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Dual Diagnosis Treatment Los Angeles
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.
Primary diagnoses for individuals struggling with chemical dependency often include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
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 Muse do to help people with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders?
The stats show that addiction and mental illness are often interlinked. As a result, many people have turned to dual diagnosis treatment as a more effective long-term solution.
However, with only 7.4% of individuals receiving treatment for both conditions this leaves a large percentage who may be missing out on the benefits – maybe even including you.
In this short post, we will look at what you can expect from dual diagnosis treatment and how to get on the road to recovery.
What is dual-diagnosis?
Often known as concurring disorders, dual diagnosis is the condition of suffering from both a mental illness and substance addiction at the same time.
No two cases are similar and often one condition leads to the other.
It is common for people who have a mental illness to self-medicate using drugs leading to an addiction. The opposite is also possible where substance abuse leads to mental health illness.
For the most part, it doesn’t matter which came first, what matters now is finding out treatment options and moving forward with them.
Original causes for a drug problem or mental illness can include things like:
- A recent loss.
- A medical diagnosis.
- Financial problems.
- Relationship problems.
- Unresolved conflict.
Often a cycle can develop rather quickly of using drugs to treat emotional/mental issues.
This is often the reason why many drug addicts who successfully go sober can relapse – because they haven’t dealt with the underlying mental and psychological issues or vice versa.
Common treatments methods for dual diagnosis
Usually, the first step is to detox from any addictive substances.
Primarily this is undergone in a detox program or center where an individual can be monitored by medical professionals along every step of the way.
Cutting off a drug that you have been using for a long time is an extremely difficult process, but it is an important first step that acts as a foundation for other treatments.
As part of your dual-diagnosis treatment, you may be assigned multiple forms of therapy including:
- Art therapy – many people are surprised by how helpful they find art to express emotion, and process through situations. It’s also a great new hobby to pick up during the recovery process and beyond.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy – a tried and proven method that attempts to retrain negative thought patterns to break out of unhealthy cycles. A lot of addiction is in the mind and CBT helps address this.
- Counseling – talking with a trained professional to vocalize thoughts, feelings, frustrations and walk through things in your life that you may not have processed is a great way to improve your mental wellbeing.
Individuals with dual diagnosis can find these therapies a very freeing and healing experience, not to mention an important aspect of recovery.
Often being cited as the best treatment, community certainly plays a key role in dual diagnosis treatment.
Community comes in all shapes and forms.
Group sessions are often very helpful for individuals with dual diagnosis to show that they are not alone, hear other people’s stories and even share their own.
This can be extremely encouraging and prove that recovery is possible and there are others striving for it as well.
Family/friends rallying behind someone with dual-diagnosis can make all the difference.
That’s why our programs offer ‘Family Weekends‘ Here at Muse, we strongly believe that addiction is a family disease. From this, the contagiousness of this behavioral/cognitive illness will spread in a way where loved ones will become classically conditioned to worry, have anxiety, and broken levels of trust towards the effected family member. If on board, substance abuse counselors reach out to families over the phone immediately following their first session with clients and then request their email address. Here, we then send an introduction of created resources from our clinical director/licensed therapist in hopes loved ones will further request resources along the way to educate and make familial system changes during the client’s joinery to recovery – a parallel process towards family restructuring is one of our primary goals.
In some cases, medication can be an appropriate part of treatment for dual diagnosis.
Different meds can be prescribed to address both the mental illness and the drug addiction. Tackling both of these issues with medication at the same time can make a huge impact.
A medical professional will prescribe the appropriate types and dosage of medication that is best suited to treat your specific case.
5. Diet, exercise, routine and sleep
Nailing these basics is often the secret weapon to recovery.
Cleaning up your diet will help balance out hormones and chemicals in your body allowing you to detox from the drugs and is even good for your brain.
Exercise can act as a great release for frustration and restlessness during recovery. Not only will you be training your body to improve your fitness, but you will also be retraining your body to produce endorphins, allowing you to experience a naturally high instead of an artificial one.
Routine can help establish control and healthy, consistent patterns in your life.
All of the above will help you enjoy a great night sleep, the building block of a healthy body and mind.
6. Joining a program.
Implementing all of these treatments would be extremely burdensome and in some cases even dangerous to do on your own.
That’s why we suggest joining a program with professionals who can see to your needs so that you can focus on getting better.
What to expect from dual diagnosis treatment.
It’s no secret that this is going to be a long and difficult process.
There is no magic medication prescribed to ‘cure’ dual diagnosis overnight. That’s why it’s important to expect the following:
- It will take a lot of effort.
- It will take time.
- This will be completely worth it.
As challenging as the process is, it is without a doubt a journey worth taking to get you back on the path to a healthy, happy and satisfying drug-free life.
From here the rest is up to you.
We have shown you what you should expect from dual diagnosis treatment but only you can make the first step towards recovery.
Thanks so much for reading this post on ‘what to expect from addiction and mental illness dual diagnosis treatment.’ We hope that you found it helpful and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
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.