Michelle S. Client’s Mom
Addiction is rarely the only issue facing our clients and is often just a symptom related to underlying mental conditions such as depression and/or bipolar disorder. A person with co-occurring disorders has two separate illnesses, and each illness needs its own individualized treatment plan.We treat both the addictive disorder and underlying mental health disorder to guide the client fully through the recovery process.
Substance abuse (drug and/or alcohol dependence) and a mental disturbance such as (depression, anxiety disorder, etc.) qualifies the person as a dual diagnosis client. Dual diagnosis is not rare, in fact it is common for an individual to struggle with both addiction and a mental illness. Dual diagnosis treatment is a specialized option not all facilities offer.
A proven therapy technique we use for dual diagnosis is Cognitive Behavior Therapy, or CBT. Our compassionate, highly trained staff also provides psychiatric evaluation, group and individual therapy,and confidence-boosting social activities, providing healing and renewal. This integrated approach leads to successful long-term sobriety and a return to a fulfilling, purposeful life for our clients.
The symptoms of dual diagnosis can vary greatly. There are so many combinations of disorders that a set list is nearly impossible to determine. A medical drug test will be necessary to determine what drugs are being used and how much.
1. Visit our Blog: Dual Diagnosis Rehab
2.“In-Depth: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy | Psych Central.” Psych Central. N.p., 17 May 2016. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.
3. Buckley, Peter F. “Dual Diagnosis of Substance Abuse and Severe Mental Illness: The Scope of the Problem.” Journal of Dual Diagnosis 3.2 (2007): 59-62. Web.
The combination of mental illness and substance abuse is so common that many clinicians expect addiction to coincide with mental disorders. Studies show that 50% of persons with mental illness also have a substance abuse problem. And, more than half the persons with a substance abuse diagnosis have a diagnosable mental illness.
My cousin’s life was spiraling out of control when we noticed his drug use. He went to several rehabs in a short period of time, but unfortunately none of them seemed to work. A friend of ours recommended Ventura Recovery Center, and we thought we might as well give it a try. Happy to say he is now over a year clean and sober and we owe VRC a huge thank you for saving his life and for the huge support they provided.
Sam M. Los Angeles, CA
1. Dual diagnosis is fairly common: Nearly half of the people who struggle with addiction also have a mental disorder
2. Dual diagnosis treatment must be individualized: The potential combinations of mental and addiction issues can be endless, each requiring a different approach in treatment. A dual diagnosis treatment program needs to personally tailor each client’s treatment plan accordingly
3. Dual diagnosis treatment can be challenging: Some symptoms can be hard to trace. Is depression the result of substance abuse and subsequent unmanageability? Or is the depression a chronic ailment? The challenge lies in discerning the cause of certain symptoms so they can be addressed and healed.
4. Those who struggle with mental disorders are more prone to addiction: Self-medication to alleviate mental disturbance can be a slippery slope. It has been proven that people who deal with depression, PTSD, anxiety or bipolar disorder are more likely to see casual drug or alcohol use to develop into addiction fairly quickly.
5. Many drug rehabilitation facilities are not set up to treat dual diagnosis patients properly: An on-staff psychiatrist must be available to treat the mental disorder. Many rehabs do not provide psychiatric care. Make sure the drug rehab treatment center you choose has an on-staff psychiatrist and specializes in dual diagnosis treatment
6. Integrated treatment is the most effective way: Treating both the mental illness and the substance use disorder at the same time has been proven to be the best way to heal both ailments.
7. Dual diagnosis treatment takes longer: The standard 28-day treatment regimen that most rehabs offer is just not enough time. A facility that provides long term treatment helps the client detox, stabilize, and develop life skills necessary to go back into the world as a sober, well-adjusted individual.
Someone who has dual diagnosis has the best chance for healing if they receive integrated treatment. This means that both the addiction disorder and mental health disorder are treated at the same time. This is a relatively new approach. Years ago, it was standard to treat each condition separately, which often lead to relapse and undesirable results.
Each individual’s case is unique and needs a personalized approach to their condition. Choosing a treatment facility that specializes in dual diagnosis treatment and has a proven integrated approach is the best option. Though each treatment plan is individually tailored, the components of dual diagnosis treatment are basically the same:
Detoxification: This is the necessary first step in any drug or alcohol addiction treatment plan. To achieve sobriety, a person can no longer take drugs or drink alcohol. As the drugs or alcohol leave the system, the body goes into withdrawal. Medically supervised inpatient detoxification is highly recommended, as some withdrawal symptoms can be life threatening. With inpatient treatment, a medical staff is available to monitor the client’s vital signs and physical and emotional health. Drugs are administered to lessen anxiety and discomfort. Rest is imperative as the body adjusts to its new chemistry. Depending on the severity of the addiction, the detox phase can last 1-7 days. Sometimes it is a bit longer for alcohol detox.
Inpatient Rehabilitation: During and after detox, inpatient treatment plans provide the needed support for someone with dual diagnosis. A staff psychiatrist can prescribe medication for the mental disorder. Group and individual therapy addresses the underlying causes of both conditions. Living in an environment with medical staff and others in recovery means a person gets the integrated support they need.
Intensive Outpatient Care (IOP): Clients reside in houses or apartments with other people who are seeking sobriety. Frequent drug tests assure that all of the inhabitants are drug and alcohol free and on the right path. Regular group and individual therapy provide structure and healing. Many facilities provide 12-Step guidance with rides to AA meetings and access to individual sponsorship. Often lifelong friendships are forged at this stage. Residents share a common bond, healing from the past and building new lives.
Psychotherapy: This is a very important component of dual diagnosis care. Cognitive Behavior Therapy has been proven to be very effective when treating dual diagnosis. Other treatment options can be dialectical behavior therapy and EMDR, a new, highly successful technique for healing past trauma.
Medication: Detoxification medications for alleviating withdrawal discomfort are standard at the detox phase of treatment. With dual diagnosis, the client can also be prescribed medication for the mental disorder.
Support Groups: Alcoholics Anonymous is highly recommended for those struggling with addiction. It is a proven approach that combines fellowship, expression and self-examination to relieve the obsession to drink and take drugs.
Our mission at VRC is to give active adults the means to regain life from the relentless imprisonment of drug and alcohol addiction. Situated 30 miles north of Los Angeles, we are in Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village, CA. While we serve clients from the southern California region; Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange Counties, many of our clients come from places all around the country.