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Medical Stabilization Unit For Addicts in Indiana

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During the first week of September 2013, Methodist Hospitals Northlake campus in Gary, Indiana opened a new "medical stabilization unit" for addicts.

This new unit has 13 beds and that provides 24-hour care for addicts to safely detoxify and withdraw from alcohol and drug addiction in a medically monitored environment.

Admission Criteria

This new unit, however, is not suited for all addicts. Indeed, before a person is admitted, he has to go through the evaluation process to see if he will be a good "fit" for the program.

What determines whether or not an individual is a good fit? Mainly the following three conditions.

First, the person has to be an adult. Second, the person typically needs to be at greater risk than usual for medical complications. And third, the person needs to be highly motivated to overcome his addiction.

If the person is not admitted into the new program, the professional staff in this new unit will help the individual find other resources in Indiana and also in Illinois.

Staff Members at the Medical Stabilization Unit

Whereas the intake staff in this new unit consists of certified addiction counselors, the treatment team is made up of nurses who have previous experience with substance abuse patients.

For now, the supervisor of the unit is Jennifer Williams and the interim medical director is Dr. Aaron Johns.

A Focus on Medical Stabilization

Unlike other substance abuse services, this new unit focuses only on the "medical stabilization" of the patients.

This means that the addicts receive detoxification and safely go through the withdrawal process. Due to the fact that neither long term residential nor outpatient drug and alcohol treatment is provided at the new unit, patients usually stay between three and four days.

If further medical assistance is necessary, moreover, the discharge process includes referrals where patients can get additional drug and alcohol treatment.

So far, the new unit averages 5 or 6 patients per day. This will probably increase as more people are hear about the program through word of mouth, along with doctor and community agency referrals.

Commentary

Our drug and alcohol problem will not be solved with one magical "silver bullet." Indeed, it will require a long-term, comprehensive effort by a network of people, agencies, organizations, and government officials.

The new medical stabilization unit at the Methodist Hospitals Northlake campus in Gary, Indiana is a small, but much needed part of the overall drug and alcohol treatment system.

If this new unit is successful, however, treatment personnel in other cities throughout the U.S. need to look into developing similar programs in their communities.

To view the original source for this article, see addicts who want to overcome their addiction have a new resource.

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