BENSALEM, Pa., June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Livengrin Foundation in Bucks
County, one of Pennsylvania's oldest and foremost chemical dependency
treatment centers, said it has added a dual diagnosis program to its array
of services.

"Unfortunately, many dually diagnosed people (suffer from both
addiction and a mental health disorder such as depression) often find
themselves `ping-ponged' back and forth between the mental health and
addiction fields. They rarely receive simultaneous treatment for both
problems," says Dr. Mark Wallen, Livengrin's medical director.
According to a study done by the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health
Administration, at least 50 percent of the 1.5 million to 2 million
Americans with chronic mental illness abuse illicit drugs or alcohol,
compared with about 15 percent in the general population. The study also
revealed that dual diagnosis patients fall through the cracks of the

"We have found that a growing number of patients admitted to our
inpatient and outpatient chemical dependency programs also have a wide
variety of psychiatric symptoms including anxiety and panic attacks,
depression and/or mood swings, paranoia and a wide variety of behavioral
problems suggestive of personality disorders," he explains.
According to Wallen, the specific cause of these symptoms is often
difficult to accurately assess early in the addiction treatment process.
"For many patients, these symptoms are due to their substance use and
disappear with treatment and ongoing abstinence. For some, however, these
symptoms are due to a coexisting psychiatric disorder."

In order to meet the need, Livengrin developed a dual diagnosis program
which offers addiction treatment services plus clinical care in residential
and outpatient settings for those in moderate psychiatric distress.
"This program is for those who require the safety and security of a
full service facility but who do not require a hospital level of care,"
says Richard Pine, president of the nonprofit organization. "In line with
our philosophy of providing treatment services at the least restrictive
level of care, we help individuals with addictive/psychiatric disorders
return to their family, occupation and community as soon as possible with
continued involvement in outpatient programs."

According to Wallen, who is certified by the American Board of
Psychiatry and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, recovering from
both addiction and emotional or psychiatric illness is a complex and often
frustrating challenge.

"It is critical to identify the coexistence of a major psychiatric
disorder or personality disorder because if it is not appropriately treated
it often results in relapse to substance abuse. To complicate matters,
individuals may present with various types of psychiatric symptoms as a
result of their response and reaction to involvement with addiction

The dual diagnosis program helps patients recognize how these illnesses
affect them, explore their personal motives for change and identify
recovery strategies specific to their circumstances. Individualized care
consists of individual, group, educational and family treatment along with
involvement in 12-Step programs.

According to Wallen, a national presenter and published author on dual
diagnosis, major emphasis is also placed on medication education and
medication compliance for patients who require the use of non-addicting
medications. "Today, we have a new generation of antidepressants which are
not addictive and work well especially in terms of their safety and limited
side effects."

Wallen, who oversees the program, is a graduate of Rutgers University
and the New Jersey Medical School. In addition to serving as Livengrin's
Medical Director, he teaches chemical dependency treatment to psychiatric
residents at Hahnemann and Temple Universities.

The dual diagnosis program director, Dr. Diane Garrison, is a licensed
clinical psychologist experienced in working with dually diagnosed
patients. The primary counselors are certified addictions specialists with
master's degrees in counseling and human relations. Livengrin's nursing
staff has experience in both addiction care and acute psychiatric

Headquartered on 46 acres in Bensalem, Bucks County, the nonprofit
Livengrin Foundation provides on-site and ambulatory detoxification,
variable length of stay residential rehabilitation, intensive day and
evening outpatient programs, transitional support groups, dual diagnosis
programs, a specialized program for gay men and lesbians (the first and
only program of its kind in the state) and adolescent care. Satellite
outpatient offices are located in Bensalem, Allentown, Doylestown, Fort
Washington and Reading. An office in Center City Philadelphia is slated to
open in the summer of 1996. Oversight for all Livengrin programs is
provided by an ASAM certified psychiatrist and a licensed clinical
The largest capitated provider of evaluation and outpatient chemical
dependency services for HMO of Pennsylvania, a US Healthcare company,
Livengrin Foundation, one of Pennsylvania's oldest and foremost chemical
dependency providers, is accredited by the Joint Commission on
Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations and licensed by the Office of
Drug and Alcohol Programs of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
For more information contact Linda Taylor at 215-638-5200, ext. 229, or
-0- 6/21/96
/CONTACT: Linda Taylor of Livengrin Foundation, 215-638-5200, ext. 229/

CO: Livengrin Foundation Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU: PDT