Psychiatric Assessment and Care

Each patient admitted to the Synapse program will have a psychiatric evaluation performed by the Medical Director, who is a board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist with extensive experience in substance abuse treatment.  Results from the psychiatric evaluation will also be used to determine diagnoses, guide treatment and assess if psychotropic medications are needed.  If medication is recommended this will be discussed with the adolescent and adolescent’s parents for permission to prescribe. 

If a patient starts a psychotropic medication regime or is already taking psychotropic medication they will be monitored at least monthly or more frequently as needed.  The Synapse Medical Director will also have at their disposal the ability to do genetic testing.  This simple swab test of oral fluid uses an individual’s genetic code to see how medications are metabolized and potential response outcomes.  Knowing about a patient’s genetic profile can increase the ability to select a medication that is more likely to be effective and less likely to cause side effects.

Additionally, the Medical Director will order random urine drug screens (UDSs).  Not only are the results of UDSs important measures in assessing progress in treatment, these random UDSs provide accountability for the patient and integrity for the Program to be drug free.  The UDSs will take place through contractual agreement with a national testing laboratory.  Results of random drug screens will become part of the patient file and shared with the patient.