Poll: Should health care facilities commit additional resources to detoxification patients?

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GROTON, CT - MARCH 23: A box of the opioid antidote Naloxone, also known as Narcan, sits on display during a family addiction support group on March 23, 2016 in Groton, CT. The drug is used to revive people suffering from heroin overdose. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

HARRISBURG, Pa.– House Bill 118, which would expedite the creation of an Emergency Drug and Alcohol Detoxification Program, was unanimously passed by the House on Tuesday.

Now, the bill heads to the Senate for consideration.

The bill would “encourage” existing health care facilities to convert beds to provide medically supervised detoxification to help ensure emergency drug and alcohol detoxification services are available in community hospitals.

Of course, this would require hospitals to put forth additional resources for detoxification, on top of already serving those with injuries, wounds or disease.

According to the American Hospital Association, there are 5,564 hospitals that meet AHA’s standards, with 897,961 staffed beds.

Obviously, by taking some of those resources and putting them towards a detoxification center, the number of staffed beds for non-detox patients will go down.

Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) sponsored the bill, and says that even though there is a shortage of hospital beds, those who overdose still need treatment.

“Addiction waits for no one, and this bill will save lives,” Kaufer said. “There is currently a shortage of beds, and when people overdose and receive care, they’re then sent home, rather than staying in a supervised setting where treatment can begin immediately. This bill aims to change that, and provide a safe and helpful environment for patients to begin the next step of their recovery.”

Our question is, should health care facilities commit additional resources to detoxification patients?