Senior psychiatry residents from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s (NJMS) Department of Psychiatry are now on rotation to provide full-time psychiatric care for clients at Integrity House, a not-for--profit substance-abuse treatment center in New Jersey. Residents are evaluating clients, completing assessments and participating in treatment decisions on an ongoing basis.
The partnership is a reflection of the trend among centers to treat co-occurring disorders.
"By treating co-occurring disorders and not just the addiction component, this ensures that a holistic approach is taken with a more meaningful therapeutic environment,” Naipaul Rambaran, MD, medical director of Integrity House tells Behavioral Healthcare. “Such clients are then more likely to better understand how their mental status impacts behavior, and with it, the potential to participate in high risk behavior. Coping strategies as part of their treatment plan become more meaningful in their everyday lives.”
Rambaran says the residents at NJMS are providing quality care, and Integrity House has already seen positive results and benefits. The partnership will help the residents see addiction’s health effects while also helping Integrity House meet the psychiatric needs of a diverse client base, he says.
Since launching the program this past summer, one full-time position for a rotating resident on site is included at Integrity House locations. In the future, there is potential for more residents to be added to the staff as the program continues to grow.
“Addiction treatment training tends to be an area that most medical school residents don’t get much experience in, but our students, who are getting ready to embark as doctors, are already way ahead of the learning curve thanks to this important collaboration,” said Petros Levounis, MD, Chair of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, in a press release. “They are on the frontline, making critical medical decisions, seeing their results as they are happening and monitoring them over time.”