Studies show that about 50 percent of people who suffer from mental health conditions also abuse drugs, alcohol, or both. The same source reports that 53 percent of people who abuse drugs or alcohol have at least one documented mental disorder. It’s clear that co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use disorders are extremely common. Psychiatric care can help.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that the total number of adults with co-occurring disorders in the United States is roughly 7.7 million. Of this number, less than 10 percent get the treatment they need for both disorders, and almost a quarter reported that they didn’t know where to go to find this treatment.
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These findings are alarming when we consider the critical need to provide effective, comprehensive treatment (often including psychiatric care) to people addicted to drugs and alcohol. Treating co-occurring disorders is complicated to the degree that if a patient gets treatment for one and not the other, the whole process is likely to be ineffective.
This is why addiction treatment facilities have a responsibility to provide psychiatric care as part of the process of addiction treatment and recovery. The needs of addicts are better served when the people treating their addiction are aware of their co-occurring conditions and are able to treat them effectively.
What Is Psychiatric Care?
Psychiatric care describes the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. Psychiatrists often focus on the prevention and management of the symptoms of mental health disorders, using medication and other treatments.
Do Psychiatrists Provide Addiction Treatment?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health and are qualified to assess both the physical and mental manifestations of a condition. This makes them key pieces of the process of treating addicts because these complex diseases inherently combine physical and mental symptoms:
The physical symptoms of addiction are unique to each drug, but the mental symptoms are not. The reward centers are rewired during the process of active addiction, regardless of substance, these are changes that occur for all substance abuse. Psychiatric experts recognize the signs of this change and through their experiences, are able to treat the affected brain with psychiatric care.
Patients struggling with addiction often are unaware of a latent mental illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Some addicts fall into a pattern of addiction as a way of self-medicating their illness and certain illnesses are exacerbated by substance abuse. These are the complex issues that psychiatrists are prepared to untangle and properly treat.
All psychiatric care professionals are qualified to treat addiction, but some receive special training to better prepare themselves to address the unique needs of addicts with co-occurring disorders. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) provides an additional certification for psychiatrists who treat addicts for their addiction/s, for mental health conditions, or both.
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The Demand for Psychiatric Care in Addiction Treatment
The ability for patients with co-occurring conditions to get help for both conditions at once is an invaluable resource, but psychiatric care has a role in effective treatment for all patients, whether they are part of that 7.7 million with co-occurring disorders or not.
Physical recovery from addiction happens much quicker than mental recovery, which often requires long-term psychiatric care. It takes much less time to rid the body of a chemical dependency than to rewire your process of decision making and understand the contributing factors. That’s why programs that use detox as their only focus are often unsuccessful: Putting patients back into society after detox means that they are momentary “clean,” but the main causes of the addiction were never addressed.
Long-term, heavy exposure to drugs and alcohol cause numerous dysfunctions in the brain function of patients suffering from addiction. Addiction completely rewires the reward centers of the brain, and decision-making is severely affected by long-term substance abuse.
Per NIDA, the “Principles for Effective Treatment”, state that mental health should be a major focus in the addiction treatment process. It takes time to assist an addict in regaining normal, healthy behaviors after years of experiencing a thought process that was dominated by the constant need to feel the influence of an addictive substance.
Addiction is now commonly accepted as a mental health issue and several medical bodies are contributing to its integration. As part of its new commitment to a “Collaborative Care Model”, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) secured a grant of nearly 3 million dollars from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to better prepare physicians to handle co-occurring disorders.
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Inpatient Psychiatric Services
FHE Health (FHE) is committed to serving each and every addict that enters our facility with treatment and psychiatric care that holds up to the highest standards in the industry.
Comprehensive, Collaborative Care
Our commitment to our clients involves approaching addiction from every angle and finding the combination of treatments and services that best support an individual client’s recovery. In our years of experience, we understand how latent mental issues can present themselves and we are prepared to, not just diagnose, but treat the issues on site. We use tenets of psychiatric care in combination with traditional addiction treatment strategies. Providing comprehensive services can give our clients a better odds of sustained recovery.
We offer a variety of mental health therapies that help to address the treatment needs of addiction. These include proven behavioral treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in which our trained psychiatric staff carries out tests to better understand an individual client’s priorities and values and then provide individualized psychiatric care.
We utilize our state-of-the-art NeuroRehab services to identify the neural function of our patients and to measure, in quantifiable results, their progress through their treatment. This process removes the subjective assessment of patients and creates verifiable numbers to show improvement.
Full Support Along the Continuum
At FHE, we provide a continuum of care, wherein clients will benefit from our onsite psychiatric care in each of these steps:
- Detox: During medically-assisted detox, medical professionals oversee a client’s detoxification from addictive substances, and psychiatric care may be used to help manage withdrawal symptoms.
- Inpatient: During intensive inpatient and residential treatment, psychiatric care plays a significant role. Access to mental health treatment for co-occurring disorders takes place here, and all clients have time to work with mental health professionals.
- Outpatient: Through partial hospitalization and our intensive outpatient program, patients continue to engage with therapists and may utilize our outpatient neuro-rehab services.
During your entire stay with FHE, we work to give you access to medical and psychiatric care based on your unique needs and circumstances.
Specialized Mental Health Track
At FHE Health, we also offer specialized mental health programs to treat these issues in conjunction with substance abuse disorder. This program treats clients suffering from the following disorders:
During this specialized program, we offer psychiatric care around-the-clock on an inpatient and outpatient basis, as well as medication management and other specialized treatment that address the complex needs of people with mental health disorders, particularly those who suffer from both a substance use and mental health disorder.
This program is approved by the American Health Care Association (AHCA).
Learn More About Our Psychiatric Care
If you’re looking for mental health services offered from the perspective of addiction treatment specialists, you can find it here. 7.7 million adults in the U.S. are struggling with co-occurring disorders, and countless more can benefit from psychiatric care integration in the continuum of care offered at FHE Health. To learn more, contact us today.