By Allison Winters, NMCSD SARP San Diego Point Loma
SAN DIEGO- The Navy's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program (SARP) has transitioned from an addiction only treatment program to a dual diagnosis enhanced program that identifies and treats mental health conditions in addition to identifying and treating substance use disorders. More than 100,000 service members have sought help for mental illness since 2001, almost one-half of those werepost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases (data from National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2011).
Currently there are 55 SARP treatment locations worldwide with SARP Point Loma clinic and the Naval Base San Diego Clinic treating more than 2,000 patients a year. There are more than 100,000 Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans, 25,658 (25 percent) of which received mental health diagnoses. Fifty-six percent of whom had two or more mental health diagnoses (data from National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2011).
In 2005, 17 percent of SARP Point Loma residential patients had at least one co-occurring disorder (a patient diagnosed with more than one disorder). Currently, 50 percent of patients in residential treatment have a co-occurring disorder, which is a 33 percent increase over five years. The top three psychiatric diagnoses for SARP Point Loma patients in 2010, other than substance use disorders, were depression (23 percent), PTSD (13.2 percent), and anxiety disorder (13.2 percent).
"Fifty percent of the residential treatment patients have co-occurring disorders; Thirty percent of our residential treatment patients are OEF/OIF veterans. The need for mental health services will not decrease," said Capt. Mary Rusher, SARP Point Loma Department Head. "As our military men and women continue to return from deployment, patient activity and complexity will persist."
SARP Point Loma has implemented a number of initiatives to meet these complex needs, including the addition of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, a marriage and family therapist, case managers, and recreation and creative arts therapists. New specialty groups/workshops and programs have been established, including tobacco cessation, the Navy sponsored program My Ongoing Recovery Experience program (MORE), participation in Fleet and Family Support Center classes, nutritional education, and increased involvement with chaplain programs. SARP has also added new screening tools in support of the overall shift to a co-occurring treatment facility. Additionally, SARP Point Loma has established an intensive outpatient program at the Naval Base San Diego Branch Health Clinic.
To evaluate Point Loma SARP's success in being able to dual diagnose a patient, the Dual Diagnosis Capability in Addiction Treatment Profile (DDCAT) is used to score and evaluate the program on assessment, treatment, staffing, training and mission. When evaluation by Navy SARP leadership began in December 2008, SARP Point Loma scored a 2.58 on the DDCAT. Since the changes were implemented, SARP Point Loma holds a score of 4.5, now being fully capable of Dual Diagnosis Enhanced.
For more information on SARP San Diego visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Patients/Pages/SubstanceAbuseRehabProgra m.aspx