Bridge Chemical Dependency Treatment Program for Co-Occurring Mental Illness & Substance Abuse

Posted on 7/06/2011 by The Bridge

The Bridge Chemical Dependency Treatment Program for co-occurring mental illness & substance abuse is another part of our integrated approach to mental health. In 2001, The Bridge obtained a license from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to provide outpatient treatment to a special population: adults with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance abuse. While statistics indicate that more than 50% of people who have serious mental illness have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder, there have been few programs developed to provide integrated treatment for both conditions. The problem is compounded by the fact that two separate state agencies regulate and fund mental health and substance abuse services.  

The evidence-based integrated program at The Bridge, which offers a supportive, mutual-aid community, addresses both conditions simultaneously. The stage-wise approach initially engages clients around the concept of recovery (going beyond relapse prevention to include wellness and achieving life goals) and helps motivate them to move forward in the treatment process.

A significant benefit of The Bridge Chemical Dependency Treatment Program, in which 100 men and women are currently enrolled, is its integrated approach. In addition to integrated mental health/substance abuse treatment, the program provides on-site medical care, vocational services and mental health medication. Program outcomes are outstanding with more than half of enrollees achieving substance sobriety within a 6-month period. The spirit of the program is best evidenced in the moving graduation ceremonies that celebrate those who have achieved so much and who are taking the next significant steps in their recovery.

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