.
Sundays 2-5 p.m.

Prior arrangement must be made with the staff for small children to visit. Various clergy and spiritual leaders make rounds daily and are available for spiritual counsel. 

All laundry will be cleaned by hospital staff. The Hospital provides bed linens, towels, and pajamas. A washing machine is available on the unit for delicates and hand wash items only. 

All valuables should be checked with nursing staff at time of admission. The Hospital is not responsible for any item(s) you keep with you. 

Staff Ethics:
All staff is required to abide by ethical standards. Some of these standards relate to interactions with patients and former patients. 

For safety, security, comfort, and medical reasons, you are expected to follow all rules of the unit and to behave appropriately. Privacy is of the utmost importance. Respect your own privacy and that of others in the unit. Do not share or discuss other patients' names, personal information, or medical information. All counseling sessions, group sessions, and visits with health care professionals will require you to be out of bed. Patients will be accepted into the unit and treatment will continue at the discretion of the unit Director and Medical Director.

What does quality healthcare mean to you?

To most patients and their families, it means adherence to the most rigorous, medically and scientifically verified standards available. We measure our processes against these standards, and we are dedicated to continuous improvement.

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Canton-Potsdam Hospital
50 Leroy Street, Potsdam, New York 13676
ph: 315-265-3300

The information on this web site is provided as a service by Canton-Potsdam Hospital for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical care, and medical advice and services are not being offered. If you have, or suspect you have, a health problem, you should consult your physician.

Health information on this website is intended as an informational and educational service. Provision of this information and educational service neither implies nor guarantees that a treatment, procedure, or healthcare service necessarily will be provided in whole or in part. Services are provided by Canton-Potsdam Hospital at its sole discretion consistent with the highest quality standards including but not limited to safety. For more information about whether a specific service or procedure is offered and/or is right for you, consult your care practitioner.

Canton-Potsdam Hospital does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, services and activities. You may file a complaint to: Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, 26 Federal Plaza - Suite 3312, New York, NY 10278, 212-264-3313, 212-264-2355 (TDD)

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