Stepping into recovery
Recovery from addiction without a drug-free place and proper medical care can be fatal.
“Utahns aren’t getting the addiction treatment they need,” said Anne Boulter, founder and CEO of Utah’s first in-home medical detox service, Private Detox of Utah.
Six Utahns die every week from an opioid overdose. A creative solution is seeking to address this problem.
Started in July 2018, Private Detox of Utah, with help from the Utah Microloan Fund and a 16-week Banking on Women class, Boulter’s in-home detox service now provides an easier step into recovery for Utah addicts before the lifelong journey of sobriety begins.
“Utah’s use and overdose rates are 7th in the nation,” said Boulter. “But you need to detox before you get into recovery.”
Boulter, a Nurse Practitioner for over 14 years, is also an opiate addict in recovery. She sees a lack of people getting into treatment.
“This is made worse by cold and uninviting environments where addicts are treated more like criminals than patients, and everyone gets the same treatment protocols,” said Boulter. “In the medical community, we weren’t taught addiction as a disease model, but addiction changes you entirely. I wouldn’t wish addiction on anyone.”
Ridding the body of toxic substances
“Detox” is the most physically and emotionally intensive part of freeing oneself from chemical dependency. Without it, people die. But addicts must first go through this acute treatment before the long-term healing starts.
With years of experience detoxing patients in a hospital setting, Boulter now provides addicts with in-home VIP care that includes 24-hour access to medical providers, customized medical detox plans, and resources for support in recovery.
“Utah’s addicts are often mid and upper-level income people struggling to get to work every day,” says Boulter. “Some keep it under wraps for years once they become chemically dependent. Slower for some and faster for others, it’s only a period of time before things fall apart.”
Easier steps into recovery
Helping others in recovery was a huge awakening to a whole new level of thinking and understanding addicts. It turned everything around in Boulter’s life and inspired her to create an easier way for addicts to get into treatment and recovery by detoxing at home.
Success as a medical practitioner made it difficult for Boulter to accept her own addiction.
“Loss of control was hard, but addiction and recovery turned my life around,” said Boulter. “The thing about this disease is, it’s your own brain trying to kill you, which is why irrational thoughts seem rational to a using addict … addiction can be easier to recover from if it starts later in life, but if substance abuse starts when people are young, emotional, social, and mental growth gets stunted,” says Boulter.
She’s quick to point out that although the road to recovery is hard, it’s obtainable for anyone who works for it. “And it’s definitely worth the work,” she said.
Describing her work helping other addicts, Boulter said, “You help people up, and you go up with them. Addiction changes you, but recovery makes you.”