A hospital in Cordele, Georgia has started to offer drug detoxification services to help people from Crisp County who are struggling with a substance use disorder. Crisp Regional Hospital has implemented the New Vision Drug and Alcohol Medical Stabilization Service on Monday.
“It’s been over a year in the making of bringing this service to Crisp Regional Hospital,” said Ashley Williams, the service coordinator of the new program.
The New Vision drug detoxification program is the first in Cordele, according to the 2017 National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Facilities.
“It’s initiated with an inquiry call to us,” Williams said. “We have to hear directly from the patient as far as their desire to want to participate.”
New Vision’s drug detoxification does a thorough vetting process to determine whether the patient is a good fit for the services. Once the process is completed, patients are transferred to the intake process.
“Our intake usually doesn’t take longer than 30 to 45 minutes,” she added. “We get a good history of use and of physical health concerns. We ask about behavioral health concerns, any past treatment and then the biggest thing is asking them about their plans after
the service has been completed so that we can basically start aftercare planning as soon as they’re admitted.”
Williams stated that when patients are ready to enter the facility, they contact the nursing staff as well as admitting physicians; patients typically stay for about three days.
“They are provided protocol of different medications depending on the substances they are using,” she said. “Throughout that 3-day process, we continue to follow up and make sure that they’re comfortable.”
New Vision serves people who are struggling with an addiction to alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, cocaine, controlled substances and prescription medications.
“We don’t treat stimulants alone but if someone if using stimulants in combination with alcohol, opiates or benzodiazepines then we can help with any needs related to that use,” Williams said.
The drug detoxification team features an intake coordinator, a physician and nursing personnel.
A line of communication has been established between the main surgical team at Crisp Regional Hospital and the drug detoxification program, which is a part of the medical surgical floor.
“We meet with the nursing staff twice a day to figure out bed availability and staffing patterns, what would be possible to admit that day,” Williams stated. “We don’t necessarily have a preset number of beds to fill. It’s just flexible depending on how many are currently are on the med charge floor from other admits.”
When a patient is discharged, they are usually referred to an addiction treatment center in a city nearby. A drug detox facility like this is needed, especially with Georgia going through some of the same drug problems affecting the rest of the country.
The state had 929 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 and 426 in 2010, marking a 117 percent increase in a 6-year span, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Most people who were affected by opioids were between the ages of 25 and 34 in Georgia.
The department also highlighted that there were over 16,000 drug-related emergency department visits in 2016, approximately 2000 of the cases consisted of opioid-related overdoses.
“My hope for the New Vision service at Crisp Regional is to make a positive impact on the community, help as many people as we can start their recovery journey,” Williams said. “We’re just the first step that someone can take in the path to recovery.”