The CAGE questionnaire is one of the methods used to screen alcohol patients. It is important to use this method because it is a very sensitive method used to identify excessive drinking in patients. The CAGE questionnaire is also very accurate and specific especially if it contains open-ended questions. Most clinics also prefer this method because it is easy to use. Using an alcohol withdrawal management protocol is one of the common and yet difficult methods to use. Many people opt not to use this particular method because of one reason or the other. My experience, when using the alcohol withdrawal management protocol, did not go well. It was confusing because it involves many steps and many patients who want to be attended to all at the same time. People admitting their patients became irritated, and some of them ended up not admitting their patients.
When obtaining a history from a substance using patient, I would ask them some relevant question like where they come from so that I can know what drugs are easily available to them. I would also ask them what they do for a living and their family background, which may lead me to the reasons why they abuse drugs. The term “harm reduction” refers to all the activities by registered nurses toward all people in the society in order to see that they are not affected by the effect of substance abuse. Nurses are expected to contact harm reduction in the society in a non-judgmental way, as well as, provide adequate care to the individuals and families that are affected by substance abuse. There are several ways to identify intoxicated patient in the ER department. These methods are important because they help the doctors to attend to the patients effectively. Such patients can be recognized by the way in which they behave and act. An intoxicated patient in an emergency room tends to be aggressive, unconscious and delirious. Intoxicated patients need a lot of care and attention in order to ensure that they are not a danger to themselves and the people around them. In severe cases, sedatives may be used to relax the patients. Methadone is a type of medication that opioid and is commonly referred to as a narcotic. This drug is mainly used to help reduce withdrawal symptoms in the patients that are addicted to heroin and other narcotic drugs. The disadvantage of using methadone is that the patient may be at risk of suffering from a fatal heart rhythm disorder. It is possible to tell when a colleague has a hard time being non-biased towards a substance abuse patient. For instance, if a heard my colleague referring to one of the patients as ‘the addict in the other room,’ I would strongly intervene. I would talk him into treating everyone including patient with respect. Calling them addicts when they are trying to recover in the center does not help them. It only reminds them of who they were. In my day to day activities at work, I have used the stages of change model. I used it to help a disturbed patient to change his behavior. My patient was determined to recover fully and start a new lifestyle. By putting to us the stages of change model, I helped my patient to be able to change his behavior. Additionally, the patient was able to modify his lifestyle for long-term addiction management. In a situation where a known substance user patient is in pain due to an appendectomy and has been warned against using narcotics, I would first of all observe give strong non-narcotic pain killers. I would also observe him closely as he recovers, in order to ensure that he does not have access to narcotics.
Volpicelli, J. R. (2001). Combining medication and psychosocial treatments for addictions: The BRENDA method. New York [u.a.: Guilford.
Zun, L. S., Chepenik, L. G., & Mallory, M. N. S. (2013). Behavioral emergencies for the emergency physician. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.