Family Assessment and Support
Support for alcohol and drug addiction includes:
- Education about the client’s use and abuse of alcohol or opiates.
- Education about the culture of substance use in a family that develops over time.
- Education about the process of recovery and what the family may expect to observe, witness, and experience over time.
- The detox nurse is a professional that understands the stress that substance use places on relationships. It is vitally important that family members find ways to care for themselves and find ways to be good to themselves. The nurse often helps the family members achieve this.
- Family members cannot provide support to the client unless they, themselves, feel cared for. The detox nurse is often a sounding board for the client’s family and significant others. We do support and care for the family.
Referral Suggestions: Therapy and Self-Help Groups
- The use of a therapist and the use of group support is discussed with family members to provide current and ongoing support.
- Al Anon: The use of self-help groups such as Al Anon, Alateen or Nar Anon will be considered. Each has been found to be very helpful for many people, but there have also been many who feel that these groups have not provided the support they were looking for. Executive Home Detox supports the consideration of self-help groups for the client requiring medical detox and the client’s family members, but we do not mandate or force it upon the client or client’s family. EHD individualizes care and addiction treatment for the client and client’s family’s needs.
Sleep Assessment and Support
A good night’s sleep is extremely important for anyone interested in getting healthy and improving their day to day function. The use of alcohol and opiates will initially help one to sleep, but will impair any restful sleep. The result is a chronic low energy due to a lack of healthy adequate sleep. The Executive Home Detox clinician will utilize the prescribed medication to assist with alcohol withdrawal or opiate withdrawal but it will also foster a healthy sleep pattern that will last after the completion of the home detox period. The home detox treatment team has a vested interest in the client receiving adequate sleep. The use of nightly rituals and the use of non-addictive medication that may promote a healthy night’s sleep is evaluated and often utilized.
Nutrition Assessment and Support
Nutrition is sacrificed with alcohol and opiates addiction. It is not uncommon for the alcohol abuser to cease any nutritional intake for days on end. Alcohol provides carbohydrates, essentially sugar, and the alcoholic feels satisfied and has no desire to eat. In addition, the stomach lining is often deteriorating and this causes the client to not want to eat; food is unappealing. The initial nutritional focus for the client in alcohol withdrawal is on hydration. The nurse clinician monitors the vital signs and the skin turgor to determine the degree of dehydration and begins the hydration process immediately. Hydration is accomplished through the use of water, juices, Gatorade or Powerade. Ongoing assessment, intervention, and evaluation is a primary function of the clinician.
Opiate use, abuse, and withdrawal seriously impacts nutrition, as well. Opiate use directly affects the smooth muscle of the abdomen. The use of opiates can cause constipation and the withdrawal can cause diarrhea. The general use of opiates contributes to a lack of attention to one’s diet as the primary priority in life is to guarantee the continued use of the opiate. The first 24 hours of opiate withdrawal will cause stomach cramping and even the thought of eating can cause nausea. Again, as in alcohol withdrawal, the focus is on fluid replenishment. After the induction of Suboxone, the client quickly develops a healthy appetite.
There are a number of basic observations that will determine the current nutritional status of the client:
- Visual observation of the skin. Specific attention to the color and turgor of the skin.
- Vital sign interpretation. The pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and respiration provide a snapshot of the fluid status in the body.
- Intake and output. A general observation of fluid coming in and fluid going out is observed.
- Lab data. EHD can arrange for blood tests that will give a general overview of nutrition.
- The observation of the nutritional status will be followed by a basic plan to re-hydrate the client as necessary. The use of electrolyte-containing fluids is often utilized to re-establish balance in the client’s fluid status.