Treatment clinics seeing more mental health patients abusing drugs

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR -- Area treatment centers say they're seeing mental health cases with one common link.

Burrell Addiction Treatment clinic's vice president says 300 patients walked straight into the clinic to get help with a mental problems linked to drug abuse. The numbers keep growing.

"I can't stand for too long because of the problems I have," said Kelly Newberry.

And she's not alone, living under the trees near Glenstone and Kearney, many brought here because of another crippling problem.

"They just give up and resort to addiction," said Kelly.

Drug and alcohol addiction, a problem that area treatment center's say is getting worse.

There are 300 that have walked straight into here to get help with a mental problems linked to drug abuse. That's what the clinic's vice president is saying and she says those numbers keep rising.

"We're getting referrals from places we never did before," said Sally Gibson of Burrell Behavorial Health.

She says they're treating more people who use drugs to cope with mental illness like depression or anxiety. But she says they're also treating people who develop mental health problems because of more brain damaging drugs.

"Meth was one of the first ones we started saying ohh, what's the long term brain damage that could happen if somebody's using," said Gibson.

She says those users trying to recover keep their beds full, or some end up here. Gibson added her clinic may have to add staff to handle the increasing demand for its services.