Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dave the drunk and Cathy the crackhead

You know what I get tired of? People bringing Dave the drunk or Cathy the crackhead to the ER. Their life is down the toilet and the family or friend doesn't know what to do with them. They are afraid for the persons safety. Hey I get that. You care about them.

Here's the thing: THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO FOR THEM IN THE ER. The doc will run some tests to make sure they are physically OK. THey may give them one of those stupid banana bags. They will give them a number to call about treatment. Thats about it.

Nobody is going to fix them in the ER. The magic treatment fairy is not going to appear and scoop them up. Very few hospitals these days have inpatient chemical dependency treatment. That ended years ago.

I can't tell you how many times I have triaged Dave the drunk and Cathy the crackhead accompanied by worried family. Dave and Cathy just sit there and say little, if anything. Family does all the talking. Tales of how Dave or Cathy are not taking care of themselves, ruining their lives, the lives of those around them. Its sad.

Family is always disappointed when Dave or Cathy are not admitted. They expected us to save them. The thing is ERs are not in the saving drunk or dope addict business. Please don't bring them.


Mark p.s.2 said...

Psychiatry might save them. Psychiatry might name the drunk and crack heads bad choices and addictions a "mental illness" of some sort. A danger to themselves. Then the psychiatrist can take away the patients freedom. In psych-hospital-jail they will have to learn to use the psychiatrists drugs to be happy. Which wont work but lots of money will change hands, and Dave and Cathy will still be alive. A life of some sort.

Anonymous said...

At our hospital they will stay in the ER bed until they "sober up" cause the floor can't take them and we can't discharge them they might hurt themselves annoying!

Nurse K said...

Dump them at County Detox and skip the middle man if you want to do something, family. Either they're going back with you or they're going to detox.