City should take over management of detox again

Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Years back, like 22 years ago, the detox was owned and operated buy the city, not the hospital. It was called JRU and was looked upon on of the best detoxes in the state. It started its decline when the city turned it over to the hospital. The hospital started hiring counselors that had no knowledge of substance abuse and allowing them to use diversion counseling on the clients. The state then came out with the idea that alcoholics and the mentally ill needed to be lumped together, and psychologists were brought in to be the centers medical directors.

These doctors were and still are prescribing psychotropic drugs for people who are nothing more that alcoholics. I was always taught in my training as a substance abuse counselor, that be fore you can get good mental health diagnosis a person needs to be clean and sober for at least six months.

Most alcoholics are not mentally ill. Research has show that the relapse rate of alcoholics that have been give a duel diagnosis is hight than those that are treated for just alcoholism. Methadone is highly addictive in itself and should be used only to treat heroin addiction and then with extreme care.

The city needs to take the management of the detox away from the hospital, allow it be run the way it was years ago and again be recognized as one of the better detoxes in the state.

Bill Burk

Juneau



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