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Medical Stabilization service employs clinical expertise, compassion, respect to treat addiction withdrawal at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center

Friday, November 15, 2013

Response to new service underscores region’s growing substance abuse epidemic

GEAUGA COUNTY – Early in 2013, University Hospitals (UH) Geauga Medical Center began partnering with New VisionTM, a nationally recognized medical stabilization provider, to develop plans to dynamically address Northeast Ohio’s recreational and prescription substance abuse epidemic. The result of the partnership came to fruition on October 21 with the official launch of the UH Geauga Medical Center Medical Stabilization service.

From the first day, the community’s response to the voluntary service has been overwhelming. As the first of its kind in the region and in the University Hospitals system, the service offers a three-day inpatient hospital stay that focuses on clinically treating the symptoms of withdrawal, especially from alcohol and opioids. Examples of opioids include heroin and prescription pain medications which contain acetaminophen and oxycodone.

Unlike a detox program, patients who participate in the Medical Stabilization service at UH Geauga Medical Center are not subjected to a psychological evaluation, an addiction diagnosis or behavior- or lifestyle-related group meetings. “These are medical admissions to the hospital’s medical-surgical floor where we stabilize patients under a doctor’s care and discharge them so they can then effectively treat the disease of their addiction,” says Renee Klaric, MACPC, LPCC-S, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Service Coordinator, New Vision. “The service is for people who have made the decision to stop using. They initiate the call and willingly participate.”

Because the Medical Stabilization service involves a medical admission, a patient must be in withdrawal and must have private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare to participate. The service admits patients to UH Geauga Medical Center Monday through Friday. “The initial evaluation and three-day inpatient treatment process is private, anonymous, respectful and dignified,” says Lisa Brown, MD, Director, Medical Stabilization service, UH Geauga Medical Center. “We manage the patient’s withdrawal safely in a stable environment and get them clean so he or she can then transition to the next stage of rehabilitation.”

Beyond the clinical aspect of care, the service also facilitates that critical transition. After stabilization, UH Geauga Medical Center and New Vision work together to link the patient to rehab programs based on their individualized needs. These referrals can include clinical programs to further treat opioid dependence, Alcoholics Anonymous and Independent Living Programs (ILPs). “Our goal is help patients return to their own community for treatment or rehabilitation,” says Klaric.

Once we get them through the three-day stabilization course, they have a clear choice of how to achieve long-term wellness.”

The UH Geauga Medical Center Medical Stabilization service is available to insured individuals 18 years of age and older. To learn more or to arrange a pre-screening, call 440-214-3106.

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