New Program Targets Alcohol Abuse
Media Contact: Melissa Hounshell, 859-323-6363, x256
LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 15, 2008) UK Chandler Hospital is launching a new intervention program aimed at helping hundreds of alcohol-dependent patients who find themselves in the Level I trauma center each year. Studies show that 40-50 percent of trauma patients are positive for alcohol. Those same studies illustrate when brief interventions are conducted with trauma patients there is a much lower risk of relapse.
Because of this research, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) began mandating all Level I centers such as UK Chandler Hospital provide screening and brief intervention for alcohol. The hiring of a licensed professional counselor enables the hospital to not only address alcohol, but also drugs and other psychiatric issues-- such as depression and anxiety that often accompany substance use disorders.
"The brief intervention program has two tremendous benefits, saving lives and healing a sick health care system. When trauma surgeons work closely with chemical dependency specialists, the results are more favorable for the patients," said David Maynard, licensed professional counselor and the chemical dependency specialist leading UK's efforts.
"Unfortunately, the trauma population continues to grow each year. For every one dollar spent on screening and brief intervention, studies have shown society saves $4 to $7 overall. It's really a win-win for everyone and that is what we want to highlight during recovery month," said Maynard.
"Time and time again, we see how alcohol abuse can result in injury. Our hope is this new program will help change lives and in turn, lead to these patients avoiding situations that could land them in our emergency department," said Dr. Paul Kearney, chief of trauma and critical care.
Governor Steve Beshear proclaimed September as "Recovery Month". The observance, now in its 19th year, is designed to help people understand there is help available for alcohol and drug addiction. An estimated 22 million people nationwide are currently battling some form of substance abuse.