Dually Diagnosed Youth on the Rise

Posted Sep 21st, 2009 by Kitty Slight  Category: Services,


The number of youth in our community who are dually diagnosed – the presence of a substance abuse disorder and mental health disorder – is on the rise. In response to this problem, Unison Behavioral Health Group began providing services for youth facing alcohol and other drug (AOD) related issues earlier this year. According to Dr. Bonnie Kauffmann, Unison Program Coordinator, “63% of the youth currently served by the program are dually diagnosed.”

With the school year in full swing, Dr. Kauffmann advises parents, caregivers, and school personnel to recognize that youth diagnosed with the following mental health disorders are at an increased risk for substance abuse: attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychotic disorders like bipolar disorder. Warning signs to look for include: sudden changes in personality, drop in school performance and attendance, sudden and frequent outbursts (temper tantrums), increasing conflict with family members, withdrawal from responsibility, changes in peer group, borrowing/stealing money, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in hobbies, secretive behavior regarding actions and possessions, change in appearance, poor grooming habits, and redness around the eyes or face.

Unison Behavioral Health Group treats youth ages 11-17 with substance abuse and dependence disorders, including behavioral health disorders. Through an integrated team approach, the program offers clients and their families the option of receiving services in their home or in our offices at 1425 Starr Avenue. Program components include:

? Diagnostic Assessment – a comprehensive assessment of AOD and behavioral health issues scheduled within 48 hours.

? Home-Based Services – individual, family counseling and case management services can be provided in the client’s home.

? Intensive Outpatient (IOP) – psycho-educational groups meet Monday through Thursday, two hours per day for six weeks. Family members participate in one group per week along with their child. Participants learn new coping behaviors without using drugs or alcohol.

? Aftercare – aftercare groups meet two days per week for 1 ½ hours each day for eight weeks following the completion of IOP. Aftercare focuses on preventing relapse and continued recovery.

? Extended Care –individual, family, and/or group counseling. Extended Care participants focus on strengthening their sobriety plans and maintaining healthy relationships.

? Case Management – case management services assist and support individuals in gaining access to needed medical, social, educational and other services essential to meeting basic human needs.

? Individual and Family Counseling

? Crisis Intervention – available to current clients and their families through Unison’s 24 access program.

Youth involved with Unison’s substance abuse treatment program also have full access to the agency’s psychiatric services.

Professionals and family members who are concerned about a child’s behavior and suspect a mental health condition and/or substance abuse, can obtain information and support by calling Unison Behavioral Health Group at 419-693-0631.

With over 35 years of experience, Unison Behavioral Health Group is the community’s recognized and preferred leader in caring for the behavioral health and substance abuse issues of adults, adolescents and children. Unison accepts Ohio Medicaid and most private insurances. Through their contract with the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, Unison is able to offer subsidized services to Lucas County residents who are unable to afford the total cost of treatment. Unison is certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. In addition, Unison is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

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Kitty Slight - Unison Behavioral Health Group, Inc. | 1425 Starr Avenue | Toledo, OH 43605 | | 419.693.0631 No Comments »

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