Walker-Talladega County detox units offer first step to sobriety

May 24, 2016

Brookwood Medical Center, Baptist Health System and Bradford Health Services provide vital detox services

BIRMINGHAM (May 24, 2016) – In just four years, confirmed heroin deaths in Jefferson County have risen more than 700 percent. The epidemic of addiction to opiates, tranquilizers and alcohol spans across age, race, gender and income and finds many families across central Alabama struggling to find initial medical assistance needed on the path to recovery. To help those families and their loved ones take the first step in healing, Brookwood Medical Center and Baptist Health System have partnered with Bradford Health Services to provide more education and increased access to medical detox units at two of its hospitals – Walker Baptist Medical Center and Citizens Baptist Medical Center.

“As drug overdose now outranks gun deaths and car crashes as the leading cause of injury death in the nation, a partnership like this is more important than ever in helping as many people as possible safely detox,” said Dr. Syed Aftab, Medical Director for both units.

Medical detox units can serve an important role as a precursor to full rehabilitation by easing the physical side effects of the process. The physical illnesses associated with withdrawals, such as muscle aches, nausea, excessive sweating and high blood pressure can be extremely dangerous to experience alone. Patients undergoing medical detox receive medications that help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, coupled with 24-hour supervision by licensed nurses, therapists and physicians. Patients typically stay in the unit between five-to-seven days.

The two hospitals provide a total of 20 beds, which are managed by Bradford Health Services. While patients cannot be admitted to detox against their own will, Dr. Terry Bentley, psychiatrist and director of Walker Baptist’s Detox Unit, recommends family members interested in medical detox for a loved one offer compassionate support and education of available treatment options.

“If your loved one is exhibiting signs of substance abuse, including rapid mood swings, track marks or extreme increases and decreases in energy, do not be judgmental in your approach and help the person research their options,” he said. “Show them that you care about them and want the best for their physical health and well being.”

To learn more about Walker Baptist Medical Center’s Medical Detox Unit, please call 205-387-4961 or contact 1-800-333-1865 to learn more about the detox unit at Citizens Baptist Medical Center.

Tenet and Birmingham-based Baptist Health System announced plans in late 2014 to form a new organization combining Brookwood and Baptist’s four hospitals to create a new model of cost-efficient, innovative healthcare delivery. The central Alabama network has five hospitals – Brookwood and Princeton Baptist (Birmingham), Shelby Baptist (Alabaster), Walker Baptist (Jasper) and Citizens Baptist (Talladega).

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