Thursday, March 4, 2010

Students Among Patients at OSU Detox Center

The OSU Lantern

Brad Lander works with all sorts of drug addicts. But the most interesting category of patient, he says, are those who choose cocaine as their drug of choice.

“Coke addicts are my favorite,” said Lander, a licensed psychologist and director of Ohio State’s drug and alcohol rehab clinic at OSU East.

The clinic, located at 1492 E. Broad St., typically has about 90 people enrolled in rehabilitation programs at any given time, with 24 beds for inpatient treatment.

The clinic offers programs for people with any drug dependency, and any of age — with some patients as young as 10 to 12 years old.

In the last year and a half, Lander said, there has been a surge of young people coming to the clinic seeking treatment, including some OSU students.

“What most people don’t know is that a lot of students are alcoholics,” said Lander, who has worked at the clinic for eight years. He describes alcoholism as an inherited vulnerability, based on genetics. Although many students abuse alcohol, he said, symptoms often don’t arise until 30 years of age.

At any given time, there are at least two or three college students receiving treatment, Lander said.

Patients typically stay at the clinic for three to four days as they undergo treatment. Upon entering Talbot Hall, patients are given a thick, manila folder containing dozens of forms to sift through: registration forms, confidentiality statements, privacy reports and agreements and, last, a substance dependency assessment.

The assessment determines the extent of damage done to a person’s mental and physical health because of the drugs in their system. It is a crucial first step, Lander says, because it determines the patient’s program, and whether they will need to go through detoxification.

The inpatient detoxification program is an intensive one, according to the OSU Medical Center Web site. Patients receive medication to ease them through the withdrawal process and stabilize them.

“If you walked up to our detox floor, you would see people from all sorts of backgrounds,” Lander said. “You would be amazed how many different people are here at Talbot.”

After the patient is medically stable, he or she is required to participate in the education program. This process consists of lectures, films and discussions to help the patient learn about addiction and how to manage it. Counselors consult with patients individually and assist in developing treatment and post-discharge

After this process, each patient is given a basic 12-step program to follow.

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