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Nation's Substance Abuse Problem Will Be Solved Only if Patients Are Given Same-Time, Same-Place Access to Mental Health Services, Says Leading Expert
Date:4/28/2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- In order for the United States to address its growing substance abuse problem, states must change their treatment center laws and regulations so providers may be licensed to offer substance abuse and mental health services at the same time, in the same location, according to Jacqueline Dawes, founder and president of Brookhaven Retreat, America's premier treatment center for emotional trauma and addiction that offers female-specific treatment.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081205/CLF008LOGO)

Appearing recently before the Health & Human Resources Committee of the Tennessee General Assembly, Dawes said that for far too long the issues of substance abuse and mental health have been deemed to be two separate and distinct issues, divided by policy, protocol and regulations.

"Unfortunately, as a result of this division, the millions of Americans who commit themselves to the difficult task of addressing their substance abuse challenges are never given the tools necessary to adequately address the underlying cause of their problems," said Dawes. "They experience repeated cycles of failure and personal destruction, which often are rooted in mental health issues.

"Women are most often caught in the revolving door of substance abuse treatment," stated Dawes. "The plain truth is that the primary cause agent of substance abuse behavior is often mental health problems. In other treatment centers, when it is discovered that an individual has an underlying mental health issue, the programs and staff necessary to address the mental health problems are not in place. By not granting dual licenses, states are in effect prohibiting that treatment from being available."


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SOURCE Brookhaven Retreat
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