When a person has abused alcohol or another drug and has decided to begin recovery through abstinence, life threatening health consequences can arise. Glendale Adventist Alcohol & Drug Services (GAADS) is committed to providing appropriate medical services for those undergoing detoxification. Ideally the initial assessment takes place at GAADS, where withdrawal risk is gauged through careful observation, obtaining vital signs, and eliciting an accurate alcohol and drug history. Persons may be admitted to acute or sub-acute models for detoxification.
Risk factors for a withdrawal syndrome that increase the likelihood of a referral to detoxification include but are not limited to co-occurring medical conditions, over age 40, history of withdrawal complications, heart disease, seizures, inaccurate drug and alcohol histories, elevated or lowered vital signs, exceptional pain, and high volumes of drugs or alcohol used.
Acute detoxification is provided on a medical unit at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. The nursing staff is specially trained to understand the signs, symptoms and behavior of withdrawal along with practical medication protocols for the treatment of alcohol, opiate and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes. Large doses of medication may be indicated upon admission to assure that the patient's vital signs remain within normal limits, followed by tapering down the dose. Many years of experience have led us to the achievement of very short lengths of stay in acute detoxification.
Sub-acute detoxification is used to finish a medication protocol begun in acute care, or as an option for direct admission. Sub-acute care includes a full time registered nurse, physician presence and supervision, and patient observation rounds every 20 minutes. Our clinical team members are required to undertake a lengthy orientation plus quarterly observed competency evaluations on their skills in the signs and symptoms of withdrawal, management of a medical or behavioral emergency, how to assist with the self administration of medications, taking vital signs and medical orders, pharmacy verification, and also maintain current Standard First Aid and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation Cards. Patient safety is our highest priority.
To reach GAADS, call (818) 242-3116.
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