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This question was submitted by a mother living in Victoria, BC, and has been reprinted with her permission:
“My son started drinking again after four years being sober. He has been through an in-patient treatment centre once; had an alcohol and drug counsellor and was connected to the recovery community. He explained he was getting bored with recovery and slowly I could see his behaviours started to change. He has now been drinking heavily for the past two weeks and wants to stop. Should he go into a medical detox before any kind of treatment begins?”
I was able to provide some next-steps for this person to consider:
“I would encourage your son to see his family physician for a consultation on whether detox is required before any treatment occurs. His doctor can submit a referral to the detox facility in Victoria, if need be. If he can not see his family physician then he can do a self-referral for detox and other addiction services in Victoria by going to the Adult Outpatient Treatment (AOT) clinic – or go to a walk-in clinic. The AOT clinic is run by Island Health, located at 1250 Quadra Street in downtown Victoria. The intake staff will be able to provide direction on what to do next.
I am not a medical doctor nor am I providing medical advice.
Looking into a medical detox is always a good thing and can be done by visiting your GP and asking for a referral. If your GP is not available, then perhaps a walk-in clinic or direct contact with your local publicly funded Alcohol and Drug Clinic. Many people suffer from seizures when detoxing from alcohol and can actually die, so it is best for them to be under the medical care of professionals. If someone is wanting to stop using heroin or prescribed medications it is always best to consult your doctor or local detox facility for the best advice.
For medical information on Alcohol Withdrawal please refer to this informative PDF (110kb) published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
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