Spring 2008
REACH Offers Help to Adults with Both Mental Illness and Addiction
REACH Offers Help to Adults
with Both Mental Illness and Addiction

It could be a combination of depression and alcoholism. Or bipolar disorder and addiction to prescription pain medication. Or maybe it’s anxiety and cocaine use. Adults who suffer from a mental illness often turn to alcohol or drugs to cope. Unfortunately, this means that many are battling two diseases at the same time.

"This is not a situation without hope," says Ellen Shultz, RN, Adult Coordinator in Bridgeport Hospital’s REACH (REsource for Adult and Child Mental Health) Program. "Adults who suffer from both mental illness and substance abuse can be helped through a dual diagnosis program that treats co-occurring disorders at the same time."

At REACH, the dual diagnosis outpatient program treatments are provided by a team that includes a board-certified psychiatrist, psychiatric nurses, social workers and substance abuse counselors. After an initial consultation, participants join the dual diagnosis track, which includes group and individual therapy. The dual diagnosis program does not require a physician referral, but participants are often required to undergo a detoxification program prior to admission.

If you or someone in your family needs help coping with emotional, behavioral or psychiatric problems, Bridgeport Hospital has a variety of services and programs that can help, including hospital care and day programs for children, adolescents and adults.

For an appointment with a REACH counselor, please call 203-384-3377.

For more information about mental health services at Bridgeport Hospital, please visit www.bridgeporthospital.com/MentalHealthServices.

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