15% of Grady's ED patients have substance use disorders

Physicians at Atlanta-based Grady Memorial Hospital say 15 percent of patients seen in its emergency department have at least one substance use disorder, WABE reported Aug. 10. 

In light of these findings from a study led by Joseph Carpenter, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Grady Memorial and assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Emory School of Medicine, he points out that many ER professionals do not receive appropriate training on how to respond to patients experiencing addiction. 

Now, the hospital is working alongside the Georgia Council for Recovery and connecting patients in need to treatment professionals. 

"We as medical providers, the majority of us don't have that lived experience, and no matter what, we're coming from a position of authority, and it's difficult — no matter how hard we try — to truly be on the level with folks that are in the ER for problems related to substance use," Dr. Carpenter told WABE. "And that lived experience really, we think, does translate to a lot better communication and a lot better engagement."

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