How to Recognize Emergency Situations

Though it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about reasons for making trips to the emergency room, medical issues that are related to drug and alcohol use are a regular occurrence. In fact, these are problems that emergency room doctors are finding themselves dealing with on an increasingly regular basis.

In the United States, several billion dollars are spent every year on patients who have substance abuse problems. These costs are accumulated in health care expenses, lost time from work, accidents, and crimes that are committed by those under the influence. This is a staggering amount of money, especially considering that these types of problems are all preventable.

Sometimes, however, people are not quite sure how to handle substance abuse problems. In fact, sometimes people are not really aware that they have a problem at all.

When people do recognize the need for help, they are often plagued with uncertainty about how best to address their particular situation. Sometimes it is difficult to know when they should go to the emergency room, when they should seek treatment in a substance abuse center, or when they should enlist the services of an intervention specialist. Fortunately, there are some basic guidelines you can follow that will allow you to make the most appropriate choice when faced with a substance abuse-related problem.

First of all, it should go without saying that if someone is unconscious, having difficulty breathing, speaking, or otherwise functioning in a normal manner, he or she needs medical treatment right away. If someone’s life is in danger, you must ensure that that individual receives help. You can call 911 or take the person to the nearest emergency room on your own.

For people who are not in any immediate danger, however, the options are greater. It is important to remember that anyone who chronically abuses drugs or alcohol needs some type of professional assistance. Even if this process begins with a visit to a primary care physician, seeking help for substance abuse problems is often the only way that people will be able to stop using drugs or alcohol.

If someone you know has attempted to stop using drugs or alcohol unsuccessfully, you may want to suggest an intervention for that individual. When constructed and carried out by trained professionals, interventions can be wonderful tools for helping addicts to break free from their addictions. This is a tool that should only be used on people who have ongoing problems with drugs or alcohol, and who are not in any imminent physical danger.

If you are interested in orchestrating an intervention for a loved one, you should make sure that you take the time to conduct the proper research first. Only consult professionals who are trained and have experience conducting interventions, as this will ensure that you have the greatest chance at success.