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"My adult child's experience as an alcoholic who is voluntarily going cold turkey and seeking detox"

About: Gold Coast University Hospital / Emergency Department GPs in the Fadden Electoral District

(as a parent/guardian),

My adult child is an alcoholic and seeking help to detox. They presented late in the morning at triage with shakes and extreme withdrawal symptoms. They had been cold turkey since early morning and this was understood by the triage team. They were seen approximately 5 hours after presenting to the ED and the doctor in emergency immediately understood the nature of the emergency and he was processed and admitted immediately. They were put into a bed and we were told they would be held overnight. After some time we left them, trusting the care of Gold Coast University Hospital. Big mistake. We had kept them alcohol free all day and then believed they were safe in the hospital. We were relieved because apart from their withdrawal symptoms they were seriously dehydrated, having vomited up everything they ingested. About an hour after we left my child was told that the staff could not help them there and given direction as to how they could find their own way to Royal Brisbane Detox Centre. They were then turned out, after having been admitted, to find their own way home in a taxi. This is a strung out alcoholic who has put in the effort to allow their drinking to be controlled all day. The hospital then puts my child back on the street with absolutely no treatment. They were left free to drink and hopefully get home. They came home.

We handled the situation all night with them vomiting continually and still unable to keep any fluids down.

Early the next morning we took my child to their GP, who has been marvellous. He immediately put a rush on my child's bloods and sent these through to GCUH with his report. The GP told us to immediately present at the hospital with my child and they would have his bloods and report. We did this at mid afternoon. It has now been almost 5 hours. The emergency waiting room has turned over two or three times in that period and my child is being completely ignored. Their doctor's report is being ignored. Anyone with a sore toe gets triaged in front of them. We have no idea where to turn.

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