UH News

University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center fights substance abuse epidemic with groundbreaking new Medical Stabilization service

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Three-day inpatient program provides safe, clinical supervision; prepares patient for rehab

GEAUGA COUNTY – University Hospitals (UH) Geauga Medical Center has joined with New VisionTM, a nationally recognized medical stabilization service, to create Geauga County’s first hospital-based program designed to safely and successfully break a patient’s cycle of chemical addiction in order to prepare them for full rehabilitation.

The new inpatient Medical Stabilization service at UH Geauga Medical Center is a voluntary program for adults with prescription or recreational substance abuse issues and related health care concerns. It consists of a discreet, medically supervised hospital stay that typically lasts three days and includes pre-screening, medical assessment, admission, medication-free stabilization and discharge planning.

“As an interventional pain specialist and a member of the Geauga County Opiate Task Force, I am committed to the responsible prescribing of medications,” says Lisa Brown, MD, Medical Director, Comprehensive Pain Management Center and Medical Stabilization Program Director, UH Geauga Medical Center. “Unfortunately, along with the increasing occurrences of alcohol and recreational drug abuse in our community, diverted prescription medication addiction is a growing problem as well. In response to this epidemic, our hospital’s Medical Stabilization service takes individuals off their substances in a safe, stable, managed clinical environment.”

Following an intervention by loved ones or a voluntary admission of addiction, a Medical Stabilization patient is pre-screened by New Vision and then admitted to the UH Geauga Medical Center program, where a multidisciplinary team will assess the patient’s needs. The assessment includes a medical history review; physical examination and nursing evaluation; and a complete lab workup.

During the inpatient stay, the individual will receive support and medication-free treatment to get through the stabilization process. “Patients will walk in substance-dependent and they will walk out substance-clean,” says Dr. Brown. “At UH Geauga Medical Center we prepare them for the rehab phase, which is so critical. Patients can’t join a rehabilitation program if they are on a substance. Our Medical Stabilization service gives them a better chance of progressing to a rehab program that can effectively prevent relapse.”

Stabilization patients leave UH Geauga Medical Center with a personalized discharge plan that includes referrals to appropriate, community-based inpatient and outpatient facilities that provide counseling and support to ensure they receive the practical rehabilitative help they need.

“Our new Medical Stabilization service targets a serious, identified community and regional need,” says M. Steven Jones, President, UH Geauga Medical Center. “This is the first inpatient substance dependence service in the county, and it is a tremendous resource for families; local employers and employees; and agencies dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse in all its forms.”

The confidential, voluntary UH Geauga Medical Center Medical Stabilization service is available to individuals 18 and older. The program accepts most insurance, Medicaid and Medicare plans. To learn more or to arrange a pre-screening, call New Vision at 1-800-939-2273, or UH Geauga Medical Center at 440-285-2960.

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