St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center Appearing on A&E’s “Intervention”

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Phoenix treatment facility helps a young man suffering from a severe addiction to bath salts.

St. Luke's Behavioral Health Center

St. Luke's Behavioral Health Center in Phoenix helps a young man suffering from an extreme bath salts addiction on A&E's "Intervention"

Bath salt abusers experience serious side effects, including hallucinations and psychotic episodes. There is still much to learn about the long-term side effects of bath salts, but it is accurate to say that no amount of use is ever considered safe.

The award-winning documentary television show on A&E, “Intervention,” is featuring St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center in an episode that will air on Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. In this episode, experts from St. Luke’s Behavioral Health provide adult psychiatric services and assist in an intervention.

For the first time ever, the critically-acclaimed A&E television series is following the story of a bath salts addict — and a most extreme case. Skylar, 23, of Glendale, a once bright and focused young man, changed dramatically after developing an addiction to a new, and at one time, legal drug: bath salts. During this episode, the “Intervention” team will attempt to help Skylar who is experiencing psychosis, along with other side effects, from his drug addiction. Chip Coffey, MAPC, NCC, LPC, director, Outpatient Services for St. Luke's Behavioral Health Center, was involved in Skylar's intervention and helped to work with the family to prepare for the actual intervention.

“It’s a great opportunity and privilege to have St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center spotlighted by a show with such an outstanding record and reputation,” said Greg Jahn, RN, CEO, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center. “It’s even more rewarding that St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center was able to assist a young man suffering from an addiction that is so new to many people. We are glad to send a message that hope is available for bath salt addicts and their loved ones.”

Bath salts were banned by the FDA last year and were previously available online and at smoke shops and convenience stores around the country. Drug manufacturers have responded by tweaking the recipe for bath salts just enough to create a new product and thereby evading the law.

“There is a common misconception that if you can buy it online or in stores, then it must be safe,” said Coffey. “Bath salt abusers experience serious side effects, including hallucinations and psychotic episodes. There is still much to learn about the long-term side effects of bath salts, but it is accurate to say that no amount of use is ever considered safe.”

St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center’s appearance on the Emmy® Award-winning reality series is part of the show’s 12th season. Twice nominated and in 2009 awarded the Emmy® for Outstanding Reality Series, the five-time PRISM Award-winning series “Intervention” profiles people whose dependence on drugs and alcohol or other compulsive behavior has brought them to a point of personal crisis or estranged them from their friends and loved ones. Each episode ends with a surprise intervention that is staged by the family and friends of the addict and which is conducted by one of four specialists: Jeff Van Vonderen, Candy Finnigan, Donna Chavous and Rod Espudo. The series has conducted 214 drug and alcohol addiction interventions since its premiere in March 2005, and approximately 162 individuals are currently sober.

The “Intervention” episode featuring St. Luke‘s Behavior Health Center will air on Monday, Feb. 20, 2012 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and will rerun on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 at 2 a.m. ET/PT. Viewers can watch the series on A&E on Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

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