Director: C. Patrick Carroll, M.D.
The Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) is an eight-bed inpatient service.The ITU’s mission is to assist our patients in engaging in effective substance use disorder treatment while identifying and beginning treatment for any co-occurring psychiatric disorders. The unit is designed for rapid (2-4 day) treatment during which patients undergo medically supervised withdrawal from drugs and alcohol, along with medical stabilization. As both psychiatric illnesses and substance use disorders are chronic conditions with a high liability to relapse, treatment on the ITU is conducted with the clear goal of engaging our patients in effective treatment after discharge.
The ITU admits persons with depression or other mental health problems with substance use disorders. Patients must not be suffering acute medical problems and should not have used drugs in the last 8-12 hours. Patients who are intoxicated or who bring drugs or drug paraphernalia to the unit will not be accepted for admission. Patients must also be willing and able to be active participants in their treatment and recovery.
The Intensive Treatment Unit is staffed by an attending psychiatrist, a resident psychiatrist, nurses, security personnel, and a social worker.
Medical and Psychiatric Evaluation
Patients have complete physical and psychiatric evaluations on admission and are re-evaluated throughout their stay. Patients are seen daily by an attending psychiatrist to medically manage withdrawal symptoms and to assess and begin appropriate treatment for psychiatric conditions.
Patients on the ITU attend addiction treatment groups throughout the course of the day, watch educational videos, attend 12-step meetings in the hospital and are given written self-assessment assignments to complete in which they assess the severity of their addiction, review the impact of addiction on their lives and start planning the next steps in their recovery from addiction.
'Detox' is Never Enough
Research has shown that individuals who only complete detoxification from drugs or alcohol will start using drugs again about as often as those who leave a program before their detoxification is complete. All patients are expected to participate to the best of their ability in finding an appropriate program to enter after their ITU admission. The ITU staff provides patients with information and advice on inpatient, outpatient and residential substance abuse treatment facilities. Our social worker and nurses will assist patients to make contact with appropriate facilities.
Admission to the ITU
Persons in the community seeking help can come to see our outreach nurse for confidential assessments and referrals to the ITU or other programs Monday-Friday 9am-3pm at Zion Baptist Church, located at 1700 N Caroline St. In most cases, if a bed is available and the patient meets admission criteria, the patient can be directly admitted to the ITU that same day.
Medical units at the Johns Hopkins Hospital wishing to refer a patient to the ITU must arrange for a psychiatric consultation through General Hospital Psychiatry.
The ITU accepts persons who are uninsured and those with Medical Assistance and Medicare. Privately insured patients should contact their insurance company before seeking admission to the ITU or call our admissions department at (410) 955-5104.
Note: The ITU cannot hold beds for patients or guarantee admission.
Meyer 3, Johns Hopkins Hospital