KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – As the opioid epidemic continues to affect communities around the country, experts are looking into new ways to treat people struggling through addiction and mental health concerns.
In response to the opioid epidemic, Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center (KBMC) has expanded services to include treatment of patients who have both a mental illness and a substance abuse disorder.
Patients admitted to Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center’s new 14-bed unit all have primary mental health illnesses as well as a secondary substance abuse disorder.
“Historically, clinicians and programs have treated these ‘co-occurring disorders’ separately,” says Anita Adams-Jenkins, president of Sycamore Medical Center and Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center. “Treating the mental health disorder and substance abuse disorder together increases the likelihood the patient will have a successful outcome.”
The new unit seeks to combine the treatment and services of the two fields of medicine. In past years, officials said that many people receive help in one location for one disorder, then must find separate coverage and medical care for other problems. The new unit hopes to treat patients in a more complete and focused setting that deals with both issues as they affect the patient.
“They are very much linked in our world,” said Julie Manuel, the Clinical Program Manager, “One of the things we’ve found is that we’ve already served these people but we did not provide this kind of structured programming for them.”
Patients are referred to the unit by other doctors in their system at multiple facilities across the area. Ideally, patients remain at the location for three to five days, where they work through treatment.
In the WDTN.com Web Exclusive below, watch a guided tour of the new unit:
After they have been cleared, patients move into an outpatient facility where they have less restrictions and are closer to returning to their normal lives.
“We just want to treat the patient where they are,” said Manuel, “we serve them, see what we can do to help them to get back on track and get back into their lives; interacting with their family, friends, employer, and the community at large.”