Rutgers Teams up with Integrity House to Give Psychiatry Residents Better Understanding of Addictions
Date:  12-15-2014

People with addictions and mental health issues often wind up behind bars
Jails and prisons are filled with people with addictions to drugs and alcohol and those who have mental health problems. Many times individuals suffer from a combination of an addiction and a mental health problem. A new program that is a collaboration between Integrity House, which runs centers to help treat addictions in New Jersey, and Rutgers Medical School, which seeks to immerse its students majoring in psychiatry directly into the midst of the population it hopes to work with in the future, is gaining a lot of positive attention. The collaboration is being heralded as an innovative method of helping those with a co-diagnosis of addiction and a mental health problem to get the best possible treatment available.

New Program Aimed to Assist the Treatment and Long-Term Recovery of New Jersey Addicts

NEWARK, N.J. (December 4, 2014) — Integrity House, a nationally recognized non-profit substance abuse rehabilitation center with locations in Newark and Secaucus, proudly announces its partnership with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s (NJMS) Department of Psychiatry. The unique collaboration between the two institutions ensures fully-integrated care for the men, women and adolescents at Integrity House, who are battling the disease of addiction.

As part of the partnership, senior Psychiatry Residents from the medical school are rotating on a full-time schedule at Integrity House and providing its client population at both the Newark and Secaucus locations with Psychiatric care. Experiencing the treatment and recovery process firsthand, NJMS residents are receiving valuable hands-on experience by being immersed into the field of addiction medicine while serving an integral role in the care and treatment of each client. Residents are working with the NJMS faculty as well as the attending physicians at Integrity House to evaluate clients, complete assessments, make treatment decisions, implement changes to their health care programs, and evaluate them on an ongoing basis to ensure long-term success and sobriety.

“More than 50 percent of our clients have co-occurring substance abuse and psychiatric disorders, and they need to be treated by the best team of professionals in the field in order to ensure longevity of the results garnered from our program,” said Naipaul Rambaran, M.D., Medical Director of Integrity House. “We recognize addiction as a disease of the brain that is effectively treated with psychopharmacological, psycho-therapeutic, as well as medical interventions, and believe that the residents at NJMS are helping us to continue to provide the highest quality of care. We are enthused about this collaboration, as we have already seen its positive results and benefits. Not only are the Psychiatry Residents receiving indispensable experience by seeing addiction’s true health effects and witnessing the battles that addicts suffer from each day, but they are also helping us to meet the Psychiatric needs of our diverse client base and get them back on their feet to achieve happier, healthier and more meaningful lives.”

Since launching the program this past summer, one full-time position for a rotating resident is on site at Integrity House locations five days a week to help address the Psychiatric needs of the clients. In the future, there is potential for more Psychiatry Residents to be added to the staff at Integrity House as the program continues to grow.

“Our residents are receiving practical exposure at Integrity House, as they are experiencing addiction medicine upfront in real-time as they stabilize clients, witness their detox, and handle their health care needs through any relapses or medical complications,” said Petros Levounis, M.D., Chair of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “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. They are on the frontline, making critical medical decisions, seeing their results as they are happening and monitoring them over time.”