My experience in SARDA Shek Kwu Chau Drug treatment and rehabilitation centre
Dr Aaron LEE Fook Kay
The Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of drug abusers (SARDA), established in 1961, is the largest provider of voluntary drug treatment and rehabilitation services in Hong Kong, adopting medical psycho-social counselling model, with the principal aim to provide free and diversified drug treatment and rehabilitation services to all drug abusers on a voluntary basis.
SARDA comprises four residential drug treatment centres, four social service centres, and five halfway houses which provide aftercare and supporting services.
“Project SARDA” launches at Shek Kwu Chau Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre provides comprehensive treatment for young male adults with psychotropic substance abuse.
In addition, SARDA joins hands with Department of Health to provide counselling services for drug abusers at 20 methadone clinics. Social workers are stationed at these centres to recruit those who are self-motivated to engage in further activities to quit heroin abuse in the long run.
Using holistic whole person recovery approach, SARDA endeavours to provide treatment and rehabilitation services for all drug abusers regardless of age, sex, religion and race.
SARDA stays ahead in the pursuit of a drug free society and responds proactively to the changing service demands. SARDA actively collaborates with Government departments and different organisations to carry out preventive education. SARDA endeavours to help drug abusers to become free from drug dependence and to facilitate social reintegration.
What are the duties of a medical resident in the SKCDTRC?
I worked in the SARDA Shek Kwu Chau Drug treatment and rehabilitation centre from 1 August 2016 to July 2017.
The following are duties of Medical Superintendent of Shek Kwu Chau Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre:
Admission of clients for detoxification in Shek Kwu Chau (SKC) hospital through weekly intake from HK Island Office, outreach team, psychiatric wards of HA hospitals, and Project SARDA.
Close monitoring of clients of both physically and mentally during admission in Shek Kwu Chau hospital and rehabilitation houses.
Provision of 24 hour call duties through overnight duties and telephone consultation in cases of medical emergency.
Participation of weekly management meeting with the management committee of Shek Kwu Chau Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre.
Participation of weekly Assessment Board to assist SKC Superintendent in arrangement of medical appointments, fitness for promotion to various rehabilitation stages (R1 to R4), fitness for stay for those serving their probation order or hospital order.
Arrangement with nursing officer of provision of a continuous clinical duties of nursing staff and ongoing assessment of their work performance, as well as recruitment of nursing staff in case of vacancies.
Assessment (both pre-employment and employment) of fitness to work of various staff in SKC.
Review of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of SKC Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre.
Directly work under supervision of the Executive Director of SARDA in promotion of the objectives and targets of SARDA.
Assist SKC Superintendent in various activities in relation to daily operation of SKC Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre.
Provision of education and training to nursing staff of SKC in relation to drug addiction and general medical disease knowledge.
Arrangement of visits and inspection of representatives from Department of Health (DH) and Social Welfare Department (SWD) in relation to licensing requirement of SKC Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre.
Arrangement of visits and inspection of Justice of Peace and other government officials of daily operation of SKC Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre.
Promote education to the public on drug addiction and work of SARDA in the aids and rehabilitation of drug addicts of Hong Kong.
Promote education to medical bodies and medical students on drug addiction and work of SARDA in the aids and rehabilitation of drug addicts of Hong Kong.
What are common emergencies we see in a drug treatment and rehabilitation centre?
Overdose: One of the most common emergencies in a drug rehabilitation centre is an overdose. Overdoses occur when patients take too much of a drug or a combination of drugs, which can lead to respiratory distress, seizures, and even death.
Suicide attempts: Patients in drug rehabilitation centres are often dealing with mental health issues, and as such, may be at risk for suicide attempts. The staff should be trained to identify warning signs and take appropriate actions to prevent harm to the patient.
Withdrawal symptoms: Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and potentially life-threatening in some cases. Patients in a drug rehabilitation centre may experience physical and psychological symptoms, such as seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens.
Medication reactions: Patients in a drug rehabilitation centre may be prescribed medication to help manage withdrawal symptoms or mental health conditions. However, some patients may have adverse reactions to medication, leading to potentially dangerous situations.
Physical injuries: Patients in a drug rehabilitation centre may have a history of drug abuse or addiction, which may increase their risk of accidents or injuries. Staff should be trained to identify and respond to injuries promptly, particularly if they are severe.
It is important for drug rehabilitation centres to have emergency plans and trained staff in place to handle emergencies promptly and effectively.
For those who are interested to visit SKCDTRC, please feel free to contact me at 6383 2088 or email to email@example.com so that I could arrange a visit with the centre director as the place is a restricted area that needs prior registration before you are permitted to go in.