ST. LOUIS – Patients at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital who suffer from substance use disorders (SUD) will be treated by the new inpatient addiction medicine services to start the appropriate treatment.

Doctors at SLU Hospital help link the patient with outpatient care, which can include medication or a range of psychosocial treatments. The goal is to connect patients to holistic care. Many of the patients are in the hospital for conditions related to their substance use (infections, trauma related to accidents) and they get excellent care for those conditions.

“We see this as an opportunity to also treat the underlying condition that led to the hospitalization,” said Dr. Amanda (Amy) Hilmer, an addiction medicine specialist.

She also says individuals should recognize the three Cs to look for addiction signs: control, consequences, and craving. She also warns that caregivers can support patients by looking for physical changes in patients like sleep issues, weight loss or gain, if their loved on is no longer connecting emotionally to friends and family and if they follow through on obligations for work and family needs.

SSM Health SLU Hospital offers an online assessment tool to help patients recognize if they need help. Patients can access that assessment by clicking here. There is also a SMASHA hotline that can get people in touch with resources for substance use treatment, which is 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The suicide and crisis hotline is 988. 

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.