When addiction is coupled with mental health disorders…
Individuals who struggle with substance abuse and chemical dependency often have other underlying psychological disorders that can go unidentified and, therefore, untreated: referred to as dual diagnosis. Frequently, substance abuse is a coping mechanism used by individuals to treat their undiagnosed underlying mental health disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and many others can be primary diagnoses for individuals struggling with chemical dependency. For example, if an individual suffers from depression, and drinks alcohol in order to self-medicate, the alcohol addiction becomes more prevalent than the depression and is treated as the primary diagnosis, but when the drinking stops, the depression remains and often worsens to a debilitating level. This cycle makes it almost impossible to stop using because the substance abuse exacerbates the mental health disorder.
Dual diagnosis cases are quite prominent, and individuals suffering from substance abuse and a co-occurring disorder have a significantly lower recovery prognosis. Nearly 9 million adults in the United States suffer from co-occurring disorders, and less than 8% of those receive treatment for both disorders. More than 50% of individuals suffering from co-occurring disorders receive absolutely no treatment whatsoever (SAMHSA, 2014). What can we do to help people with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders?
At Muse Los Angeles, we specialize in treating those who suffer from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders…
A dual diagnosis of chemical dependency with a co-occurring disorder is not a death sentence. There is hope. We recognize that individuals who suffer from co-occurring disorders spend more time hospitalized and institutionalized than those who do not and we understand the symbiotic affect and cyclical nature of these diagnoses. At Muse, we employ an integrated treatment approach with intricate and complex screening assessments in order to properly identify the specific needs of each dual diagnosis client. This process gives our dual diagnosis treatment team the necessary information in order to address all issues, both short-term and long-term challenges our clients may face.
One of the most critical aspects of treating individuals with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders is a rigorous, honest and transparent relationship between patient and clinician. Great care is taken in matching the most appropriate therapist with each individual patient, resulting in a relationship that fosters healing, growth, trust and recovery.
Muse understands that a dual diagnosis can feel like an inescapable black hole. We, too, recognize the data all too well—that people with comorbid disorders are more likely to be homeless, commit suicide, or contract serious medical problems. We at Muse provide guidance, support and a therapeutic environment in which an individual will become more than just a diagnosis.