Dual Diagnosis Treatment that Addresses Underlying Co-Occurring Disorders

Dual Diagnosis Treatment that Addresses Underlying Co-Occurring DisordersAt one time, there were no dual diagnosis treatment centers or integrated treatment plans for co-occurring disorders that involved substance abuse. Mental illness issues and substance abuse were considered separate disorders, with a different therapeutic approach to each. Many who suffered from mental illnesses like bipolar or obsessive-compulsive disorders, or from anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia, also had substance abuse issues, but when showing up for alcohol or drug addiction treatment, the underlying mental illness was often overlooked. Sometimes clients with a psychiatric condition were excluded from substance abuse treatment altogether.

Today, addiction and mental health experts view co-occurring disorders, also called dual diagnosis, as a condition in itself, which requires an integrated, dual diagnosis treatment plan addressing both disorders simultaneously. Studies from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) show that by combining strategies from the fields of psychiatry and addiction treatment, relapse rates are lowered and chances of long-term abstinence are greater. Anaheim Lighthouse alcohol and drug addiction treatment center spots dual diagnosis clients through medical assessment and evaluation, and creates a comprehensive co-occurring disorders treatment plan, giving the same level of attention to the substance abuse and to the underlying mental disorder.

When is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Plan Necessary?

There is no rule or limit regarding the kind of psychiatric disorders that may co-occur with addiction. A complete assessment and diagnosis helps pinpoint the correct diagnosis. The following represents a partial list of the most common mental health issues combining with drug or alcohol abuse:

  • Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar
  • Anxiety disorders, such as panic attacks
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention deficit disorder

Psychiatric clients most commonly use the following substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Opiates such as heroin
  • Stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription opioid drugs
  • Hallucinogens

The most common contributing factors to co-occurring disorders include genetic make-up, early use of drugs or alcohol in childhood or teen years and severe stress or trauma. Unless dual diagnosis treatment for addiction is combined with treatment for the co-occurring mental disorder, chances for full and long-term recovery is not likely.

Our Approach to Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

With thorough assessment as early in the rehabilitation process as possible, Anaheim Lighthouse makes sure that co-occurring disorders treatment plans address the negative side effects of mental health issues, such as reduced attention span, social phobias or extreme apathy. We also make sure that medication therapy treats the mental and the substance abuse disorders together. Because of the unique nature of co-occurring disorders, specific dual diagnosis psycho-therapy is offered, including group sessions, which provides stronger, more targeted support. This level of psycho-therapy helps clients address their specific relapse triggers, such as anxiety, social situations or stress. In addition, we employ staff especially trained in the treatment of co-occurring disorders to assess the client and help design a treatment plan especially suited to our dual diagnosis clients.  We provide a medication management plan in conjunction with a third party medical doctor qualified to manage psych meds as dictated.

Anaheim Lighthouse offers a comprehensive choice when it comes to levels of care. We offer family intervention services, a residential detox program, a residential treatment center, intensive outpatient care, partial hospitalization and support groups for families of addicts and alcoholics. A co-occurring disorder treatment plan can be carried out within any of these levels of care with the help of our highly qualified and experienced staff.

Get in touch with our Southern California drug and alcohol rehab directly. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call us at (877) 959-5909.
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