ALCOHOLICS who are “drinking themselves to death” will be treated in a new unit at Orange Health Service, designed for chronic addiction to alcohol.
Western NSW Local Health District mental health, drug and alcohol director Dr Russell Roberts said the eight-bed unit in the the Lachlan building would provide treatment for people who were unable to function in society due to severe alcoholism.
He said the unit would be staffed by doctors, nurses, psychologists, dieticians, social workers and pharmacists.
Dr Roberts said it was Orange Health Service’s reputation for providing specialist drug and alcohol services that attracted government funding for the treatment facility.
He said patients would undergo an initial assessment by a general practitioner before being referred to a specialist for the next part of the process.
“Admissions will be very much planned and family plays an important role in the whole process,” he said.
Alternatively, the process begins if someone is admitted to hospital and staff determine their alcoholism is so debilitating they are unable to look after themselves or manage health problems.
Dr Roberts said staff recruitment for the unit began earlier this year when the state government indicated Orange would be selected for the treatment centre.
“Our first patient will be treated this week and I am delighted to say we have recruited staff from all over Australia and internationally to help us carry out this important work,” he said.
“Alcohol continues to have a huge impact on our community, both from a financial and a social perspective.”
The state government has provided $2.9 million to set up and operate the unit.