The Novus Medical Protocol

The Novus Medical Protocol


Webster’s Medical Dictionary defines protocol as, “A detailed plan of a scientific or medical experiment, treatment, or procedure.” A medical protocol is a compilation of the successful actions of medical practitioners and allows one to achieve the same success on patients by following the steps of the medical protocol. Specific medical protocols are developed to deal with specific diseases or conditions. For example, there are established medical protocols for dealing with an infection, cancer, heart problems or with indigestion. As more information about how to deal with medical conditions is discovered, medical protocols are often changed.


In the 18th century, medical doctors believed that blood was the carrier of diseases. The medical protocol for a sore throat and high fever was a procedure called bloodletting. Bloodletting drained the bad blood out and allowed the body to produce good blood which was supposed to lead to recovery. This was the medical protocol followed by the doctors summoned when George Washington, after riding in the freezing rain, returned home and began to have a high temperature and sore throat. The use of this protocol is what is now believed to have actually caused Washington’s death. There have long been medical protocols for detoxing people off drugs and alcohol. When someone was an alcoholic in the 18th century and wanted to quit drinking, they were often locked in a room and not allowed to come out for three to four days. Most people survived the treatment but some had seizures and died. A similar protocol was often followed for people who were addicted to opium smoking. While very painful, it rarely had fatal consequences. In the Civil War, the medical protocol for treating many gunshot wounds to the leg or arm often called for amputation of the limb because they did not have the ability to control the spread of infection.


Without medical protocols, medical treatment would be totally reliant on the skill of the practitioner and the availability of diagnostic equipment. We would have some doctors prescribing one course of treatment, but down the street, a doctor would prescribe a different course of treatment for the exact same medical problems. We want our medical professionals to use tried and successful methods and not to experiment on us as if we were lab animals. This is why medical malpractice has developed the standard that a treatment is not considered negligent if it meets the standard of the medical community—if all other medical practitioners follow a similar protocol. Of course in some areas of medicine, there really are medical protocols based not on actual medical tests but on opinion—like in many areas of psychiatry.


Although there is science involved in the development of a successful medical protocol, administering it is still an art insofar as how the protocol is applied. You may have had this experience. You had a cavity and went to a dentist who was so skilled in the art of dentistry that you barely felt the drill. Then a few years later, you go to another dentist and even though this dentist follows the same protocol, he is less skilled in the art of dentistry and it seems that the entire time you are in his chair you are trying to ignore the pain. Another example is surgery. I once asked a surgeon how he would select a surgeon to operate on him or a member of his family. He said that was easy. All you do is find the surgeon whose patients recover the fastest. The more skilled the surgeon, the more rapidly their patients recover. Like in all areas of life, the more skilled the person is in applying the technology of a subject, the better the result.


Today we have medical detox protocols that have successfully helped millions of people detox from drugs and alcohol. These protocols generally use buprenorphine to assist people to withdraw from opiates like OxyContin, Vicodin or heroin; a milder benzodiazepine to assist in alcohol withdrawals, and a milder benzodiazepine to assist with withdrawal from other more damaging benzodiazepines like Xanax. In each of these instances, the dosage given the patient is gradually reduced each day until the patient is no longer taking the drug. This is called the “taper”.


Based on the comments that we get from our departing patients, Novus is certainly demonstrating a high level of skill in the application of the detox protocol. This is particularly apparent when you factor in the comments from our patients who have experienced a detox at one or more other facilities. These “veterans” of other detox facilities are often the most enthusiastic because they can compare the skill in which the medical protocol is applied at Novus with the often lesser skill applied at the previous detox facilities they visited. At Novus, we incorporate a standard medical detox protocol, but we also have made some additions that have allowed our patients to detox more comfortably and more rapidly than patients in most other medical detox facilities. How do we account for the difference between Novus and other facilities?

One difference is the use of vitamin IVs and other natural supplements. It has long been understood that alcohol often dehydrates the body, but more and more research is indicating that not only alcohol but other drugs will create dehydration and also affect the body’s ability to retain vitamins and other nutrients. A body that is dehydrated and lacking in essential vitamins and nutrients will have a much more difficult time during the withdrawal process and the recovery time will be longer. We see some remarkable changes in a very short time when our patients are given these vitamin IVs and the supplements. This makes the patient stronger and more able to effectively deal with the withdrawal and recover much more rapidly.

The second addition is derived from Novus’ understanding that all people metabolize drugs and alcohol differently and all people have DNA that determines how the metabolized drugs and alcohol are handled. This can explain why two similarly-sized people can drink the same amount of alcohol and one will be sitting quietly in the corner while the other is dancing around the room. Or why two people can have the same operation, take the same type and amount of painkiller and one becomes physically dependent and addicted while the other is able to stop taking the painkiller without any withdrawal symptoms.

The third addition is not strictly related to medical matters but involves the environment that is created at Novus—private rooms, televisions, great food and a friendly and genuinely caring staff. Although we used to be surprised that all facilities are not like Novus (at least in their attitude toward their patients), it is so commonly reported by our patients who have experienced other detox facilities that we now understand that the environment at Novus is very special. When someone arrives at Novus, they are assessed by our medical professionals and started on the standard detox protocol and the standard taper for the drug from which they wish to detox.

Again, the medical staff knows that the patient is to be viewed as an individual and is to be completed on his or her detox as soon as safely and comfortably possible. This means that we observe how the patient is doing and ask for input from them. If the patient is responding well, then the patient is consulted and the speed of the taper is likely increased. If the patient is having some difficulties with the standard detox protocol, then the speed of the taper is usually decreased. While someone is at Novus, it is not uncommon for the speed of the taper to be increased and/or decreased several times.

According to our patients who have been to other detoxes in the past, this is not normal. Many other places apparently do not vary the medical detox protocol regardless of how the patient is doing. At these facilities, if the patient is not doing well on the standard taper, the medical team will shrug and not change the taper. If the patient is doing well and wants to speed up the taper, the medical team will shrug and not change the taper. We believe that dealing with each patient as an individual, our IV’s and natural supplements and our environment are why patients write success stories that rave about their experience at Novus.


Major changes to medical detox protocols are coming in the next five to ten years. Researchers are now speaking about the real possibility of being able to take a fluid sample from the addicted person, run a DNA test, and then be able to tell a detox facility exactly the dosage of the medication that will produce the most rapid, comfortable and safe results for each patient. This will be easier for Novus because then we will know the exact medication and dosage to use and will not have to be making as many changes to the taper. It will be good for all those who go to other detox facilities as well because the other facilities will have no excuse for not treating each patient as an individual.

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