Princeton House Behavioral Health (PHBH) was founded in 1971 by The Medical Center at Princeton in order to treat the behavioral problems of the local community. Since then, PHBH has expanded to include six sites scattered across New Jersey that treat a wide variety of behavioral health issues. PHBH’s options for addicts include inpatient care, a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and outpatient care. It offers medically supervised detox and a number of programs geared toward specific demographic groups. The treatment is all individualized, evidence-based and centered on the idea that health care providers should treat the whole person, as opposed to their symptoms.
Accommodations and Food
Princeton House, PHBH’s inpatient program, is located on a wooded 10-acre property two miles from downtown Princeton. It houses up to 110 people dorm-style, in a traditional treatment center setting. The modern, comfortable campus features an indoor atrium with skylights, an outdoor courtyard, a game room and two gyms.
The Princeton House property also hosts a 21-bed, lockdown short-term care facility—a highly supervised setting that treats people who meet the state standard for involuntary hospitalization due to acute psychiatric or co-occurring disorders. The goal is to stabilize clients enough to transfer them to the inpatient program or return them to the community.
As for the food, Princeton House recently underwent a $3 million renovation of its kitchen and dining facilities. Its cooking staff offers a variety of meal choices each day, as well as a choice between an indoor dining hall and dining on the patio. Overseen by registered dieticians, PHBH food is nutritious and delicious.
Treatment and Staff
After being admitted to PHBH, clients are put into the program’s detox unit, if necessary. Medical professionals monitor them and adjust medications as needed. This short-term program is designed to provide intensive care for five to seven days before clients transition to the inpatient program. Medication-assisted treatment is provided for those going through withdrawal from opiates or alcohol. While PHBH calls itself a “short-term” facility, there is no specific time that people stay there. The length of inpatient stays depend on individual needs.
Both inpatient and outpatient treatment at PHBH begins with an evaluation by a board certified psychiatrist and the creation of an individualized treatment plan. Depending on their situation, clients may be steered to inpatient treatment, PHP, IOP or the traditional outpatient program. Treatment usually includes group and individual therapy, family therapy and psychoeducation groups. Group sessions at PHBH are kept small, with no more than 12 people in a group at a time.
PHBH’s inpatient programs are geared toward specific demographic groups. It has programs for young adult substance abusers, adults with acute psychiatric problems, adult addicts and adults with co-occurring disorders. PHBH also has a unique program for first responders with mental health issues, substance problems or both. PHBH offers similar programs on an outpatient basis, but also treats children, older adults and offers programs separated by gender.
While each group has slightly different needs for treatment, PHBH’s core substance abuse philosophy involves adhering to evidence based treatment models integrated with traditional 12-step and recovery-based programming. PHBH hosts AA meetings, NA meetings, and a “bottles and badges” support group meeting specifically for first responders.
The large staff at PHBH includes psychiatrists, certified psychiatric nurses, LCSWs, Master’s-level therapists, clinical psychologists, pharmacists, and even registered dietitians who provide nutritional counseling. PHBH’s affiliation with the University Medical Center of Princeton means patients have easy access to physicians if acute medical needs arise. PHBH accepts most major insurance as well as Medicaid and Medicare.
Expressive therapies like yoga, art and writing, are offered for all clients of PHBH, whether they are in an for inpatient or outpatient program.
PHBH offers electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, where a small electrical current is passed through the brain. While not generally prescribed for substance abuse problems, ECT is considered a treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, so an addict who also has one of these co-occurring mental health problems could be given ECT at PHBH.
With a variety of substance abuse treatment opportunities, connection to a well-known hospital and the diversity among the backgrounds and specialties of its clinical staff, Princeton House Behavioral Health is a highly equipped treatment center for both addicts and the mentally ill. Its specific programs for young adults make it a great choice for younger people, and its unique program for first-responders make it a great choice for firemen, policemen and military members suffering from PTSD or substance abuse issues.
Princeton House Behavioral Health
905 Herrontown Rd
Princeton, NJ 08540
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